Dying Fan Gets to See ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Early, Thanks to Social …

6 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Luke Skywalker still missing from latest Star Wars: The Force Awakens posters.

In 2012, the Walt Disney Company paid $4 billion to acquire Lucasfilm and the rights to Star Wars. “Star Wars” fanatics were blowing a gasket after hearing that two of the nation’s largest movie chains would forbid sci-fi nerds from wearing Darth Vader and other masks to screenings of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” out of concerns for theater safety. “They banned masks and lightsabers at theaters so no fun at star wars premier,” Twitter user Ben Ortiz posted after learning of the announcements by Cinemark and AMC.

New posters showing key characters such as Daisy Ridley’s Rey, John Boyega’s Finn and Adam Driver’s nefarious Kylo Ren, as well as the returning Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), were unveiled online by Disney on Wednesday. Abrams for calling us yesterday to tell us Daniel was getting his wish granted!” Several Lucasfilm employees brought a copy of the most highly anticipated movie in the galaxy to the Fleetwoods’ home in Spring, Texas, Thursday to screen the film for the life-long “Star Wars” fan, she said. Apart from Fisher, each is shown carrying their weapon of choice, lightsabers for Finn and Ren, a staff for Rey, and a good old-fashioned blaster for Solo. Disney’s earnings per share, excluding certain items, hit $5.15 for the first time ever in its fiscal year 2015 ended Oct. 3—in a 19% increase from 2014.

Star Wars titles amount to around 20 percent of Marvel’s comic book sales each month, a feat even more impressive when you consider that the line makes up only around 5 percent of its output. The timing was critical as doctors had given Daniel Fleetwood just two months to live back in July because of the spindle cell sarcoma attacking the connective tissue in his body.

The company posted $52.4 billion in revenue, a 7% boost from the previous year. “We’re six weeks away from releasing the first [Star Wars] film in a decade, and you can already see the impact and value of that franchise in various businesses,” said Disney CEO Bob Iger on an earnings call. The next Star Wars launches for Marvel are this month’s Star Wars: Vader Down, December’s Force Awakens prologue C3-PO and January’s miniseries Star Wars: Obi-Wan and Anakin. Ashley and family friends made sure to get the word out — the original news reports have been retweeted by the movie’s stars, John Boyega and Mark Hamill, and the hashtag #ForceForDaniel became a trending topic on Twitter. Director JJ Abrams has been careful to cultivate the sense of mystery surrounding Luke’s whereabouts, telling the Associated Press last month that the character’s omission was “no accident”. The new “Star Wars” movie, however, is a much more momentous occasion than any other movie in recent memory, considering it has already set records for ticket sales, even though the movie doesn’t hit theaters until Dec. 18.

Abrams has played the hero before: In January 2013, he filmmaker screened a rough cut his last movie, “Star Trek: Into Darkness,” for terminally ill cancer patient Daniel Craft months before the official release. Conspiracy theories have abounded, in particular the idea that Skywalker might have turned to the dark side since the events of 1983’s Return of the Jedi. AMC even sold out of tickets at more than 1,000 theaters within 12 hours of them going on sale last month — and many of those buyers likely plan to dress up for the highly anticipated blockbuster.

Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has suggested the new film will continue to examine the conflict between the dark and light sides of the force in key individuals. She also revealed in August that Abrams had been attracted to the project after she pitched him the premise: “Who is Luke Skywalker?” Many acolytes are, therefore, expecting Hamill to play a pivotal role in events. Disney is releasing the long-awaited video game Star Wars: Battlefront this month, and constructing massive Star Wars theme parks—set to open in 2017, among other efforts tied to the films. After all, the new movie’s release comes at a time when theater violence is a prominent issue, especially considering there have been several incidents the past few years.

The artist J Scott Campbell, who has worked on several Star Wars comic book covers, reportedly said in a Facebook comment that he had it on good authority that “Slave Leia” would not be appearing in future. “I’ve heard it from two sources,” he posted. “We can’t even draw Leia in a sexy pose at Marvel, let alone in that outfit! Nearly half of Disney’s revenue comes from media networks like ESPN and ABC, while the rest comes from parks and resorts, films, merchandise, and interactive platforms like its mobile apps and the Disney Infinity video game. We also had a 3-D SL statue killed at a major manufacturer because there will no longer be any SL merchandise.” Fisher’s appearance in the skimpy outfit has been controversial ever since it first debuted in 1983.

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