It’s May the 4th!

In Australia at least, it’s May the 4th! Right now Target in Australia are giving away a free Star Wars poster to celebrate, with sales on various goodies.

But things will get a bit more interesting later today when the U.S. wakes up to this date. I’ll update this page with any exciting developments as they happen.

Vanity Fair are promising exclusive photos and video, including a Force Awakens shoot with star photographer Annie Leibovitz, who did spectacular shoots on the sets of all three prequel films as well. Sign up to their newsletter and get an exclusive portrait image on the 5th! Here’s the cover for the Force Awakens issue:

5543ca93db753b82389cbd74_vanity-fair-star-wars

Meanwhile StarWars.com have posted the merchandise template for The Force Awakens, announcing that (as expected) the merchandising blitz will hit September 4:

SW15BoxArt1

Update:

Vanity Fair have since updated with a summary and video. Highlights:

  • Lupita Nyong’o is indeed playing a motion captured CGI character
  • “Abrams promised that this new Star Wars film will return to the franchise’s roots with a newfound commitment to practical effects.”
  • According to Abrams, Ford “was excited to get back in those shoes again, which was really interesting because I thought he hadn’t been a fan. I kept hearing those rumors when I was a kid.” However, “There was a fire in his eyes that you see in the movie.”

On the use of practical effects:

Handy saw it for himself in the footage Abrams screened for him, including a scene that featured a Jawa-like creature popping up out of the desert. Abrams called it “a classic, old-school seesaw puppet. We just buried it in the sand, and Neal Scanlan, the creature guy, pushed down on one side and the thing came up on the other side.” When his team offered to smooth out the effect digitally, Abrams responded, “It’s so old-school and crazy. We could improve this thing, but at some point do we lose the wonderful preposterousness?”

Update #2:

This amazing slideshow names Lupita Nyong’o’s character as the pirate Maz Kanata.

Update #3:

Here’s a photo of Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) from the Vanity Fair spread:

phasma_big

(via Star Wars Universe)

Meanwhile, Marvel have given us a preview of Star Wars #5:

Update #4: EA have posted an article about the development of Sullust for Battlefront.

Update #5: Very lengthy previews of the forthcoming retellings of the original trilogy for young readers can be found here.

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