→ The 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.
→ The Hollywood Reporter had an article last week about how Star Wars actors rarely become huge stars. Their point about “keeping yourself from any other franchises out there” seems to ignore that Oscar Isaac is going to play a pivotal role in the next X-Men movie, though, so take it as you will.
→ Simon Pegg talks about his Episode VII set visit with Collider, telling a sweet story about his daughter and BB-8.
TheForce.net brings us a leaked photo of action figures for The Force Awakens. The picture originates in a Chinese forum and features four trailer characters (Rey and Finn are in different costumes, Kylo Ren head-on, BB-8 looking pretty much the same) and an old pal from the original trilogy. These could be fakes, I suppose, but who knows? (Picture, more thoughts in the comments.)
→ #BEARDWATCH LIVES. Well, sort of. Mark Hamill talks about his Episode VII beard at Yahoo: “…face foliage is almost a part of the costume. And it does bring a gravitas, perhaps unearned, but nevertheless, it makes a statement that they wanted to make, and I’m more than happy to oblige them.” He also reveals that BB-8 is an actual prop, not CGI.
And I wasn’t able to get to this yesterday before the big news dropped, but Hamill also talked to IGN about the trailer, with lots of praise for the new kids.
→ It will surprise absolutely no one that today brings a report that Star Tours is going to get a new mission related to the new films. My only real question: When will it be added? Because wouldn’t that be a nice perk for Celebration Anaheim?
Lucasfilm and Entertainment Weekly have paired up to give us character names from The Force Awakens – in trading card form. Daisy Ridley is Rey, John Boyega is Finn and Oscar Isaac plays Poe Dameron. The ball droid is BB-8 (which I’m guessing is pronounced/abbreviated as ‘Bebe,’) and our mysterious villain is Kylo Ren. The card numbers have some significance as well – a mystery to chew on… In addition to Finn and Rey’s last names.
This also puts to bed a popular theory that Gwendoline Christie could be playing the character we now know as Kylo Ren, referring to “his lightsaber.”