Disney/Lucasfilm's Star Wars multi-platform franchise has already begun on the small screen, with the ongoing Star Wars Rebels animated TV show on Disney XD. The new era of entertainment based in the galaxy far, far away - created decades ago by George Lucas - is embracing the popular mass media narrative form of interconnected storytelling.
Rebels has already featured appearances by familiar characters (and voices) of the Star Wars universe, not counting Frank Oz' voice cameo as Yoda in an upcoming episode (watch the clip above for a sneak peek). The show may've also already begun to lay the foundation for not just Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (which takes place some 40 years after Rebels), but also the 2016 Star Wars spinoff - which, according to the latest rumors, may center on Han Solo.
Harrison Ford, as it were, is reprising as Han Solo in The Force Awakens, where he's joined by a number of his old costars from Episodes IV-VI (Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker among them). Those seasoned Star Wars actors will be playing second-fiddle to younger stars (John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Gwendoline Christie, etc.); who, in turn, are bringing a new generation of Star Wars heroes/villains to life in co-writer and director J.J. Abrams' Star Wars film.
Forbes, in an article on Disney CEO Bob Iger, has revealed some additional images of Han's trusty spaceship, the Millennium Falcon, as she will appear in Force Awakens. The first pic below (followed by a magazine cover shot) is a composite image with Iger that was taken at Pinewoods Studio in Buckinghamshire, England - where an actual Millennium Falcon set was built - and created by Industrial Light & Magic.
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The Abrams-directed Star Trek movies carefully balanced practical sets and effects with modern digital effects, in order to bring their own world of human space travelers and non-Earth planets to cinematic life. Abrams is carrying on that tradition with Force Awakens, as evidenced by what was an effective combination of real sets/props and CGI in the teaser footage. The above images of the Millennium Falcon also indicates this visual approach should pan out well in the actual film.
Star Wars' future, as a franchise in general, is looking pretty bright right now, what with Rebels earning (mostly) positive reviews just half-way through its debut season and the buzz surrounding The Force Awakens being by and large optimistic for the time being. Here is to hoping that outlook continue to improve, over the course of the upcoming year.
Star Wars Rebels continues with "Path of the Jedi", which airs January 5th, 2015 on Disney XD.
Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens opens in U.S. theaters on December 18th, 2015.