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COMICBOOK – The force will awaken on Blu-ray this April!
Today, Amazon notified customers that pre-ordered J.J. Abrams’ mega-blockbuster Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Blu-ray that they will received their copy on by April 5th, 2016. They then updated their website with the official date as well.
There’s still no information on the special features that will be included with the Blu-ray release. The current retail price is $19.99.
Set thirty years after the events of Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens picks up the story of a galaxy turned upside-down with the deposition of the evil Empire and the rise of the Rebel Alliance to take its place. With the cruel First Order rising to fill the void left by the Empire’s destruction and the Resistance dedicated to eradicating their influence, heroes Finn and Rey will need to stop the villainous Kylo Ren and the First Order from assuming total control of the galaxy, with the help of old heroes Han Solo and Leia Organa.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is playing at your local cinema.
PEOPLE – Gwendoline Christie is returning to the big screen for next Star Wars installment.
“I will be in the next Star Wars movie. I think that’s an exclusive, actually,” the actress told PEOPLE Deputy Editor JD Heyman on Saturday’s red carpet preshow for the 2016 SAG Awards.
It’s exciting news, especially considering Christie was super amped about the role of Captain Phasma in the latest film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
“I was very overexcited. I made no secret of the fact that I really campaigned for the part for a long time,” said Christie, 37. “And then I was delighted when J.J. Abrams wanted to have me in the film and then wanted to cast me in this role that had originally been designed for a man.”
The actress continued, reveling over the “incredible” costume and that fact that she would have the rare opportunity to play a female stormtrooper – a role she hopes will bring more diverse jobs to other women in Hollywood.
“I thought the costume was incredibly striking. I also just liked this notion of a female stormtrooper,” Christie said. “I felt it encouraged diversity and it was doing something new and it was an interesting bit of casting for women, and I hope that in something that was such a mainstream success it would breed more of those kind of opportunities for other women.”
Earlier this month, the 6-ft., 3-in. Game of Thrones star told PEOPLE that she also liked that, while her Star Wars costume was amazing, she loved that it was armor.
“I was struck by how incredible it looked, but also I liked that it was stormtrooper armor,” Christie said at the time. “It hadn’t been sexualized or feminized in any way. I thought, ‘That is interesting. That’s very modern.'”
The 22nd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards are being presented live from Los Angeles on TNT and TBS.
HOTPRESS – The women of Star Wars: The Force Awakens tell Roe McDermott why J.J. Abrams’ sci-fi instalment is a cultural game-changer in its portrayal of strong, complex women
You may have heard of this little film the came to cinemas this Christmas. Just a quiet, subdued indie drama… Oh, who are we kidding. JJ Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens is an epic space opera that is set to not only add to the iconic Star Wars franchise, but reignite it for a new generation. Set 30 years after the events of Return of the Jedi, the Rebel Alliance and the Empire have become Resistance and the First Order, respectively. The film sees Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher reprise their roles as Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia – but the cast is also brimming with the best and brightest of Hollywood’s new stars. Featuring Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o, Girls star Adam Driver, Inside Llewyn Davis’ Oscar Isaac and our own Domhnall Gleeson, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is dragging the franchise into the 21st century at light speed.
With this update comes new societal rules, and in a meta exploration of gender equality, Star Wars: The Force Awakens not only addresses the progress made in the Star Wars universe, but in the film industry. The upcoming instalment is thus filled with interesting, multi-faceted female characters – and it’s about time.
Princess Leia Organa, Star Wars’ leading lady, is one of sci-fi’s most adored heroines; a smart, fearless and capable leader whose strength is fuelled by her unwavering sense of moral and political conviction and personal empowerment.
A cinematic favourite turned feminist hero, Leia’s defiant warrior spirit and unapologetic femininity made her a cultural icon. And yes, the image of a kidnapped Leia in a gold metal bikini may have made an entire generation of young men sweaty and lightheaded with feverish desire, but this was not a woman who was just a sexualised slave – here was someone who used the chains that enslaved her as instruments of power, using them to destroy her captor.
However, Leia sadly proves to be an anomaly in the original Star Wars franchise, where women are seldom seen and almost never heard. In the beloved trinity of A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi, the only other female characters allowed to speak are Aunt Beru, Mon Mothma, and an unnamed Rebel functionary at the Hoth base. And the combined running time of these lines uttered by women? An almost unbelievably pitiful 63 seconds. To clarify, the total series runtime is 23,160 seconds. It seems that even in a galaxy far, far away, sexism still reigns supreme.
Until now, that is. In J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the director has infused the film with his trademark appreciation for strong female characters. Though now known for lens-flare fuelled action movies, Abrams got his start with the female-led teen drama Felicity, and thanks to characters like Lost’s Kate Austen, Alias’ Sydney Bristow and Fringe’s Olivia Dunham, Abrams’ career has been marked by his commitment to bringing fully-rounded and aspirational female characters to the screen. (We’re chalking the disappointing and objectifying portrayal of Alice Eve’s character in Star Trek Into Darkness as an uncharacteristic slip on an otherwise impressive resume).
VULTURE – Given that The Force Awakens brought in approximately eleventy bajillion dollars over the last month, it’s no surprise that at least four other theatrical films are in the works, and they’re being made at a breakneck pace. We’ll be inundated with Star Wars hype through at least the end of the decade, alternating between the ongoing saga that began with The Force Awakens and side-stories that give heretofore unknown details about some of the universe’s more well-known characters and events. Here’s everything we know so far.
- • Rian Johnson (Brick, Looper) will write and direct the film.
- • Kennedy has also hinted that Gwendoline Christie’s Captain Phasma will have an expanded role, saying, “She’s an important character, a baddie in the best sense of the word.”
- • New names in the cast are Gugu Mbatha-Raw as an unannounced character and, as first reported last summer, Benicio Del Toro as the villain.
- • R2-D2 is being played by actor Jimmy Vee, replacing franchise mainstay Kenny Baker.
- • The casting sheet also says that production will take place in Iceland and London.
- • Sources said in September that the casting short list also included Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black), Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin), and Olivia Cooke (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl).
- • According to frequent J.J. Abrams collaborator Greg Grunberg, Abrams called the Episode VIII script, “‘so good’ that he wished he had written it.”
- • Daisy Ridley also liked the script a lot. She said, “It’s very good; very good,” and then expanded on that statement in interesting and specific ways (haha, just kidding).
- • That said, John Boyega gave up the tiniest descriptive tidbit, calling the Episode VIII script “much darker.”
- • Johnson has said that the crew has been screening other films to prepare, including the 1949 classic Twelve O’Clock High — famous in part for using actual World War II footage — as well as the 1960 Russian survival film Letter Never Sent.
- • Mark Hamill appeared at a local bar in England following a day of shooting Episode VIII. He appeared without the beard that he is seen sporting at the end of The Force Awakens.
- • The film comes out on May 26, 2017.
PEOPLE – Gwendoline Christie credits Carrie Fisher – with her buns, metal bikini, and laser blaster – as the inspiration for a career that includes fierce medieval fighter Brienne of Tarth in Game of Thrones and stormtrooper commander Captain Phasma in the record-setting hit Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
“I loved Princess Leia, and that even in my infant mind I remember thinking, ‘She’s a different kind of woman to the women I see in films,’ ” Christie, 37, tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “I think it must have been quite forming.”
“I’ve been lucky enough to play a couple of parts of women who are very driven and somewhat unconventional,” she adds. “I love playing women who kick ass!”
Christie, who first watched Star Wars when she was 6 years old, recently told Fisher she was a huge influence on her as a young girl.
“I said, ‘I feel that perhaps watching you planted a seed in my mind.’ ” To which Fisher joked, ” ‘I did actually plant a seed in your mind. It’s true.’ She’s incredible.”
When the 6’3″ actress finally stepped on The Force Awakens set to shoot, she couldn’t believe the day had finally arrived.
“I said to the people around me, ‘So, is this really happening?’ ” she recalls. “Walking onto the set with that incredible costume, the sets were so enormous and so detailed, everything seemed real … and I was in it.”
The costume, says Christie, made her role even more appealing. “I was struck by how incredible it looked, but also I liked that it was stormtrooper armor. It hadn’t been sexualized or feminized in any way. I thought, ‘That is interesting. That’s very modern.’ ”
Now she’s one of the Star Wars women future generations will watch closely, as she once did.
“People talk about having dreams come true,” Christie says. “This is really a lot of young dreams come true.”
ASIA ONE – One is a Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner for 12 Years A Slave and the other is a fan favourite from the most downloaded TV show on the planet, Game Of Thrones.
But for Lupita Nyong’o and Gwendoline Christie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens has pride of place on their resumes.
Both actresses grew up watching Star Wars on television and idolised Princess Leia.
And during their joint interview at the Los Angeles Convention Center, they were bubbling over with enthusiasm even as they struggled to sidestep questions because of the non-disclosure agreement all cast members are bound to.
Kenyan-Mexican Nyong’o, 32, is fully CGI as Maz Kanata, a tiny wizened pirate with a colourful past and a mentor of sorts to Han Solo.
And you never see Briton Christie, who’s 37 and standing at an imposing 1.91m, without her full body armour as Captain Phasma, member of The First Order, leader of the Stormtroopers and the first female villain in the Star Wars movies.
If you didn’t get enough of them in The Force Awakens, you’ll be glad to know they are slated to play larger roles in the sequels.
Was there an unforgettable moment for you while filming?
Christie: I put the costume on and I walked onto the set, and what was around me was wonderfully, magically childlike…Being in a Star Wars world was gloriously euphoric for me.
Nyong’o: I was in a bit of a daze for the first days. I was doing (motion capture) so that was a whole other world of trying to figure out what on earth was going on. But a few days in, I was on set and I had just a moment when I looked around and it was the hugest set I’ve ever been on and it’s like my mind exploded for a moment.
How was the audition process like?
Nyong’o: Shortly after the Oscars, I was in Morocco doing a photo shoot. I got an e-mail from my agent saying (director) J.J. Abrams wants to talk to me. I had a conversation with him and he told me a little bit about Maz Kanata. He sent a script to Morocco for me to read. I had about two hours to quickly go through it and decide. I called him back and said I’m interested.
BELFAST TELEGRAPH – Gwendoline Christie is pleased the wardrobe department on Star Wars: The Force Awakens decided not to sexualise her costume.
The British star plays Captain Phasma in J.J. Abrams’ new chapter of the space saga, a role which required Gwendoline to wear a metallic suit of armour. Instead of being sexy in any way, the costume is intimidating and dark – which was absolutely fine for the actress.
“It (seeing the costume for the first time) really was amazing,” she smiled to Britain’s Absolute Radio. “I had been told about it beforehand but nothing prepared me for going into that room and seeing it there. That was extraordinary. As I’ve said, what I loved about it was that I expected, ‘Oh they’ve probably feminised it in some way,’ and they hadn’t and I just thought that’s really modern and decent.”
Captain Phasma is in charge of legions of storm troopers, so is also dressed in the iconic cinema outfit consisting of am oversized helmet and body armour. Winning a part in the movie was a dream come true for Gwendoline, who is a lifelong Star Wars fan. Much has been made about a female being cast in such a villainous role, but the 37-year-old wishes it was more acceptable for girls to play baddies too.
“It shouldn’t be shocking though should it, but it is,” she sighed. “Because our culture conventionally has been that we have been used to seeing very conventional depictions of females in our mainstream media. And I love with the costume of Captain Phasma she isn’t feminised or sexualised in any way.”
EW – The Broadcast Film Critics Association has spoken. Star Wars: The Force Awakens was belatedly added to the list of 10 films that were nominated for a Critics’ Choice Award for Best Picture this year.
Star Wars had not been screened for the BFCA in time for the initial ballots. But after voters saw the film, many decided it was worth including in the Critics’ Choice Awards.
The decision was made official on Tuesday after the voters were polled in a special referendum yesterday. This last-minute amendment, which was also given to the Tom Hanks film Cast Away, does not include Star Wars in any other category besides Best Picture.
While the debate continues whether J.J. Abrams’ blockbuster warrants the same nomination at the Oscars, the Academy included Star Wars on the shortlist for Best Visual Effects. Oscars nominations will be announced on Jan. 14, while the 21st annual Critics’ Choice Awards winners will be announced during a televised ceremony on Jan. 17 at 8 p.m. EST on A&E.
USA TODAY – The Dark Side is a nice place to visit for Gwendoline Christie.
The 6-foot-3 British actress gained fans and fame as the warrior Brienne of Tarth on HBO’s Game of Thrones. She has parlayed that into supporting roles as rebel leader Commander Lyme in this year’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2 and as the armored Captain Phasma, one of the coolest-looking antagonists in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the franchise’s first major female villain.
“Every day is really fantastic. I feel like all my Christmases have come at once,” says Christie, 37.
“I’m a bit spoiled, really, because the last three projects I’ve been really enthusiastic about. I’ve been very lucky for a couple of years now.”
Christie talks with USA TODAY about her role in the hit new Star Wars film — with a box office of $238 million and counting since Thursday night — and her favorites from the original movies.
Q: Is Phasma a woman you’d hang out with?
A: (Laughs) To the best of my knowledge, I’ve never hung out with someone who’s consciously been a member of the Dark Side. There may be some people who are part of the Dark Side unconsciously I’ve hung out with. And I haven’t hung out with anyone wearing armor in front of me.
Q: Is she an ambitious sort — does she want to be General Phasma?
A: I put the costume on and I realized that this armor is quite something. It’s very high-functioning, it’s very imposing and it’s not malleable at all. I thought, well, anybody who wears that every day, it must inform their character. Those were some things that I took on board as characteristics.