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?!?