Even though Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens doesn't hit theaters for another couple of weeks, a number of its elements have already been ingrained in the pop culture zeitgeist. Arguably one of the most recognizable characters in Star Wars lore already is BB-8, the adorable soccer ball droid who's become a quick fan-favorite and must-have holiday gift.
As difficult as this may be to believe, not all moviegoers are familiar with the various characters that will populate the galaxy far, far away in J.J. Abrams' film. Recently, Disney has aired promos focusing on the new heroes such as Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Finn (John Boyega). Now, it's BB-8's turn to get his own spot so more people know who he is when the movie is released.
The clip runs for just 45 seconds (and obviously geared towards the younger side of the Star Wars target audience), but it still has some new morsels for fans to check out. Viewers learn through a new line of dialogue that BB-8's origin is "classified," suggesting that he's not just a random droid that Rey stumble across on Jakku. It's previously been rumored that the droid belongs to Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), so it sounds like he's Resistance property.
The promo also reiterates that BB-8 is a "brave" droid who is "very important" to a mission (which original Star Wars droid R2-D2 takes exception to). The rumor mill has suggested that it's BB-8 who holds the MacGuffin of The Force Awakens: Luke Skywalker's (Mark Hamill) original lightsaber, a weapon Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is searching for. It would appear that BB-8 will serve a role similar to R2 in A New Hope, possessing a valuable item that both sides of the conflict are after. It's becoming clear he's more than just a cute face.
In addition, Lucasfilm has unveiled a Chinese poster for The Force Awakens, which is pictured above. It's very similar to the domestic theatrical poster that debuted in October, but there are some alterations. Characters like Poe Dameron, Maz Kanata (Lupita Nyong'o), and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) are all absent, despite being showcased on the American version. Their removal is somewhat curious, since so much of the Chinese poster replicates the one from the States. Smaller revisions include Kylo Ren striking a different pose and BB-8 being more prominently featured in the center of the poster.
The one-sheet was revealed in conjunction with the announcement that the film will be released in Chinese theaters beginning on January 9, 2016 (note the gold "2016" at the top of the poster). While everyone is excited for the Force Awakens premiere, it's a shame all markets will not be receiving Star Wars 7 simultaneously. Guarding the movie's major secrets has been a vital part of the marketing campaign, to the point where the official tie-in novel has been pushed back. It's just the unfortunate nature of the business this is the case.
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: Walt Disney Pictures