TIME movies

Even Mark Hamill Was Surprised by His Return to Luke Skywalker Role

Don't get cocky, kid

Mark Hamill never thought he would return to that galaxy far, far away–not in “a million years.” So even he seems to have been stunned by the fact that he’ll reprise his most famous role as Luke Skywalker next year: In J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

“I don’t know that I’m even completely recovered from my state of shock,” the actor recently told Entertainment Weekly. “Part of the experience of [Star Wars] in my life was coming down from that, putting it behind me. We had a beginning, middle, and an end. And I certainly, in a million years, never expected to return. I thought, even if they do more trilogies, my story is over.”

Read more at Entertainment Weekly

Read next: George Lucas Might Be the Only Person Who Hasn’t Seen the New Star Wars Trailer


Here’s How to 3D-Print Your Own Crossguard Lightsaber

Lasers not included.

The crossguard lightsaber introduced in the trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens raised eyebrows among skeptics as much as it elicited drools from those excited by the weapon’s redesign. Attacks on its impracticality were so widespread that Stephen Colbert took time out of one of the final episodes of the Colbert Report to defend the genius of the design. But now you can test it yourself, as a group of designers has shared instructions for 3D-printing the controversial laser sword.

According to designers at le FabShop, which distributes Makerbot 3D printers in France, “As Makers, we couldn’t help but try to find out by ourselves if this ‘crossguard’ design was a good configuration or not.” They’ve made files available for download — the lightsaber requires assembling a handful of configurable plastic parts — on Makerbot’s design community, Thingiverse. Though the finished product is certainly a quality replica, the designers did not, after creating it, weigh in on its practicality.

The 3D-printed version does not involve actual lasers, so there’s no risk of burning off your hand.

TIME viral

George Lucas Might Be the Only Person Who Hasn’t Seen the New Star Wars Trailer

"I don't know anything about it"

It seems like just about everyone has watched the trailer for J.J. Abrams’ new interpretation of Star Wars, which has been viewed over 45 million times on YouTube since its late November release. Well, everyone except original Star Wars creator George Lucas.

When the New York Post asked Lucas what he thought of the trailer, the famed director responded: “I don’t know anything about it. I haven’t seen it yet.”

And he isn’t planning on watching it, “Because it’s not in the movie theater,” he explained. “I like going to the movies and watching the whole thing there. I plan to see it when its released.”

MORE: 5 takeaways from the new Star Wars trailer

In case spoofs aren’t off limits, Lucas can tide himself over with this hilarious Saturday Night Live reinterpretation that aired over the weekend:

TIME movies

Here’s What the New Star Wars Would Look Like if Wes Anderson Directed It

The Episode VII trailer gets a very twee makeover

The trailer for the latest Star Wars installment has exploded in popularity and amassed more than 60 million views since it debuted last week, and also racked up tons of parodies.

Now, it has the quirkiest parody yet — a re-edit in the cutesy, iconic style of Wes Anderson. Yes, if Star Wars: The Force Awakens starred Bill Murray and had 1960s British invasion rock on the soundtrack its trailer might look something like this.

But if you’re digging the aesthetic, don’t get your hopes up. Anderson has already said that, although the Star Wars films have greatly influenced him, he doesn’t think he has what it takes to direct one. “I don’t know if I have all the right action chops,” he once told Deadline, “But at least I know the characters from the old films.”

TIME Television

Watch Stephen Colbert Break Out a Whiteboard to Defend the New Star Wars Lightsaber

“It’s a ménage-a-saber”

Stephen Colbert has been a Star Wars fan for two weeks longer than you have. When he was in the eighth grade, he explained on last night’s show, he won tickets from a local radio station to see the movie before it came out. And his original fandom qualified him to perform a scientific takedown of those who scorn the three-pronged lightsaber that debuted in last week’s teaser trailer for The Force Awakens.

Though some fans claim that the “lightsaber with too many sabers on it” puts he who wields it at risk for some serious hand burns, Colbert pulls out a whiteboard to demonstrate the genius of the new design. “It’s simple,” he scoffs. “You just need three focusing crystal activators to split the plasma into perpendicular blade energy channels.”

And just like that, Stephen Colbert won Star Wars.

TIME movies

The New Star Wars Trailer Gets a Spaceballs Makeover

"The Schwartz Awakens"

The teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens came out last week, but the movie itself doesn’t hit theaters for a year. So what’s a fan to do in the meantime? Reminisce about the brilliance of Mel Brooks’ 1987 spoof Spaceballs, for one thing.

Film Geekery mashed up the audio from the new trailer with scenes from Spaceballs, imagining what the new movie would look like with Barf, Yogurt, Dark Helmet and that little dancing alien that wears a top hat. It’s a pleasing throwback to peak Brooksian humor and the power of the Schwartz.

A year is a long time for anticipation to build between teaser and premiere. In the event the The Force Awakens doesn’t meet those burgeoning expectations, at least there’s always Mel Brooks to fall back on.

TIME movies

The Force Awakens: 5 Takeaways From the New Star Wars Trailer

This ain't your dad's Star Wars

I just got back from paying $15 to see the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser trailer in a theater then ducking out well before the third Hunger Games started. And ho boy, this ain’t your dad’s Star Wars.

Here are five things that stuck out at me about The Force Awakens trailer, which you can watch at home for free above.

1. The very first person we see is black

The original Star Wars trilogy only had one black character of any significance: Lando Calrissian. And while some may see Lando as a positive role model in the realm of science fiction/fantasy, let’s face it: In the first film in which he appears — Empire Strikes Back — audiences were left seeing him as a traitor who sold out his old buddy Han to Darth Vader/Boba Fett/Jabba the Hutt. Only in the next film do we see Lando as a hero who helps destroy the second Death Star. The next major black character didn’t show up until Sam Jackson was cast as Jedi Knight Mace Windu for The Phantom Menance — a character who I should note was intended to be in the original trilogy but got scrapped along the way.

This might seem like a minor point, but Star Wars movies have traditionally opened with a shot of a passing ship, while the first characters we see are often droids. Starting this trailer with a black actor on what’s clearly Luke Skywalker’s home planet of Tatooine is a big statement in the Star Wars movie universe.

2. Those X-Wings look awesome

That squad of seemingly souped-up X-Wings we see skimming the water’s surface at high-speed? I don’t have anything of eloquence to say about them other than yeah, those look really cool. Expect director J.J. Abrams to bring to Star Wars space battles what he brought to those in Star Trek: Bigger and way more intense.

3. That 3-bladed red lightsaber

We see some shadowy, very evil Sith-looking figure in a dark forest — who then switches on his very evil Sith-looking red lightsaber, only for it to have two shorter energy beams pouring out the hilt, a design we’ve never seen before. My first thought was maybe this very evil Sith is using some supercharged, possibly unstable crystal to power his lightsaber — a very evil Sith thing to do.

But then I realized the tiny blades sticking out the sides make the new lightsaber look more like a longsword. Those pack a handguard just on top of the hilt, convenient for avoiding getting your fighting hand chopped off — a fate that’s befallen far too many Jedi and Sith before somebody finally figured out how to stop it.

4. The Millennium Falcon returns

The last sequence we see is Han Solo’s Millennium Falcon zipping along the desert of what again is presumably Tatooine and getting shot at by TIE fighters. The audience in my theater burst into cheers at the sight of it — proving that hey, maybe she is much to look at after all. Can the Falcon do the Kessel Run in less than eleven parsecs now? Who knows!

5. The voiceover.

The voiceover — is that Max von Sydow? — gives us just a little more insight into the movie’s plot. It sounds like the film’s title is very literal: There’s been an awakening in the Force, both on the light side and the dark side — so it’s a safe bet we’re going to see some very good Jedi-on-Sith action come next December.

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Watch the Star Wars Trailer Everyone Was Waiting For

"There has been an awakening. Have you felt it?"

The trailer was shown in 30 US cinemas on Friday as well as being released on iTunes.Director JJ Abrams tweeted that the teaser will contain just “a tiny peek at what we’re working on”. The film will hit theaters December 2015.

It is set 30 years after the death of Darth Vader and the fall of the Empire. The film stars John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Max von Sydow, Lupita Nyong’o and Gwendoline Christie. Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill reprise their original roles.

The trailer concludes with the narrator saying:

“The dark side, and the light”


7 Things We’d Like to See From the New Star Wars Trailer

Our ultra-idealistic Star Wars trailer Top VII ultimate wish list

This is how crazily anticipated Star Wars: Episode VII is: On Friday morning, an Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Austin is screening the new teaser trailer not just before every movie, but also in a separate stand alone screening where it will play 17 times in a row. Each screening will be followed by two minutes of discussion by a panel of Star Wars experts who will go into increasingly detailed minutia analysis about what’s on the screen during those precious 88 seconds. Joked EW’s Darren Franich: “Dear God, I hope it’s just one long shot of the Millennium Falcon.”

You never know — director J.J. Abrams’ first teaser for the Star Trek reboot just showed the USS Enterprise. Darren will do a deep-dive analysis of the trailer on Friday that you won’t want to miss, but in the meantime, let’s hope the teaser trailer is more trailer than teaser; a montage of mind-blowing Star Wars childhood-reawakening jaw-drop-into-popcorn moments instead of singularly focused on one scene. Below is our ultra-idealistic Star Wars trailer Top VII ultimate wish list. This is entirely too much to ask from an 88-second teaser, yet it’s also what the eventual first full trailer, and even the film itself, will hopefully pull off.

From least to most important (and there are no spoilers here from the purported leaks):

7. A compelling story hook: Remember that sinking feeling at the start of The Phantom Menace when you realized that this is the tale of a trade dispute, like you were watching some intergalactic version of C-SPAN? This is just a teaser, so exposition isn’t necessary, but it would be great to get a sense of at least one story beat that feels urgent and suggests a tale that we will really care about.

5. Level-up space battle / The Force action: Every Star Wars film has attempted to raise the bar for ship fights. We’d love a shot that gives us a feel of the intensity and scope of outer-space action in the new film. Similarly, the film is called The Force Awakens —fans of the Star Wars animated series and the expanded universe of books know there are creative uses of The Force that the films never employed (Vadar turning background objects into weapons during his battle with Luke in Empire Strikes Back is an example of the potential of Force powers during combat that was never much expanded on). We’d love to see a cool use of the Force that takes us by surprise.

4. The perfect tone: Not too light, not too dark (well, too dark would be okay, but we suspect Episode VII won’t be that). And not too dry, yet not too funny. Ideally: That serious-yet-playful Empire Strikes Back tone.

3. No Jar Jars: Jar Jar Binks was only in The Phantom Menace trailer for a second, yet it’s almost impossible to overstate how much his character imploded the film. Beyond Jar Jar, the prequels were stuffed with paperweight cartoonish CGI aliens. Yet the original films had some creatures made with traditional practical effects that, let’s face it, would seem too dated if they showed up today. The challenge for VII is including aliens that feel convincing, very present, and even a little scary, in order to recapture the original trilogy’s sense of wonder.

2. Compelling first look at some new characters: Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, Lupita Nyong’o, Oscar Isaac, Gwendoline Christie — they’re the new hope. The franchise is dead unless it can engage fans with fresh characters that feel like they’re a part of theStar Wars universe and can rival, at least on some level, the original trio.

1. Han, Luke and Leia still feeling like Han, Luke and Leia. They won’t look the same, but can they feel the same? The biggest question facing the film is whether Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher can convincingly slip back into their iconic roles 30 years later without the audience feeling “Behold the ravages of age!” / Kingdom of the Crystal Skull despair. The characters need to be familiar, yet not act light years younger then they really are. It’s such a tricky balance, because what 60 year old behaves remotely like they did when they were 30? Yet if Han/Luke/Leia have matured too much, they’ll feel entirely different.

Here’s a full list of theaters where the trailer will play. Until tomorrow, enjoy this fake fan-made trailer that’s most impressive:

This article originally appeared on ew.com

TIME movies

Watch a Supercut Trailer Featuring All the Star Wars ‘Episodes’ So Far

Episode VII will be called The Force Awakens

The teaser for the long awaited Episode VII is showing in select theaters this Friday, according to the official Star Wars website. But for fans need something to tide them over, here is a supercut of the trailers for Episodes 1-6, complete with shots of 3CPO, R2D2, Princess Leia, Luke, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Obi Wan and, of course, Jabba the Hutt.

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