Snoke strikes a pose, and other The Last Jedi shenanigans

There’s a Snoke action figure, and hilarity has ensued. I’m sorry, but not really. (Thanks, Heath!)

→ StarWars.com has added/updated some databank entries for The Last Jedi. They’re pretty vague!

A nice lengthy Mark Hamill interview is short on The Last Jedi details, but still pretty fun. At much less length, Domhnall Gleeson.

→ Behind the scenes footage of The Last Jedi will be among the Disney movies featured in one of those before-the-showing reels.

The Last Jedi: New pictures, costumes, nonexistent toy ‘spoilers’

Lucasfilm has released a new batch of images from The Last Jedi. None of them are new, exactly – they’ve all debuted in various publications – but it’s nice to get these out and about sans watermarks and crops. Check them all out at our Facebook.

→ Did Topps show us Luke Skywalker’s final costume? It’s not really much of a departure from what we’ve already seen him in, but since when has that ever stopped anything?

Don’t get too excited about things floasting around that ID a mini-Lego hologram that comes with Snoke as a character who’s not at all confirmed to be in this trilogy. Remember Finn Calrissian? And speaking of Topps and Snoke, they also give us our first official look at him.

→ More Snoke: Andy Serkis on who he didn’t have scenes with in The Last Jedi.

→ Shockingly, Domhnall Gleeson won’t commit to being around for IX. Okay, not that shockingly.

The Last Jedi’s Vanity Fair covers revealed!

Vanity Fair and Annie Leibovitz have come for The Last Jedi with a vengeance. They ‘re offering four covers (a rarity for them) which they revealed today. Tomorrow we get a look at the inside photos and the full story.

From the cover reveal, we see Phasma unmasked for the first time (RIP the popular Tumblr theory that she’s a Chiss) and learn the full name of Kelly Marie Tran’s Rose Tico, “the new character with the most screen time.”

The issue will be on newsstands May 31 in New York and Los Angeles, and June 6 nationally. You can also order each cover individually, or get a poster with a subscription.

Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie on Hux and Phasma

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At the Los Angeles Times, Domhnall Gleeson talks about why the character of General Hux appealed to him:

I liked him because he allowed me to explore the notion of authority — he’s someone who enjoys authority and holds onto it at all costs. The costume was brilliant and added a whole other layer for me. We talked about the idea that he’s an obsessive and probably doesn’t sleep much.

So he was pale with dark eyes. We wanted him to look like somebody who was dead set on one thing.

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Meanwhile, Gwendoline Christie discusses Captain Phasma’s lack of face time with Entertainment Weekly:

I thought it was a really interesting opportunity to play a female character where we formed an opinion of her based on her actions rather than the way she has been made flesh. And that concept within a Star Wars movie, a mainstream phenomenon, was very modern and interesting and exciting.

Both characters are confirmed to appear in Episode VIII.

Episode VIII begins production; Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern, Kelly Marie Tran join cast

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StarWars.com has the official announcement that Episode VIII has begun production at Pinewood this morning. It adds officially adds three new actors: Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern, and newcomer Kelly Marie Tran. (Entertainment Weekly takes a look at Tran’s previous work.)

Returning from The Force Awakens are Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, and Andy Serkis.

Video footage shows director Rian Johnson, Hamill and Ridley filming on Skellig Micheal in September, and a hint as to where VIII picks up…


…Or is it? Note that only one shot – Ridley holding out the saber – is actually a close duplicate to what we saw in The Force Awakens. While they may be keeping things less restrictive this time, let’s not put too much faith in what they’re willing to show us.

Meanwhile, as the day winds down…

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Roundup: Does The Force Awakens novelization answers, raises questions about the film

The Force Awakens novelizationBoth io9 and The Daily Dot explore things we’ve learned from Alan Dean Foster’s novelization that aren’t in the movie – including things that got changed. There are some possible hints at the big question regarding Rey, but remember that the novelizations have a rather tenuous connection to canon – they only really count when they’re supported by what’s in the actual films. (As for Rey, I’m not up for picking any teams yet, but I do plan to explore the question of her possible origins at some point.)

→ What happened to those lightsaber scenes, and other things that we saw in the trailer but didn’t make the final cut? J.J. Abrams explains to Entertainment Weekly.

→ Video: J.J. Abrams, Kathleen Kennedy, Lawrence Kasdan and other behind-the-scenes folks discuss The Force Awakens after the movie’s official Academy screening.

How to talk to your family about The Force Awakens. Important!

→ Also: Buzzfeed profiles Domhnall Gleeson, Wired interviews Jason Ward of Making Star Wars.

Today in The Force Awakens: New Noto, interviews with Kasdan and Kaplan

tfa-noto-30dTo celebrate the 30 day marker, Phil Noto cooked up a new The Force Awakens piece.

→ Wired has an interview with Lawrence Kasdan and, in the U.K. version for some reason, costume designer Michael Kaplan with a straight from the set armor gallery.

→ George Lucas tells Vanity Fair why he’s done directing mainstream movies.

Daisy Ridley and Lupita Nyong’o aren’t the only new cast members fashion magazining it up: Domhnall Gleeson is chilling with model Gigi Hadid in Portugal for Vogue.

Abrams, Gleeson on Starkiller Base and General Hux

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In today’s first Entertainment Weekly feature, J.J. Abrams and Domhnall Gleeson discussing the First Order’s Starkiller Base and General Hux – and EW’s first spoiler warning.

Starkiller Base (poster)Above that, however, Abrams describes Starkiller:

“It is very much — and it’s acknowledged as such in the movie — apparently another Death Star,” Abrams says. “But what it’s capable of, how it works, and what the threat is, is far greater than what the Death Star could have done. Starkiller Base is another step forward, technologically speaking, in terms of power.”

As for Hux, Gleeson reiterates that the character is ruthless

“You don’t get that high up in your life that quickly unless you’re pretty ruthless,” says Gleeson, who’s 32. “You have to put a few people down on the way to get there.” The actor also says Hux doesn’t carry a signature weapon: he has other people to do such dirty work.

What’s the appeal of the First Order to Hux? “It’s in the title: order,” Gleeson says. “It’s a desire to lump everything in its place and just have power. The desire for power is hugely motivating for a lot of people and normally the people who want all the power are not the ones who should have it.”

On his relationship with Kylo Ren, EW goes for “frenemies:”

“He’s kind of opposite Kylo Ren,” Gleeson says. “They have their own relationship, which is individual and unusual. One of them is strong in different ways than the other. They’re both vying for power.”

The ‘spoilery’ stuff is mainly speculation, but it’s not hard to connect the dots.