Force Friday has unleashed some talking toys on us, which means our first time actually hearing some of the new characters speak. Here’s Finn (and some interpretation,) Kylo Ren and Captain Phasma. Only one of them actually sounds like I’d expect…
→ Speaking of merchandise, there have been a handful of reviews of the Cover Girl line poping up. Today’s is from Tracy and Amanda at Making Star Wars, and another of a couple of the lipsticks from Love for Lacquer.
→ Five questions with John Boyega.
→ ComicBook.com has a preview of Shattered Empire #1
→ Spoiler(ish) corner: Indie Revolver has some luggabeast concept art.
We heard she was up for the Rogue One role that eventually went to Felicity Jones, but Star Wars isn’t ready to give up on Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany, it seems. The Wrap reports that she’s on the shortlist for the new female lead in Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII, alongside Golden Globe winner Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin) and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’s Olivia Cooke. They’ll supposedly be among the actresses who’ll chemistry read with John Boyega later this month.
Aside from the The Force Awakens stars expected to return (including Boyega and Daisy Ridley, who’s signed for at least three films) the only name we’ve heard connected with the second film is Benicio del Toro, who’s reportedly in talks to play a villain.
We all know by now (hopefully) that this Friday, September 4th, is Force Friday, when a huge chunk of The Force Awakens merchandise is going to drop. And naturally, what we’re most excited about are the 5 novels in the Journey to The Force Awakens line.
But first, there are other things coming out this week. Tuesday brings season 1 of Rebels on Blu-ray and DVD. Shockingly, there are no comics coming on Wednesday. (Shattered Empire, Marvel’s entry into Journey, will be out later in the month.)
You’ll also be be seeing things like coloring and sticker books for Journey, but for our purposes, here are the standouts:
From Del Rey, we have Star Wars newcomer Chuck Wendig tackling Aftermath, our first canon story set after Return of the Jedi. We know it stars Wedge Antilles and new character Norra Wexley, but not much more than that. First of a trilogy. An excerpt is available, though I wouldn’t be shocked to see another in the coming days.
Disney Lucasfilm Press has four novels total. Claudia Gray’s Lost Stars is a YA novel that follows two childhood friends, one who joins the Empire and one who becomes a Rebel. The last three are set during the original trilogy, one each for Luke, Leia and Han, though we’ve recently learned they all feature prologues (at least) set in The Force Awakens era. I’ve heard these described as both for young readers and as YA, but the presence of illustrations make me think it’s the former. Jason Fry’s The Weapon of a Jedi and Greg Rucka’s Smuggler’s Run are both set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, while Cecil Castellucci and Fry’s Moving Target is our first canon story to be set between Empire and Return of the Jedi.
A handful of reference books will also be out on Friday: Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know by Adam Bray, Cole Horton, Michael Kogge and Kerrie Dougherty and Benjamin Harper’s Ships of the Galaxy. Both are targeted to young readers, and we know that Ships, at least, has blueprints to TFA ships. We can also expect an assortment of things like sticker and coloring books, which may contain ‘new’ characters.
We’re expecting a lot of hints and small pieces in these books, but most of the heavy-hitting movie tie-ins will be out later. The Force Awakens novelization will be out on December 18 as an eBook, the same day as the film, with a hardcover edition to follow in January. We fully expect the traditional compliment of reference books – making of, concept art, etc – but those haven’t been formally announced yet. (Though are also expected in January at the very soonest.)
Sure, we got our big news today in a tiny clip, but here’s the rest of what’s been floating about. Or dropping fast, as the case may be.
→ More hints about the Battle of Jakku and the state of the galaxy after Return of the Jedi in EA’s latest missive regarding the Battlefront expansion that drops in early December. By which I basically just mean they mention the New Republic again.
→ Spoiler corner: A certain squadron name, and what may lead up to it.
StarWars.com has a feature on the making of BB-8, tracing the origins of the ball droid from concept to puppets to the working model we saw at Celebration.
The Force Awakens is booked on almost all Imax screens (375 out of 400) in the U.S., and internationally (400+,) for the film’s December 18 release, The Hollywood Reporter says. They’ll have it for at least 4 weeks, so plan your IMAX viewing of the film for that window.