Announced overnight, just ahead of the official opening of Celebration Orlando, is Forces of Destiny, a new series of animated shorts highlighting Rey, Jyn Erso, Sabine Wren, Leia Organa, Ahsoka Tano and more.
The series will launch in July on the Disney Youtube, with additional shorts debuting on the Disney Channel in the fall. Daisy Ridley, Felicity Jones, Tiya Sircar, Ashley Eckstein and Lupita Nyong’o (Maz Kanata) are among those returning to voice their characters.
Nyong’o was announced as part of the VIII cast when production began, and Johnson did share a picture of what appeared to be motion capture of her character, Maz Kanata – a test, perhaps? (Part of me wonders now if they swapped in Maz for another digital character who has yet to be revealed or finalized. Or maybe she’s just part of the standard demo?)
The most logical answer for when Nyong’o films for VIII would be the ubiquitous reshoots, which probably won’t happen until next year. In the meantime she has Queen of Katwe opening at the end of the month and Marvel’s Black Panther coming up for 2018.
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.
The Force Awakens’ advance ticket sales have passed the $100 million mark in North America, according to The Hollywood Reporter. That’s at least four times as much as the previous record holder, The Dark Knight Rises.
Don’t forget that the reviews – including mine – will come off embargo tonight at 12:01 a.m. PST (3:01 a.m. EST.) Don’t worry too much, we’ve been asked not to reveal spoilers. (There’s always the Force Block browser extension if you’re paranoid.)
→ You’ll never guess what some of the internet’s most disgruntled Expanded Universe fans are threatening to do now! Oh wait, you totally will, because it’s utterly pointless and deranged. That Force Block thing is looking pretty good about now, yeah?
60 Minutes posted extra footage after tonight’s feature on The Force Awakens, including John Williams conducting some of the first music in the film, but we also get a glimpse of the scene with Rey, BB-8, Teedo and the luggabeast.
→ Lupita Nyong’o tells Buzzfeed why she chose to play a CGI character.
→ Rolling Stone shares a few things they learned about The Force Awakens that didn’t make the main article.
After a successful deployment at Celebration Anaheim earlier this year, StarWars.com will be livestreaming The Force Awakens red carpet at the film’s official world premiere in Los Angeles on December 14. Andi Gutierrez, Anthony Carboni, and David Collins will be hosting and interviewing the cast and other notables.
→ J.J. Abrams talks to io9 about the script process (including Michael Arndt’s exit,) starting fresh with Lawrence Kasdan and even the Expanded Universe. (On that note, The Hollywood Reporter on the pre-Abrams story meetings.) At Nerdist, he says he wants to see Selma’s Ava DuVernay do a Star Wars film. She seems game! And Pablo Hidalgo’s fame continues to spread, as he’s the subject of the first question from the Associated Press.
→ Harrison Ford sheds some light on “Chewie, we’re home,” at io9, and says The Force Awakens “correctly ambitious in every sense” in the LAT.
→ Daisy Ridley and John Boyega are in the New York Times! With the AP, John shares the story of how (and why) he got Robert Downey Jr. as his mentor in fame. But he couldn’t resist getting a little saucy about Star Trek with Yahoo. (Well, about William Shatner, technically. Which is, I believe, legal under the Carrie Directive)
→ A film still of Billie Lourd in the movie has been floating around for a while now (plus she was in one of the first TV spots) but People has an official character portrait, in which we can see she wears her hair in a toned-down version of Leia’s iconic buns. Still no character name, though.
→ J.J. Abrams, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Adam Driver were in Seoul today goofing around, while Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o and Kathleen Kennedy were in Mexico City. I can’t find any reports in English, but damn they looked cool.