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Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the seventh episode of the Star Wars saga. Production was announced by George Lucas in 2011, years after initially claiming that the story of Star Wars ended with Return of the Jedi. In 2012 Lucas sold Lucasfilm, along with the entire Star Wars franchise, to The Walt Disney Company who then assembled a new team to rework Episode VII to their own design. This marks the start of a new trilogy of Star Wars movies, and effectively reboots the franchise by casting off the old Star Wars Expanded Universe, opening the doors for new stories to take place in various media.
The film was widely anticipated and went on to break several box office records, and is currently the third highest grossing film of all time, behind Avatar and Titanic (unadjusted for inflation, as of February 2016). It won a Bafta for Best Special Visual Effects at the 2016 British Academy Film Awards, and was the American Film Institute's Movie of the Year for 2015.
The Force Awakens is set roughly 30 years after the end of Return of the Jedi and follows new heroes Rey, Finn, and Poe Dameron, as they assist the the Resistance in the fight against the evil forces of the First Order, which has risen from the ashes of the defeated Galactic Empire.
Stormtrooper themed products and exhibits available at San Diego Comic-Con next week have revealed a new iteration of the ubiquitous Star Wars bad guys.
The so-called Sith Trooper will appear in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker this December and sports a bright red hue not too dissimilar to the classic Imperial Royal Guard first seen in Star Wars: Episode IV - Return of the Jedi. It is unknown what role these Sith Troopers will play in the movie, especially since the Sith were destroyed (weren't they?).
The reveal comes amidst the inevitable raft of licensed merchandise and exclusives to be found at the premier convention for geeks of all fandoms, and brings with it the announcement of an exclusive exhibit showcasing the evolution of the Stormtrooper. Madlyn Burkert of the Lucasfilm archives, who is co-producing the exhibit at the Lucasfilm Pavillion said "It has some really unique aesthetics to it, and it has some subtle ties to previous stormtrooper designs, which I think fans will enjoy discovering."
The new Sith Trooper themed merchandise includes Funko Pop!, Hasbro Black Series, backbacks, exclusive pins, kids customes, and more. Check out the StarWars.com Sith Trooper reveal for a more comprehensive list and pictures.
So a few days ago, ILM released a link to their portfolio of concept art drafted up for The Force Awakens.
It's really quite interesting to see how closely the film actually got to these concepts... and which ones didn't.
Plus, the artwork is just freaking beautiful.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be coming to home video in April, the official website has revealed.
The film will be recieving an early release on Disney Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere digital formats on 1st April 2016, with Blu-ray and DVD versions available in stores from 5th April. The release date for the 3D version has not yet been announced, but is due later this year.
Bonus features (which may vary depending on format) include:
Secrets of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey - a behind the scense look at the making of The Force Awakens, with new footage and exclusive interviews with the cast and crew. The Story Awakens: The Table Read - cast members reflect on the day they first came together to read the movie’s script Building BB-8 - behind the scenes with the creators of Star Wars' newest droid Crafting Creatures - behind the scenes with the creators of the film's new alien creatures Blueprint of a Battle: The Snow Fight - a closer look at the lightsaber battle between Rey and Kylo Ren John Williams: The Seventh Symphony - the composer shares personal insights of his work on the Star Wars saga ILM: The Visual Magic of The Force - a look into the movie's digital visual effects Force For Change - see how the Star Wars: Force for Change initiative has united Star Wars fans all over the globe to help others Deleted Scenes - the scenes that didn't make the final cut