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Star Wars: Episode VII: Mark Hamill Shows Of His Bushy New Beard

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Mark HamillWe don’t know much about J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII, but we do know that Luke Skywalker is going to very, very different than he used to. Gone is the baby-faced Mark Hamill we all know from A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi. And this new photo of the actor looking more grizzled than we’ve ever seen him drives that point home.

If you’ve seen recent picture of him, Hamill has been sporting a rather rugged beard. He’s been seen out and about with his new face sweater, and at one point even quipped about it being contractually obligated. And if the recent rumors we’ve been hearing about Episode VII are in fact true, there’s a very good reason for this new look.

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Star Wars: Episode VII Will Get Production Moving Again Later This Month

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SoloGetting details out of the set of Star Wars: Episode VII is a little bit like pulling teeth from the mouth of an angry tiger. One concrete fact we did learn is that the production hit a snag when returning franchise star Harrison Ford broke his leg on set back in June. Director J.J. Abrams and the rest of the Disney/Lucasfilm family did what they could to shoot around Ford’s injury. They even spent three days filming on the picturesque island Skellig Michael off the coast of Ireland. But they could only do so much, and have been on a hiatus for a couple of weeks. That, however, is about to come to an end as reports circulate that production will heat up again later this month.

It doesn’t come as a huge surprise that Ford and company are getting back to work. We recently saw photographic evidence of the 72-year-old actor walking around with only a small bandage on his leg, so we suspected things were going to get going again before long. He was also sighted at the premiere of The Expendables 3 earlier this week, and sources told The Hollywood Reporter that the cameras will start rolling again soon.

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Star Wars Rebels Short The Machine In The Ghost Brings The Action And Sound Effects

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We won’t actually see the upcoming Star Wars Rebels, the first post-Disney buyout of Lucasfilm addition to the Star Wars canon, until October. We’ve seen clips and trailers, but now there’s a quick little short film to keep you occupied for a while longer.

Called “The Machine in the Ghost,” the action centers on the ship the main crew of characters fly around the galaxy in, which just so happens to be named the Ghost. While the machine the title refers to is the put upon little astromech droid named Chopper, who definitely fits into the R2-D2 mold of sassy, spunky, and not afraid to take matters into his own hands.

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Star Wars: Force For Change Wraps Ups And J.J. Abrams Gives Fans A Hand

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Star Wars Force For ChangeA while back we talked about “Force for Change,” a charity tie-in with the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII, where fans could win a small role in the film for donating money to UNICEF and their continuing efforts around the globe. Director J.J. Abrams appeared in a couple of videos that not only revealed the contest and prize, but also showed off some of the practical special effects that will appear in the movie. He even revealed a new version of the iconic X-Wing Fighter in the process. The contest is now over, and today he delivered a thank cool thank you note for fans, as well as revealing the winner.

“Force for Change” was a rousing success, raising more than $4.26 million dollars for UNICEF’s Innovation Labs, which are aimed at addressing serious issues facing children all around the globe, like nutrition, education, and access to clean water. These efforts include MobiStations, which are portable, solar-powered educational stations that can go anywhere they’re needed, as well as Rapid FTR (Family Tracing and Reunification), which is an app for mobile phones that is designed to bring together families that have been separated by natural disasters.

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C-3PO Channels His Inner Dark Knight In This Star Wars/Batman Mashup

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Star WarsOver the last few weeks, the folks surrounding J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII and Zack Snyder’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, two of most anticipated movies of the next few years, have been engaging in a good-natured mash-up battle. The two sides have been tweeting back and forth, sending pictures like the one of Man of Steel‘s Henry Cavill dressed in a Jedi robe with the hashtag #SuperJedi, or Episode VII star John Boyega wearing a Batman costume with the hashtag #BOYEGAMAN (which is not nearly as clever). The last salvo was a photo of Batman and R2-D2 wandering in the desert with the hashtag #Batman & R2BIN. It’s a fantastic image, and now Bad Robot has responded.

And the picture they came up with is pretty damn awesome. It shows C-3PO, wearing a black cape, squatting in the shadows on the top of a building in the manner we’ve come recognize as very Batman-ian. In the distance, shining in the night sky like the Batsignal, is the Rebel insignia. Tagged at “The C3PED CRUSADER” this has become a fun way for fans to pass the time until the two highly anticipated, highly secretive movies actually open.

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Star Wars: Episode VII’s Daisy Ridley Will Be Around For The Whole Trilogy

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Daisy RidleyGet ready to see a lot more of Daisy Ridley. A relative unknown who is one of the new faces we’ll see in J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII—which is honestly all I know about her, I wouldn’t recognize her if she sat down next to me at a bar and introduced herself—she apparently will be around not only for the next film, but she will also appear in Episode VIII and Episode IX.

Deadline reports that Ridley’s character, whoever that winds up being, will carry through the entire trilogy of new Star Wars films. There’s not really much more to the report than that, but she must have impressed someone at Disney and Lucasfilm during the worldwide talent search that landed her the role. Up to this point in her career, she’s had small parts in a handful of films and TV shows—and at least one film spun off from an TV show (Inbetweeners 2)—but appearing in three Star Wars movies is certainly one way to increase your profile as an actor.