Could The Force Awakens be the biggest movie debut ever? Well, if Celebration is any indication… The movie is going to open in at least 4,500 locations, The Hollywood Reporter says. As for total figures, box-office analyst Phil Contrino thinks it “will hit $1 billion without blinking.”
Alan Dean Foster is writing the novelization of The Force Awakens, Del Rey revealed today at their panel at Celebration Anaheim. It’ll be out in eBook on December 18, the day the movie comes out, with a hardcover to follow on an unspecified date in January.
Foster was the ghostwriter for the original Star Wars adaptation (credited to George Lucas) back in the ’70s, as well as the author of the first actual Star Wars novel, Splinter in the Mind’s Eye. This won’t be his first return to the franchise: He also wrote a prequel novel, The Approaching Storm, which came out ahead of Attack of the Clones.
This was already floating around, but it was confirmed that Del Rey is repackaging A New Dawn and Tarkin together as Rise of the Empire. We learned that that book will contain three new short stories, one of which ties into Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath. (Sadly, that’s just about the most we heard on Aftermath.)
That was just about the only real news out of the Del Rey panel that wasn’t already revealed earlier in the con.
As for Marvel, we got a few things: Greg Weisman will be writing the second arc of Kanan; They will be doing an adaption of The Force Awakens, but not anytime soon. Star Wars #6 is not John Cassidy’s last SW comic for Marvel… And Simone Bianchi will be drawing Star Wars #7, which is a one-shot Obi-Wan story on Tatooine.
The atmosphere here in Anaheim for the reveal of yesterday’s new trailer for The Force Awakens was amazing, perhaps the top Celebration moment ever for me. The crowds are insane, the Arena was huge and we were up on the third tier, but the excitement was palpable. And the trailer itself… Well, you saw it.
I doubt I’ll be able to put together any coherent thoughts about it while still at con, but thankfully there are plenty of others who’ve taken on the task. We also saw several behind-the scenes photos (Hitfix has the gallery) for the very first time.
For a general overview, check out Christian Blauvelt’s take over at the BBC, or the shot-by-shot analysis at Vulture. Meanwhile, Devin Faraci at Badass Digest is pretty sure that BB-8 will be the film’s breakout character, and I’d find it hard to argue with him – I don’t think anyone was disappointed when the droid rolled out on stage. Magnets, what can’t they do?
Another big draw here is The Force Awakens exhibit, which mostly features items we’ve seen the trailer, but is still amazing. And it reveals at least one thing that immediately caught the interest of supergeeks – new names for what has become of Empire and the Rebel Alliance. The Imperials of TFA will go by ‘the First Order,’ while the Rebels are now ‘the Resistance.’ Curious, no?
And as for Jakku, the desert planet we saw in the teaser? Well, the battle that downed that Star Destroyer is one “not long after the Battle of Endor,” and it’ll be downloadable for the Battlefront game on December 8.
And with that, we’ll leave word from John Boyega, who returned to Twitter yesterday:
— John Boyega (@JohnBoyega) April 16, 2015
J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy’s “special guests” included the new trio – Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac – who confirmed some of what we’d already heard and/or guessed about their characters. We also got to see the (real!) BB-8 and Artoo, plus their makers, and of course Anthony Daniels, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill and Peter Mayhew also showed up. I’ll be back later with more, but for now just keep an eye on @clubjade, where I’ve been far more active than on the blog. (Sorry!)
In the meantime, you can backwatch the panel yourself!
And another video that StarWars.com dropped on us today:
Here’s just the BB-8 portion of the livestream:
Fans started picking up their badges in Anaheim today, and a sign pointing towards The Force Awakens Exhibit was soon spotted. Here’s the description:
The latest – maybe last? – batch of item reveals for the Celebration Anaheim store are here, and now they include the first bit of The Force Awakens swag. (A portion of the proceeds will go to UNICEF as a part of Force for Change.) There’s also a nifty Rebels crew jacket, some messenger bags, and a few other curiosities.
He talked about dressing up like Gonk and getting “flying advice” from Harrison Ford with Seth Meyers.
No comic, novel adaptions of The Force Awakens until January? That’s what Florian of Jedi Bibliothek has uprooted, anyway. Good news for the spoiler-free among us.
It’s time for another round of what does Kylo Ren’s helmet look like? Jason says it’s the one.
→ Going back a bit (sorry, I kind of got hooked on the Topps app last weekend and it killed any and all productivity) we have some details of a space battle, speeder bikes/troopers and a picture of Mark Hamill from the boat to Skellig Michael. #Beardwatch lives!