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Review of Vanity Fair Star Wars: The Force Awakens Article

Vanity Fair got famed photographer Annie Leibovitz to shoot the cast of the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and GeekGirl World was able to get their hands on a copy of the magazine early. Here is our review of what is in store for you in this June edition and the direction JJ Abrams plans to take the franchise in.

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Official New Star Wars: The Force Awakens Cast Photos Revealed

The new edition of Vanity Fair is set to hit news stands with exclusive on the set and cast photos from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Vanity Fair’s June issue, available as a digital edition on Thursday, May 7, and on newsstands nationwide on Tuesday, May 12. Photograph by Annie Leibovitz.
Vanity Fair’s June issue, available as a digital edition on Thursday, May 7, and on newsstands nationwide on Tuesday, May 12. Photograph by Annie Leibovitz.

This special June edition of the magazine doesn’t officially come out until May 7th in digital, and May 12th on newsstands, however Vanity Fair has released sneak peeks of what fans will have in store when the full issue debuts, in honor of the official fandom holiday, May the Fourth.

Next-generation bad guy Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) commands snowtroopers loyal to the evil First Order on the frozen plains of their secret base. Photograph by Annie Leibovitz.
Next-generation bad guy Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) commands snowtroopers loyal to the evil First Order on the frozen plains of their secret base. Photograph by Annie Leibovitz.
A small galaxy’s worth of tracking dots affixed to Lupita Nyong’o’s face allowed artists at Industrial Light & Magic to transform her into the C.G.I. character Maz Kanata. Photograph by Annie Leibovitz.
A small galaxy’s worth of tracking dots affixed to Lupita Nyong’o’s face allowed artists at Industrial Light & Magic to transform her into the C.G.I. character Maz Kanata. Photograph by Annie Leibovitz.
Galactic travelers, smugglers, and other assorted riffraff fill the main hall of pirate Maz Kanata’s castle. Photograph by Annie Leibovitz.
Galactic travelers, smugglers, and other assorted riffraff fill the main hall of pirate Maz Kanata’s castle. Photograph by Annie Leibovitz.
Dashing Resistance pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) stands alongside his trusty X-wing fighter. Photograph by Annie Leibovitz.
Dashing Resistance pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) stands alongside his trusty X-wing fighter. Photograph by Annie Leibovitz.
J. J. Abrams directs Actress Daisy Ridley for a scene in which her character, the young heroine Rey, pilots her speeder through a bustling marketplace on the planet Jakku. Photograph by Annie Leibovitz.
J. J. Abrams directs actress Daisy Ridley for a scene in which her character, the young heroine Rey, pilots her speeder through a bustling marketplace on the planet Jakku. Photograph by Annie Leibovitz.
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Members of the brain trust behind The Force Awakens: composer John Williams, producer and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, co-writer Lawrence Kasdan, and director and co-writer Abrams, photographed at Bad Robot, Abrams’s production company, in Santa Monica. Photograph by Annie Leibovitz.

Fans can relax with the knowledge that the Star Wars franchise looks to be in good hands. These photos give us a quick preview of some of the costumes and sets that fans have to look forward to when Star Wars: The Force Awakens bursts into theaters on December 18, 2015.

Source: Vanity Fair
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Interview: Ashley Eckstein, Voice of Ahsoka Tano and Founder of Her Universe – Part 1

Ashley Eckstein is a wonderfully talented actress and entrepreneur. Not only is she synonymous with being the voice of the popular Star Wars: The Clone Wars character Ahsoka Tano, she is also the founder of the groundbreaking geek fashion line Her Universe. GeekGirl World was thrilled to be invited to a round table interview with her during Star Wars Celebration. Here is part 1 of the interview where Ashley talks about her character, Ahsoka, and her return in Star Wars Rebels, as well as her experience with Kathleen Kennedy at Star Wars Celebration

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An Inside Look at Star Wars Celebration: Day One

On Wednesday, I made the journey far, far away to Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, California. The convention is exactly what it sounds like: it celebrates the movies, shows, books, comics, apparel, toys, actors, and fans of Star Wars, and has done so now 10 times since Phantom Menace in 1999, in countries all over the world. Interestingly, I didn’t truly appreciate Star Wars until I was an adult, and after waiting 18 hours in line for the Thursday panels, one line-mate commented I was now “making up for lost time.”

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Waiting in line was tedious but not terrible. Here are some highlights:

A wife and small child dropped a father off at the line. The child cried and the man tried to comfort her but looked annoyed. I commented, “Well, he’s still a better Dad than Anakin.”

Oliver Thompson, writer/director/producer of “Star Wars into the Dune Sea” came all the way from Hong Kong and just happened to randomly talk to us. Literally the day before I had watched his movie and filmed a FFF review. Such a coincidence! Check out our FFF video review today!

James Arnold Taylor, who voices Obi-Wan Kenobi in The Clone Wars and half a dozen D.C. animated characters, went through the line shaking hands, taking pictures, and talking to folks. Me (ever-so-nonchalantly): “So, is Obi-Wan going to be in Rebels Season 2?” Him (jokingly IN HIS OBI-WAN VOICE) “If I told you, I’d have to use a Jedi mind trick to make you forget!”

Kathleen Kennedy and J.J. Abrams treated everyone in line to pizza. I can technically say I had dinner with the President of Lucasfilm and a Director of Star Wars. Does this count as a date? It’s totally a date. I will love them always. Even if they didn’t call me back the next morning.

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On Thursday, the event kicked off with “The Force Awakens” panel, which was live streamed and aired online, bringing Star Wars Celebration to fans everywhere. I won’t do a full recap, because it’s available for your viewing pleasure, but here are a few of my favorite moments:

  • Strong female characters. Kathleen Kennedy (President of Lucasfilm), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), and Daisy Ridley (Rey) all discussed the greatness of there being more and more diverse and powerful women in the franchise. GeekGirl World approves.
  • BB8 and Artoo. A real, moving robot version of BB8 rolled onto the stage. About half the size of R2-D2, he’s actually bigger than he looked in the Force Awakens teaser trailer that came out last year. He beeps adorably, much like R2-D2. Rumor has it, the two may have a playful rivalry.
  • The new trio. Daisy Ridley’s Rey, Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron, and John Boyega’s Finn will be the film’s new protagonists, and I think it will be a trifecta of greatness. Boyega told a funny story about getting Harrisom Ford’s autograph, and now I think he’s the most adorable guy on the planet.
  • The old gang. Carrie Fisher was saucy. Peter Mayhew did the Chewbacca wave. Anthony Daniels was eloquent. Mark Hamill was sincere, saying, “You’re more than fans— you’re family.”
  • The new trailer, not once but twice. Meme posted a GGW article about the masterpiece. Critics everywhere have already analyzed every millisecond of it. The only thing I will add is that I barely heard it over the cheers and sobs the first time, and was blown away the second time. Also, there is now a Kleenex shortage in Anaheim.

I also caught Pablo Hidalgo and Dave Filoni’s “Untold Clone Wars” panel, which showcased an inside look at the creative process of Star Wars: the Clone Wars, including Filoni’s sketches and work-in-progress animation. Hidalgo and Filoni had lively banter that had the audience rolling:

“Did we get approval to show this?”

“We… didn’t… get disapproval.”

We learned that some art work that was made for but not used in the Clone Wars, will now appear in the show Rebels (including a bike that was intended for Ahsoka that Kanan will now sport). The panel left with us all campaigning for publishers to sell a book of Filoni’s artwork, and hints that Pablo-Jill will reappear in Rebels soon. The most lovely thing was that Filoni was not devastated by the end of Clone Wars. Rather, he appreciated the opportunity given his team to work in the gloriousness that is Rebels. If you haven’t already, watch the show, GeekGirl World! Season 1 finished recently, and it’s a perfect afternoon binge watch. Do it!

The last panel I watched was “The Hero’s Journey & the Power of Myth,” hosted by two StarWars.com writers. Alas, I didn’t catch their full names, but if anyone knows, please forward it on to me. I’d love to read more of their work. Actually, I’d love to buy them coffee and pick their brain for hours. They were brilliant! The panel was mostly one giant Q&A, and focused on how mythology and John Campbell’s work about heroes influenced the story arc in Star Wars. One panelist, Nick, made us all realize Jar Jar Binks was crucial in the grand scheme of things, from a mythological/story telling point of view. Yes, Jar Jar. He argued Jar Jar was supposed to teach us how to value those seemingly less worthy. Jar Jar taught this to Yoda in the prequels, who taught it to Luke on Dagobah in the Empire Strikes back. It was Luke who stopped Han from killing the Ewoks later in Return of the Jedi. Without the Ewoks, the rebels may not have won against the evil Empire and successfully help to return balance to the force. Basically, we have

screengrab credit: scifimoviefilm.com property of LucasFilm
screengrab credit: scifimoviefilm.com
property of LucasFilm

Jar Jar to thank for teaching the lesson years ago. Seriously! There’s a trope in mythology that’s similar, and I plan on geekily and gleefully studying it, post-Celebration. What do you think, GeekGirl World?

That wrapped up the first day of Star Wars Celebration. Today is another exciting day of Star Wars. I’m so excited and thrilled to be here, and can’t wait to see what happens next! Stay tuned on the GGW Facebook page, as we bring you photos from Friday’s Carrie Fisher panel, cosplay pictures, and more!

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