The Force Awakens: Magnet droids, how do they work?

r2-bb8-swcaSo how does BB-8 work? One site has a guess – though warning, it slowed down every computer I looked at it on.

Making Star Wars has heard that John Williams will begin recording The Force Awakens score next month.

→ Our first glimpse of what is assumed to be Kylo Ren’s personal ship – or at the very least, a ship we may see briefly in the second trailer – comes from LEGO. Because of course it does.

→ Miltos Yerolemou talked a little bit about filming TFA with Asian Correspondent. “It’s not really a job where you ask any questions,” he said. (Also, I believe this may be as close as we get to an actual confirmation?)

→ Spoiler corner: Rey gets a gift and a very small cameo from the original trilogy.

→ Looking ahead: Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII notebooks. Keep reading the string for some of his process.

The Force Awakens catchup: BB-8, livestream highlights and more

swca-bb8-jj-kkThe New York Times had a great feature on BB-8 over Celebration weekend, revealing two things. First, that the version during filming was “a prop built on rollers” – not the fully functional one we saw on stage last week. As mentioned by Kathleen Kennedy onstage, Disney CEO Bob Iger connected the dots, bringing in Sphero to help produce a practical model. And secondly, that a mini toy version – about the size of an apple and controlled via smartphone – will be in stores this holiday season. Bigger versions will (naturally) show up at Disney Parks. Of course, if you can’t wait that long, you can always get a Sphero and make your own….

→ Also in the NYT, a nice look at the folks behind Celebration and Star Wars, including Mary Franklin and Matt Martin.

→ StarWars.com has posted many of the livestream bits (Day 1, 2, 3, 4) as standalone videos: Interviews with Bob Iger, Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, Peter Mayhew and John Knoll and a very beardy teaser breakdown

→ Tosche Station were MVPs this Celebration. They have a thank you to Kathleen Kennedy and a nice roundup of what we learned about The Force Awakens. They also recorded several panels, including John Jackson Miller’s Writing in a Shared Universe, an interview with Ashley Eckstein, the (painful) canon panel, Star Wars Journalism, Del Rey, the Aaron Allston tribute and What Leia Means To Me

→ Mike Cooper at Eleven-ThirtyEight didn’t join us in Anaheim, but he did do some analysis of the teaser and other things we learned about TFA there.

→ An ode to Gary Fisher.

Catching up with The Force Awakens: Big spoilers and set visits

spoilers-swirl-broadsaberIn today’s very spoiler-heavy report, Making Star Wars discusses the villains, what happens to them, and more evidence of a connection to some of the heroes. They also have some fan-made storyboards based on a previous report, and ‘the village people.’ Jason also has a few words on spoiler etiquette.

The Hollywood Reporter had an article last week about how Star Wars actors rarely become huge stars. Their point about “keeping yourself from any other franchises out there” seems to ignore that Oscar Isaac is going to play a pivotal role in the next X-Men movie, though, so take it as you will.

→ Simon Pegg talks about his Episode VII set visit with Collider, telling a sweet story about his daughter and BB-8.

Leaked photo of The Force Awakens action figures?

spoilers-swirl-broadsaberTheForce.net brings us a leaked photo of action figures for The Force Awakens. The picture originates in a Chinese forum and features four trailer characters (Rey and Finn are in different costumes, Kylo Ren head-on, BB-8 looking pretty much the same) and an old pal from the original trilogy. These could be fakes, I suppose, but who knows? (Picture, more thoughts in the comments.)

Spoilerphobes beware: Indie Revolver has taken this opportunity to show us concept art of Ren’s helmet.

Today in The Force Awakens: Mark Hamill talks beard, reveals BB-8 is a real prop

TFA trading card: BB-8→ #BEARDWATCH LIVES. Well, sort of. Mark Hamill talks about his Episode VII beard at Yahoo: “…face foliage is almost a part of the costume. And it does bring a gravitas, perhaps unearned, but nevertheless, it makes a statement that they wanted to make, and I’m more than happy to oblige them.” He also reveals that BB-8 is an actual prop, not CGI.

And I wasn’t able to get to this yesterday before the big news dropped, but Hamill also talked to IGN about the trailer, with lots of praise for the new kids.

→ It will surprise absolutely no one that today brings a report that Star Tours is going to get a new mission related to the new films. My only real question: When will it be added? Because wouldn’t that be a nice perk for Celebration Anaheim?

→ In less sure thing rumors, we’ve got another report of where (and why) Luke Skywalker is during the film, and why. Plus some speculation on Sith shrines.

→ Here you go, math nerds: How fast is BB-8?

The Force Awakens character names revealed!

Lucasfilm and Entertainment Weekly have paired up to give us character names from The Force Awakens – in trading card form. Daisy Ridley is Rey, John Boyega is Finn and Oscar Isaac plays Poe Dameron. The ball droid is BB-8 (which I’m guessing is pronounced/abbreviated as ‘Bebe,’) and our mysterious villain is Kylo Ren. The card numbers have some significance as well – a mystery to chew on… In addition to Finn and Rey’s last names.

This also puts to bed a popular theory that Gwendoline Christie could be playing the character we now know as Kylo Ren, referring to “his lightsaber.”

UPDATE: One fan has already done the matchwork: Rey, Poe and BB line up nicely, Kylo not so much… Unless… Threepio?!?