The Force Awakens roundup: Speculating on the Rey-Kylo connection

kylo-finn-reyI don’t generally link to speculation, but ComicBook’s Lucas Siegel has an interesting theory on Rey and Kylo Ren. I buy them as siblings, but I don’t like the theory that the two are actual twins. Just look at the actors – the age difference between Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver is far too obvious. But Siegel’s theory is more about the idea of their roles mirroring each other. (Look at the costuming if nothing else.) Even if he does bring up The Clone Wars’ bizarro Mortis arc.

Empire is out in the U.K. (I’m not sure about the U.S., given that I’m avoiding retailers like the plague at the moment) and there are a few new bits bits of information that didn’t (shocker) make Empire’s own perfunctory online coverage, including that Snoke was “was critical in the seduction of [Kylo?] Ren to the dark side.” Fair warning that this is via Star Wars News Net, aka the former Star Wars 7 News, but it’s almost all quotes with little interpretation. (Avoid the comments, though.)

→ A new Disney Channel featurette that focuses on Rey, as well as giving us a few glimpses of new scenes.

→ Afraid of spoilers? There’s a Chrome extension that can help you. Good luck with that. (Here’s the closest thing I have to a spoiler policy.)

Today in The Force Awakens: The mother of all prop galleries, Hamill on staying mum

helmetsThere’s a fairly epic gallery of props from The Force Awakens at Wired today. Lots of good stuff for weapons and helmet geeks. And yes, some of them do have very complicated names.

Mark Hamill on keeping secrets. (No, he’s not in mo-cap for Star Wars.)

The Force Awakens has already pulled in more than $50M in advance ticket sales, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Empire has a new Kylo Ren photo (not that different from several of the old Kylo Ren photos) and Adam Driver’s compares the character to a religious fanatic. (It’s Adam Driver’s birthday, by the way. He is 32.)

→ Check out a custom stormtrooper Fiat 500e, on display at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The Hollywood Reporter on The Force Awakens’ Oscar chances. It’s not that kind of movie, kids, but knock yourselves out, I guess.

Roundup: The broadsaber is venting, and other things we learned about The Force Awakens this week

tfa-t4-13-broadsaberlights3

Between Wired’s J.J. Abrams interview, Entertainment Weekly and all those TV spots, we seem to have officially entered the “faster, more intense” phrase of The Force Awakens marketing. (No, you haven’t seen too much, calm down.) Here’s some stuff that got sidelined:

dland-broadsaber→ Settle your bets: The crossguard blades on Kylo Ren’s lightsaber “are raw power vented from the primary central blade,” per the description on display at Disneyland’s Star Wars Launch Bay. (IGN has a tour.) We already knew he built it himself, but the design is “ancient.” (via Reddit)

→ Speaking of Kylo, we haven’t seen much of Adam Driver lately, but he did tell Vulture that he found SDCC to be “intense” and “surprisingly moving.”

→ The Force Awakens is skipping some early award shows, says The Wrap, but the only one here you may have heard of is the Screen Actors Guild Awards. It will be out in time for consideration for the Academy Awards.

Variety says there was indeed new music from The Force Awakens in the Shondaland spot.

→ The cover for The Force Awakens novelization has been spotted on the Random House catalog (by Roqoo Depot first, I believe) and it’s… The poster. ‘Kay.

And in other movies…

→ Could Episode VIII return to Ireland? We know they’ve already shot on Skellig Michael, RTE thinks they’re looking at another location in County Kerry as well.

Jedi News claims to have the codename for Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s Han Solo spinoff.

How long has Rey been on Jakku, anyway? More The Force Awakens photos, details

There’s a huge gallery of new The Force Awakens images at Entertainment Weekly, and although you’ll recognize many of the shots, we do learn a few things. For instance, how long Rey has been on Jakku…

Rey was ditched on Jakku by her family when she was a child and has no idea why — or why they never returned. “She’s been alone for a long time,” Ridley says. “When something occurs when you’re 5, you know what went on but you don’t understand the reasoning. She’s hopeful for what lies ahead, whether that involves the past or not.” So why hasn’t abandonment made her bitter, angry, and… prone to the Dark Side? “Hope makes people good, a lot of the time,” Ridley says. “You hope for a brighter future, and resentment is outweighed.”

Plus Finn with Poe as prisoner of The First Order. (And Rey’s staff is just a staff, but we knew that already.) Check ’em out!

J.J. Abrams: Lack of Luke Skywalker in The Force Awakens promotions is “no accident”

The Associated Press was first to ask The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams about how Luke Skywalker has been missing from all the promotional material. “These are good questions to be asking,” he said. “I can’t wait for you to find out the answer.”

“It’s no accident,” he continued.

Vanity Fair - Kylo RenOne thing we can put to rest: Luke is not Kylo Ren. Adam Driver is playing Kylo Ren, not Mark Hamill, which we’ve known since the Vanity Fair shots were unveiled in May. Bring up the Kahn fib from Star Trek Into Darkness all you like, but no one was going around saying that Benedict Cumberbatch’s role was actually being played by Bruce Greenwood. A ten-year-old video of Mark Hamill saying he’d have liked a more complicated arc in Return of the Jedi is not really the best evidence for that actually happening now.

Abrams also addressed where production stands: “The visual effects process goes on for so long that my guess is we’ll probably be doing visual effects for the next three or four weeks, even though the cut will be done before then. We’re in the editing room working on the cut, going over visual effects and going over reviews. We still have another scoring session with John Williams, who’s a god when it comes to music.”