Empire unleashes 2 new The Force Awakens behind-the-scenes pictures, subscriber cover

Empire’s movie preview issue, featuring The Force Awakens, is supposedly in mailboxes and on newsstands today, and they’ve revealed the subscriber cover and two new behind-the-scenes shots featuring John Boyega for the occasion.

The other two covers feature our villains and heroes.

Force Friday to be previewed with live unboxings of The Force Awakens toys on Youtube


tfa-merch-packagingYoutubers from Disney’s Maker Studios will be unboxing The Force Awakens toys live on Force Friday. The official Star Wars Youtube stream will host the events, which will begin with Bratayley in Australia on September 3 at 7:45 a.m. local time (5:45 p.m. EDT on September 2) and finish up with Chris Pirillo in San Francisco at 8 a.m. PDT (11 a.m. EDT) on Thursday.

You can see the full schedule on StarWars.com. Here’s hoping one of them is that working BB-8 toy

Journey to The Force Awakens book previews give us a glimpse into the GFFA 30 years on

Jedi-Bibliothek spotted previews of the four Journey to The Force Awakens books for young readers on iTunes – and they reveal – or confirm – at least a few things about the film. Turns out, the prologues to Moving Target, Smuggler’s Run, and The Weapon of a Jedi are actually set in The Force Awakens era. In Moving Target we get a glimpse of Leia – and a confirmation of her title – and Han tells a story about the Millennium Falcon in Smuggler’s Run. Luke’s situation will have to wait for the movie, though – Weapon of a Jedi features a red-armed C-3PO and Jessika Pava, a pilot with Blue Squadron. (We’ve heard of her before, spoiler-lovers!)

I’ve cropped the Phil Noto art, above, but head to Jedi-Bibliothek for some screenshots and a bit of story. (Including Lost Stars, which, alas, has no such illustration.)

The Journey to the Force Awakens novels will all be out September 4.

Lucasfilm and Target want your Star Wars memories

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Lucasfilm and Target have paired up to create Share the Force, a new site that lets fans add theirs and see others. Mashable has a few celebrity selections, and some cute videos.

I’m a soulless, jaded fan who’s over this kind of thing (or at least rather sick of telling ‘my story’ – it’s just not that exciting,) but it’s a cute idea, and the instant sharing aspect is at least a step above previous efforts that simply vanished into Lucasfilm’s archives.

The Force Awakens: Kylo Ren isn’t a Sith, and the origins of the First Order

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Empire Magazine continues to dribble out information from their cover story on The Force Awakens. J.J. Abrams confirms the subtext that Kylo Ren is not a Sith, and that he serves Supreme Leader Snoke, “who is a powerful figure on the dark side of the Force.” (So likely also not a Sith.)

The most interesting part, however, is contextualizing the origins of the First Order:

“That all came out of conversations about what would have happened if the Nazis all went to Argentina but then started working together again?’” Abrams reveals. “What could be born of that? Could The First Order exist as a group that actually admired The Empire? Could the work of The Empire be seen as unfulfilled? And could Vader be a martyr? Could there be a need to see through what didn’t get done?”

The issue is supposedly on newsstands Thursday.