TUCSON, Ariz. - "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" opens in just over a week, meaning the weeks, months and years of speculation will finally give way to an actual movie to break down and analyze.
Until then, there is still a little time to break down the information about the movie that's been flooding all forms of media in order to get a better idea of what to expect when the light goes dark and we hear the Lucasfilm fanfare once again.
Here are a few recent tidbits to savor:
Cutesy characters are gone. At the world press conference Sunday, producer Kathleen Kennedy drew fist-pumps from older fans by revealing that two of the most hated Lucas creations -- the Ewoks and Jar Jar Binks -- won't be in the new film. There's a dividing line between Star Wars fans in their 30s and up, who resent the kiddie-pandering creations, and the younger crowd that grew up with the Ewoks and Jar Jar and have always accepted them as part of the Star Wars canon.
Carrie Fisher isn't happy about the disappearance of 'Slave Leia.' One of the iconic images of slobbering fanboyism has been the depiction of bikini-clad Princess Leia in poster and action figure form. Rumors swirled that Disney has nixed any future depictions of Slave Leia, sparking actress Carrie Fisher to call the move "stupid."
Opening-day tickets are still available in town. Opening-day tickets are selling well, but theaters are cramming their schedules with screenings to meet demand. Of the 66 opening-day showings, only 13 have sold out so far. If you're looking to buy opening-day tickets, Fandango's "The Force Awakens" opening day page is the best place to scope out what time and location works best for you.
HOT ON HOME VIDEO:
Aladdin: Diamond Edition -- The joyous humor of the 1992 animated classic may take on a somber note after the death of Robin Williams, but the movie is every bit as brilliant and edgy as it was more than two decades ago, with Williams turning in the voice performance of a lifetime as Genie. The music is some of the best Disney has ever produced, and the computer-enhanced 2D animation is a welcome throwback in the era of constant CGI. Remastered and looking better than ever in its HD debut, the disc includes a digital copy, a featurette on the Broadway adaptation and a look at all the hidden references that can be found in the film.
Back to the Future: 30th Anniversary Trilogy -- Now that we're past the "future" date of Oct. 21, 2015 featured in the second film, the series is more of a time capsule from the mid-to-late 1980s and early 90s than a glimpse at what could be. It's still the most sensible and fascinating meditations on the possibility of time travel and the Butterfly Effect, in which small changes have lasting repercussions on events that follow. Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd are in excellent form, working together in an oil-and-water way that's rarely been equaled since. This set, the second in which all the movies have been rounded up in HD, includes digital copies and a slew of making-of and retrospective featurettes, including a Q&A with director Robert Zemeckis and producer Bob Gale.
Inside Out -- The odds-on favorite to win the best animated film Oscar, Pixar's summer blockbuster takes place inside the mind of a tween girl, with amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Mindy Kaling and Lewis Black voicing emotions that compete and work in concert to help her make sense of tough changes at home life and school. Deeply emotional while hanging on to the sense of whimsy the studio has always been known for, "Inside Out" ranks alongside "Finding Nemo," "Up" and "Toy Story 3" as Pixar's best efforts at tugging on your heartstrings. The Blu-ray includes a digital copy, two Pixar short films and filmmaker commentary.