Today we’re one month away from The Force Awakens. Well, those of us who have tickets for the December 17th showings do as I post this. (Check your local theater – they likely still have tickets.)
→ Star Wars is forever and ever (and ever) Wired reminds us, in another article from their Star Wars issue. (Remember the J.J. interview?) There’s not any real news here if you’ve been paying attention, but it is a good look at the new mega movie franchise blueprint. Elsewhere, a look at the Disney empire and their gatefold Millennium Falcon cover.
→ Fashion designers are reinterpreting looks from the Force Awakens that will be auctioned for charity. The Force 4 Fashion looks will be revealed on December 2.
→ Greg Grunberg on shooting The Force Awakens. J.J. Abrams is mean.
→ Hasbro says demand for The Force Awakens toys was higher than they expected. “No shit,” say collectors everywhere, rolling their eyes.
Fast Company has a profile of Hasbro Star Wars design director Steve Evans, focusing on The Force Awakens rollout. Of special interest to us, some words on the changing market:
“I’m actually very, very fond of the three-and-three-quarter inch Rey figure,” Evans says. It’s an appropriate choice, and not just for the fact that Rey is one of the main characters in the next Star Wars chapter. That figure symbolizes a radical shift in the action figure market—and the Star Wars toys market in particular.
“It’s because of what it stands for,” says Evans. “Just because of the way it’s embracing girls into the brand more. I have a son and two twin daughters and my girls are infatuated with Rey. They think she’s brilliant.”
Back in the ’70s and ’80s Star Wars action figures were thought of as something to be made just for boys. But Evans says that’s all changed now. And not only are the artificial gender action figure barriers are coming down, now they’re designed to appeal to people of all ages.
As for The Force Awakens, “as we lead up to December 18, there’s a certain amount that gets released,” says Evans. “There are certain surprises from our product line that no one knows about, that we’ll release leading up to the movie, at the movie, and beyond the movie.”
To the surprise of, well, everyone, there weren’t a whole mass of The Force Awakens toy reveals at the Hasbro panel at SDCC. But what they did show was pretty cool – and rather large: A 6″ scale TIE fighter, with “elite” pilot. (There’s a pretty neat display case recreating a scene from the trailer on the show floor now.)
As expected, Knights of the Old Republic‘s Revan won the 2015 Fan’s Choice poll by a landslide, but the results for Rebels Sabine Wren were so good that she’s going to be made as a 6″ Black Series figure, too! They also revealed that a Kanan Jarrus figure is coming to the Black Series as well. Other new 6″ figures include Rebels Ahsoka, a Tatooine Luke Skywalker, a Jango Fett, and one of the new Inquisitors (the dude) from S2 of Rebels. Check the StarWars.com liveblog for pics (very small, with bigger ones coming) and other details.
Well, the votes are in, and Rebels’ Sabine Wren was the only woman to make the finals in the Hasbro Fan’s Choice poll, up for vote now on StarWars.com. The other finalists are Ben Kenobi (A New Hope,) Lando Calrissian, Darth Revan from the Knights of the Old Republic games, General Grievous, a Gamorrean guard and a snowtrooper. When I voted, Revan had a strong lead, with Obi-Wan second and Sabine in third.
The winning character, to be announced at SDCC, will be made into a 6″ Black Series figure.
Several other women made the finals at individual sites: Mara Jade was #1 at Topless Robot , #2 at Making Star Wars and #3 at Yakface, among others. Asajj Ventress and Ahsoka Tano (The Clone Wars version) also made a strong showing – here’s an informal countup of all the sites that posted their results publicly.
Entertainment Weekly has our first official look at The Force Awakens toys, but they’re all stormtrooper-themed, so it feels a little underwhelming. (One of them, Hasbro’s Black Series 6″ stormtrooper above, has already shown up on eBay – and as it’s the SDCC exclusive, expect it to show up again.) Wake me up when we get the details on that remote-controlled BB-8.
StarWars.com has an interview with Annie Leibovitz today about her Star Wars work for Vanity Fair. There’s a photo of Andy Serkis in mo-cap gear, and the reveal that his character is Supreme Leader Snoke.
Snoke! Granted, it’s no Sheev, but aren’t we glad I didn’t do the Twitter roundup last night?
→ The first actual The Force Awakens action figures have been spotted – on eBay, naturally. It’s a stormtrooper.
So hot on the heels of the last dustup over the lack of female figures, Jedi Temple Archive reports that Hasbro has pulled the Ceremonial Princess Leia figures from Wave 7 and Wave 8 of the Black Series, replacing her with… A stormtrooper and a clone trooper.
Yakface, one of the first to bring this to the attention of the wider fandom, started the #whereisleia and #wewantleia hashtags.
Devin Faraci at Badass Digest wrote about looking for action figures for his niece, the latest in a familiar refrain:
The fact that Hasbro is canceling one of its few Leia figures means that they’re only keeping the status quo. Would more girl toys sell now, as the demographics of fandom shifts dramatically? No one can know when the toys don’t exist. I wanted to go and spend my money on female characters for my goddaughter, but I was not offered the opportunity. Young female fans should be able to walk into Toys ‘R Us and find a toy based on the largest and most popular stories in our pop culture that speaks to them. It’s as simple as that, and when the only option is a sexualized and subservient variant – why would they want to buy that? Why would their parents want to buy that for them?
Sure, there’s that Ahsoka figure coming and it seems like Boushh disguise Leia is still on, but canceling any of the few Leia figures they were hyping just over a month ago isn’t exactly fostering good faith in their intentions.
Finally, a box tag that might beat the ‘slashing action’ Obi-Wan. Since last time, Hasbro woke the dragon (again,) we talked a lot about spoilers in general (no actual spoilers below,) and those Star Wars phonics workbooks got a workout. Also, a doggy!