In a little over two weeks, the galaxy far, far away will make its return to the big screen when J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens finally hits theaters. Even though the movie has already grossed $50 million from advanced ticket sales alone, the Disney marketing machine is not resting on its laurels as the premiere draws near. The studio is releasing new television spots seemingly every other day, and recently unveiled retro design posters to capture the nostalgia many have for the brand.
The marketing blitz continues with the debut of new images from the film, highlighting several of the principal heroes and villains that have been heavily featured throughout the advertising campaign, including evildoer Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and the scruffy-looking smuggler Han Solo (Harrison Ford).
For their latest issue, Rolling Stone magazine had a substantial write-up on the process to make The Force Awakens a reality. It was here they shared new pictures from the movie, which you can see below:
For the most part, the images are different angles of scenes that viewers have previously seen in the various previews. The most eye-catching one is arguably Kylo Ren with Vader's helmet, bridging the gap between two generations of villainry. Abrams has stated that Kylo is obsessed with Vader, modeling his appearance and philosophy after the Sith Lord. It will be interesting to see how Kylo acquires the helmet, since it was last seen being burned at Vader's funeral in Return of the Jedi.
Speaking of Abrams, he recently expressed relief at the proposition of completing The Force Awakens and sharing it with the world. When something as huge as Star Wars is involved, it's a massive undertaking that could stress out even the most experienced director. But all throughout the production, Abrams' spirits remained high and he never let the pressure get to him. Says Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy:
"I've never seen him yell at anybody or lose his cool. [Abrams] is a fountain of ideas, nonstop. In fact, it usually exhausts everybody else around him. He's endlessly curious, and he wants to try things, and then you finally have to say, 'All right, we're running out of time, you have to make a decision!'"
Abrams has been open about how helpful collaborators like Simon Pegg and Harrison Ford were in aiding him to make decisions while he ironed out the details of the story. And while it was great to have the cast and crew there to act as sounding boards for ideas, Ford insists that Abrams deserves a lion's share of the credit for putting everything together:
"Nine times out of 10, J.J. was dead-on with it. "You know, it doesn't feel right in your mouth, and you try a couple of other things, and then you say, 'You know what? You're right.' And 'Chewie, we're home' is manifestly better than 'We're home, Chewie,' or a couple of the other options that I tried."
As a huge fan of the series, Abrams understands as well as anybody how important and substantial Star Wars 7 is. Not only is it the first franchise installment in 10 years, it is also kicking off a new era where Disney will release a Star Wars film every year if things go according to plan. Based on what everyone has said in the months leading up to Episode VII's long-awaited premiere, the galaxy is in strong hands for the comeback.
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: Rolling Stone