The Force has awak­ened

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red alert -

No longer shall next year’s Star Wars in­stal­ment be re­ferred to as plain old Episode VII. On Thurs­day 6 Novem­ber, the @ starwars Twit­ter feed re­vealed a hash­tag that will be long re­mem­bered – # TheForceAwak­ens. Okay, it feels a lit­tle bit like it’s emerged from a ran­dom Star Wars ti­tle gen­er­a­tor, but we reckon The Force Awak­ens is a bet­ter name than both The Phan­tom Men­ace and At­tack Of The Clones. Of course, given JJ Abrams’ love of keep­ing a se­cret, we have no idea what it ac­tu­ally means, but the brand­ing sug­gests that the ti­tle will be at the fore­front of the mar­ket­ing push – a break with the pat­tern of the pre­quels, which hid their names be­hind Episode I/ II/ III de­flec­tor shields.

Prin­ci­pal pho­tog­ra­phy has now wrapped – in­clud­ing, Va­ri­ety re­ports, a sin­gle ac­tion se­quence shot on IMAX cam­eras – but it seems that plenty of big names found their way onto the Pinewood Stu­dios set. Pre­sum­ably the se­cu­rity was han­dled by stormtroop­ers or some­one sim­i­larly in­ept.

Bene­dict Cum­ber­batch re­vealed on The Gra­ham Nor­ton Show that he’d paid a visit – we’re not sure if it was for a cameo or to catch up with his old Star Trek chum JJ – and Daniel Rad­cliffe stopped by too. “The over­whelm­ing at­mos­phere of the place is just so ex­cit­ing,” said a man who knows a fair bit about block­buster movie fran­chises. “For Har­ri­son Ford, who has been do­ing th­ese films for so long, to be so ex­cited about the new ones is an amaz­ing sign.”

Beyond Episode VII – sorry, The Force Awak­ens – it’s been con­firmed that Gareth Ed­wards’ 2016 stand­alone Star Wars movie will also shoot at Pinewood. And as we get within a year of the new movie’s re­lease, you can fill the urge to see Star Wars on the big screen. On Satur­day 13 De­cem­ber, the BFI will host Star Wars Day, with screen­ings of the orig­i­nal tril­ogy ( Spe­cial Edi­tions, nat­u­rally), and some sur­prise spe­cial guests.

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