As one would expect, 2015 has essentially been a year-long party for Lucasfilm and Star Wars fans. With J.J. Abrams’ hotly-anticipated Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens hitting theaters in December, the galaxy far, far away has had a major presence in pop culture – with events like Star Wars Celebration, San Diego Comic-Con, and the D23 Expo being used to promote the film.
The next big Star Wars occasion will be “Force Friday” on September 4, when all of the movie tie-in merchandise will hit shelves for consumers (officially, that is…). In preparation, Hasbro has already released a product catalog showing all their new toys, and now Toys ‘R’ Us is promoting Force Friday with an exclusive limited-supply poster that fans will be able to get at stores when they go shopping on September 4.
The one-sheet was revealed in a tweet by @StarWarsJunk, and features the film’s trio of young heroes Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac). Obviously, it’s not as visually striking as the Drew Struzan print that was handed out at D23, but it’s still a nice collectible for fans (particularly youngsters) looking for something cool to put on their wall:
As you’ll notice, Finn is once again wielding Luke Skywalker’s old blue lightsaber from The Empire Strikes Back. Many of the marketing materials released in the past couple of weeks (including the D23 poster and the Instagram teaser) have made a point to show the former stormtrooper with the weapon, indicating that Finn is Force sensitive or will undergo some form of Jedi training. Of course, this is J.J. Abrams we’re talking about, so it’s a possibility that this is the latest instance of his sneaky misdirection (John Harrison, never forget) to cover aspects that aren’t being touched on yet (i.e. Rey having Force abilities). The ad campaign has done an admiral job of avoiding spoilers, and this seems like a fairly major plot point to reveal.
However, it’s difficult to say for sure, since so little is known about the Force Awakens narrative. Always one to tease massive secrets, Abrams has admitted Finn and Rey’s last names are being withheld purposely, suggesting that those two have strong connections to characters we’ve already met. At the same time, rumors have stated that none of the new heroes are a Skywalker or Solo (which contrasts much fan speculation), and we won’t meet the offspring of any classic trilogy veterans until Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII. From that, it would seem that all of this can be taken at face value, but we’ll just have to wait and see.
Fans desperate for some clarity on the situation are no doubt looking forward to the third Force Awakens trailer, which is going to debut this fall. After all, that will most likely be the final preview released, meaning it’s one of the last opportunities Lucasfilm will get to lay out a foundation for the new story (along with releasing an official synopsis). Force Friday would seem like the perfect time to put that trailer out, and all eyes will be on it to see what clues are hidden in the footage.
Star Wars: 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.
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