Today in The Force Awakens: J.J. Abrams says the film is nearly done

nerdoffAt the ‘Celebrity Nerd-Off’ with Stephen Colbert, J.J. Abrams revealed that he finished the final sound mix for The Force Awakens early Saturday morning, Yahoo Movies reports. There are “six very small, but important things that (still) need to be done,” per Variety.

Deadline claims that we’ve only seen about 5% of The Force Awakens ad campaign, and that it’s really going to ramp up over Thanksgiving. I have a feeling this means ad buys, but consider yourself warned. (And remember, if you’re reading fan sites you’re already paying a lot more attention than most people are.)

→ There’s a better copy of the commercial with the new X-wing pilots up now, but it’s still not ideal.

Three more Star Wars themed ads, this time from HP.

→ Rumor: We know he’s in costume, but who is Simon Pegg playing? Making Star Wars may have the answer.

J.J. Abrams: Simon Pegg “was an honest, critical friend” on The Force Awakens

tfa-bts-pegg

Entertainment Weekly dropped their last 3 Fall Movie Preview stories today. First up, the reveal of Simon Pegg’s role… Sort of. It’s not so much who he’s playing (“he won’t be recognizable,” J.J. Abrams says) but what he was doing behind the scenes.

“He was a sounding board,” Abrams says. “He would drop by the set because he wanted to, and when he could, he would help… We could talk about things, and he was a perfect combination of incredibly smart screenwriter, fan of the series, critical fan of the series, and friend of mine – but not just blindly supportive. He was an honest, critical friend. And he wasn’t so close to it that he became immune to things. He would come in with fresh eyes and very smart ideas. He’s one of a handful of people along the way that has been really priceless.”

→ EW asks who the film’s “Ralph McQuarrie” is. Abrams points not only to the actual Ralph McQuarrie and his work for the original trilogy, but production designer Rick Carter.

Abrams adresses the fandom, keeping secrets, Ben Burtt, Andy Serkis and fear. He confirms that some of the things they’ve already put out are red herrings.

The Force Awakens: Special effects, sets, names and… toy packaging?

tfa-teaser2-sd

Despite a hefty amount of fan grumbling over the focus on ‘practical effects’ coming out of The Force Awakens publicity machine, I doubt anyone actually believes that the film isn’t going to have any CGI. (And, let’s face it, us hardcore fans aren’t the audience that they’re going for by saying that in the first place.) But if you’re wondering, and don’t mind spoilers, Making Star Wars has some (supposed) details about the completely CGI shots that are in the film, and where practical effects are are used.

→ Also on MSW, a few Rogue One details, and how they relate (or not) to The Force Awakens, via a bit of creative recycling.

→ We have a name, or maybe just a designation, for Miltos Yerolemou’s character. This, naturally, leads to some details of a certain sequence at MSW.

The Force Awakens toy packaging has been spotted in the wild… On a Rebels-themed item, naturally.

→ Look who’s talking: Simon Pegg and (sort of) Jessica Henwick.