Posts Tagged ‘episode vii’

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Source for text: ScreenRant.Com.

In the massive universe that encompasses all things Star Wars, one never really knows what they’ll see. Aside from the films, Star Wars has made its mark on practically every sort of marketing imaginable. So many product tie-ins have been created over the years, that many of us have forgotten how Star Wars products aren’t always cool video games on next-gen consoles or collectible figurines – for example, who among you remembers the C-3PO tape dispenser?

In other words, when it comes to Star Wars, anything is fair game. Recently however, we’ve seen product placement linked with unseen imagery or new characters from the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. Some adverts like the one for Duracell batteries have even been accused of revealing too much and subsequently agitating some of the film’s more die-hard fanbase.

The most recent entry to The Force Awakens product tie-in is for UK based telecommunications company O2. They’ve just released a new commercial that meshes old with new.

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The ad follows iconic droid duo C-3P0 and R2-D2 as they try to find their way in a deserted landscape that may or may not be Jakku. As they bumble along, the viewer learns that they’re late for a meeting – that meeting being with The Force Awakens’ newest droid, BB-8. Their encounter ends just as R2D2 lays the blame for their tardiness on C-3P0 and BB-8 commences what is sure to be a holographic projection of something of apparent great importance.

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Star Wars fans in the United Kingdom will be able to see The Force Awakens a full day before its American fanbase does, and O2’s advertising campaign highlights the opportunity for UK fans to win tickets to the film’s London premiere on December 16.  Fans can do so either by entering online or through their priority app.

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Of course, the big question here is what exactly is in that projection from BB-8? Perhaps all will be clear once the film is released or perhaps it’s simply an advertising gimmick designed to help build anticipation for the film. Whatever the case, it’s an early treat to see the likes of C-3PO and R2-D2 bickering at one another once again and the interaction with BB-8 bolsters ongoing hopes that The Force Awakens will seamlessly mesh the familiar with the new.

Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens hits theaters on December 18th, 2015, followed by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on December 16th, 2016, Star Wars: Episode VIII on May 26th, 2017, and the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25th, 2018. Star Wars: Episode IX is expected to reach theaters in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.

Source: O2.

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Source text: http://screenrant.com/. Check it out all my gif collection just clicking here.

The world premiere of the third and final full-length Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens trailer is finally here along with your chance to buy opening weekend movie tickets! In this latest teaser, each of the new protagonists gets a line of dialogue to go with brief clips of their origins, hinting at how they cross paths in the saga’s next installment. If you do not watch yet, this is your chance, or watch again from Star Wars Channel on YouTube:

Below is a (mostly) chronological trailer breakdown of the characters, locations, and action set pieces highlighted in the latest Star Wars 7 trailer. Spoiler Warning: We pull in information from various reports and rumors to explain the scenes and piece the threads together. If you read ahead, do so knowing that you will be spoiled.

1) Rey’s Origins on Jakku

“I’m no one.” – Rey

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Rey (Daisy Ridley)’s Jakku Workshop

Rey’s a scavenger and an explorer, like many among the small population inhabiting the outer rim desert planet of Jakku. Her situation mirrors that of Anakin Skywalker’s on Tattooine in Episode I and Luke Skywalker’s on Tatooine in Episode IV.

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Rey’s Explorer Costume

Rey is suited up in her gear, staff included, scaling the innards of Star Destroyer. This ship is the “Inflictor” and its Imperial captain crashed it on Jakku during a skirmish in orbit that took place a year after the Battle of Endor (Return of the Jedi) to prevent New Republic forces from capturing it. It’s been 30 years since this event and we can see familiar tech in the hangar bay, from the wing panels of Tie Fighters to a Lambda-class T-4a shuttle.

Rey seemingly longs to leave this planet, again mirroring the story arcs of both Anakin and Luke, and is seen watching a starship enter orbit in the distance. Is all of this foreshadowing her journey to becoming a Jedi? Or is the imagery simply playing with our nostalgia?

2) What does Finn fight for?

“I was raised to do one thing. I’ve got nothing to fight for.” – Finn

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Finn joins the Resistance

Finn has a mysterious past, one he wishes to distance himself from, and according to director J.J. Abrams he has an intentionally withheld last name for reasons unknown. Finn’s a fighter, a soldier, and trained to serve The First Order as a Stormtrooper but he’s inherently a good person. The trailer depicts his Tie Fighter being hit by what could be a missile of sorts, which sends the craft hurling down to the planet Jakku where he survives and locates a settlement known as Cratertown. Here he meets Rey and her droid BB-8.

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Finn’s Tie Fighter crash lands on Jakku

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Finn finds Jakku’s Cratertown

We can only assume this sequence follows the clips from previous trailers where a rogue Tie Fighter is seeing blasting away vehicles and Stormtroopers inside the hangar of a First Order Star Destroyer.

Later we see Finn alongside Rey on the Millenium Falcon, learning of the legend of the Jedi from Han Solo, and eventually Finn buddies up with Resistance pilot Poe Dameron. Most importantly, Luke’s old blue lightsaber is used by Finn who stands up to Kylo Ren. More on that later…

3) Kylo Ren and his Knights

“Nothing will stand in our way. I will finish what you started.” – Kylo Ren

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Kylo Ren’s Helmet

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Darth Vader’s Helmet

Kylo Ren’s real name and heritage remain unknown but his identity, much like his unique weapon and mask, we know is crafted by him. The name “Ren” comes from the character’s association with the Knights of Ren – a group that relishes in Sith artifacts and history. Kylo’s helmet is a nod to Darth Vader which explains him having possession of Vader’s burned remains.

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Kylo Ren observes the Starkiller?

In this trailer, Kylo Ren stands tall at a view port of either a First Order ship – potentially his shuttle seen landing later in the trailer – or a command tower on The First Order’s Starkiller base, promising to fulfill the legacy of Darth Vader. A bright light floods the backdrop, possibly a projectile moving from right to left from The First Order’s new super weapon. More on that later. After we see Kylo Ren torturing Resistance pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) there’s a quick shot of a forest being completely annihilated. Is this a result of the Starkiller?

A notable highlight here is the shot (below) of Kylo standing with similarly dressed commandos, perhaps the Knights of Ren, or elite First Order soldiers. There are exactly seven in total and we’ve heard the number “seven” is significant.

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Knights of Ren?

4) A Hero’s Journey

“It’s true. All of it. The dark side, the Jedi, they’re real.” – Han Solo

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Han Solo educates Finn & Rey

The Jedi are legends, a myth some don’t believe. Han Solo explains to Finn and Rey the truth when they meet up and escape First Order Tie Fighters by flying the Millennium Falcon through the ISD Inflictor wreckage on Jakku. All signs point to them having found Luke’s lightsaber and now they’re on a quest to locate him. That explains the conversation over a star map before they blast into hyperspace. Rumors over the months indicate that no one’s seen Luke in many years.

Where they go next is unclear but from leaked toy descriptions and the imagery of the place they go to in the trailer it could be the green and lush planet Takodana where we might meet a new protocol droid ME-8D9 (nicknamed “Emmie” for short). According to rumors and reports it is here where Han Solo seeks the wisdom of Maz Kanata (Lupita Nyong’o’s CGI character) and the group heads into her castle where they learn of the history of Luke and his blue lightsaber, and how it could be connected to both Kylo Ren and Rey.

The tree-heavy environments here are similar to that of the Resistance’s base so it could be the same planet as that. This also seems to be the same location where the First Order invasion force is seen (Tie Fighters and troop transports). If so, this “castle” as it’s referred to as in rumors seems to be blown to bits (compare the architecture in above and below images) and that’s when the X-Wings come in to fight off the First Order forces.

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X-Wings approach the ruins of Maz’s Castle? X-Wings engage First Order forces

5) X-Wing Squadrons

This isn’t the only time we’ll see Poe Dameron and his fellow pilots engage First Order fighter squadrons. The final set piece seems to be against The First Order’s Starkiller base which is described on the official Star Wars Databank website to be an “ice planet converted into a stronghold… and armed with a fiercely destructive new weapon capable of destroying entire star systems.”

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BB-8 is Poe Dameron’s Astromech and the Starkiller base trench

This new super weapon was a topic of discussion yesterday when it appeared on the new Star Wars 7 poster in the shape of a new Death Star but thanks to this trailer we can confirm that yes, the ice planet is actually the weapon. Note the background of these snow planet shots revealing a large trench which matches the design of the super weapon featured in the latest Star Wars 7 poster (see below). The planet itself, is the super weapon.

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6) Other Questions

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 Finn faces off against Kylo Ren. Is Finn force-sensitive and that is Luke’s first lightsaber? How did Finn get it?

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Poe Dameron is captured by Kylo Ren and interrogated. How is he freed? What does Kylo learn?

Similarly, in this shot below, our heroes are seemingly captured after Maz’s Castle explodes? Where is Rey?

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Han, Chewie & Finn surrender? Rey crying. Does Rey lose someone close? Who?

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Leia and Han together again

In this next shot, Leia and Han share an emotional moment. Have they also lost someone? Is The First Order defeating them? Is Han Solo going on a suicide mission? Have they not seen each other in ages? From the Resistance pilots seen in the background, they seem to be preparing for one of the film’s major battles.

Official plot details remain as scarce as appearances by the legendary Luke Skywalker who may end up not being promoted at all in the marketing materials. And that’s okay. The more mystery the better.

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Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens is directed by J.J. Abrams and stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Max Von Sydow. Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk are producing with Tommy Harper and Jason McGatlin serving as executive producers. The screenplay is by Lawrence Kasdan & J.J. Abrams and Michael Arndt.

Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens hits theaters on December 18th, 2015, followed by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on December 16th, 2016, Star Wars: Episode VIII on May 26th, 2017, and the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25th, 2018. Star Wars: Episode IX is expected to reach theaters in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.untitled-10untitled-13

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The droid you’ve been looking for

In a perfect marriage of movie marketing and consumer robotics, Star Wars fans can today buy their own BB-8 droid they can control with a smartphone or tablet

With just over three months to go until Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters (at the time of writing this), Disney and Lucasfilm are getting ready to commence the next wave of marketing for their highly-anticipated tentpole. The arrival of “Force Friday” on September 4 essentially marks the official beginning of this, as all of the tie-in merchandise (ranging from books to Hasbro action figures) will hit shelves. The event was such a monumental occasion that Lucasfilm hosted a global unboxing event today, debuting all kinds of toys and collectables ahead of the big day. And not only will these items make a fine addition to any Star Wars fan’s collection, they may even have some clues pertaining to the film’s elusive plot.

First up is the new astromech droid BB-8, who is poised to become one of the saga’s most marketable new characters. The adorable little soccer ball robot has already made a tremendous impression with moviegoers, as he was created and operates practically. Now those who want to have their own BB-8 can have that chance, thanks to the toy company Sphero. Watch the commercial for their interactive BB-8 toy below:

Just like the droid that features in the trailer for Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens, this BB-8 is made up of two parts. His body is a rolling ball while his head stays upright while staying attached to the spinning body below.

sphero_bb8This is not just a case of a toy company cashing in on movie merchandise. Star Wars producer Kathleen Kennedy says Sphero, which has a range of app-controlled robots including the ball Sphero, was “the company that helps us discover the technology” of making a working BB-8 droid for the Star Wars movie launch. Sphero has been teasing the release of its BB-8 droid for weeks with a cut-out image on its website promising “this is the droid you’ve been looking for”.

This BB-8 toy is quite the technological achievement, as consumers will be able to sync it up with their mobile device to give it commands, move around, and even record holographic messages. The Star Wars movies were always ones to push the boundaries in technology, so it’s fitting to see their toy line follow suit.

Like the original Sphero, BB-8 can be controlled with an iOS or Android app. But being a Star Wars robot, BB-8 has extra features, including a hologram feature in the app so that if you look at your smartphone you can see the palm-sized robot project a 3D message. If you’ve ever wanted to recreate the famous “help me Obi-Wan Kanobi, you’re my only hope” message, this is your chance. The head of the robot attaches to the body with magnets. The head generally sits on top of the droid, but steer BB-8 under low furniture and the head will slide down the body of the robot as the droid keeps moving.

From Sphero’s official production description: “Meet BB-8 – the app-enabled Droid that’s as authentic as it is advanced. BB-8 has something unlike any other robot – an adaptive personality that changes as you play. Based on your interactions, BB-8 will show a range of expressions and even perk up when you give voice commands. Set it to patrol and watch your Droid explore autonomously, make up your own adventure and guide BB-8 yourself, or create and view holographic recordings.”

Details on the BB-8’s functionality:

  • Bluetooth Smart
  • App-Enabled
  • 60 Minute Battery Life
  • Inductive Charging
  • Gyroscopic Propulsion
  • 30m Range

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Beyond the toy’s movie-realistic appearance and emotive design (example: BB-8 looks around when sitting on his charging stand), sensors help the droid navigate and react to its environment, even remembering the location of stationary objects. Sphero’s BB-8 is on sale now from retailers including JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman for $249.95. Source: ScreenRant.Com, News.Com.

The Hasbro BB-8 version

target_BB_8It’s also worth nothing that in addition to Sphero’s app-controlled BB-8, Target is also selling a lower-cost traditional remote controlled BB-8 from Hasbro (shown in the video below) – which lacks many of the features that make the Sphero model so desirable. That’s not to say that the Target BB-8 isn’t worth the $79.99 the retailer is charging; yet, buyers should be aware of which version they’re out to buy, and how much they’re willing to spend to get their BB-8 fix, so as not to get the wrong version.

BB-8, a very short history

“They never cease to amaze me with what they’re able to come up with, you know? I said, ‘How are you ever gonna top R2-D2, the most adorable droid in movie history?'”
― Mark Hamill on BB-8

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BB-8 was an astromech droid who operated approximately thirty years after the Battle of Endor. The droid was at one point operating in the desert of the planet Jakku. It had a domed head, similar to that of R2 series astromech droids, with the bulk of its body made up of a ball that the droid rolled on. BB-8 was mostly white, with some silver and orange on its body, as well as a black eye-piece. The droid belonged to Resistance pilot Poe Dameron, and thus was able to fit into a T-70 X-wing fighter’s droid socket.

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rey_bb8BB-8 was first revealed in the first teaser trailer for Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens on November 28, 2014. Its name was revealed by Entertainment Weekly in an exclusive trading card. The character was realized by the Pinewood Studios creature shop as a practical, functioning robot. BB-8’s name was chosen by Episode VII director J.J. Abrams because of the droid’s round and bouncy look. Abrams is also quoted with saying, “I named him BB-8 because it was almost onomatopoeia. It was sort of how he looked to me, with the 8, obviously, and then the two B’s”. The name was conceived early on in Episode VII‘s production and was one of the few to never be changed. Source: Wookiepedia.

How BB-8 works?

“There were a lot of discussions about how having a CG BB-8 would be so much easier, but we also knew it would be better for the film, for the actors, for the sets, for the look of it, if it were performed.”
– J.J. Abrams

BB-8 has a ball shaped body and a domed head that resembles that of the R2 series droids, whose most popular unit is R2-D2 but BB-8’s body rolls independently from the head, which always stays near the vertical axis of the droid. Like the R2 series, BB-8 also fits in the droid socket of an X-Wing starfighter. Specifically the T-70 x-Wing fighter model used by the Resistance thirty years after the Battle of Endor.

Director J.J. Abrams went old school during production of The Force Awakens. The original trilogy, which mainly used real sets and props, had a special vibe that was missing in the prequel trilogy. Abrams wanted Episode VII to feel organic and tactile, closer in spirit to the original movies. To achieve that, they used as many practical effects as possible, and BB-8 was no exception.

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The idea of a rolling robot was cool but complex. How do you bring alive a droid like that? CGI would have been the logical choice, but J.J. wanted a real prop. The Pinewood Studios’ Creature Shop took on the challenge and eventually succeeded at building and puppeteering BB-8 in the film.

So, how does BB-8 work? What kind of black magic powers it? Well, what we know for sure is that it’s not driven by a hamster as some theories suggest. The closest thing out there is the Sphero ball, and turns out that Sphero was one of ten start-ups funded by Disney’s first accelerator program in 2014. Disney CEO Bob Iger himself was Sphero’s mentor inside the company. When he learnt about the filmmakers trying to build a rolling droid, he knew the right people for the job.

BB-8 and the Sphero are likely to share a very similar internal mechanism. As a matter of fact, some DIYers have alredy customized their Sphero balls to make them look like BB-8. The RC robotic ball uses a gyroscope to determine which way is down and two wheels to move the sphere from inside. The base plate (batteries included) serves as a counterweight to keep the wheels acting against the lower half of the sphere. There’s also a vertical bearing that helps to keep the wheels in contact with the walls.

But what about the floating head? Because that’s actually the jaw-dropping part. Here’s where all the pieces come together. There is a patent by Disney’s Imagineering R&D group that sheds some light on the head mechanism. Surprisingly, the patent was filed in 2010, two years before Disney acquired Lucasfilm and four years before they invested in Sphero. Looks like they were into rolling droids before anyone suspected. Click on the image to enlarge:

3D to show how the inner mechanism of the cutest astromech in the galaxy might look like:

This solution represents the most spread theory on the internet. The first one to sketch it out was Jason Torchinsky. It is the theory that better matches the information from the patent. The motorized arm has a spherical joint that allows it to flex in any direction. The head rotation motor is probably attached to the end of the mast. The head itself is probably very light and has magnetic rollers attached to the base. That would allow it to smoothly roll over the spheric body.

Source: HowBB8Works.Com.

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Watch out, it’s Kylo Ren!

We are only four months of the premiere of Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens in theaters, and a new collection of toys from the new Star Wars movie is coming to stores next Friday, the so-called “Force Friday” (click here to read more).

LEGO released a new commercial where we can see the new droid BB-8, the black X-Wing of Poe Dameron and Kylo Ren with his red lighsaber and his Command Shuttle, and hear the narrator saying “watch out, it’s Kylo Ren!”

Watch the original video on YouTube

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Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens hits theaters on December 18, 2015, followed by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on December 16, 2016, Star Wars: Episode VIII on May 26, 2017, and the Han Solo Star Wars film on May 25, 2018. Star Wars: Episode IX is expected to reach theaters in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars standalone film in 2020.

Source: Screen Rant.

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The Force Awakens Toys and Promo Art Revealed in Hasbro Catalogue

Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens may not open in theaters until December 18th, but that’s no reason to prevent you from buying all the movie’s toys now. Disney, Lucasfilm and Hasbro are celebrating “Force Friday” starting at 12:01 AM Friday, September 4th. At that point, Star Wars fans will be able to visit their favorite store or online retailer in order to get their hands on the next generation of Star Wars toys and memorabilia.

There are some great looks at characters who are new to the franchise, like John Boyega’s Finn, Daisey Ridley’s Rey, Gwendoline Christie’s Captain Phasma, Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren, and Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron. There are also some interesting toys that pop up which feature new looks at redesigned TIE Fighters and X-Wings, or secondary characters like Constable Zuvio.

While you wait until next Friday, you can get an early peek at some of the promotional artwork that will be included on store displays and some merchandise.The artwork, which popped up online recently, features character shots of Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), new heroes like Rey (Daisy Ridley), old favorites like Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), adorable little astromech droid BB-8, and the Stormtroopers of The First Order.

There has been a great deal made of original trilogy cast members Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) being a part of the film, but there has been a distinct lack of these characters on any of the promotional art.

So far, what has been presented is a lot of Kylo Ren, who is the latest in a long line of Star Wars villains. Kylo belongs to The First Order. Rey, meanwhile, is a mysterious new character that has only described as a young female scavenger. She has been shown in the film’s previews, driving her speeder across the deserts of the planet Jakku, dressed in rags with a scarf around her face.

BB-8 is the newest in a line of adorable droids that has already managed to capture the hearts of the fans. BB-8 is an Astromech droid that belongs to Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), and whose ball-like body fits nicely in a T-70 X-wing fighter’s droid socket.

The First Order is one of the most interesting groups to be prominantly displayed on the posters. The faction is said to consist of a military extremist group that is still trying to carry on the mission of the fallen Galactic Empire.

The full line of Star Wars: The Force Awakens merchandise will officially hit stores on Friday, September 4, 2015 – otherwise known as “Force Friday.” The event will begin at 12:01 a.m. on Friday and it’s sure to bring new and old fans alike out in droves.

“Every lightsaber, every action figure, every LEGO set tells a story for generations of Star Wars fans, and this global event is a celebration of those stories. We’re excited to be part of the countdown to this enormous movie moment,” said Josh Silverman, executive vice president, global licensing, Disney Consumer Products.
 

Fans wanting to be the first to get their hands on Star Wars: The Force Awakens merchandise can set their hyperspace and social media coordinates now: They will be able to visit their local retailer starting at midnight on September 4, and are encouraged to document their experience using the hashtags #ForceFriday and #MidnightMadness. A wide-range of products — from toys and collectibles, to books and comics, ebooks and apps, to apparel and lifestyle accessories — will be available at mass retailers and Disney Store locations worldwide, as well as on DisneyStore.Com.

Source text: ScreenRant.Com and ComicBookMovie.Com. Images: Imgur.