Actors from “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” returned to Pinewood Studios on Thursday (September 26) to promote merchandise available on “Triple Force Friday”, an event created by Disney to boost tie-in product sales even before the movie premieres in December.
Walt Disney Co, which paid $4.05 billion for Star Wars production company Lucasfilm in 2012, held the first “Force Friday” in 2015 ahead of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”. The 2019 event has been expanded to includes tie-ins inspired by “The Mandalorian”, the first Star Wars live-action series that will debut on streaming service Disney in November, and “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order”, a forthcoming video game.
The launch event at Pinewood Studios, where the new film was shot, was hosted by Warwick Davis, who started his career in 1983 release “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi”. “As an actor in Star Wars, the first time you see yourself immortalised as a Star Wars toy is a very exciting moment, however old you are,”.
“The first time it happened to me was when I was 11-years-old in ‘Return of the Jedi’, and as a young boy to actually have a toy of yourself is a mind-blowing experience.”Naomi Ackie, a Star Wars newcomer who plays the role of ‘Jannah’ in the movie, said it was “super surreal” to see the bobblehead version of her character for the first time.
The actress, who is currently filming the upcoming “Game of Thrones” prequel, said she had so far managed to keep tight-lipped and not reveal any details about the new Star Wars movie. Her co-star, Joonas Suotamo, took on the role of Chewbacca, famously played by actor Peter Mayhew, who passed away in April this year.
“It’s an honour to carry on the legacy that Peter started, playing this memorable, beloved character of Chewbacca and to me, I want to make Peter proud and do his work justice in this last installment. I couldn’t imagine that he wouldn’t be proud to see this last movie and feel that Chewbacca is going forward and we are getting to see him again, come December,” the Finnish actor and former basketball player said.
“Triple Force Friday” will be marked globally on October 4, 2019.