Make your own full-size BB-8 ‘Star Wars’ droid

10 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Boulder Company Making BB-8s, The Star Wars ‘Droid Of The Future’.

Disney and Lucasfilm will return to the remote Irish island of Skellig Michael to shoot scenes for Star Wars: Episode VIII, despite the objections of conservationists concerned about the impact of local wildlife, reports RTE. BB-8 is the latest Star Wars robot featured in the upcoming moving “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” And the toy version of the character was created in Boulder. “It’s something we planned for. Now they’ll be able to spend a few hours exploring the period in a mobile game, Star Wars: Uprising, released for Android and for iOS by publisher Kabam, a company with form when it comes to mobile games – and colon-infused titles – based on popular movie franchises.

We knew how many we could make, we knew our fastest run time,” Wilson added. “We are making them as we speak.” Many store locations have sold out of the toy, but Sphero staff is making them as fast as they can with hopes that by Christmas every Star Wars fan who wants their own BB-8 can own one. Heather Humphreys, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and Justin Byrne a council member of An Taisce, The National Trust for Ireland argue the pros and cons. YouTuber Dizzy Heights, who captured the moment on film, explained that he bought the droid as a surprise pre-holiday gift for his husband, leaving it in his suitcase for him to find. Now Irish arts minister Heather Humphreys has confirmed that film crews will be back for Rian Johnson’s sequel, due in cinemas for May 2017. “Sceilg Mhichíl [Skellig Michae] is one of our most dramatic and beautiful islands and it is very easy to understand why its stunning scenery has caught the attention of the makers of one of the world’s biggest film franchises,” said Humphreys in a statement. “The return of Star Wars to Sceilg Mhichíl is another win for Ireland and the Irish film industry, which is a growing and dynamic sector of our economy.” She added: “Specialist staff from my department have been in discussions with Lucasfilm since March of this year in relation to a limited amount of filming, expected to last two to four days.” Skellig Michael, also known as Great Skellig, is the larger of the two Skellig islands in the Atlantic ocean off County Kerry on the sparsely populated south-west coast of Ireland. The US firm’s previous releases include The Hobbit: Kingdoms, Lord of the Rings: Legends, Fast and Furious: Legacy and The Hunger Games: Panem Rising.

It’s been a week of excitement for Star Wars fans, mind – with a whole range of Episode 7 merchandise going on sale across the world in an event dubbed ‘Force Friday’. It is currently unpopulated, though a monastery was founded some time between the sixth and eighth centuries before being abandoned in the late 12th century. Fans also learned they will get to see the long-awaited film a day earlier than originally anticipated, after the UK release was brought forward to Thursday December 17. That is a significant moment for mobile gaming, which until recently has more often been a source of licensing dollars rather than new stories for the franchise.

However, Humphreys said an ecologist and specialist staff from the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the National Monuments Service would be on hand throughout the filming process and would have the power to stop filming if necessary. The massively multiplayer game will let players create their own characters – “become the next Han Solo, Boba Fett or entirely unique hero of your own design” runs its blurb – and exploring familiar environments such as the planet Hoth, as well as new scenes. It is not known which scenes from The Force Awakens were shot on Skellig Michael – which joined Abu Dhabi, England’s Forest of Dean and Pinewood Studios, Buckinghamshire, as shooting locations for Abrams’ film. Like Kabam’s other games, it is free but funded by in-app purchases of virtual items including tips for the Cantina Band or goods from Kashyyyk (both £3.99) and hazard pay for Stormtroopers (£14.99). Just like last year, we will have experts on site for the duration of filming to ensure all of the ecological and environmental conditions we have stipulated are being adhered to.

The new game is a big moment for Kabam, which reported $400m (£260m) of revenues in 2014 from its mix of movie and original brands, and raised a funding round of $120m that it claimed valued the company at $1bn. “In the past, these films would have $100m marketing budgets, and they’d carve out $500,000 to make a low-quality Flash advergame or something to be played online for free,” chief executive Kevin Chou told the Guardian in 2013. “But the kind of games we’re making become massive revenue and profit generators that engage people 365 days a year, in between the movies. We’re not trying to recreate the movie in a game, we’re trying to create a parallel track that fits within the overall function of what the movie is trying to do.” The areas on the island where the filming actually takes place will also be restricted; mostly the crew will be filming on the same trails walked by tourists every day. Places like Skellig Michael are not the back lot of some studio, they are very fragile and precious ecosystems and that is why we have rules to protect them. When things are carried out in secret, the decision and the assessment are not published, and boats and equipment are lined up on the pier in Portmagee and it’s not even clear if permission was granted — it is shocking to experience.

A sensitive balance needs to be maintained which allows a small amount of human activity and the wildlife sufficient isolation to safely live, breed and thrive. Cameras and lights require space and if there isn’t space available or if a shot is blocked, the request to ‘temporarily’ dismantle a wall or structure or impact something will be made. There has to be tents for the make-up and wardrobe, shelter for the equipment, changing rooms, somewhere for the actors to wait in, catering and toilets for the army of people. The next Star Wars film is already in production and Hollywood will quickly move on to another location but will we be left with a pile of movie dust for Skellig Michael?

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