Oscar Isaac and BB-8 have a Force for Change update for us. This week, there’s a chance to win a prize pack with a Sphero BB-8 signed by J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy.
There were no wins for Star Wars at the Academy Awards tonight, but at least The Force Awakens lost (mostly) to fellow genre films. Mad Max: Fury Road pretty much swept the technical categories at the Academy Awards, shutting out The Force Awakens in Editing, Sound Mixing and Sound Editing. Star Wars’ best chance was considered to be Visual Effects, which was instead won by Ex Machina in a surprising upset. John Williams lost out to The Hateful Eight’s Ennio Morricone, who paid tribute to 5-time winner Williams in his speech.
But hey, we did get an appearance by Threepio, Artoo and BB-8. Later, Daisy Ridley was joined by Dev Patel to present Best Documentary, and J.J. Abrams presented Best Director to The Revenant’s Alejandro G. Iñárritu.
→ Bryan Young talked to Matthew Wood and David Acord about how BB-8 got his voice for How Stuff Works.
→ The Force Awakens is likely to pass $900M domestically and $2B globally this coming weekend, Scott Mendelson reports.
→ Your moment of extremely relevant zen: An adorable puppy finds a home.
There’s another behind-the-scenes look at the visual effects of The Force Awakens at Variety. The nearly 11-minute video features visual effects supervisors Roger Guyett and Patrick Tubach, creature supervisor Neal Scanlan, and special effects supervisor Chris Corbould.
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.
The Force Awakens’ advance ticket sales have passed the $100 million mark in North America, according to The Hollywood Reporter. That’s at least four times as much as the previous record holder, The Dark Knight Rises.
Don’t forget that the reviews – including mine – will come off embargo tonight at 12:01 a.m. PST (3:01 a.m. EST.) Don’t worry too much, we’ve been asked not to reveal spoilers. (There’s always the Force Block browser extension if you’re paranoid.)
→ Lupita Nyong’o tells Ellen DeGeneres how she didn’t know that she was auditioning for Star Wars.
→ In /Film’s full J.J. Abrams interview, the director talks about developing the film
→ What does comedian Bill Hader have to do with BB-8?
→ You’ll never guess what some of the internet’s most disgruntled Expanded Universe fans are threatening to do now! Oh wait, you totally will, because it’s utterly pointless and deranged. That Force Block thing is looking pretty good about now, yeah?
I was only able to see about half the world premiere red carpet livestream, but I did catch the most magical part: Carrie Fisher interviewing Oscar Isaac. Or attempting to interview. Whatever it was, it was wonderful, and you can watch it on Youtube.
→ Kathleen Kennedy and J.J. Abrams talked to /Film on how they collaborated with Episode VIII writer/director Rian Johnson, and how IX director Colin Trevorrow will likely work in.
→ Wired takes a look at Sphero, and how exactly BB-8 was a boon for them.
→ Some great The Force Awakens fashions by designer Catherine Elhoffer. You may have seen them on the red carpet tonight!
→ Andy Serkis ‘confirms’ evil Jar Jar on Conan.
→ Korean boy band EXO has an (authorized) song called ‘Lightsaber’. We truly live in an age of wonders.
→ J.J. Abrams talks to io9 about the script process (including Michael Arndt’s exit,) starting fresh with Lawrence Kasdan and even the Expanded Universe. (On that note, The Hollywood Reporter on the pre-Abrams story meetings.) At Nerdist, he says he wants to see Selma’s Ava DuVernay do a Star Wars film. She seems game! And Pablo Hidalgo’s fame continues to spread, as he’s the subject of the first question from the Associated Press.
→ Daisy Ridley and John Boyega are in the New York Times! With the AP, John shares the story of how (and why) he got Robert Downey Jr. as his mentor in fame. But he couldn’t resist getting a little saucy about Star Trek with Yahoo. (Well, about William Shatner, technically. Which is, I believe, legal under the Carrie Directive)
→ It was Oscar Isaac’s turn on Good Morning America today, where he talked about flying an X-wing.
→ A film still of Billie Lourd in the movie has been floating around for a while now (plus she was in one of the first TV spots) but People has an official character portrait, in which we can see she wears her hair in a toned-down version of Leia’s iconic buns. Still no character name, though.
→ J.J. Abrams, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Adam Driver were in Seoul today goofing around, while Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o and Kathleen Kennedy were in Mexico City. I can’t find any reports in English, but damn they looked cool.
→ Also: The Force Awakens was the #1 movie on Facebook for 2015; Yesterday’s spoilerific Rey action figure got DMCA’d; NASA scientist would pick Threepio over BB-8 or Artoo to take to space. I am outraged! I have to go lay down now.