→ #BEARDWATCH LIVES. Well, sort of. Mark Hamill talks about his Episode VII beard at Yahoo: “…face foliage is almost a part of the costume. And it does bring a gravitas, perhaps unearned, but nevertheless, it makes a statement that they wanted to make, and I’m more than happy to oblige them.” He also reveals that BB-8 is an actual prop, not CGI.
And I wasn’t able to get to this yesterday before the big news dropped, but Hamill also talked to IGN about the trailer, with lots of praise for the new kids.
→ It will surprise absolutely no one that today brings a report that Star Tours is going to get a new mission related to the new films. My only real question: When will it be added? Because wouldn’t that be a nice perk for Celebration Anaheim?
Lucasfilm and Entertainment Weekly have paired up to give us character names from The Force Awakens – in trading card form. Daisy Ridley is Rey, John Boyega is Finn and Oscar Isaac plays Poe Dameron. The ball droid is BB-8 (which I’m guessing is pronounced/abbreviated as ‘Bebe,’) and our mysterious villain is Kylo Ren. The card numbers have some significance as well – a mystery to chew on… In addition to Finn and Rey’s last names.
This also puts to bed a popular theory that Gwendoline Christie could be playing the character we now know as Kylo Ren, referring to “his lightsaber.”
→ Variety hosted a Bob Iger Q&A today, where the Disney chief revealed that theme park plans for the franchise will be based mainly on things from the upcoming films. “I didn’t want someone to say, ‘I just saw the movie and there’s nothing in that movie in this (attraction),” he said. “We waited to see what this film would have in it.”
He also revealed that they debated whether to release an early trailer at all, and that J.J. Abrams’ use of physical sets and props have given the film a “wow factor.”
→ Andy Serkis says that his trailer speech “emotionally rooted” his character – go ahead and add that one to your speculation file.
→ George Lucas hasn’t seen The Force Awakens trailer yet, Page Six reports this morning. “I don’t know anything about it. I haven’t seen it yet,” he said. “Because it’s not in the movie theater. I like going to the movies and watching the whole thing there.”
→ On the other hand… “I got really excited when I saw the trailer the other week,” Domhnall Gleeson said recently. “I am a fan. I saw the prequels before I saw the first ones. I am very excited about it.”
→ In addition to this morning’s Andy Serkis rumor, we have Da7e at Latino Review looking at the 4chan stuff, and pulling stuff out of them that he actually thinks are true/interesting. (I get a strong whiff of too much endless-message-board-debate about his lightsaber opinions, though.)
→ For the Tumblr folks, I put together a Star Wars Stylebook entry on how stormtroopers aren’t clones, since there’s been a lot of confusion on that front lately.
→ ANH set decorator Roger Christian, who came up with the first lightsaber, thinks the broadsaber is “an older laser sword.” He says that while it doesn’t seem to be practical, “there has to be a reason,” and that J.J. Abrams “would have considered every visual in this first teaser.” I think it’s just as well that we’re seeing it so early – it gives fandom time to get used to the idea. (Though of course, complainers are going to complain regardless.)
→ And finally, the 4chan/Reddit “Spoiler Man” is back with a third and presumably final installment. Here’s a non-spoilery tidbit: “Han does not have any Force-sensitivity.” Really. (Are they rumoring from 1981? Is Han “the another?!?”) There are also “script” pages with dialogue that makes “I don’t like sand” look like Shakespeare, though to their credit even Reddit is calling BS on them.