Special Features on the Force Awakens

DVD Special features!April fifth marks the day Star Wars: The Force Awakens is available on DVD and Blu-ray. Amazon is already accepting pre-orders, and the Blu-ray edition comes with three discs, hopefully thronged with special features. We don’t know all of them — and it’s unlikely this first version will contain Lord of the Rings-level special features — but of those already announced, the most interesting proves to be a recording of the first table read for the movie.

A short teaser released on March 11th has a clip of the original table talk, which was recorded in full. In the teaser, Director J.J. Abrams says: “This was going to be the first gathering of this original cast, new cast, this core group of people that were going to be part of making this movie. We wanted to document it, but the most important thing was to hear it. Just as a fan of ‘Star Wars,’ to see them all together was an incredible thrill.” This feature is sure to interest anyone who wants to know more about Star Wars, or the film-making process in general. Hopefully we’ll get to see the entire length of the movie read by the actors, but such a wish may be infeasible.

Also already announced are DVD and blu-ray special feature classics like deleted scenes and a making-of feature called “Secrets of ‘The Force Awakens’: A Cinematic Journey,” which debuts this year at SXSW. Hopefully we will also get an audio commentary, but so far no extended version has been promised (We may be forced to wait for the Super Deluxe Cool Ranch 4D Edition — now available in an air-based scent). If we’re really lucky, we may even get a blooper reel! Who knows?

Thanks for reading! Hopefully we’ll get enough special features to sate our hunger. Come back next week for more fun fan information!

Star Wars Land Details

Star Wars Land concept art
Star Wars Land

On August 15th, 2015, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced the development of Star Wars Land at the D23 Expo in Anaheim. Star Wars land will show up at both Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World, each park will encompass 14 acres, and construction for both is slated to begin in April of 2016. “Star Wars Land” is, for now, an unofficial title.

Bob Chapek, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, said the land will “introduce you to a Star Wars planet you’ve never seen before – a gateway planet located on the outer rim, full of places and characters familiar and not so familiar.” Iger has stated the attractions and entertainment will be physical storytelling, and nothing will stray from the mythology of the movies.

Walt Disney Imagineering executive Scott Trowbridge, supervising both parks, has talked about his intent with the new land: “…to make it feel as if you just walked into one of our movies … Bringing Star Wars to life in the physical world gives us the opportunity to play with a whole bunch of things we’ve never done before … to really engage all of the senses. What does that street feel like? What does that animal smell like? What does the blue milk taste like?”

Concept art depicts a full-size Millennium falcon among alien buildings built into tall cliffs. Star Wars Land promises at least two new attractions, including one that will allow riders to control the Millennium Falcon, and another letting guests experience the battle between the First Order and the Resistance. A version of the cantina is also promised.

We’ve included concept art for the parks for your viewing pleasure. Rife with detail and incredible vision, we’re excited to see the concept art come to life. Hopefully Star Wars Land lives up to our expectations and delivers an amazing experience.

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Thanks for reading! Come back next week for more fun fan information!

This is Madness Tournament

This is Madness
This is Madness

It’s time for the fourth annual This is Madness Star Wars Character Tournament! Once again, from the official Star Wars website, fill out your voting bracket and compete for prizes! Hasbro, SMS Audio, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, and Diamond Select Toys offer prizes for the top five brackets, enter by March 14th at 9:59 A.M. PST for your chance. Each day afterwards, voting will be done on another match-up.

With the addition of characters from Episode VII, the contest has become even more tense. Gone are the years when unknown (or little-liked) characters like Wicket, Hondo Ohnaka, or Bossk are eliminated in the first round of voting by favorites like perennial semi-finalist Boba Fett or Chewbacca. Now, newcomers Finn, Rey, Poe Dameron, Kylo Ren, Captain Phasma, and General Hux have their first chance at the big prize. In the past three years, Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Darth Vader have all won, with Darth Vader being a finalist every year. Will he take the spot once more? Will Boba Fett finally have his day after losing to Vader three years running? Or will a newcomer sweep it?

In the first round of the light side match-ups, new hero Finn goes up against first-year champ Yoda, and new heroes Rey and Ezra Bridger face off in preparation for a match against either classic heroine Leia or newcomer pilot Poe Dameron. On the Dark side, powerhouse Vader goes against Fifth Brother from Star Wars Rebels, Kylo Ren toes up against armored bounty hunter Jango Fett, and the winner of that match has the chance to face Captain Phasma (or Count Dooku). The final new dark side entry, General Hux, is up against Boba Fett, who has only ever lost to Darth Vader, and only ever in the final match to decide the dark side contender in the final.

Voting beings on March 14th! Help your favorite character win it all, and perhaps snag cool prizes in the meantime! Thanks for reading, be sure to come back next week for more fun fan information!

Rogue One Update

Rogue One Anthology
Rogue One

To be released on December 16, 2016, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (or simply Rogue One) is the next step in the Star Wars legacy. Said to be about the heist to steal the plans for the Death Star prior to Episode IV, it will be the first Star Wars movie without any Jedi, and also promises to be the darkest film set in the Star Wars universe yet. We aren’t sure how it could possibly top the end of Episode III, but that’s the rumor.

A great deal of information has come to light about Rogue One since the release of Episode VII. Mads Mikkelsen, known for playing the card-shark villain of James Bond’s Casino Royale, will not play a bad guy – will wonders never cease. Gary Whitta (The Book of Eli, After Earth) was the original screenwriter, but Chris Weitz has since replaced him. Weitz is known for comedy films American Pie and About a Boy, and has also worked on film adaptions of The Golden Compass and Twilight’s New Moon. Alexandre Desplat has signed on to compose the soundtrack, adding Star Wars to his already extensive list of notable credits.

As for details about the movie itself, little has been leaked, though (MINOR SPOILER) we do know Mikkelsen’s character plays a scientist working on the Death Star who chooses to defect and join the rebellion. Felicity Jones’ character is named “Jyn,” Riz Ahmed plays “Bodhi Rook,” Jonathon Aris plays “Senator Jebel,” and it’s very possible Diego Luna will play classic character Biggs Darklighter, though rumors are unsubstantiated. Scottish actress Eunice Olumide has been added to the cast in an unknown role, and members of the British Armed Forces have been hired on as extras, most likely playing Stormtroopers or rebel soldiers.

Voted as the most anticipated release of 2016, Rogue One looks to fill us in on the details surrounding the Skywalker clan, and is just the first of at least three planned anthology movies, with the second a Han Solo origin story, and the third perhaps being a Boba Fett film. As the first movie without the powers of the force on their side, the good guys of the film will have a more difficult time, and director Gareth Edwards has stated the conflict in the movie will not be good versus evil, but more gray, in an attempt to make the world of the movies more real.

Thanks for reading! Come back next week for more fun Star Wars fan information!