The Force Awakens: Managing box office expectations

tfa-posterBefore you start going off about how fast The Force Awakens is going to beat Jurassic World‘s box office record (yawn) be sure to listen to the latest Full of Sith. Predictive box office talk is usually beyond tedious, but there’s a lot of smart thinking here on summer movies vs. winter movies, how little it actually matters in our case, and other factors. (No, nobody is doubting it’s going to make a ton of money.)

→ Wild speculation alert: Kylo Ren and Ewoks? Well, someone has a burnt Vader helmet which likely originates on Endor, so sure, okay.

→ More evidence at the Irish Examiner that Star Wars may be returning to Skellig Michael.

→ Spoiler corner: At Making Star Wars, there’s the planet at the end of this film, and some new pics from Greenham Common set.

Out this week: Star Wars #7, plus another record for Marvel?

sw7-crop

This Wednesday brings Star Wars #7 (preview,) a bridge issue which focuses on Obi-wan during his time on Tatooine.

In related news, the first collected edition of the new Marvel titles is also a record-breaker – Marvel is expecting to sell more than 200K copies of Star Wars Vol. 1: Skywalker Strikes, Comicbook.com reports. It’s expected in early October.

3-day tickets for next Celebration already sold out

celebration-london

We’re just under a year away from the start of the third Celebration Europe, and 3-Day Adult tickets for the convention are already sold out. It will be held at London’s ExCeL Center on July 15-17 in 2016.

Celebration Anaheim in April, the first Celebration to sell out most badges, was attended by about 60K fans.

The convention is expected to return to the U.S. for 2017.

Spoilerphobes beware: New The Force Awakens summary on the scene

tfa-t2-helmet

For those going full spoiler, here’s a new wrinkle: TheForce.Net has a new summary of The Force Awakens, which seemingly claims to be from someone who’s read the novelization. (Seemingly.) It overlaps with some of what we’ve heard from the Making Star Wars camp, but there are some pretty key differences. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? I don’t know, and I’m not fully buying into anything, but there’s certainly a part of me side-eyeing this new entry into the game. (And, shocker, apparently it’s something that’s been floating around Reddit, always a sign of quality.)

It does reference some new thinking on the lightsaber we see in the second trailer that’s been kicking around lately… I think that bit may have some merit, but it’s neither here nor there at this point.

→ Speaking of MSW, they have a more complete description of the film’s last act, prompted by a new report on a major character death from some site called Epicstream.

→ For those who don’t want to delve into something lighter, Mythbuster Adam Savage revealed a new old effect that he actually saw being filmed.

→ And a little behind-the-scenes of scooping with Grantland’s profile of Umberto Gonzalez, aka El Mayimbe of Heroic Hollywood, late of Latino Review. (His last Star Wars scoop, concerning Colin Trevorrow and Episode IX, features heavily. It has yet to be confirmed.)

Rumor: Benicio del Toro for Episode VIII?

bencio-del-toro

The Wrap is reporting that Benicio del Toro “has the offer” to play the villain in Episode VIII. You may recognize del Toro as The Collector from Guardians of the Galaxy, and (more interestingly, perhaps) he was at one point in talks to play J.J. Abrams’ Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness.

Variety is doubling down with their own sources. They say Lucasfilm really wants an A-list talent in the part – and that they also met with Joaquin Phoenix. (And The Hollywood Reporter makes three.)

del Toro would be a nice get for Star Wars, so it’ll be interesting to see if this goes through. Episode VIII, which is being directed by Rian Johnson, is currently set for a May 26, 2017 release.

The first Aftermath excerpts are away!

aftermath-smallEntertainment Weekly has the first excerpts from Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath, Del Rey’s entry in Journey to The Force Awakens.

It features a brief section set on Coruscant, Wedge Antilles (who we now know is one of the book’s main characters,) plus a character who first debuted in another of the new canon novels. (Now with a promotion.)

Much of the excerpt was up on Random House’s online catalog earlier today, but has since been removed.

Aftermath, along with the rest of the Journey books, goes on sale September 4.