Over at Entertainment Weekly, Solo‘s Jon Kasdan and Alden Ehrenreich discuss the movie’s Millennium Falcon and how it evolves with each owner, from Lando’s “party vessel” to the grimy version we meet in A New Hope. Also at EW, a look at the movie’s Hasbro toy line.
Force Friday officially begins in only a few hours, and today was a sheer flurry of announcements about the toys and other products that are coming out as we head towards the release of The Last Jedi.
LEGOLAND California announced a major addition to their LEGO Star Wars Miniland to open in March 2017. While the Carlsbad theme park currently has Star Wars miniland dioramas representing key scenes from the first six films, as well as a jumbo-sized Death Star model, they are planning a whole set of scenes to build The Force Awakens into their fantastic Miniland style.
Joined at the press conference by a lifesize LEGO R2-D2, LEGOLAND California Resort’s General Manager Peter Ronchetti detailed the plans for The Force Awakens Miniland Model Display at the theme park:
“Right now, at our secret Model Shop in Carlsbad, Master Model Designer Nik Ehm of our Merlin’s Magic Making team is working on creating six scenes that represent the first 30 minutes of Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” said Ronchetti. “There are two primary focal points – the more traditional character-driven scenes on the planet of Jakku, and an enormous LEGO model of the Star Destroyer Finalizer. At 16-feet long, it will be the longest LEGO Star Wars Miniland model ever created!”
According to the press release, the scenes, which will be in the center of LEGO Star Wars Miniland and feature lights, sound effects and animation that bring the scenes to life, will include:
- Kylo Ren’s capture of Poe on Jakku
- Rey’s rescue of BB-8
- Poe and Finn’s escape from the Finalizer
- The wreck of Finn and Poe’s TIE Fighter
- Rey, Finn and BB-8’s escape from Niima Outpost
- The escape from the Starship Graveyard
The park announced that this new model display will open to the public for their annual LEGO Star Wars Days on March 4-5, 2017, perfect for spring break.
“At LEGOLAND California Resort, we pride ourselves in innovation, creativity and memorable experiences for our millions of guests we see each year and 2017 continues that tradition,” said Ronchetti. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens set records as the top-grossing film nationally of all time and we’re excited to bring it to life here in our popular LEGO Star Wars Miniland!” said Ronchetti.
Other upcoming additions to the LEGO-themed resort in 2017 include an expansion for the LEGOLAND Water Park, called Surfer’s Bay, and the addition of NINJAGO themed rooms and suites to the main hotel, replacing the castle themed rooms, with the plan to open a new separate LEGO Castle themed hotel in 2018, in front of Sea Life Aquarium.
The new The Force Awakens model will be replacing the model currently in the center of LEGO Star Wars Miniland: a large diorama depicting the Battle of Christophsis from 2008’s The Clone Wars animated film. This diorama, which features Ahsoka Tano, Anakin Skywalker, Obi-wan Kenobi and Captain Rex leading clone forces against an army of battle droids and larger weaponry amid the crystalline buildings of Christophsis, is one of the original seven dioramas from when LEGO Star Wars Miniland opened in 2011. I hate to see older exhibits taken down, but a sixteen-foot Star Destroyer towering over the guests will certainly bring a wow factor as a centerpiece to the whole Miniland experience that just isn’t there presently. I’d love to see a built-out Niima Outpost, complete with Unkar Plutt’s shop, and the spaceport, and will be interesting to see how they incorporate a different scale for the spaceship chase dioramas.
While I am certainly looking forward to seeing The Force Awakens brought to LEGO Star Wars miniland, I still feel that there is so much more they could do – after all, there’s Rebels and the LEGO The Freemaker Adventures also to build on, and by the time this opens in 2017, Rogue One will have been released. But I also know that there’s not a lot of real estate in the LEGO Star Wars Miniland area without doing some major surface regrading as the area is terraced on the side of a hill. Hopefully they are planning ahead to where will they put the eventual Episode VIII & IX displays!
Check out the official announcement video for a sneak peek at some of the early renderings of how the new models will appear in Miniland (For just the Star Wars portion of the announcement, watch from 0:19 to 0:49):
In less (possibly) spoilery news, Riz Ahmed talks to Entertainment Weekly about Star Wars, and “level of attention to detail and care that goes into building that world.” MSW chimed in with a tidbit they’ve heard about weapons.
And finally, the Rogue One teaser trailer in LEGO:
While winter brings the cold across much of the U.S., southern California stays snow-free near the coast – except at LEGOLAND California in Carlsbad. The theme park puts on its annual winter celebration, Holiday Snow Days and Winter Nights, and Baby Jawa, Grandma Jawa and I got the opportunity to check it out. This was a big treat for baby girl as it was her first time in the snow! Plus we got a chance to see Star Wars miniland and the rest of the park.
Some new concept art for The Force Awakens has surfaced, as has a LEGO list (though no more pictures) and some light has been (maybe) shed over what we learned from the last LEGO leaks…
The toy leaks for The Force Awakens have begun.
Earlier today, From Bricks to Bothans posted a few leaked images of two upcoming LEGO sets from the film. One is an (officially) unrevealed X-wing that we saw at a certain filming location, and the second is the Millennium Falcon. Both include multiple mini-figures – and the Falcon one gives us a few new names. (Though it’s noteworthy that both Finn and Rey remain just ‘Finn’ and ‘Rey.’)
FBTB has since deleted the images, but since they’ve been widely distributed across the internet, I’m putting them up below the cut. Check them out, or not…
We already know that Alan Dean Foster’s The Force Awakens novelization will out first in eBook on the same the day movie comes out – December 18 – but we now have an exact date for the hardcover version: January 5. (via)
→ Some slight cosmetic changes to Threepio for The Force Awakens, if a Mexican soda can is to be believed. (Honestly, I wouldn’t place any bets on this one – it looks more like a coloring error than anything else, but stranger things, etc.) Also on MSW, The Force Awakens LEGO set names don’t really shed much light on anything.
So 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?)
→ Looking ahead: Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII notebooks. Keep reading the string for some of his process.
The first six Star Wars movies will get a retelling in LEGO. Lego Star Wars: Droid Tales, a limited 5-episode series, will air on Disney XD “later this year,” per The Hollywood Reporter. The saga will be told through the eyes of Threepio and Artoo:
Set after the Rebel Alliance victory on Endor seen at the end of Return of the Jedi, the droids are regaling the assembly with their adventures that led them to their present situation. An accidental kidnapping leads to a new adventure that progresses to the retelling of the saga in chronological order, from The Phantom Menace to Return of the Jedi.
There’s no exact date yet, but I expect it won’t be long before The Force Awakens release in December.