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Christmas Wish: I Want Star Wars: The Force Awakens Not To Ruin Christmas 2015

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KyloRenAll I want for Christmas this year is for Star Wars: The Force Awakens to not ruin Christmas for me next year. The prequels already did a substantial job of thrashing the legacy of the original trilogy — Darth Vader just doesn’t seem quite as menacing after watching Hayden Christensen’s Anakin Skywalker whine and snivel his way through two movies. As a result, many of us are understandably gun-shy about the new installments, whether Episode movies or standalone installments.

Throw J.J. Abrams into the mix, and people are even more concerned. I’m not as down on Abrams as a director as a lot of people, but even I have to admit that he’s a hit-or-miss proposition as a filmmaker. His last effort, Star Trek Into Darkness is…well, let’s just say it leaves a lot to be desired, and the prospect of him taking over yet another beloved franchise has some people seriously worried.

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These Star Wars 7 Action Figures Reveal A Different Side Of New Characters

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Star WarsSo often these days a movie is shrouded in secrecy, with so much security it makes the president feel exposed, only to have their best-kept secrets revealed through a line of toys. Given that Star Wars has always been part of a massive marketing machine, and with Disney taking over the reins that’s not going to change any time soon, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is not immune to this. Now we have a better look at some of those new characters as they appear four inches tall and cast in plastic, as well as some concept art.

This picture appeared on some random Chinese website, and as it’s Christmas week and we’re in no mood to deal with cease and desist orders, we’ll just link to the site. You can check it out HERE. Most of it isn’t super interesting. You see Finn (John Boyega), Rey (Daisy Ridley), the new droid BB-8, and our old pal Chewbacca. We already know what they look like, they look like John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, a robot with a soccer ball, and Chewbacca. But we do get a better look at the mysterious Kylo Ren.

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Star Wars 7: Chewbacca, R2-D2, And More Have This Special Message For Fans

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We’re now officially less than one year away from finally seeing Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Hell, by December 19, 2015, some of us will already have seen it three four times, maybe more. Earlier this year, J.J. Abrams, Lucasfilm, and Disney capitalized on this massive fan interest and channeled it for good. Their “Force for Change” campaign raised millions of dollars to help at risk children around the world, and Abrams, the crew, and a couple of notable franchise stars, want to say thank you.

The earlier “Force for Change” videos offered fans our earliest official looks at the new film, with a special emphasis on the practical effects side of production. We got our first peek at that Jim Henson-esque character, and saw Abrams hanging out in front of a new X-Wing Fighter. While this video doesn’t have any cool reveals like those, both Chewbacca and R2-D2 stop by, or in R2’s case roll by, in order to thank everyone for helping out.

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Andy Serkis Tackles Force Awakens Rumors — Is He Really Playing Two Characters?

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SerkisThere are no shortage of mysteries circling J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but in the wake of the epic first teaser, several of those mysteries have involved actor and motion-capture master Andy Serkis. We’ve known for a while that he had a role in the next Star Wars film, but details about that character have been sparse and surrounded with crazy rumors. Now Serkis has gone on record to clarify a few things, and shoot down some of those rumors.

One of the biggest Serkis-related rumors suggested that he would be playing not one, but two different characters in Force Awakens (and possibly the films that followed). Given his mo-cap background, many — including me — speculated that one role might be CGI and the other live-action. Well, no dice. “I can say I only play one character,” Serkis told EW. And don’t expect him to give you any hints about that character’s nature, either. How about those rumors that he’ll be playing an old man who looks like he has “risen from the dead”? Serkis would say only that his Force Awakens character has “been through some stuff.”

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Who Is Captain Phasma?

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Star WarsSlowly but surely we’re learning about the fresh faces, and in one instance a back, we’ll see in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Still, these are only the handful of newcomers to the franchise who appear in the trailer, and we know there are many more lurking around out there. For instance, what is Gwendoline Christie’s character’s name? No idea, we don’t even know what she looks like. But today we do have one more name to add to the list, though that’s all the details there are at the moment.

What the hell, we’ll throw a spoiler warning right here, even though there’s not all that much to tell.

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Mark Hamill Talks Beards, Practical FX, And His Absence From The Force Awakens Trailer

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HamillAs cool as it must be to be in a Star Wars, to be part of something so many people love and revere, the flip side is that no matter what you do, especially if you’re one of the key players, you’re always going to have to fend off related questions. Small price to pay, but still, after a few decades, it probably gets old. Such is the case with Mark Hamill when he sat down with Yahoo to talk about his role in an upcoming Elf musical special. We don’t care a whit about that, but lucky for us, Hamill is always game to talk about that far, far away galaxy, and discussed his experience on Star Wars: The Force Awakens.