StarWars.com has formally introduced Babu Frik , the alien we saw briefly during the Force Friday preview livestream. The “tiny Anzellan droidsmith” works “among the Spice Runners of Kijimi and can reprogram or modify virtually any droid — regardless of the security measures protecting its systems.”
The occasion for this is the traditional revealing of the promotional partners, aka the famous brands who are collaborating with Lucasfilm to get some of that sweet, sweet Star Wars attention. This time, they include McDonald’s, which means that we’ll be seeing our first Star Wars Happy Meal toys since The Clone Wars-themed ones in 2008 and 2010.
Other brands you’ll recognize include United Airlines, Porsche, Bose, Samsung Mobile, GE Appliances, General Mills cereals and Dannon yogurt. There’s also a sweepstakes to to attend the red carpet premiere and get a pair of sold-out Celebration tickets.
Empire has more from Chris Terrio, who shares two key questions that drive the film:
“One of them is a simple one: ‘Who is Rey?’,” he says. “Which is a question that people not only wonder about quite literally, but wonder about in the spiritual sense. How can Rey become the spiritual heir to the Jedi? We kept coming back to ‘Who is Rey?’, and how can we give the most satisfying answer to that not only factually – because obviously people are interested in whether there’s more to be learned of Rey’s story – but more importantly who is she as a character? How will she find the courage and will and inner strength and power to carry on what she’s inherited?”
He continues: “The second one is, ‘How strong is the Force?’ It sounds a little simple, but actually when you get down to it, that is a sort of Zen Koan that we would really meditate on – not literally in yoga poses or anything, but like we would discuss, ‘What is the Force and how strong is the Force?’ Those two things were really important.”
Naomi Ackie talks about script lockdown and the seven months of training she did for the role of Jannah with Metro.
Some Rise merch is being held back because of – gasp – spoilers. Hasbro’s Mike Ballog told Cinema Blend that what we’re seeing this week is only a third of the total product.
Jeff Garlin of Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Goldbergs has a cameo in Rise, he said on a recent podcast. Okay?