Roundup: The Force Awakens’ box office will pass $900M domestic any minute now

Kylo Ren on JakkuThe Force Awakens will cross $900M domestic at the box office today, and $2B worldwide tomorrow, Disney announced.

In related news, Lionsgate said today that Star Wars is partially at fault for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2‘s less-than-predicted performance, lessening the November movie’s numbers by “somewhere between $50M and $100M.” Don’t blame the players, blame the game? And maybe even the ever-more-eye-rolling trend of splitting adaptions into two parts… I saw both Mockingjays in the theater, but I gotta tell you, by the second movie I was pretty much already over it.

→ The sound we hear in The Force Awakens when Kylo Ren uses the Force has an unexpected source: A purring cat, Dave Acord tells Nerdist. Matthew Wood also talks about recording Ren’s mask dialogue with Adam Driver. (Acord also reveals there’s a sound from Raiders of the Lost Ark in the mix.) At The Daily Dot, Wood gets into even more detail about the archival sounds used in the new film, as well as the ADR process and other details.

→ I’ve never been particularly fond of the autograph racket that goes on in this fandom, but I gotta say, the latest controversy – involving Daisy Ridley – really takes the cake.

The Force Awakens, Boyega, Ridley, and DK Star Wars book up for Kids’ Choice Awards

Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know (JTFA)It may be no surprise that The Force Awakens is nabbing a bunch of key nominations for the Nickelodeon 2016 Kids’ Choice Awards, but a Star Wars book has also earned a nomination, competing against both Harry Potter and The Hunger Games. DK’s Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know, by Adam Bray, Cole Horton, Michael Kogge, and Kerrie Dougherty, is one of six choices to be voted on in the Favorite Book category. Will it stand up to the likes of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and The Maze Runner? Anyone can vote as much as they want for the Kids’ Choice Awards at nick.com/KCA. Sadly, you can’t skip a category, like Favorite (Music) Collaboration.

In other categories, The Force Awakens has earned nominations for Favorite Movie, Favorite Actor (John Boyega) & Favorite Actress (Daisy Ridley). In the video games category, Disney Infinity 3.0 (which added Star Wars content) is a nominee. The Kids’ Choice Awards will air live on March 12, hosted by Blake Shelton.

Cover, excerpt from Claudia Gray’s Bloodline

bloodlineUSA Today has our first look at Bloodline, the novel by Claudia Gray that we learn will focus on Leia Organa “some years” before The Force Awakens. (We heard 6 years when the book was first announced.)

Read between the lines:

Leia is professionally at a good place, as a senator and leader in a peaceful New Republic decades after the fall of Vader and the Emperor’s stranglehold on the galaxy. However, Gray says that a new generation doesn’t remember the lessons of the Rebellion or recognize the wrongs of the Empire, and Leia begins to see the cracks in the foundation that could lead to a dangerous future for the galaxy.

Family is a major theme overall in the Star Wars films and it plays a key role in one of the book’s most significant events, “one that has pretty far-reaching repercussions for several characters,” Gray says. “However, this novel isn’t fundamentally about Leia as a wife, sister or mom; this is about the role she’s created for herself since the fall of the Empire, and the one she takes up by the time of (The Force Awakens).”

Some The Force Awakens characters will appear in the book – Korr Sella gets a mention in the excerpt – but there will be some new ones as well, including Ransolm Casterfo, a young senator who “collects artifacts from the Empire.”

It’s nice to see a Leia-centric book set in a pivotal point in the new era – and it looks like this may clear up a few questions left about the timeline and political situation leading up to The Force Awakens. Gray’s Lost Stars got a lot of praise – let’s hope she has similar success with movie characters.

Bloodline is due out in hardcover and eBook May 3.

Video: Unboxing Star Wars: Before the Awakening, Star Wars Half Marathon & Rebels

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Unboxing Star Wars is back, with a lot of catch up on. Baby Jawa, Yowie, and I briefly cover The Force Awakens and my Wear Star Wars Every Day fundraising campaign for Collateral Repair Project, before diving deeper into the Star Wars Half Marathon weekend, Greg Rucka’s Before the Awakening, and the first two episodes of Star Wars Rebels for 2016: ‘A Princess on Lothal’ and ‘The Protector of Concord Dawn.’

Check out the Star Wars Rebels episode guide for ‘A Princess on Lothal’ and ‘The Protector of Concord Dawn’ over at StarWars.com. Get more info on Wear Star Wars Every Day or make a donation at GoFundMe.

Checking in with Rogue One: Don’t expect anything at Toy Fair

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Just like they did last year, Hasbro won’t be showing any toys from Rogue One at Toy Fair this year, per a statement from the company. On the other hand, we do expect lots and lots of The Force Awakens stuff!

Meanwhile, for the rumor hounds, Making Star Wars has a pair of reports. The first pertains to an all-new villain and his striking wardrobe, while the second has to do with hero disguises and code names.

1 year in: Marvel’s Jordan D. White on Star Wars comics

Star Wars: Poe Dameron #1Just over a year out from launch, IGN interviews Jordan D. White, who’s in charge of Star Wars at Marvel Comics, about the line – including why they all began in the same time period at first – and what’s coming up in the future.

On why they chose Poe Dameron for the line’s first The Force Awakens ongoing:

Ideally, a miniseries tells a very specific, self-contained story. “Here’s this event.” You know, “Here’s the time when Lando tried to steal the Emperor’s yacht.” “Here’s the story of how Princess Leia dealt with the destruction of Alderaan in conjunction with her place in the Rebellion.” And then once it’s finished, it’s finished. If we were to, as some people have suggested, talk about turning that into an ongoing, it would be, “Well, okay, now we need to come up with a totally different story and direction for it to go in, because that is done.” Whereas as ongoing series, again, you want to come up with something that can generate story after story.

When you look at the main characters of The Force Awakens — all of whom are super awesome, by the way — Poe is definitely the one whose previous stories are adventure stories.

He also teases upcoming miniseries, “some that are going to surprise people” and “some that people are not going to be expecting.”

His Jar Jar idea – which remains vague, just in case – isn’t going to happen “any time soon.” But there’s stuff in the pipeline for “fans of every era of Star Wars.”

The article also previews some interior art from Darth Vader #16.vader16

The Force Awakens roundup: VES awards, how BB-8 got his voice

tfa-maz-cropThe Force Awakens won four categories at the Visual Effects Society Awards, including outstanding VFX in a photoreal feature. On that note, there’s a new Roger Guyett interview over at Deadline.

→ 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.

Star Wars Rebels fans angry at digital release switch-up

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Some Star Wars Rebels fans are less than impressed with Disney/Lucasfilm right now. Last week, fans who have been purchasing the show digitally found that ‘The Protector of Concord Dawn’ wasn’t included as part of their season pass for the cartoon’s second season. Instead, it’s part of a third volume – requiring a second ‘season’ pass.

Some initially thought it could be a mistake, but Lucasfilm (via Full of Sith) says it’s a deliberate choice:

Because Season 2 of Star Wars Rebels contains seven episodes more than Season 1 (20 versus 13), it has been broken down into lower priced volumes to make it more accessible. Unfortunately, this was not made clear for those buying a “season pass.” We regret the confusion and are happy to report that, in response, iTunes, Amazon and Google Play have reduced the price for the second half of Season 2 to $19.99.

Jason Ward at Making Star Wars is also among those decrying the “bait and switch.” Fans are angry, flooding ‘Volume 3’ on Amazon and iTunes with angry reviews and one-star ratings.