Two new Shattered Empire variant covers spotted

Yakface discovered two variant covers for Marvel’s first entry into Journey to the Force Awakens, Shattered Empire, on eBay this morning. The Palpatine/Vader one is exclusive to Comic Pop Collectibles, while Luke and the Falcon will only be available from Third Eye. We knew there’d be variants – they’ve already revealed one, and Marvel editor Heather Antos tweeted about them last week – but the final number is a mystery. I expect there will be quite a few, though.

The Force Awakens Blu-ray coming in April?

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And today’s hot rumor is… The Force Awakens’ Blu-ray release date, maybe. It’s April 26, 2016, according to Jedi News. Seems pretty likely, but man it’s weird that we’re already at the point where rumors are dealing with the home releases.

→ There’s a new Adam Driver interview at Esquire. This publicity tour is going to be interesting, that’s for sure.

Do we have a new planet name from LEGO? Planet name? Maybe a ship name? It’s a name, in any case.

→ Video: Yes and No questions with J.J. Abrams.

Star Wars out this week: Darth Vader #8

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This Wednesday brings Marvel’s Darth Vader #8 to your favorite comic outlet. There’s a preview of the issue on StarWars.com.

As for other releases, next week brings the standalone version of Daniel Wallace’s Imperial Handbook: A Commander’s Guide, in what may very well be our last Legends release. Of course, just over a month away is Force Friday, when the Journey to the Force Awakens will drop 5 novels – among them Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath – on us.

Video: J.J. Abrams broke his back on The Force Awakens set

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The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams was on The Daily Show last night – technically to promote Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, which he produced – but he did tell a story from the Star Wars set. Turns out, Harrison Ford wasn’t the only one injured in the door incident… And Abrams has a pretty good Woody Allen impression to go with his Lawrence Kasdan. Who knew?

Video is below the cut.

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Spoilerphobes beware: Today’s The Force Awakens drops

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For today’s The Force Awakens leaks and rumors, we have a look at Ken Leung’s character – who may have a very blurry appearance in the SDCC behind-the-scenes video – at Star Wars 7 News. Making Star Wars has another shot of his costume, plus another actor we haven’t heard much about. And yet another new character. And for those looking for something more substantial, the happenings at Maz Kanata’s, a continuation from yesterday.

Rumor: Three Star Wars live-action shows for Netflix?

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Today’s hottest Star Wars rumor comes from Cinelinx, where Jordan Maison says he’s heard that there’s still movement happening on live-action TV – and not just one series, but three.

It’s not a shock that Lucasfilm would follow in the footsteps of corporate stepsibling Marvel, who debuted Daredevil, the first of four limited series, on Netflix earlier this year.

We don’t know what (or who) the Star Wars ones would cover, but Jordan is guessing they might begin about 2017.

I’m still not thrilled with the idea of yet more TV, but a Netflix series may be the least annoying way to do it: Drop a complete set of 12-13 episodes, let it marinate for a few months, then drop something new. Of course, it all ultimately depends on what they do with it…

The Force Awakens: Special effects, sets, names and… toy packaging?

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Despite a hefty amount of fan grumbling over the focus on ‘practical effects’ coming out of The Force Awakens publicity machine, I doubt anyone actually believes that the film isn’t going to have any CGI. (And, let’s face it, us hardcore fans aren’t the audience that they’re going for by saying that in the first place.) But if you’re wondering, and don’t mind spoilers, Making Star Wars has some (supposed) details about the completely CGI shots that are in the film, and where practical effects are are used.

→ Also on MSW, a few Rogue One details, and how they relate (or not) to The Force Awakens, via a bit of creative recycling.

→ We have a name, or maybe just a designation, for Miltos Yerolemou’s character. This, naturally, leads to some details of a certain sequence at MSW.

The Force Awakens toy packaging has been spotted in the wild… On a Rebels-themed item, naturally.

→ Look who’s talking: Simon Pegg and (sort of) Jessica Henwick.

The Force Awakens: Managing box office expectations

tfa-posterBefore you start going off about how fast The Force Awakens is going to beat Jurassic World‘s box office record (yawn) be sure to listen to the latest Full of Sith. Predictive box office talk is usually beyond tedious, but there’s a lot of smart thinking here on summer movies vs. winter movies, how little it actually matters in our case, and other factors. (No, nobody is doubting it’s going to make a ton of money.)

→ Wild speculation alert: Kylo Ren and Ewoks? Well, someone has a burnt Vader helmet which likely originates on Endor, so sure, okay.

→ More evidence at the Irish Examiner that Star Wars may be returning to Skellig Michael.

→ Spoiler corner: At Making Star Wars, there’s the planet at the end of this film, and some new pics from Greenham Common set.

Out this week: Star Wars #7, plus another record for Marvel?

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This Wednesday brings Star Wars #7 (preview,) a bridge issue which focuses on Obi-wan during his time on Tatooine.

In related news, the first collected edition of the new Marvel titles is also a record-breaker – Marvel is expecting to sell more than 200K copies of Star Wars Vol. 1: Skywalker Strikes, Comicbook.com reports. It’s expected in early October.

3-day tickets for next Celebration already sold out

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We’re just under a year away from the start of the third Celebration Europe, and 3-Day Adult tickets for the convention are already sold out. It will be held at London’s ExCeL Center on July 15-17 in 2016.

Celebration Anaheim in April, the first Celebration to sell out most badges, was attended by about 60K fans.

The convention is expected to return to the U.S. for 2017.