Star Wars: The Force Awakens

“There were certain aliens that we made then, even during the shooting process, [that] clearly transcended from being just a background alien to having an authority or likability,” Neal Scanlan told USA Today about his Oscar nominated VFX work on "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." “Should the human race of 'Star Wars' die tomorrow, any one of these characters could take the mantle and become the next species that dominated the universe.”

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Well, we all know that Rey, Finn, Poe, and Kylo Ren aren't going anywhere, but Scanlan's words speak to the degree to which the filmmakers are committing to creating a living, breathing universe for these characters to inhabit. But even for all the planning, no one ever knows which new characters audiences will take a liking to. And indeed, that seems to be the reason for the delay behind Rian Johnson's "Star Wars: Episode VIII."

In a series of tweets (see below), the Hollywood Reporter's Borys Kit revealed that according to his sources, Disney pushed the movie back to December 15, 2017 to allow for rewrites to the script. The changes are taking place due to fan response to particular characters in 'The Force Awakens,' so it'll be interesting to see who gets more screentime the next time out.

Until then, check out this extensive FX Guide look at the VFX of 'The Force Awakens,' followed by a quick look at Lupita Nyong’o's transformation into Maz Kanata, and some newly released official stills.  

Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Star Wars: The Force Awakens