The Force Awakens: Disney playing it slow with marketing

vf-abrams-ridleyDisney had their earnings call today, in the aftermath of May 4, where Bob Iger talked up their “carefully designed marketing plan” for Star Wars. (…Yeah.) A research film, meanwhile, revealed that the franchise had “197 percent more digital consumption” yesterday than Avengers: Age of Ultron had on the day it was released.

Looking back, Chris Taylor explores how Star Wars has made billions.

→ The Vanity Fair newsletter photo reveal is an alternate take of Lupita Nyong’o, and a bit of an interview with J.J. Abrams. The full interview goes up tomorrow.

→ Spoiler corner: The day before we got the VF photos, Making Star Wars reported about a scene where Kylo Ren is helmetless. After the photos, Jason has a possible name for Maz Kanata’s location. (On that note, Jason was profiled over at The Daily Dot.)

→ Also… Domhnall Gleeson on meeting Harrison Ford | Magic Mike’s Star Wars-style poster

May the 4th: Captain Phasma and everything in-between

vf-phasmaTurns out, we got the full set of Vanity Fair‘s The Force Awakens set pics today after all – Gwendoline Christie’s Captain Phasma was supposed to be the picture in the email newsletter Tuesday, but someone over at VF put up the whole spread in their revived Star Wars portfolio this afternoon.

Chris Taylor explores – but long story short, they folded and put up Phasma anyway. Writer Joanna Robinson does say that they have “something else up our sleeves” for the email, though… I am happy to see the prequel stuff back up again, officially.

→ A new Force for Change initiative began today – one-of-a kind stormtrooper helmets are being auctioned to raise funds for UNICEF.

→ Andi from StarWars.com asked fans at Emerald City Comicon about their May the 4th plans. I think the ultimate win goes to the International Space Station folks, though.

WaPo’s Alyssa Rosenberg wrote about what Princess Leia taught her about love and politics. On that note, Carrie Fisher was interviewed by the Legion of Leia.

→ Also… Spotify revealed their most-streamed Star Wars tracks| John Boyega is at the Met Ball tonight | There’s a BB-8 dress

Rumor: Second anthology film will star Boba Fett

Boba Fett, moments before going out like a chump

What’s May the 4th without a movie rumor?

Today’s contender is courtesy of The Wrap, who’s claiming that the second anthology movie – the one Josh Trank is no longer directing – will be “a Boba Fett origin story.” (Wait, is it Attack of the Clones? Again? In 3D?)

Of course, this is far from our first Boba Fett rumor. He’s been a frequent subject since the standalone films were announced, including a recent one that claimed ‘Boba Fett’ will turn out to be a Dread Pirate Roberts-like figure, passing the name from the original clone onto others. The Wrap is a far more trustworthy source than many, and Out Like A Chump: The Boba Fett Story may seem inevitable, but only time will tell if any of these rumors pan out.

Vanity Fair’s The Force Awakens photoshoot is up

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And now, the actual Vanity Fair photoshoot is upwith one more photo set to go out in their email newsletter. We do get a name for Lupita Nyong’o’s CGI character: Maz Kanata, a pirate who has a castle populated with a variety of riffraff. We also get a nice shot of Oscar Isaac and his X-Wing, Rey (and J.J. Abrams) on Jakku and Abrams with Kathleen Kennedy, John Williams and Lawrence Kasdan.

UPDATE: And the last photo has been spotted. Gwendoline Christie is confirmed as Captain Phasma, the chrome stormtrooper. You can read most of the article at VF as well, plus the prequel spreads are back up!

More The Force Awakens teases from Vanity Fair

vf-cover-bts

A little bit of Vanity Fair’s cover story on The Force Awakens went up at midnight – along with a behind-the-scenes video that gives us a peek at what some of the pictures may be – including a helmetless Kylo Ren (Yes, he’s Adam Driver. Shocking!)


There’s also a bigger version of the cover, but no more pictures – yet. One is set to go out in VF’s email newsletter tomorrow afternoon, though. And head below the cut for a few screenshots from the video.

The issue will be available digitally on May 7, and on newsstands May 12.

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Vanity Fair’s The Force Awakens photos are coming

vanity-fair-star-warsVanity Fair has revealed their latest Star Wars cover ahead of May the 4th. The now-traditional Annie Leibovitz photos will be online May 4… And on newstands not long after.

All three prequels had similar features, including that big ‘family photo‘ from 2005.

It’s not tough to find the old stuff online, but maybe Vanity Fair will put their own gallery back up online now?

The Force Awakens product launches September 4th

tfa-merch-packagingStarWars.com has officially annouced September 4 as #ForceFriday – the day that The Force Awakens merchandise will be unleashed upon us at midnight that day.

They’ve also revealed the packaging, which features Kylo Ren, just as rumored, as well as the First Order logo seen in the new trailer.

The September 4th date was already announced as the launch for the Journey to The Force Awakens books. I wonder if any bookstores will be having special events?

The Force Awakens catchup: Puns are incoming, but news?

It's a parody!So soon after Celebration, we’re not expecting any reveals for May the 4th this year – maybe an official announcement of the poster that’s been spotted around? That Italian ‘star’ map that’s floating around is only a parody, so don’t put a huge amount of stock in it.

→ Missed in all the Celebration hubbub (well, I tweeted it) was this nice article from the BBC’s Lizo Mzimba, where Kathleen Kennedy talks about some of The Force Awaken’s casting choices. Kennedy and Daisy Ridley also made an appearance in Japan, but nothing particularly groundbreaking has come out of it. Lots of pictures, though.

→ Jedi News discovered some The Force Awakens merchandise. It’s all fairly tacky kid-oriented stuff, because of course that’s what’s going to leak first.

→ Star Wars Underworld points out a Ralph McQuarrie influenced detail from the Celebration Anaheim TFA exhibit.

→ Spoiler corner: Making Star Wars has a few bits on a scene late in the film and Han Solo’s emotional state.

Josh Trank is off the second Star Wars spinoff

josh-trankJosh Trank will no longer be directing the second Star Wars Anthology film, Lucasfilm has announced.

“After a year of having the incredible honor of developing with the wonderful and talented people at Lucasfilm, I’m making a personal decision to move forward on a different path,” Trank said in a statement released through Lucasfilm. “I’ve put a tremendous amount of thought into this, and I know deep down in my heart that I want to pursue some original creative opportunities.”

Trank was a no-show at Celebration, which sparked a flurry of speculation through the media. He tweeted that the flu was at fault, but The Hollywood Reporter claims that he was ordered not to attend the event by Disney executives, and of problems on the set of Fantastic Four.

The film, expected in 2018, is still in development at Lucasfilm.