TIME movies

New Star Wars Footage Shows Another Lightsaber

It popped up on Instagram today

Star Wars’ official Instagram account on Thursday uploaded new footage from The Force Awakens, taking full advantage of the app’s new change that allows users to upload landscape- and portrait-mode photos and video.

There has been an awakening… #StarWars #TheForceAwakens

A video posted by Star Wars (@starwars) on

The new footage first shows another angle on a scene we’ve already seen in the trailers, wherein a bunch of First Order bad guys are gathered in a Nazi-esque rally.

But the second and third clips are very new: Rey, looking very concerned, with droid newcomer BB-8 in the background. And then there’s the really good stuff: One of the film’s villains, Kylo Ren, activates his controversial three-bladed lightsaber (we’ve seen that), then maybe-bad-guy-turned-good-guy Finn flips on his blue lightsaber (looks like Luke’s!), presumably in defense (that’s new!).

Expect lots more of these little snippets to pop up here and there before the film’s Dec. 18 release.

TIME movies

‘Star Wars’ Will Take Over IMAX Screens for a Month

Fans can see Star Wars: The Force Awakens on the biggest screen everywhere

Star Wars fans have another big reason to get excited for the latest installment.

The upcoming sequel, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, will be in every IMAX screen in North America and in most other countries for the first month of its release. The film is set to come out on Dec. 18.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the latest Star Wars film is expected to open on around 375 to 400 Imax screens domestically and on over 400 screens in foreign countries.

This is not the first time all IMAX screens have been reserved for a single film. THR reports that a similar scenario occurred for the Hobbit movies.


TIME Retail

Disney Is Planning a Mega Event to Unveil the New Star Wars Toys

May the Force Friday be with you

To ensure the marketing force is strong with the much-awaited Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Disney is holding what it calls the world’s first-ever “global live toy unboxing event” on Sept. 4.

The livestreamed event will last over 18 hours, during which time Disney will display a new suite of Star Wars toys in an event dubbed “Force Friday.” It will start off in Sydney on Sept. 3 at 7:45 a.m. local time before rolling through other cities, each the site of the unboxing of a new Star Wars toy by popular toy unboxers, gamers and hardcore fans.

The entire launch schedule can be viewed on Disney’s website.

“Star Wars toys have always played an important role in how our fans interact with the Saga,” Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy said in a company statement. “They’ve inspired multiple generations to relive the experience of the movies and to create new adventures all their own. These spectacular Star Wars: The Force Awakens products will continue that tradition.”

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is expected to be one of the biggest movies of all time, with analysts and industry experts estimating the film could earn as much as $3 billion from the global box office, which would top Avatar as the highest-grossing movie ever. Merchandise sales from toys and apparel linked to the film could also reach $3 billion annually.

The movie will be released in U.S. theaters on Dec. 18.

TIME viral

The Funk Awakens When Daft Punk Meets Star Wars

Dance your helmet off

In this sleek new video, Infectious Designer mashed up Star Wars and Daft Punk — and appropriately titled it, “Darth Punk: The Funk Awakens.”

In the clip, Darth Vader and Boba Fett get EDM makeovers with glittering helmets ready to reflect the lights at Electric Daisy Carnival. They stalk the streets looking for their prey, eventually facing off with a black-clad street tough who shows no fear — even when they pull out their ultimate Wampa Stompa Mix (on cassette) and prepare their dance battle droid.

The video is filled with light sabers and a dance-floor ready soundtrack for those who want to unleash the funk and The Force on the dance floor.

TIME movies

J.J. Abrams Says Nazis Inspired the New Star Wars Villains

Kylo Ren is not a Sith. He's a part of the First Order.

Star Wars devotees are desperate for any new information about the Force Awakens bad guy, Kylo Ren. His mysterious crossbar lightsaber and the absence of the usual “Darth” title associated with Sith Lords have left fans wondering about his background.

Finally, director J.J. Abrams has offered a few (admittedly vague) details about the backstory of Adam Driver’s character. In an interview with Empire magazine, Abrams explained, “Kylo Ren is not a Sith. He works under Supreme Leader Snoke, who is a powerful figure on the Dark Side of the Force.”

Snoke is played via motion-capture by—who else?—Andy Serkis. Astute fans will remember that Serkis lent his voice to the first trailer for the film.

But how, exactly, are Snoke and Ren related to the fallen Empire? It seems that they are part of the First Order, which is not so much a remnant from the Empire as it is an imitator.

“That all came out of conversations about what would have happened if the Nazis all went to Argentina but then started working together again?’” Abrams said in the interview.

“What could be born of that? Could The First Order exist as a group that actually admired The Empire? Could the work of The Empire be seen as unfulfilled? And could Vader be a martyr? Could there be a need to see through what didn’t get done?”


Read next: The Funk Awakens When Daft Punk Meets Star Wars

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TIME viral

True Detective Meets Star Wars in This Mashup

There’s even a side-by-side comparison of the original credits and the new version

True Detective season 2 may have ended last night, but the YouTube channel Star Wars Minute paid tribute to season 1 by blending the mood and music of the original opening credits with scenes from Star Wars.

Dramatic silhouettes of Rust Cohle have been replaced with Boba Fett and the open fields of Louisiana with the canyons of the Death Star, all set to the Handsome Family’s “Far From Any Road.”

There’s even a side-by-side comparison of the original True Detective credits and the new Star Wars version, so you can see all the little details and similarities between Marty Hart and Lobot.

This article originally appeared on EW.com

TIME movies

There’s a Brand New Scene in This Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer

Behold The First Order's troops

In only lasts a second-and-a-half, but there’s one ominous new image in a Star Wars: The Force Awakens international trailer that shows the full might of the villainous group known as The First Order.

Most of the trailer is made up of footage we’ve already seen in previous teasers, but it opens with a wide shot of a snowy, rocky landscape where thousands of stormtroopers and officers are grouped before a stage where a lone figure stands before them. We saw this scene in the second trailer, released in April, but it was from far back in the crowd.

Here we see it from the staging platform, and Gwendoline Christie’s chrome stormtrooper, Captain Phasma, is one of the leaders overlooking the assembly. Beside her appears to be Domhnall Gleason’s General Hux, although it’s difficult to tell from this angle. He could also be the one at center stage, although it seems more likely that this might be Andy Serkis in his performance-capture role of Supreme Leader Snoke.

TIE Fighters with white wings are arrayed around the landing platform, and to the right of the image are what look like stockier, more beetle-like versions of the AT-ATs we saw in The Empire Strikes Back. There also appear to be flat troop convoys to the left and some even larger machinery hulking in the distance.

Director and co-writer J.J. Abrams has told EW he doesn’t want to explain yet just why the Imperial army is now operating under the moniker of The First Order, nor does he wish to say why the Rebel Alliance is now fighting under the title of the Resistance. But a smart bet is that the war we thought was over at the end of Return of the Jedi merely continued on as both sides regrouped over the decades, with the Imperials clearly not hurting for resources or followers.

The name “The First Order” has always conjured another historically disturbing group: The Third Reich. In this case, the red banners emblazoned with the thornier, sprocket-like version of the Imperial crest, as well as the arrangement of the troops at this rally, easily call to mind documentarian Leni Reifenstahl’s notorious 1935 Nazi propaganda film Triumph of the Will, which terrified the world with its depiction of the cult-like dedication to Hitler and his war machine.

There are few more chilling film references to drop.

This article originally appeared on EW.com.

TIME Video Games

Watch the New Trailer for the Most Anticipated Star Wars Game in Years

Star Wars: Battlefront will have an insane ship-to-ship combat mode

As if the wait for Star Wars: Battlefront couldn’t get any more intense, along comes a trailer showing a new thrilling gameplay mode: Fighter Squadron.

In the upcoming game, you’ll have the opportunity to pilot some of the most iconic Star Wars ships and take to the skies in 20-player aerial dogfights with your friends, parents and that little kid across the street who annoys you all the time.

At Electronic Arts’ press conference during this year’s Gamescom trade conference, the publisher unveiled a trailer for the Fighter Squadron mode that will give gamers the chance to pilot X-Wings, A-Wings, TIE fighters, and even the Millennium Falcon itself. In addition to the 20 player-controlled ships in each battle, the game will allow for up to 20 AI-piloted ships, making for 40 vs. 40 ship-to-ship melees.

“Visually, it’s extremely exhilarating. The sky is crawling of enemy ships, and you see sparks and explosions from ships about to be taken down. On top of that, you’ve got this great music, sound design, and gameplay, making the whole thing feel like an authentic Star Wars dogfight,” said associate designer Peter Forman in a statement on the game’s website.

This comes after EA and developer DICE recently revealed Blast, another game mode that introduces close-combat, Jedi-like fighting in 10 versus 10 team deathmatches between Imperial and Rebel forces.

The game is expected to be one of the biggest titles of 2015, with EA CFO Blake Jorgensen saying in a recent earnings call that the company is expecting to sell at least 9 to 10 million units in the next fiscal year alone. That would put it in competition with this year’s current leader, Mortal Kombat X, and will be comparable to last year’s top-selling video game Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, which moved close to 6 million copies, according to MSN.

Star Wars: Battlefront will be released for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on November 17th.

TIME Star Wars

Here’s How Much Money the New ‘Star Wars’ Movie Could Make

at Day One of Disney's 2015 Star Wars Celebration held at the Anaheim Convention Center on April 16, 2015 in Anaheim, California.
Albert L. Ortega—2015 Albert L. Ortega The new Millennium Falcon on display inside the ‘Star Wars The Force Awakens Exhibit’ at Day One of Disney's 2015 Star Wars Celebration held at the Anaheim Convention Center on April 16, 2015.

It could come second only to ‘Avatar’ in terms of box office success

The new Star Wars film, due for release this December, is expected to make around $2.2 billion globally, according to a Wall Street analyst.

The analyst at the investment firm Stifel Nicolaus recently raised his price target on Disney shares to $130, according to CNBC. The film, “Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens,” will capitalize on the increasing popularity of 3D and IMAX screens in the United States, and increasing interest in movie theaters abroad, the analyst said.

Despite flagging American interest in going to the movies, global box office sales are expected to be buoyed by Chinese moviegoers. According to the Stifel analyst, China could account for one-fifth of revenues for the Star Wars film. In the five years ending 2014, Chinese box office revenue grew 427%.

If analysts are correct, the movie could earn a spot on the list of top-grossing movies of all time. It could even surpass “Jurassic World,” which made more than $1.5 billion worldwide. At $2.2 billion in revenues, the Star Wars film would come second only to “Avatar” (2009), which grossed close to $2.8 billion thanks to record international interest.

TIME uniqlo

Uniqlo Aims For Bigger China Gains With New Disney Deal

General Economy Images In Beijing
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images Pedestrians walk past a Uniqlo store in Beijing, China.

A new partnership extends Uniqlo and Disney's relationship with Star Wars, Avengers, and Frozen merchandise

Uniqlo, the Japanese clothing retail known for its affordable basics, is doubling down on Disney.

The apparel seller started selling shirts depicting Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse in 2009. On Monday, Uniqlo announced a new partnership with Disney that will extend its collaboration with the entertainment conglomerate, a move that’s aimed at deepening the apparel company’s presence in China.

For the joint partnership, known as Magic for All, the companies will design apparel, accessories, and plush toys featuring popular characters from Star Wars, Pixar’s Toy Story, Marvel’s Avengers, and Disney’s Frozen.

Tadashi Yanai, founder of Uniqlo parent Fast Retailing, told The Wall Street Journal that he hopes the Disney collaboration will further boost sales in China, where growth is essential for Uniqlo. The clothing company has struggled in the United States of late, and while it has performed well in its home country of Japan, the nation’s shrinking, aging population have dimmed its long-term prospects there.

“Our Chinese business is trending very smoothly,” Yanai told the Journal. The company’s versatile mix-and-match clothing seems to resonate with young Chinese workers. The retailer already operates 370 stores in mainland China; it plans to add 100 more annually for the near future.

The company’s new partnership with Disney will be worldwide, but will have a special focus on China. Uniqlo’s largest store worldwide in Shanghai will dedicate an entire floor to the Disney merchandise.

“The Walt Disney Company prides itself on delivering magical experiences to fans of all ages; whether it’s at the movies, retail, our theme parks or at home,” Paul Candland, President, The Walt Disney Company Asia, said in a statement. “Uniqlo shares our passion for storytelling and we look forward to expanding our global collaboration creating unique experiences for fans to immerse themselves in the Disney, Marvel, Star Wars and Pixar brands.”

Uniqlo has maintained its optimism for the Chinese market despite criticism of labor practices at its supplier factories there and a recent scandal over a sex video allegedly recorded in a Beijing store fitting room.

Yanai told the Journal that the video was disgusting: “This is the last thing we would have anticipated happening in our store,” he said.

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