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‘Star Wars Episode 7′ Spoilers

Luke Skywalker to Appear in Only Two Scenes?

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How big of a role will Luke Skywalker play in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens?”

This has been a question that has permeated any speculation of the upcoming movie. A recent synopsis has been unveiled that has not shed light on the question but other rumors have seemingly added fuel to the fire.

The synopsis states: “When a ruthless prince rises to power and threatens galactic peace, a runaway soldier, an uncongenial scavenger, and a hot shot pilot find their fates intertwined as they embark on a journey to find the most powerful warrior in the galaxy.”

One can assume that Kylo Ren is the prince (unless it is Snoke). The runaway soldier is Finn, the scavenger is Rey and the pilot is Poe Dameron. One can imagine that the most powerful warrior is Luke himself, which would obviously confirm some rumors about his growing stronger over the course of the 30 years between this film and “Return of the Jedi.”

Some rumors of the film have Luke showing up in just two scenes. In such rumors, Luke appears briefly in a vision of past events which contextualizes the future. Then he reappears at the very end of the film without actually uttering any lines of dialogue.

This would obviously annoy a lot of fans, but could set up Luke for bigger things in the next installments.

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Other rumors speculate that he may help Rey and Finn defeat Kylo Ren. That might be saved for other installments as well.

The reality is that no one knows just how long fans will get to see Luke for in the new film. It is likely that he will get at least a cameo appearance at the very least.

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” hits theaters on Dec. 18 and stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill among others. J.J. Abrams directed the film which will be scored by John Williams.

Star Wars BB-8 Designer Sphero Raises Another $45M From Mercato, Disney And More

As anticipation continues to rise for the new Star Wars film to open at the end of this year, a hardware startup central to the making of one of the characters has raised a new round of funding. Sphero, makers of the eponymous spherical robots that you control with your smartphone — as well as the new BB-8 droid in Star Wars: The Force Awakens — has raised $45 million in a new round of funding.

The investment was led by Mercato Partners, with Disney and Foundry Group also participating. As part of the funding, Mercato’s co-founder and MD Greg Warnock is joining Sphero’s board.

The funding was first flagged through a Form D filed with the SEC that noted Sphero might actually raise up to $52 million. We understand there is at least one other very large, strategic tech investor involved that is not being named.

The funding will be used for product research and IP development and to further global expansion, the company says.

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Prior to today, the Boulder, Colorado-based company, co-founded in 2010 by Ian Bernstein and Adam Wilson, had raised around $35 million with other investors including Techstars, Grishin Robotics, Highway 12 Ventures, Shea Ventures, SK Ventures and individual investors. Additionally, Sphero had been through both Techstars and the Disney accelerators, with the latter investing $120,000 in the company as part of that program.

Paul Berberian, the CEO of Sphero, says that the company hadn’t been planning to raise money this year — it raised $20 million only a year ago — but said that the Star Wars deal definitely raised interest in the company.

“The momentum from the Disney deal made us think, hey, maybe this is an opportunity to go out and raise more,” he said in an interview today. 

Sphero is also seeing a lot of strong momentum beyond the BB-8, too. The company does not disclose sales numbers of the its flagship Sphero and newer product, Ollie, but Berberian said that there have been hundreds of thousands of units sold of these, approaching 1 million by the end of this year.

Beyond being a fun connected toy that you can control with an app, Sphero brings together some interesting technology — “we had a lot of technology and IP in our ball that helped bring BB-8 to life,” Berberian said. And the products also play into the bigger push to get younger people interested in computer science, with thousands of Spheros being using today in coding classes.

“The Star Wars part of the story absolutely helps our funding, but if that was all we were about we wouldn’t have been able to raise,” he said. “We have a huge wind on our back and we are trying to help transform the world of play and the toy industry. You can’t make a company off one successful product, but you can use it to take a company to a much higher level than before. Instead of hundreds of thousands of products, we can potentially sell millions. The company moves into a new category.”

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Going forward, Berberian would not comment on any specific further plans with Disney or internationally but this trajectory is clearly what interested Mercato.

“The connected play toy market has grown dramatically over the last several years and analysts expect that growth to continue. The opportunity to partner with a technology and market leader like Sphero was a perfect fit for Mercato,” said Warnock in a statement. “The Sphero team are experienced technologists and the company is well positioned to become the connected play leader of the toy industry.”

How Two ‘Star Wars’ Fans Unearthed the Secrets of BB-8 (Maybe)

From the moment BB-8 made its debut in the teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, fans have been trying to figure out how the rolling robot works. Once the world learned that the droid was a real prop, not a CGI effect, speculation went into overdrive. Lucasfilm has yet to reveal how BB-8 operates — how does it stay upright while rolling? Is the head attached to the body? But two Star Wars fans in Spain, Carlos Sánchez and Emilio Gelardo, believe they have cracked the code.

Truth is, 80 percent of the information was already out there. So our job was putting all those pieces together and filling in the gaps,” Sánchez, a web developer with a background in engineering, tells Yahoo Movies.

On their website HowBB8works.com, Sánchez and CG artist Gelardo have created a 3D model of the rolling droid, with a toggle that allows visitors to see inside the ball. The model illustrates two possible interior mechanisms for the robot: One that has the head attached to a vertical mast, and another that positions the head on a rotating, arc-shaped axis. (In both designs, the head is magnetic, and the sphere moves with four internal wheels and orients itself with a gyroscope.)

Sánchez and Gelardo arrived at their design by doing exactly what thousands of other curious Star Wars fans were doing: Reading everything they could find about BB-8 online. “We found some very cool articles about it, but they were all missing something; none really explained, in-depth, the full story behind BB-8,” says Sánchez. They set out to fill in the gaps themselves. And that’s when they discovered the smoking gun: a patent for a “magnetic spheric balancing robot drive” filed by Disney in 2010.

“Like most patents when they’re approved, it’s public,” says Sánchez, who discovered the patent via the fan site StarWars7News.com. “I was surprised that no one really paid much attention to the patent, considering all the valuable information it contained.”

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That “valuable information” might not be apparent to a layperson, since patents aren’t easy reading. But Sánchez has a degree in engineering, and Gelardo — who specializes in CG renderings of Star Wars ships and vehicles — has an impressive grasp of technical knowledge. “It’s amazing how much he knows about these devices, because when he builds them, he actually needs to understand how they work,” Sánchez explains.

Here are two new Stormtroopers that will be in ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’

Fans at last week’s “Star Wars Celebration” in Anaheim, California, were able to get a good look at the next generation of Stormtroopers from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” up close and personal.

However, if you were at the event in Anaheim, you also got a sneak peek at some of the other Stormtroopers that will be in the movie.

First up is the Flametrooper, who, yes, has a flamethrower!

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The Flametroopers are described as “specialized Stormtroopers of the First Order. Flametroopers carry incendiary weapons that can transform any battlefield into an infernal blaze.”

Why the costumes in ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ will be much different than in the original trilogy

In order to get the look right for “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens,” costume designer Michael Kaplan had to throw out all the designs he was working with from the original trilogy.

Kaplan, who previously worked on “Blade Runner,” “Fight Club,” and J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek,” didn’t think anything from the original “Star Wars” trilogy could apply to a new film.

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In an interview with Vanity Fair, Kaplan says that a lot of the old costumes, such as the stormtrooper uniforms, would not be usable anymore.

“Audiences of today have become so sophisticated that a lot of things you could get away with in the past, you can’t anymore.” Kaplan told Vanity Fair. “So the new uniforms are much heavier.”

Much of the action in the film is different than it was in the original and because of that, the new costumes had to be designed to accommodate that.

“The action in the film required them to not be ‘VacuFormed’ [like the old uniforms] as those all broke and cracked. These new ones are much more heavy-duty, but they are redesigned, too, they’re not the same stormtroopers.” Kaplan added.

While director J.J. Abrams wanted to hold on to the “uniqueness” of the stormtroopers, he also realized that it would be odd to “have the same stormtroopers this much later when Leia and Han are so much older.”

“The Force Awakens” will take place 30 years after the events of “Return of the Jedi,” which came out in 1983.

Instead of drastically changing the way the stormtroopers look, they decided to make their outfits a little simpler. Or, as Kaplan puts it, he thought: “what would Apple do?”

Like with a lot of new Apple products, Abrams wanted the stormtroopers to still look the same “at a glance” but also “different enough to kind of wow people and get them excited about the new design.”

There were some other looks that Kaplan wanted to alter as well. He recalls being confused by the look of the warring factions.

“…The uniform colors kind of overlapped—both [the rebels and the Empire] had some khakis and olive, and I kind of thought, Now I’m in a position to do something about this.” Kaplan said.

To remedy this problem, he gave The Empire “very cold blacks and grays and metallics and teal blues.” Meanwhile, The Rebels are given a warmer look of “khakis and olives and some oranges.”

Even the looks of classic characters such as Leia, Luke, and Han, who will return for “The Force Awakens,” weren’t completely sacred. However, Kaplan realizes that there is a line he must walk between preserving what the characters always were, and making necessary changes.
“A lot of it had to do with what was right for the story and the action, but a lot of it was also, you know, people have a way of dressing.” Kaplain said. “I wouldn’t really be doing my job if I thought, Hey, let’s redesign this character totally and put them in colors they’ve never worn. It just wouldn’t make any sense. But you also want new, interesting things to look at. You want enough change to be there.”

‘Star Wars Episode 7′ Spoilers

There has been an interesting rumor going around about “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens” that could completely alter the franchise’s storytelling formula for the first time ever.

The rumor claims that near the middle of “The Force Awakens,” the film’s central heroes Han Solo, Finn and Rey go visit Maz Kantana and present her with Luke’s lightsaber.

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Immediately after recognizing the saber, she offers them a “vision” which essentially allows connects the heroes with the events of the light saber. The “vision” includes glimpses of Luke looking at a dead Jedi Academy and leaving R2-D2 behind. It also shows Kylo Ren approaching Rey and some mysterious “seven” and a “clan.” It serves as a flashback of sorts, but more importantly, it offers a storytelling device that to this point has never been utilized in “Star Wars” lore.

In “Episode III: Revenge of the Sith” the viewer got a chance to see Anakin’s “dreams,” but those were just quick flashes that amounted to little. They hinted of the future when Padme would die at childbirth, but they were ambiguous to be sure.

Aside from this brief moment, the “Star Wars” franchise has never allowed viewers to glimpse directly inside of a characters’ mind. In “Empire Strikes Back,” Luke tells Yoda of his vision of his friends in the Cloud City in danger. But the audience learns of it through dialogue.

his of course is not a revolutionary technique, but it could serve to break open the franchise and allow it storytelling possibilities that were not utilized in earlier installments. There have already been hints that J.J. Abrams is looking to open up the means through which the “Star Wars” stories are told. From a symbolic standpoint, it does represent the ultimate break from the universe of storytelling established in the first six films by George Lucas. The flashback/vision would add to that new legacy.

Jamie Oliver gets epic 40th birthday Star Wars surprise

“Some people get a birthday card – Jamie got something he’ll never forget from all his team.”

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That was the message beneath an epic video uploaded by Jamie Oliver’s staff after surprising him with a 40th birthday celebration he won’t likely forget.

The Force Awakens’ Character Officially Revealed

Add another name to your list of new Star Wars characters. An interview on StarWars.com has revealed that Andy Serkis is playing a character named Supreme Leader Snoke, and the character is being created through performance capture.

Here’s the image of Serkis as Supreme Leader Snoke via Star Wars.com. It was taken by Annie Lebovitz.

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The big news here, however, is Serkis’ character. Who is Supreme Leader Snoke? What’s a “Snoke’ and what is he the Supreme Leader of? Maybe the First Order?

All we really know about the character is that he’s the one who delivers the off screen dialogue in the first teaser trailer. “There has been an awakening. Have you felt it? The dark side and the light.” Snoke is a character who is familiar with both sides of the Force. He’s also felt an awakening in the Force. That suggests he’s some kind of Sith or fallen Jedi and if he’s a Supreme Leader, we could be looking at the next Emperor Palpatine.

It’s also news, but not exactly surprising, that Serkis is playing a performance capture character. He’s the king of doing that but there was much speculation we’d see his face in these films. That, obviously, won’t be the case. Which then raises even more questions. What kind of species is he? Could he be a human who has been disfigured?

Lots of new questions, but at least you now know another real name for a character in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

We’ve got Rey, Finn, Poe Dameron, BB-8, Kylo Ren, Captain Phasma, Maz Kanata and…Supreme Leader Snoke.

Star Wars 7 – The Force Awakens Photoshoot

For Vanity Fair magazine, the famous photographer Annie Leibovitz organized a photoshoot for the cast and characters of the next installment of JJ Abrams’ “Star Wars 7: The Force Awakens”.

It shows Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o and Adam Driver in shooting clothing and they pose following the delicate style of the photographer.

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‘Star Wars Episode 7′ Spoilers

Actor Oscar Isaac reveals character details about Poe Dameron

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“Star Wars 7” actor Oscar Isaac is teasing few details about his pilot character, Poe Dameron. The pilot figure Isaac plays has made cameos in the “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” trailer and early promotional stills, and is positioned to be one of the lead characters in the new set of “Star Wars” movies. The actor hinted that Dameron comes from the first planet audiences saw play host to a rebel base in “Star Wars: A New Hope,” Yavin 4.

Isaac let the potential spoiler slip when he was noting a personal connection to his character. Oscar Isaac was born in Guatemala, the country where the closing moments of the first “Star Wars” movie was filmed.

“I think that Poe Dameron is from that planet … and that’s a beautiful coincidence,” he said.

The lush green planet seen in the 1977 movie was actually the setting of Tikal, Guatemala. Tikal is home to several Mayan ruins, some even pictured in the film. It’s at this base that Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) jumps into his first X-Wing fighter to take down Darth Vader’s colossus, the Death Star. Han Solo (Harrison Ford) returns to help Luke finish the mission in what would then be known as the Battle of Yavin in the “Star Wars” universe.

The cast has been mostly tight-lipped regarding details about their characters, as is the on-going battle of secrecy on a J.J. Abrams movie. Poe Dameron’s name was revealed in December after the first teaser made its way online. His uniform is much like what audiences have seen before on rebel forces and Luke Skywalker.