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Star Wars: Episode VII Casts The Parkour Practicing Christina Chong

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Christina ChangWhen the initial casting announcement came out for J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII, there was an initial backlash because it was pretty much all dudes. Aside from returning star Carrie Fisher, the only other woman was newcomer Daisy Ridley. Since that announcement at the end of April, however, Disney and Lucasfilm have increased the female contingent, and today they’ve added another in the person of the relatively unknown Christina Chong.

Latino-Review reports that the young actress has joined the shoot, which is already underway at Pinewood Studios in London, England. Though she has appeared in movies like Johnny English Reborn and shows like Doctor Who, but has most recently been seen in Jack Bauer’s latest adventures in 24: Live Another Day.

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Jon Stewart And Stephen Colbert Battle Over Who Is The Bigger Star Wars Fan

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I’ve always thought that the best way to promote a charity is to use comedians, and I don’t understand how Comic Relief isn’t currently the most mainstream it’s ever been. In any case, a Star Wars charity is a little different, as its focus is a little more specific than “comedy,” but that doesn’t mean The Daily Show‘s Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report‘s Stephen Colbert don’t know how to raise awareness. Honestly, if Jon Stewart dressed up as Star Wars characters to promote a charity that made people poor and sick, instead of helping them, I’d probably still contribute a few bucks.

The satirical talk show hosts are promoting Omaze’s Star Wars: Force for Change, an initiative from Disney and Lucasfilm to raise money and awareness for UNICEF’s Innovation Labs. The Innovation Labs work with children all over the world, leading them to a brighter and more intelligent future in the world of science and technology. These are the people who will one day make the discoveries that save future generations. That’s the most important part, of course, but the main draw here is a little different.

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Star Wars Unveils Its Plans For Comic-Con, For Better Or Worse

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star-wars-rebels-trailerSan Diego Comic-Con 2014 is arguably the year’s most geektastic event, and J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII is arguably the most geektastic movie currently in production. (Sorry, Batman v. Superman: Justice is Dawning, or whatever, you know it’s true.) But in the same way that like poles of a magnet push each other away, Comic-Con and Episode VII will sadly be completely exclusive sectors of the entertainment realm, as Disney is keeping their future blockbuster out of San Diego entirely, disappointing many thousands of hopeful fans in the process. They will, however, be Force-choking their way into the Disney XD panel with the highly anticipated animated series Star Wars Rebels. Silver lining or olive branch?

Currently in production in London’s Pinewood Studios, and a year-and-a-half away from theaters, Episode VII likely wouldn’t have all that much to debut at Comic-Con anyway, beyond a simple teaser that probably isn’t worth making a big fuss over. And are we really all that surprised anyway? Abrams is not one to debut pre-release “footage” so much as cryptic hints and random behind-the-scenes images. So we move on from CGI-filled live-action to CGI-filled animation.

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Kevin Smith Explains What Brought Him To Tears On The Star Wars: Episode VII Set

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Last week filmmaker and lifelong Star Wars fanboy Kevin Smith got to visit the set of Episode VII in London and came away literally moved to the point of tears, which he shared with the world courtesy of a weepy Instagram photo and a thumbs up. Naturally, director J.J. Abrams’ invitation came packaged with a non-disclosure agreement, so Smith won’t be tossing any Episode VII spoilers out there. But he has clarified just what he saw on set that impacted him so powerfully, and his experience is something that should resonate with anyone who grew up dreaming of George Lucas’ galaxy far, far away.

The folks over at /Film tracked down the above video, which features Smith doing one of his frequent and often wildly entertaining Q&As, this one at the Neuchatel International Film Festival in Switzerland. Among other things, he addresses his Episode VII set visit, including its emotional centerpiece: getting to see the Millennium Falcon set inside Pinewood Studios’ Stage M. (The Episode VII talk starts around the 35-minute mark.)

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Star Wars: Episode VII Being FIlmed Using IMAX Cameras

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Everyone with access to the Internet and a brain knows that J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII is going to be one of the biggest films of 2015, if not the entirety of cinema. There was no question that the sequel would be making its way into IMAX theaters, but we weren’t sure until today whether or not it would be produced in native IMAX format. And now we know that at least some of Episode VII will indeed be filmed using the most advanced camera equipment on this planet. (Rumor has it that Alderaan had even more astounding technology than IMAX cameras, but we all know how that turned out.)

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Star Wars: Episode VII Adds Two Unknown Newcomers To The Cast

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star warsStar Wars has always had a thing for casting relatively unknown actors in key roles. Of the three biggest stars of the franchise—Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford—none of them were big stars at the time George Lucas cast them. Ford was by far the best known, but he was far from a household name before he played Han Solo. The prequels followed this pattern, with mixed results, and even though Disney now owns Lucasfilm, director J.J. Abrams and company are sticking to this trend for Episode VII, adding two new unknown faces to the cast.

StarWars.com reports that the production has signed newcomers Crystal Clarke and Pip Andersen, both of whom were found during an open casting call that went down late last year. This sounds like it was one hell of an undertaking to settle on these two. More than 37,000 people showed up in 11 cities across the US and UK, while another 30,000 submitted their applications through online channels.