[Recap] Star Wars: The Force Awakens leaks

It’s mid-January. The start of a glorious Star Wars imbued year. Since the release of The Force Awakens trailer on Nov 28, 2014 — a lifetime away, it’d seem — many blogs, websites, fansites have unleashed a torrent of leaks. As people who are way too into Star Wars (as our spouses would espouse), we’ve scoured the interwebs for the latest, and the coolest leaks.

Alert: This post may not be for the faint-of-heart or people who want to avoid spoilers. Luckily for us, we have the memory of goldfish.

So, where were we? It’s mid-January. The start of a glorious Star Wars imbued year. Indeed.

[spoilers start after read more]

So the story goes: The Force Awakens takes place 30 years after the Return of the Jedi, against a backdrop of a 40-year war between Rebel and Imperial Forces. According to Spoiler Man, who claims to be a LucasFilm employee, Luke Skywalker is now a Jedi recluse like Ben Kenobi when we were first saw him in A New Hope. Skywalker has sensed a change in the Force and, after a post-Endor incident, is hesitant to use its power to the full extent. Alluding to the title of the piece, Force-sentient beings are being awoken to realise its power and have to find their own paths in it. Finn (John Boyega), Rey (Daisy Ridley), Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) are said to be “weak in the Force” through the Trilogy. Ridley’s character is said to be in possession of Skywalker’s blue lightsaber, and the ‘elegant weapon for a more civilised age’ is one of the events that spark the plot for the Trilogy.

Finn as seen in the official Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer

Finn as seen in the official Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer

Some other leaked points: Han and Leia are married. Leia has been a Republic leader for 30 years. The Millennium Falcon has been retrofitted by Solo (we can’t wait to see the new look). The X-Wing fighters as seen in the trailer are on Yavin. Oscar Issac’s character is “Darklighter”, he is the leader of the X-Wing Blue Squadron. Kylo Ren is a hot shot X-Wing pilot with visions of grandeur, and a fascination with power and the Sith. He collects Sith relics and is presumably on the hunt for one in the teaser according to other reports. The hilt on the lightsaber he builds (which doesn’t look like a normal lightsaber because he made it without any training) is said to NOT function as a crossguard. Andy Serkis’ species is unlike anything we’ve seen before, and is described as a “worthy foe to Skywalker”.

Kylo Ren, as seen in the official Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer

Kylo Ren, as seen in the official Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer

Oh, and Boba Fett returns!

We’re not certain about the authenticity of the leaks — Spoiler Man claimed Ridley’s character is named ‘Kira’ but trading cards, reportedly created by Director JJ Abrams and LucasFilm’s president Kathleen Kennedy, revealed her name to be ‘Rey’ — but it sure makes for some exciting times ahead. Spoiler Man also said Disney execs are planning a series of intentional “leaks” to muddle pundits, but his “leak” is not one of those.

So far, Star Wars experts have distanced themselves from Spoiler Man’s leaks, but according to the Guardian news-site, the rumours tally with other reports about the film’s plot. Spoiler Man first dumped the leaks on 4chan a month ago where it was picked up by agencies around the world. He describes the new film as “on par with 1977’s Star Wars in terms of quality”, and also that Abrams has been embroiled in studio politics with Disney who are trying to wrestle control over the film.

You can read the five-part dump here — at your own risk.

Another report from makingstarwars.net claims Skywalker does an Obi-Wan in Revenge of the Sith. In his efforts to temper a Force-sentient who was turning to the Dark Side, Skywalker injures him badly — turning him into a Sith Lord.

Oh, these Jedi and their meddling ways.

Sketchy like a Force vision clouded by the Dark Side, the leaks claim to have seen concept artworks with details of a character that has a red artificial eye that is not supernaturally illuminated and powered by evil. He’s a white male and has a black mask that reveals his mouth. The black mask is revealed to be pieces of Darth Vader’s mask in a second concept art, wrote editor-in-chief Jason Ward. There are no leaked art on the post but if you’re keen to study the villains of Ep VII, it has pretty gripping stuff. Read it in full here. In it, Ward posits Kylo Ren goes through an evolution of Sith (?) changes before he becomes the new Darth Vader — literally.

A character with an artificial eye.

A character with an artificial eye. As collected by Sploid.

If visuals are what gets you up in the morning, Starwars7news.com said it had received three concept artwork that they’re comfortable talking about without revealing them. The post does have some pretty descriptive narrative to spark your imagination — and if you’re not, they have provided some friendly visuals to seed ideas.

The new Tri-wing fighter as envisioned by Starwars7news and drawn by @Eli Hyder

The new Tri-wing fighter as envisioned by Starwars7news and drawn by @Eli Hyder

The post goes on to talk about concept images on Max von Sydow’s character as well as the villain. You can read the full post here.

In tradition of keeping the best for last, here’s what you’re looking for: Leaked concept art.

We’d started on an expedition to collect all the leaked Star Wars art out in the interwebs but discovered that Sploid, by Gizmodo, had already done the legwork. Here are some images, and you can see the full extent here.

Battle-damaged Chewie with a robot arm.

Battle-damaged Chewie with a robot arm.

Leaked concept art of a crashed spacecraft resembling a TIE fighter.

Leaked concept art of a crashed spacecraft resembling a TIE fighter.

In other news… this isn’t a leak but StarWars.com has unveiled posters by Craig Drake for Star Wars Celebration. The mega event, held at the Anaheim Convention Center, California, from April 16 to 19, is a hotspot for all Star Wars geeks to gather and gush over anything Star Wars. In developing the posters, Drake tells StarWars.com: “I essentially took the basic line art that I usually do, that’s very recognizable, and painted over it.

“Before I even did that, I took a look at the [legendary movie- and Star Wars-poster artist] Drew Struzans of the world and how those colour palettes feel. So, the basis for what I usually do is there, it’s just underneath a lot of colour enhancement and free-hand painting, just to dial it up a bit, and I think it added a nice touch that made it feel more filmic.”

Star wars Celebration key art, poster by artist Craig Drake

Star wars Celebration key art, poster by artist Craig Drake

Fans who are attending Star Wars Celebrations take note, Drake will be creating art for all Celebration badges so do keep an eye out for it. To see more posters and read the entire interview, click here.

Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens will premiere in (the almost-too-long-to-wait) December. Do you think the leaks have merits? Tell us in the comments.

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