In only a matter of weeks, Disney and Lucasfilm will release Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, the continuation of the Skywalker family saga that revolves around a new generation of heroes and villains. As fans eagerly await its theatrical premiere, the studio is increasing their marketing efforts tenfold, putting out television ads, showing off new character banners, and launching an interactive partnership with Google.
The blitz continues this week, when Empire comes out with their big Force Awakens issue on November 26. The magazine has steadily been teasing moviegoers with new images of characters such as Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie). Now, they've shared six visually-stunning covers that fans will surely want to collect.
The covers feature Kylo Ren, Captain Phasma, Rey (Daisy Ridley) and BB-8, Finn (John Boyega), Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), and Han Solo (Harrison Ford) with his trusty pal Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew). They are uniquely designed to fit whichever character is being highlighted. For example, Phasma is standing in front of a legion of stormtroopers, while Poe Dameron is with an X-wing fleet.
Check out the Empire covers below:
It's nice to see Captain Phasma be included in the group of covers. Kylo Ren has essentially been the poster boy for the Dark Side during the marketing campaign, with only glimpses of Phasma present in the trailers and TV spots. The size of Phasma's role in the film is still a mystery, but with Empire highlighting her on a cover and teasing an in-depth interview with Christie, she could be a prominent player. Since she's the first female Star Wars villain, one would hope Phasma isn't shortchanged as director J.J. Abrams sets up all the new characters for the sequel trilogy.
Han and Chewie are the only original trilogy characters to get a cover, which isn't shocking considering that Solo is identified as one of the movie's leads. Some may be surprised that General Leia (Carrie Fisher) isn't featured in the series, since Leia is a key part in this latest wave of advertising. It's just the latest way Lucasfilm is illustrating that The Force Awakens is more about the new characters than reliving past memories with the veterans. The studio has made sure the youngsters have been at the forefront since the beginning, and the strategy seems to have paid off, if the latest pre-release ticket sales are any indication.
What Empire has shared so far only scratches the surface of their special Force Awakens issue. Interviews with Abrams, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, and most of the cast will provide "revealing insights," so fans will definitely be interested in reading the magazine to discover more scintillating clues concerning the film.
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.