The Force Awakens catchup: BB-8, livestream highlights and more

swca-bb8-jj-kkThe New York Times had a great feature on BB-8 over Celebration weekend, revealing two things. First, that the version during filming was “a prop built on rollers” – not the fully functional one we saw on stage last week. As mentioned by Kathleen Kennedy onstage, Disney CEO Bob Iger connected the dots, bringing in Sphero to help produce a practical model. And secondly, that a mini toy version – about the size of an apple and controlled via smartphone – will be in stores this holiday season. Bigger versions will (naturally) show up at Disney Parks. Of course, if you can’t wait that long, you can always get a Sphero and make your own….

→ Also in the NYT, a nice look at the folks behind Celebration and Star Wars, including Mary Franklin and Matt Martin.

→ StarWars.com has posted many of the livestream bits (Day 1, 2, 3, 4) as standalone videos: Interviews with Bob Iger, Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, Peter Mayhew and John Knoll and a very beardy teaser breakdown

→ Tosche Station were MVPs this Celebration. They have a thank you to Kathleen Kennedy and a nice roundup of what we learned about The Force Awakens. They also recorded several panels, including John Jackson Miller’s Writing in a Shared Universe, an interview with Ashley Eckstein, the (painful) canon panel, Star Wars Journalism, Del Rey, the Aaron Allston tribute and What Leia Means To Me

→ Mike Cooper at Eleven-ThirtyEight didn’t join us in Anaheim, but he did do some analysis of the teaser and other things we learned about TFA there.

→ An ode to Gary Fisher.

Does Bob Iger’s selfie give us our first look at Episode VII’s Chewbacca costume?

iger-chewie

We know Peter Mayhew is in, and that is a very good, dare I say, screen-ready Chewbacca… Though it was Alan Horn, not Bob Iger, that we know for sure would be in London around this time. But if this was a (new?) theme park Chewie, wouldn’t they have someone in it? And why would they post it on the official Star Wars Instagram instead of a Parks one? So yes, it’s not too much of a stretch to believe this is the Episode VII Chewbacca costume!

Noteworthy: StarWars.com’s Matt Martin says “The image was supplied to is without much context. No idea where/when it was taken.” And the official (well, verified) @StarWarsUK account says it is from Episode VII, but Matt says it was only speculation on their part. Curious.

Video: First teaser for The Empire Strikes Back

Last Wednesday @StarWars posted the first-ever trailer for Star Wars; today they posted the first teaser for The Empire Strikes Back, mostly composed of Ralph McQuarrie’s concept art.

Is it a sign? Maybe, maybe not. Furious Fanboys points out there’s only one Wednesday (for Revenge/Return of the Jedi?) between us and October 30th, aka the one-year mark of the original Disney sale/sequel trilogy announcement.

Whatever the case ends up being: Don’t get cocky, kid. It’d be nice, but how many times have we been burned by our own assumptions? I’ve lost count.

And Lucasfilm’s Matt Martin says:

::shrug::

Team Hondo makes it into the Insider

Team Hondo in the Insider

Team Hondo gets a mention in Matt Martin’s writeup of March’s ‘This is Madness’ vote in Star Wars Insider #142, arriving in subscriber mailboxes now. (But for the meantime, here’s a scan.)

The issue also features a short story by Christie Golden that ties into Crucible, a Padme piece by blogger Tricia Barr and a look back at The Clone Wars S5 from Eric Geller. The issue should be on newsstands on or around June 12.