From Han Solo's first day, to 'Rogue One,' and the new 'Star Wars' theme park attractions.

By Anthony Breznican
August 17, 2015 at 12:00 PM EDT
Credit: Lucasfilm/Disney

It was an explosive week for Star Wars news at Entertainment Weekly. Pew! Pew! Pew! WHANNN-Waaann!

(That’s a blaster and lightsaber sound, FYI.)

In case you missed any of it, here’s the full rundown of stories from the galaxy far, far away …

GALLERY: 12 exclusive new images

Finn and Rey, on the run! C-3PO and R2-D2, reunited! Kylo Ren gets fired up! BB-8 is rescued! And who was inside that crashed TIE fighter …? We have all the new images right here.

Credit: Lucasfilm

‘The Force Awakens’ will ask ‘Who is Luke Skywalker?’

J.J. Abrams initially said, “Nooooo! I’ll never join you!” when asked to direct the first in a new series of Star Wars films, but this was the question Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy used to change his mind. What will the new film reveal about that Tatooine farmboy?

Credit: Lucasfilm

Kylo Ren’s shroud is pulled back at last

Long before we laid eyes on the face of Kylo Ren, our eyes flickered with the fire of his weapon: that scarlet lightsaber with the distinctive laser crossguard at the hilt and a volatile, sparking blade. J.J. Abrams explains something shocking about his identity…

Credit: Lucasfilm

How the new ‘Star Wars’ characters got their names

Speaking of identities, here’s some spoiler-free background on the ball-droid BB-8, Oscar Isaac’s X-Wing badass Poe Dameron, and Gwendoline Christie’s chrome-plated Captain Phasma, who owes her moniker to a creepy cult-horror movie. Abrams also hints at why John Boyega’s Finn and Daisy Ridley’s Rey don’t have last names … yet.

Credit: Lucasfilm

Inside Harrison Ford’s first day back as Han Solo

Harrison Ford’s first day back as Han Solo after 32 years was not the “Chewie, we’re home” scene, but that’s how it felt for those who watched it that day on the set of Star Wars: The Force Awakens …then, they dropped a door on him.

Credit: Lucasfilm

Details of the upcoming young Han Solo spin-off!

The Force Awakens will reveal what became of Han Solo in the years since Return of the Jedi, but there’s another question being asked at Lucasfilm as they develop one of their stand-alone films: What happened to him in the years before we met him in that Mos Eisley cantina?

Simon Pegg’s secret role in ‘The Force Awakens’

Who is Kylo Ren? Who is Luke Skywalker? Forget that — who the hell is Simon Pegg in this movie?? (And also, a little about those rumors of a 007 stormtrooper.)

Credit: Courtesy Lucasfilm Ltd

Who was this ‘Star Wars’ film’s visionary?

George Lucas turned to the late illustrator Ralph McQuarrie to bring shape to his space epic. We explore who served that role for J.J. Abrams on The Force Awakens

Credit: Lucasfilm

Putting together the pieces: J.J. Abrams on the clues he has planted for fans

The first teaser: “There has been an awakening.” The second teaser: “Chewie, we’re home.” And the Comic-Con behind-the-scenes video, plus all the new images. “They’re all, in a way, pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that is, little by little, coming together in some form,” Abrams explains.

Credit: Lucasfilm

John Boyega swings a lightsaber in ‘The Force Awakens’

A new poster from one-sheet artist Drew Struzan reveals John Boyega’s stormtrooper will be armed with a familiar weapon.

Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

‘Jurassic World’ director to make ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’

Colin Trevorrow is headed to the galaxy far, far away. Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn broke the news, saying the filmmaker’s blockbuster dinosaur sequel “knocked our Avengers from No. 3 [on the all-time box-office chart] but we hired him anyway.”

Credit: (C)2015 Disney/Lucasfilm

Star Wars will be part of Disney’s theme parks

Ride in the Millennium Falcon, grab a bite at the Cantina, and fight the dark side for control of the galaxy at this 14-acre expansion at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and Disneyland in Anaheim, California.

Credit: Jonathan Olley/Lucasfilm

First image of Star Wars: Rogue One revealed!

The full cast is announced for the first of the Star Wars anthology films, which will take the battle from space to a ground war. The story involves the Rebel quest to steal the plans for the original Death Star.


Details of the new Star Wars video game Battlefront

Here’s how the desert world of Jakku, which features prominently in The Force Awakens, came to be littered with fallen starships.

To continue reading the cover story on EW’s Fall Movie Preview, and to see more exclusive photos, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on newsstands Friday, or buy it here.

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