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Today in The Force Awakens: The review embargo is in

tfa-kylo-finn-reyWe’ll be seeing the first The Force Awakens reviews on Wednesday, December 16th at 12:01am PST. Plan accordingly. In Hollywood, things are shaping up for the Monday premiere, which will have “Academy Award levels” of security and crowd control.

The Force Awakens will be featured on CBS’ 60 Minutes on Sunday, and in the preview video we get to hear some of John Williams’ new score.

→ Today’s best bet: Samuel L. Jackson and Gwendoline Christie chat for Interview magazine.

→ J.J. Abrams has more praise for coffee enthusiast Pablo Hidalgo from in the Toronto Sun. Elsewhere, he talks about The Raid stars with /Film.

→ Costume designer Michael Kaplan on Kylo Ren’s helmet for Time.

Vice News did a half-hour piece on Adam Driver’s Arts in the Armed Forces organization. (Guess what made the headlines?)

→ Also: Phasma and Rey action figures flying off the shelves, Lupita Nyong’o was on GMA this morning, and Anthony Breznican on Bobbajo.

Today in The Force Awakens: Score and Snoke hints, new character posters

In Variety, John Williams reveals that the motif for a new character in The Force Awakens is based on a Kipling poem translated into Sanskrit (which could give us something reminiscent of The Phantom Menace’s ‘Duel of the Fates’).

People sheds just a tiny it of light on Andy Serkis’ Supreme Leader Snoke – or at least, his height.

→ In Mexico City, Kathleen Kennedy revealed that exteriors for Episode VIII and Rogue One will shoot on location in Mexico, according to Excelsior (English) It’s a bit unclear, but she also may have confirmed Benicio del Toro?

Rolling Stone has posted their complete Carrie Fisher interview (only some of which made it into their cover story). She discusses her upcoming book, The Princess Diarist, the nature of fame, and not being surprised by Episode VII. Her dog Gary, meanwhile, now has his own Instagram.

→ “I couldn’t be more delighted to see the amazing fan response to Captain Phasma,” Gwendoline Christie tells ComicBook, where she also talks about the physicality of the character.

→ On Late Night with Seth Meyers, Adam Driver talked about his San Diego Comic-Con experience; From IGN, Oscar Isaac on Poe Dameron’s inspirations.

→ And in the most shocking news of the day, Star Wars fans are big spenders.

Today in The Force Awakens: It’s all about the ladies, and George Lucas has seen the film

lat-womenToday’s must-read was an article from Meredith Woerner at the Los Angeles Times about the women of The Force Awakens. In addition to the characters (it’s revealed that Captain Phasma will be returning for VIII,) Kathleen Kennedy also talks about the importance of having women behind the scenes, and how that helped the movie.

→ On that note, agent Adriana Alberghetti told the LAT that she’s gotten meetings for four female directors and three female writers for Star Wars films. She doesn’t name names, but Newsarama notes that her clients include Orange Is The New Black director S.J. Clarkson and Buffy the Vampire Slayer writer Marti Noxon.

→ George Lucas has seen The Force Awakens and, Kathleen Kennedy tells The Hollywood Reporter, “he really liked it.”

Carrie Fisher was on Good Morning America this morning, and not only was she amazing, but she was full of praise for the film.

More The Force Awakens ornaments are coming to Hallmark… Next year. Kylo Ren and Captain Phasma are available now.

Han spoils first: Highlights of the #TwitterAwakens Q&A

J.J. Abrams, Kathleen Kennedy, and several of The Force Awakens’ stars were on hand today for #TwitterAwakens, a live Q&A via the @starwars Twitter. It was a crazy whirlwind, and yes, Harrison Ford dropped what may be a major spoiler – if you haven’t been paying attention. (It’s the spoiler – it’s not about Luke or anyone’s parentage, though he did spell Kylo as ‘Kilo,’ which is hilarious.)

Also, Mark Hamill trolled, and Daisy Ridley and Oscar Isaac sang a (brief) duet.

I’ve collected most of the tweets, but to see the actual questions you have to read it on Twitter. If you want to avoid Harrison’s spoiler, skim over everything from the Lupita picture (or Carrie’s “Good, I was jealous.”) until you see Harrison’s own mug (above center.)

Today in The Force Awakens: Gwendoline Christie models a Phasma dress, J.J. Abrams makes the rounds

phasma-dress1Gwendoline Christie herself models the Giles Deacon dress inspired by Captain Phasma.

→ No one got too much out of J.J. Abrams today, but he showed up on Good Morning America, Howard Stern and shared some interesting tidbits about Adam Driver and General Leia on Sirius XM.

→ Steven Spielberg thinks The Force Awakens could be “the biggest movie ever.”

→ Retailers aren’t stocking enough Rey (or Phasma) merchandise. Imagine that.

Today in The Force Awakens: Meet the planets

tfa-c1-01-falcon-castleEmpire today revealed the names of three planets from The Force Awakens. Takodana looks to be the jungle world where Maz Kanata’s castle is. D’Qar may be the home of the Resistance Base. The third, Hosnian Prime, is a mystery, though a Hosnian system was mentioned in Lost Stars.

As for a fourth location, copies of Empire are out in the wild, and there is a map which contains a Starkiller Base Origin Point. (It moves! Shit.) There’s some speculation floating around about the Base’s origin perhaps being Ilum. But why is Rakata Prime, a planet that apparently originates in Knights of the Old Republic, on the map? Could it be TFA’s Dantooine, a planet that gets mentioned but never seen, or will it meet a more sinister fate?

(For what it’s worth, Pablo says the map was created for The Force Awakens Visual Dictionary, one of the December 18th releases.)

→ Mike Cooper at Eleven-ThirtyEight figures out just how much of The Force Awakens we’ve seen. Today’s spot brings it up to 5:43 minutes, so please calm down about being ‘spoiled’ by officially released footage.

→ Entertainment Weekly’s Anthony Breznican talks about BB-8 in the first of four videos. (Nothing here really struck me as anything we don’t already know, but if you’re not glued to the internet, there may be something here for you.)

John Boyega hasn’t seen The Force Awakens yet, while Gwendoline Christie would like to go dancing as Captain Phasma.

→ Google will now translate Aurebesh, because why not.

J.J. Abrams teases Mark Hamill’s ‘absence’ in new Force for Change video

abrams-omaze

J.J. Abrams and the cast of The Force Awakens talk about the new Omaze initiative today. It launched with help from Harrison Ford last week, but a key cast member is missing from this one. However, it does end with a ‘to be continued…’


For more information on the charities selected by the cast, head to StarWars.com.

Gwendoline Christie on Captain Phasma, audience response, and getting the part

SS-tfa-trailer3-phasma

Gwendoline Christie talks to Entertainment Weekly about Captain Phasma and why fans are drawn to the character:

“We see Captain Phasma, and we see the costume from head to toe, and we know that it is a woman. But we are used to, in our media, connecting to female characters via the way that they look, from the way they are made flesh.”

“We are actually connecting to a female character as a human being,” Christie continues. In another interview with the L.A. Times, she compares Phasma to Boba Fett – in terms of screentime, and getting the part:

“I really wanted to be in ‘Star Wars’ because it had a special meaning to me,” she said. “Being someone who never felt part of the mainstream, who always felt unusual, it felt like a world that I could inhabit in terms of my imagination and who I was. I became like a dog with a bone and was absolutely insistent: ‘Please, please, please try to have me seen.’ Eventually they were worn down by my incessant asking.”

She was also recently profiled by Harper’s Bazaar, where she enthuses a bit more about the costume.

What we learned about The Force Awakens at SDCC’s big panel

TFA @ SDCC: Bobbajo!

I’m sure almost all you watched the video of the panel this weekend, but for those who didn’t, here are a few highlights. Nothing here about the behind-the-scenes video, though – that’s an entirely different post.

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