The power and universal love of Star Wars can be a force for good. Fans – as a general rule – are kind, loving people. Disney wants to tap into our latent Jedi sensibilities with the 'Star Wars: Force For Change' initiative. JJ Abrams and the top brass behind Episode VII are teaming up to raise money for UNICEF's Innovation labs to help children in need all around the world. But why just raise money when you can raise money AND leak visual of the new Episode VII set and let fans win a chance to appear in a scene of the upcoming movie? Abrams explains above.
You can go here to find out all the details about donating to charity and/or paying the entry fee to the cameo lottery, depending on your level of cynicism towards the human condition.
BUT ENOUGH OF THAT! Did you guys see that alien? It was a creature! A real, honest to goodness Creature Shop puppet and not a VFX abomination concocted in post. Behold this monument to Jim Henson! There's a man in a suit! And the chicken things move! And he (she?) is making little snuffling noises while a puppeteer controls the facial movements! I'm having 'The Dark Crystal' flashbacks. It's. So. Beautiful.
But wait, there's more! Disney is a business and and as such they are a level of calculating just this side of the dark side. UNICEF is a fantastic cause but why not have Abrams give the donation spiel in front of a backdrop of iconic photos from the original trilogy or the Star Wars logo? Because they know fans are ravenous rancors and we must be fed a steady stream of leaks before the previous tidbit has the marrow sucked dry lest we become feral and unpredictable. So while the alien puppet is the main course, Abrams and his crew gave us a smorgasbord of sides dishes as well. Let's dig in.
#1 – Neutral desert palette. Can we all just agree this is Tatooine now? Maybe Mos Espa. Maybe Mos Eisley. Maybe a new Mos. But definitely the home world of the Skywalker clan because Star Wars is huge on setting the mood of a planet with color filters. And Tatooine has the lock on sepia.
#2 – This guy could be wearing Jedi robes but the hood gives him away for what he truly is. A denizen of a hive of scum and villainy. This outfit is the long standing homespun fashion statement of Tatooine residents looking to keep the grit out of their faces.
#3 – Star Lord? No seriously, who is this guy? Everyone else who passes through the background is either in background extra burlap sacks or shorts because Abu Dhabi is a surface of the sun simulation. So dude is in costume. Or trying to sweat on toxins on a cleanse. Either way.
#4 – Sand. Sand equals sand people. But how many? There's only one set of prints. Clearly they still travel single file to hide their numbers.
#5 – Giant mechanical scrap? Could be miniature water vaporators. Could be junked pieces of pod racers and landspeeders. Could just be there for atmosphere. But seriously, they might as well have had the Cantina band playing the background during this video. It'd have been more subtle.
#6 – This seriously looks like a womp rat-on-a-stick shop, doesn't it? A marketplace vendor who sells delicious if questionable procured local delicacies. I wonder if those chicken things are on the menu?