Rey’s bread was real, and other things we learned about The Force Awakens VFX today

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Given the visual effects nod from the Oscars and yesterday’s leak of the VFX reel, it’s not so surprising that The Force Awakens effects talk is all over today.

At MTV, we learn that the film’s really most talked-about effect – Rey’s green instant bread – is practical. It does, however, taste terrible. They also look into BB-8’s thumbs-up. (It might be time to release an official GIF of that one.) Neal Scalan talked about how Rogue One’s approach to aliens will be different. Also: Easter eggs!

/Film has an interview with Visual Effects Supervisor Roger Guyett, including the tidbit that The Force Awakens had more CG than The Phantom Menace, and more about how and why Kylo Ren’s helmet was added digitally.

Over at Collider, Scanlan, Guyett, Chris Corbould and Patrick Tubach talk about some of The Force Awakens’ cut scenes, including one with Maz.

Poe Dameron comic coming from Marvel

Marvel’s first sequel era ongoing will be Star Wars: Poe Dameron, USA Today reveals. It’ll be written by Charles Soule (Lando) with art from Phil Noto (Chewbacca).

The comic’s first storyline will focus on the lead-up to The Force Awakens. BB-8 and a new First Order villain will feature, with General Leia Organa and the other Resistance X-wing pilots likely to appear.

Poe’s parents were introduced in the Shattered Empire mini-series last year, but Soule says not to expect flashbacks. Poe’s introduction to Leia and the Resistance is featured in Greg Rucka’s Before the Awakening.

5 Oscar nods for The Force Awakens include music, VFX

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The Force Awakens received five Oscar nominations this morning, all in technical categories. John Williams got his 50th nomination for the score. ILM’s Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan and Chris Corbould are up for the film’s Visual Effects. Matthew Wood and David Acord are nominated for sound editing, with Andy Nelson, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson for sound mixing. The biggest surprise is Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey for editing.

the 88th Academy Awards will be given out Sunday, February 28.

Upcoming books focus on Star Wars front lines, propaganda

frontlines-wallaceJedi Bibliothek was first to spot two upcoming Star Wars coffee table books from Becker & Mayer. Both appear in the book producer’s 2015 autumn catalog (PDF) so we can probably expect them in the fall.

The first, On the Front Lines: Notes on Tactics, Armor and Valor from Galactic Conflicts is a look at warfare in the GFFA from Daniel Wallace. Here’s the blurb:

From the Clone Wars and the Rebellion to the clashes with the First Order, the galaxy is defined by war. Star Wars: On the Front Lines chronicles the tactics, weapons, and armor used in pivotal battles along with profiling acts of valor. By focusing on elements of the battles that occurred “off screen,” this collection brings the struggles faced by ground soldiers and starfighter pilots to life like never before and places the reader on the battle lines.

propaganda-phThe second is the “in-universe” Star Wars: Propaganda from Pablo Hidalgo.

Whether it’s a Star Destroyer hovering over a planet or an X-wing delivering a message of resistance, propaganda images have become synonymous with life in the galaxy far, far away. This in-world art book explores the creation and stories behind these images of power and persuasion—where the images appeared, why particular planets were targeted, and who were the in-world artists behind the works.

Also featured in the catalog are a trade edition of last year’s Star Wars: Costumes and several crafting titles.

Earlier, Jedi Bibliothek also discovered covers and details for The Force Awakens Storybook (among others) and Landry Quinn Walker’s Tales From A Galaxy Far Far Away: Aliens. (Aliens collects the eBook short stories released last month, and is supposed to contain two new stories.)

These last two scheduled for early April releases, which lines up with the Blu-ray evidence.

The Force Awakens novelization shoots to #1

The Force Awakens novelizationThe Force Awakens novelization by Alan Dean Foster has made it to #1 on the the New York Times bestseller list, Lucasfilm’s Jennifer Heddle announced today.

The novelization was released in two phases – as an ebook on December 18th, with the hardcover not debuting until January 5.

(Pablo Hidalgo’s The Force Awakens Visual Dictionary has also been doing well, and is probably the most helpful resource out there right now.)

Despite over 20 years of the current publishing program, only 3 previous Star Wars novels have topped the NYT list: Timothy Zahn’s Heir the the Empire in 1991, Terry Brooks’ The Phantom Menace novelization in 1999 and Sean Williams’ The Force Unleashed novelization in 2008. Quite a few have made the top ten, with Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath recently peaking at #4.

Listen to this: (Mostly?) violin Rey’s Theme cover


24violins.com does a cover of ‘Rey’s Theme’ from John Williams’ The Force Awakens score, using “only violin sounds and Native Instruments Maschine plus Komplete Kontrol.” They lost me at “only violins,” but I do know the result is pretty fantastic. (via)

You can download the track at Soundcloud.

StarWars.com’s Matt Martin joining the Story Group

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Matt Martin, the Manager of Digital Content and Community Relations at Lucasfilm, is leaving the web side of the company to become part of the Story Group, he said on Twitter today.

Lucasfilm’s Story Group began as an initiative from Kathleen Kennedy to help guide the Star Wars franchise. Other members include Kiri Hart, Pablo Hidalgo and Leland Chee.