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Laugh It Up, Fuzzball: The Comedy Writers Behind Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens

One of the most consistent things about the Lego games from TT Games is the comedy. The developers in England have become masters of creating funny games, whether they're original stories or gag-filled film adaptations. While visiting TT Fusion for our March cover story on Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we spoke with the game's lead story designer Graham Goring and cutscene director Phil Gray talk about the process of turning Star Wars: The Force Awakens into a comedy. The duo break down their working relationship with Lego and Lucasfilm and also explain why certain scenes in the film were especially difficult to Lego-fy.

Watch the interview below to learn about the writing process for the Lego games and how they are handling that one scene.

Warning: The video contains the most spoileriest of spoilers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

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Check Out Exclusive New Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens Screens

A few days ago we announced that TT Games' return to Star Wars was our next cover-story game. Today, we're showing off some new and exclusive screens from the game, highlighting new and familiar faces (and places).

Take a look at the gallery for some shots from the upcoming game. You'll recognize locations including Jakku and Starkiller Base, along with heroes Rey, Finn, Han Solo, BB-8 and Chewbacca. You might notice a few moments from The Return of the Jedi in there, too. While the game features levels based on The Force Awakens and also some extra missions that canonically expand on the new movie's fiction, TT Fusion is also going back to Jedi in a special mission that features some of that film's biggest sequences.

As I wrote in the 12-page cover story, one of the most striking things about revisiting events from Return of the Jedi is seeing just how far TT Games' has come over the years. The battle against Emperor Palpatine was fairly boring in the original game, but it definitely gets its due in the new one.

Look for Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens on June 28 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Wii U, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, 3DS, Vita, and PC.

Be sure to come back to the site throughout the month for more exclusive features, interviews, and video content.

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March Cover Revealed – Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens

More than 10 years ago, Traveller's Tales became a household name thanks to its partnership with a toy company and a well-known film franchise. The last Lego Star Wars game came out nearly five years ago, but as fans know, TT Games hasn't been resting on its laurels. The company has worked with some of the biggest names around, creating co-op, family-focused games based on Marvel and DC comics, Jurassic Park, Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, and more. Now the company is going back to the universe where it all began, with the announcement of Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

We traveled to TT Fusion's offices in England to bring you the exclusive details on the game. While there are plenty of familiar things – the whimsical humor, block-bashing gameplay, and mix of Lego and realistic environments – the team has come up with a few exciting twists. Players can forge their own paths with the new multibuild system, which adds an element of player choice to the brick-building sections. Keeping with The Force Awakens' reliance on blaster action, TT Fusion has introduced new cover-based sections that let you see the ranged battles from a new perspective. 

The most exciting thing about the game, however, is that Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens features not only gameplay based on the movie, but also side content that gives fans background information on how some of those events came into being. Stay tuned for more information on that tantalizing prospect.

To mark the event, we've got a pair of covers, celebrating Rey and the good guys and Kylo Ren and his goons. Click the images to see larger versions of both covers. 

 

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Above: Watch our coverage trailer (or watch and share it on YouTube) to see a tease of the month of exclusive content that can be found at gameinformer.com/forceawakens.

The March issue has much more going on than games with blocks based on blockbusters. If you've been interested in learning more about League of Legends, PC editor Dan Tack has a great guide for beginners who want to start watching tournaments, including the big names and what to look out for. Fighting fans will get a kick out of Brian Shea's Street Fighter V feature, which takes a behind-the-scenes look at some of the characters and what inspired their creation. Hyper Light Drifter has captivated since we first saw it a few years ago, and Kyle Hilliard has an extensive, exclusive look at the retro-styled indie release. And while it might be the slow time of year for games at the moment, spring is going to be busy. Learn about what's ahead in our massive guide to the games of spring.

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Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens arrives on June 28, but you don't have to wait nearly that long to learn more about it. Print subscribers should see their issues arriving in the next week or two, but it will be available later today if you subscribe digitally (available on PC/MaciPadAndroid, and Google Play). You can also get the latest issue through third-party apps on NookKindle, and Zinio starting tomorrow. To switch your print subscription to digital, click here. To create a new subscription to the digital edition, click here.

We've got an entire month of additional Lego coverage, if the 12-page cover story wasn't enough for you. Check out our hub throughout the month for exclusive features and videos, including how it expands the lore of the films, a look at developer TT Fusion, in-depth features on animating the heroes (and villains), and much more. Click the banner below to visit the hub.

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The Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens Digital Issue Is Now Live

If you subscribe to the computer or tablet edition of Game Informer magazine, you can now learn some of the very first details about Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Following today's cover announcement, our digital issue is now live on web browsers and will be coming to iPadAndroid, and Google Play throughout the day. You can download the apps to download the issue by following this link. All four of these digital options are included in a standard subscription

The issue launches tomorrow on our third-party subscription apps including ZinioKindle, and Nook.

Not a digital subscriber yet? Convert your print subscription here or start a new subscription here.

Check out our hub throughout the month for exclusive features and videos, including how it expands the lore of the films, a look at developer TT Fusion, in-depth features on animating the heroes (and villains), and much more. Click the banner below to visit the hub.

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EA Explains Why Battlefront Is Unlikely To Have The Force Awakens DLC

In December, the Twitter account for Star Wars Battlefront revealed it was improbable that the game would receive any DLC that was focused on the new film, The Force Awakens. Looks we like we just got a confirmation and answer as to why that's the case from EA itself.

In a recent earnings call, EA's CFO Blake Jorgensen reiterated that there was likely no Episode VII DLC coming to Battlefront and took some time to explain why:

“You can’t make a game in ’Star Wars’ that violates the canon of ‘Star Wars…meaning, you can’t take something from the future and bring it back into the past unless it’s a reference.”

Jorgensen also took time to clarify that future Star Wars titles could have content from the new trilogy, saying that the publisher was trying to stay "tightly connected" to Star Wars and it could tap into "new characters and vehicles and so forth" in future Star Wars games.

[Source: The Wall Street Journal]

 

Our Take
EA toeing the line when it comes to Star Wars canon isn't exactly surprising given Lucasarts attempts to clean house with the expanded universe. And while Joergensen didn't explicitly say that a Battlefront sequel would focus on the new films, it would certainly make sense for it too. Still, as someone who dropped $ 60 on Battlefront and came away disappointed with the lack of content, I'm a bit bummed, especially since none of the DLC revealed for the game looks particularly interesting until summer at the earliest.

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Fan-Made, Valve-Approved Sequel To Half-Life: Opposing Force Will Be Sold On Steam

Valve left a lot of dangling threads back when they went mum on the Half-life's development after Half-Life 2: Episode Two. One of those threads concerns the fate of the protagonist from Gearbox Software's first expansion pack for Half-Life, Half-Life: Opposing Force. There might finally be an answer to that…kinda, sort of?

Prospekt is a mod that functions as as sequel to Opposing Force, letting you play as Adrian Shepard, the soldier you played in Opposing Force, during the events of Half-Life 2. These sorts of things are not usually a big deal. Mods are everywhere, mod-sequels have been churned out for ages, especially for Half-Life. Except that the key difference here is this one has received  "official Valve approval for Half-life 2 license and assets" and will go on sale on Steam for $ 9.99 sometime next month.

According to the developer, Richard Seabrook, the game will be comparable to the length of Half-Life 2: Episode One and will have "13 new levels featuring fully-scripted puzzles and action sequences, all carefully integrated into the Half-Life 2 story."

Here's a trailer for the mod:

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Our Take
Half-life is probably my favorite game of all time so this is just absolutely fascinating to me. Just what does Valve's blessing ultimately mean.  Does that make everything that happens in this mod canon or not? What the heck is going on!?

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Star Wars: Rebels Second Season Trailer Teases The Force Awakens Connection

One of the most delightful things about huge fantasy and science-fiction universes that span multiple mediums is when creators make unexpected connections. It appears that when Star Wars: Rebels returns for its second season, it’s bringing some surprise hints of the future.

Entertainment Weekly shared a trailer that shows us more of Leia Organa’s role. It also hints that Ezra will be strongly tempted by the dark side, in no small part due to someone calling himself “The Old Master.”

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When you watch the video, take some time to study the hooded figure’s face. You’ll also see Ezra spark a new lightsaber that will certainly grab your attention if you’ve seen The Force Awakens.

Update: The trailer is available now. You can check it out above.

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Stream The Force Awakens Soundtrack For Free, Includes 13 Minutes Of Unreleased Music

John Williams' brilliant score for Star Wars: The Force Awakens can be streamed for free on Disney's Awards Website. If you already own the soundtrack, you'll still want to listen, as this cut of it features 13 minutes of unreleased music not found on the CD or digital versions of it.

John Williams Fan Network also found a way to download all of the tracks as MP3 files, which you can see here. The website has also compiled a handy list of track names, although the new tracks do not include official names. Click here to start listening to Williams' wonderful music.

Lucky members of the Academy of Motion Pictures of Arts and Science are reportedly receiving physical versions of this extended soundtrack.

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[Update] Star Wars: The Force Awakens Is Now The Third Highest-Grossing Film Of All Time Internationally

Update: The Force Awakens just doesn't know when to stop breaking records. Variety has reported that not only has the film crossed the $ 800 million US box office threshold but it also had a huge opening in China, netting $ 53 million in its opening weekend. This means that the film has the highest opening weekend in that country and has moved up to the third spot on the all-time worldwide box office list with $ 1.73 billion earned in total internationally so far.

The Force Awakens has more than a billion dollars to go before it can eclipse Avatar's worldwide record and take the #1 spot for international earnings.

[Source: Variety (1), (2)]

Original Story:

According to Disney's projections, Star Wars: The Force Awakens will surpass Avatar's box office record of $ 750.5 million before the day is over. The film has been out for a mere 18 days, skyrocketing past  records held by the likes of Titanic and Jurassic World.

As CNN Money points out, the movie hasn't even opened in China yet, one of the biggest movie markets in the world. The film opens there this weekend and if it does well, it could take the record for highest-grossing film worldwide away from Avatar, as well. As of right now, The Force Awakens has made $ 1.55 billion worldwide and is #4 on the all-time worldwide list.

Except for Avatar, The Force Awakens leads the other top box office record holders by a rather sizable amount, with Titanic earning $ 658.6 million and Jurassic World earning $ 635.9 million during their respective runs.

Beyond earning an impressive amount of cash in an even more impressive amount of time, this is a big victory for Disney, with the box office earning for The Force Awakens generating nearly four times the movie's reported budget of $ 200 million, so far. If the company can keep up the momentum of the franchise with spin-off films, television shows, and merchandise, they'll more than make back the four billion dollars they spent buying the rights to the franchise.

[Source: CNN Money]

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Home Release Won’t Be An Extended Cut

For those who left the theater chatting excitedly about The Force Awakens and what a director's cut version of the film might contain, J.J. Abrams has some bad news for you. According to Entertainment Weekly, the director has confirmed there will be no extended cut of The Force Awakens when it hits DVD, Blu-ray, and digital.

However, there is some silver lining: in that same interview he confirms there will be deleted scenes, so y'know, we might finally get to see a scene that reveals Jar Jar Binks' fancy lightsaber moves. Or not. One of those.

Abrams also took some time to say some nice things about Rian Johnson, who's taking the reins for Episode VIII: " “I will say that Rian’s an amazing writer and director. I’m obviously really excited about what he’s going to do.” Johnson previously directed critical darlings Brick and Looper.

[Source: Entertainment Weekly]

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