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Star Wars: Episode VII Adds Lupita Nyong’o And Gwendoline Christie

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Lupita Nyong'oWhen Disney and Lucasfilm finally made an official announcement about the cast of J.J. AbramsStar Wars: Episode VII, though it was a big list of names, most of us assumed there would be more coming down the pipe. One of the primary issues many people had with the cast is that it was almost exclusively dudes. Well, with one new announcement, the production has addressed both of those points. News dropped this morning that 12 Years A Slave’s Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o and Game of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie have both been added to the ever expanding Episode VII party.

The pair joinsfellow newcomers Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Max von Sydow, John Boyega, and Daisy Ridley—the only new female cast member—as well as returning franchise vets Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), and Kenny Baker (R2-D2).

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Annotated Star Wars Meshes A New Hope With George Lucas’ Many Influences

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Star Wars, am I right? Everybody knows about it, whether from seeing it first-hand or just by breathing on the planet Earth. Here at GFR, we’ve seen an endless amount of Star Wars homages, fan films and retrospectives, but none are quite as geekily mesmerizing as Star Wars: Kitbashed, a stellar multimedia work-in-progress from Michael Heilemann, a Designer of Interface at the website creator Squarespace. It’s kind of like a documentary dedicated solely to George Lucas’ inspirations for A New Hope, only presented in such a way that you actually experience the subject matter as it happens. Plus you get to watch the entire movie. It’s amazing.

It’s no big mystery to anyone who’s ever read about Star Wars that Lucas culled his story elements and directorial style from everything that he liked about adventure fiction throughout his life. Heilemann, who named the project Kitbash after the Lucas-perfected process of using existing model kits to create new concepts, began this quest in order to pinpoint, and perhaps contextualize, the plethora of inspirations Lucas wears on his sleeves. For the last few years, he has been working on a book that completely surveys the first trilogy and compiles the many movies, books, songs, comics and more that inform the story and style of Luke, Darth Vader, and company. His scope even includes Lucas’ early short films. Eventually, it became clear to Heilemann that an audio-visual presentation would also be extremely useful for people to grasp it entirely.

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Star Wars, Planet Of The Apes, And Forbidden Planet Costume Test Images

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ApesIn this digital age, it’s easy to take for granted how simple it is to dig into the behind-the-scenes stories of pretty much any project you can think of. Special edition sets come packed with insightful commentaries, featurettes, deleted scenes, and photo galleries. Websites and forums are often able to show you far more about any upcoming film than the filmmakers would ever prefer. So there’s something cool about making-of material from earlier decades when the wall between creator and consumer was a lot more daunting. These images from various sci-fi movie costume tests are pretty straightforward, but there’s still something charming about getting a look into a past when, for the most part, nobody outside the production would get to see this stuff until it was done. Especially when, as in the picture up top, they look like a mug shot from a DUI bust on the Planet of the Apes.

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Badass ED-209 Replica, Clever General Grievous Cosplay & Adorable Predator

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One of the things I love about hitting up any sci-fi/comic convention is seeing all the costumes people have pored their time and efforts into. Sometimes the sheer level of craftsmanship is enough to boggle the mind, whereas other times a clever concept alone can make for an unforgettable bit of cosplay (such as this gentleman with the tribbles). For this story we’ve rounded up three bits of very cool replica work and/or cosplay for your amusement. First up, the gorgeous ED-209 replica featured in the video above. If you haven’t watched it yet, you have 15 seconds to comply…

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Star Wars Fan Trailer Imagines The Expanded Universe On The Big Screen

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When Disney purchased Lucasfilm and announced that they would be making new Star Wars films, one of the biggest questions fans were left wondering about was the fate of the so-called Expanded Universe: the reams of semi-canonical content created over the years in books, games, comics, radio dramas, and the like. Last month the word was given: while the future of the Star Wars universe may pick and choose from story elements or characters from all that material, going forward the only canonical stories at this point are the six Episode films and the Clone Wars animated series. But what if some of the most beloved Expanded Universe tales got a direct adaptation for the big screen?

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Lost Chinese Star Wars Comics Reveal Darth Vader’s Unhealthy Fascination With Florida

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Star WarsWe’ve all seen, or at least heard of, those cheap knock offs of popular American movies, like Turkish Star Wars, though I personally prefer Turkish Indiana Jones. In the early 1980s, when Star Wars mania was sweeping across the globe, several Chinese publishers put out their own comic book versions of the property. According to some newly unearthed copies of one of these obscure pieces of Star Wars lore, Darth Vader had what seems to be an unhealthy fascination with the state of Florida. Who knew?

These images come from the South China Daily Post, and there is a great deal of creative license with the story, which explains why the scariest Sith lord of all time happens to be obsessed with the destruction of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. You can see it on featured prominently on the map of places he intends to vaporize. Why, well, that’s the question of the day. Unless I missed that part in A New Hope, which is possible I guess, I’ve only seen the movie a couple dozen times, it’s possible that little tidbit slipped by me.