Star Wars Battlefront beta opens up to all on October 8

25.09.2015, 10:29

But only for a few days

EA has announced the Star Wars Battlefront beta is set to begin October 8, but will only last up until the end October 12.


Star Warketing

The beta, which is more of a technical test for game-maker DICE, will be available on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and will be open to everyone.

The announcement of the beta also sheds some light on what we can expect from the game when it launches officially on November 17, with the beta to focus on three modes on three different planets.

You’ll be able to check out the 40-player battles of the Walker Assault on Hoth, which we have seen in trailers before, as well as the Drop Zone Sullust, which features 8v8 matches.

There’s also the online and offline split-screen co-op Survival Mission on Tatooine, which will have you facing hordes of Imperial forces – something we’ve also seen glimpses of in previous trailers.

Along with the game beta, players will also be able to test out the Star Wars Battlefront Companion app, which includes the Star Card perk system, but during the beta, you’ll only be able to access it via the web.

Immerse yourself in Star Wars with the first 360 video on Facebook

25.09.2015, 7:53

The Force is strong with this one

Facebook has joined YouTube in offering 360-degree videos to the masses – and there’s a brand new clip from Star Wars: The Force Awakens to help show off the newly launched feature..


Dark Zuckerberg

As the name suggests, 360-degree videos let you peer in any direction while the action unfolds. You can view them in a VR headset, but they also work in web browsers (if you click and drag to view) and on standard smartphones (swipe or move the handset around).

It’s like a basic version of virtual reality, though you can’t control your position in the scene and there’s no depth perception (you feel like you’re in a round bubble rather than an actual world).

Content publishers like Facebook are positioning 360-degree video as a way into VR for consumers while we wait for the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and other headsets to launch next year. It’s relatively easy to make too.

As for the new Star Wars clip, it lets you explore the parched surface of Jakku on a speeder and fly past a Star Destroyer sunk in the sand. It’s an impressive use of the new tech and shows what’s possible – click and drag to move the point of view around.

The 360-degree videos are rolling out in the News Feed on desktop and Android now with iOS support coming soon. In the not too distant future you’ll be able to peer in any direction inside your friends’ holiday and baby videos (assuming they have a 360-degree camera, of course).

Star Wars: The Force Awakens release date pushed forward in the UK

09.09.2015, 9:05

Force-d to admit date change

Hold onto your lightsabers, rumours of the Star Wars The Force Awakens release date being brought forward have now been verified.


Force-d to admit date change

The film, due to be released on December 18 in the UK, has been given a bump and will now be in theatres from December 17.

One day may not feel like much, but the palpable excitement by Force fans became visible on social media almost immediately.

star wars outcry

Some eagle eyed fans spotted the 100 days countdown video on the official Star Wars UK Facebook page ended on the wrong date, forcing the admins to admit that the release had been pushed forward.

There’s no word of a US or Australian release date change so this might just be a little sneak peak for us here in the UK.

Star wars drones may be the best toys this year!

04.09.2015, 10:20

We've got a great feeling about this

The BB-8 droid isn’t the only hi-tech bit of merchandise hitting toy stores in the run up to the release of The Force Awakens this Christmas: Disney has also unveiled a pair of authentic-looking drones to let you take to the skies.


May the Force be with you!

The drones are manufactured by specialists Air Hog, and you can pick from the X-Wing famously piloted by Luke Skywalker or the Millennium Falcon that Han Solo and Chewbacca like to leap around the galaxy in.

X-Wing drone

Both drones come with authentic features and lights – the Millennium Falcon even has a special hyper-drive “stunt”, but we’re not sure exactly what that entails (presumably it doesn’t disappear in a puff of rocket smoke).

The two drones are part of a huge merchandising push on the part of Disney as the release date for JJ Abrams’ movie draws closer, involving Lego spaceships, kids’ costumes and full-size lightsaber toys you can use to battle the dark or light side of the Force as you wish.

A mammoth unboxing and unveiling session was streamed live over YouTube and various retail outlets are using the officially sanctioned Force Friday name to try and flog some Star Wars-related goodies – and we think these drones and BB-8 are the pick of the bunch.

Speaking of retail outlets, the X-Wing and Millennium Falcon drones are on sale now in the US for US$109.99 (roughly £72 and AUS$) and US$69.99 (roughly £46 and AUS$) respectively. We haven’t seen them appear elsewhere yet but we would expect them to be available internationally very soon.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens will take over IMAX screens everywhere

27.08.2015, 8:34

IMAX is betting big

Come December 18, IMAX is reserving all of its screen in North American IMAX cinemas, most screens across the globe for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.


Chewie’s hair and Jabba’s breath for “real”

Not only that, in this massive distribution deal, the Disney franchise reboot, which is set to include a sequence that was shot with an IMAX large format camera, will be the only film playing on IMAX screens for four weeks straight, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

To put this into perspective, that adds up to 375 to 400 IMAX large format screens in North America, and more than 400 IMAX screen globally, along with the film playing at most other cinema chains.

“Star Wars: Episode VII is the ultimate crossover movie — it crosses over to everyone,” IMAX Entertainment CEO Greg Foster told the publication.

IMAX made a similar exclusive deal four years ago for the Hobbit franchise, and though this deal for the Star Wars film isn’t surprising, it is still out of the ordinary.

It also means that other films will either have a much shorter IMAX run or not get an IMAX release at all during the four week run.

Still, it’s a smart move by IMAX, given that Star Wars: The Force Awakens will definitely draw in massive crowds.

Star Wars: Battlefront will let you fly the Millennium Falcon

05.08.2015, 11:02

Pew pew pew

EA’s DICE has just shown off some new Star Wars: Battlefront footage at Gamescom 2015, revealing a new mode called Fighter Squadron.


Chewie, we’re home!

As you might have guessed, this is an aerial combat mode, which your partake in 20-player dogfights using many of the franchise’s famous spacecraft.

You’ll even be able to pilot the Millennium Falcon or, if you’re fighting for the Imperials, Boba Fett’s Slave I. However, DICE explained that the fights will take place above the planet’s surface – they’re not space battles.

Check out the footage below.

You’ll be able to buy your very own Star Wars BB-8 droid

21.04.2015, 8:35

Robot soccer ball can be yours

Fans were pleasantly surprised when the BB-8 robot from Star Wars: The Force Awakens rolled out onto the stage at the Star Wars Celebration last week. Like, “That thing is real?!”


Go for it, Star Wars fans!

Naturally most people’s next thought was how badly they wanted one of their own, and luckily the company behind BB-8, Orbotix, is going to deliver.

Orbotix is the maker of the Sphero, a toy robotic ball that users control from their smartphones.

Orbotix provided the technology behind the version of BB-8 used in the new Star Wars film, and the company is also designing the toy version, reports Gizmodo.

Based on a Fat Brain Toys page that went up earlier today and was promptly deleted it seems the consumer BB-8 will launch in September for around $150 (about £100, AU$195).

That’s unconfirmed, though, and for now the only official word is a landing page with a BB-8 silhouette, the sentence “This is the droid you’re looking for,” and a form to enter your email address and receive updates.

Coincidentally – or maybe not, who knows? – a designer named Christian Poulsen revealed over the weekend that he had made his own jury-rigged BB-8 by slicing a Sphero open, inserting a magnet and putting a counter magnet inside a head made of what looks like styrofoam.

You might not have a spare Sphero lying around to experiment on, though, in which case it seems you’ll have to wait until the fall to terrorize pets and small children with your very own real life BB-8.

LEGO® Star Wars™ Microfighters | Video of the Week

05.05.2014, 9:07

The dark side of the force strikes back!

Whilst snacking in secrecy past midnight one may want to quietly walk back to sleep so no one else knows. If only there were no obstacles on the way. Yet the creaking floorboards and the barking dogs are a challenge, but even they are the least of the problems when none other than Darth Vader blocks the way!

No matter its size, Darth Vader will always win! See (and laugh – like A LOT) for yourself. ;)

Star Wars officially not being shot digitally or on IMAX

20.01.2014, 13:12

Abrams confirms he's sticking to film

If digital were a wookie it might well be making the Chewbacca growl right now, with the next Star Wars director JJ Abrams confirming what we already thought – that he’d be shooting episode 7 on film.

Nothing like a rebel pilot helmet!

Given that George Lucas was a pioneer of next-gen film technology, Abrams’ penchant for film was always going to cause some consternation, but the Star Trek and Lost man has got his way, clarifying that he would not even be going for the IMAX at the TCA press tour.

“The problem with IMAX is it’s a very loud camera,” Abrams explained. “It’s a very unreliable camera. There’s only so much film that can be in the camera. You can’t really do intimate scenes with it. It’s slow. They break down often.

“Having said that, they’re working on digital versions of these, and so there may be a version one day that we would shoot on. But we’re going to be shooting this next movie [Star Wars] on film.”

Never mind digital Chewie – Paramount is on your side…

More news bites, from a long time ago (the weekend), in a land far far away (Florida/San Fran):

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Star Wars Episode VII release date set for December 18, 2015

08.11.2013, 9:19

On a date far, far away

It’s been 30 years in the making, but seventh installment of the Star Wars saga finally has a release date.

In a far, far away galaxy…, the official source of Star Wars news, said movie goers will see Episode VII hyper-drive into theaters on December 18, 2015.

The film, which is being shot on 35mm film and not in digital, is in pre-production and shooting is pegged to start in spring 2014. J.J. Abrams, of Star Trek and other film fame, is co-writing the script and directing.

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