Forces of Destiny is back on March 19

Disney has announced that we can expect the next set of Forces of Destiny shorts on Monday, March 19. All eight new episodes will debut at 10:00 a.m. PT (1:00 p.m. ET) on Disney’s Youtube and Disney.com. The special will air on the Disney Channel the following Monday (March 25) at 9:50 p.m. ET/PT.

Voices include Mark Hamill (Luke), Daisy Ridley (Rey), John Boyega (Finn), Lupita Nyong’o (Maz), Kelly Marie Tran (Rose), Tiya Sircar (Sabine), Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka), Vanessa Marshall (Hera), Catherine Taber (Padmé) and Matt Lanter (Anakin).

Titles, descriptions, and images in a gallery under the cut. Continue reading “Forces of Destiny is back on March 19”

The Last Jedi passes $1.3B, Rian Johnson, Domhnall Gleeson and more

The Last Jedi has now made more than $1.3 billion, making it the all-time 9th-biggest global grosser. It’s unlikely to go any higher as we start heading into blockbuster season, with Fifty Shades Freed and Black Panther on the horizon. Scott Mendelson at Forbes writes why it’s still (duh) a big win for Disney.

→ Rian Johnson did another podcast! This time it’s the /Filmcast, and here are the highlights.

→ Domhnall Gleeson was at Sundance for National Lampoon biopic A Futile and Stupid Gesture, and we’ve gotten several interviews from him that touch on the sequel trilogy. In an IMDB interview, he revealed the origins of Hux’s blaster scene.With The Huffington Post, he talks about Hux and the aim of the character, while on the Happy Sad Confused podcast he touches on The Last Jedi‘s “broken phone call,” surviving the film, and his relationship with Kylo Ren. Also recently unearthed in a Japanese guide to The Force Awakens is a behind the scenes photo of Gleeson (with J.J. Abrams) filming the snow rescue scene that was cut.

Lupita Nyong’o is profiled in The Hollywood Reporter, and she talks a bit about the security measures of getting The Force Awakens script. On Episode IX: “I don’t know yet,” she says. “I’ll know soon.”

→ Rotten Tomatoes says that The Last Jedi was 2017’s best-reviewed SF/F movie.

New “micro-short” series Forces of Destiny to highlight the women of Star Wars

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.

The series will also have book and action figure tie-ins. We’ll learn more later Friday at the “Heroines of Star Wars” panel here in Orlando.

Lupita Nyong’o hasn’t shot for Episode VIII yet

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In an interview with Collider, Lupita Nyong’o said that she hadn’t yet shot for Episode VIII, which wrapped primary photography in the summer. “That’s in my future,” she said of working with VIII director Rian Johnson.

viii-rj-tumblr-040416wNyong’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.

Today in The Force Awakens: Maz Monday brings new Blu-ray clip, emoji

tfa-maz-cropLupita Nyong’o shared a new behind-the-scenes clip from the Blu-Ray for #MazMonday – there’s also now a Maz Kanata emoji in the Star Wars app

→ Harrison Ford’s Tumblr Q&A was about what you’d expect, but he did talk about the ending of the film and praise some of his costars. Read all his answers.

→ Daisy Ridley and John Boyega both won Empire awards this weekend, and then proceeded to be adorable with them.

→ The cover to Marvel’s The Force Awakens #1 is… Certainly a comic book cover.

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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Today in The Force Awakens: $100M in presales alone

tfa-bb8-reyThe 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.)

→ Official featurette on your new favorite droid, BB-8, and a Force for Change highlight reel.

→ Slightly more women than men have been talking about The Force Awakens on Facebook, and Rey is the character driving the most anticipation for the film, according to a new survey.

→ Oscar Isaac is GQ’s latest cover dude. Meanwhile, in the Miami New Times, he’s interviewed by his brother, Mike Hernandez.

→ Lupita Nyong’o tells Ellen DeGeneres how she didn’t know that she was auditioning for Star Wars.

→ In /Film’s full J.J. Abrams interview, the director talks about developing the film

→ What does comedian Bill Hader have to do with BB-8?

→ 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?

This weekend in The Force Awakens: 60 Minutes extra, why Nyong’o chose to go CGI

tfa-60m-260 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.

→ Spot the new stuff in today’s commercial.

Dan Mindel on the The Force Awakens cinematography, and how the film being pushed back turned out to be a positive.

→ Also: Another fun Carrie Fisher interview; Sisters and other films that have gone up against Star Wars.