J.J. Abrams says he has 'six little things left' to finish Star Wars: The Force Awakens

The Force Awakens is officially less than a month away, but we’re still getting little bits of information here and there. First up is yet another TV spot — this one shines the spotlight on Oscar Isaac and the X-Wings. You can watch that below.

But more importantly, J.J. Abrams says that Episode VII is all but complete. At a charity event hosted by Stephen Colbert last night, the director said that early on Saturday, “at 2:30 in the morning, we finished the mix of the movie.” That means the sound, one of the last pieces to fall into place during production, is completely signed off, and the film is essentially finished. Abrams noted, however: “I left with six very small, but important things that (still) need to be done.”

The event was…

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Author: Dante D’Orazio

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Who Marvel chooses to play Iron Fist is a big deal

With Daredevil and Jessica Jones now out of the way, Marvel has two more solo Netflix outings left before the eventual Defenders team-up. We know that production for Luke Cage is already underway, with Mike Colter set to star. But we don’t really know much of anything about Iron Fist, the fourth and final series. Iron Fist is a classic, if not highly recognizable, superhero — a martial arts master with a deep connection to Marvel’s mystical mythos. But what’s also significant is the fact that he’s, according to canon, Caucasian.

With that in mind, casting for this show is going to be important, and Marvel’s head of TV Jeph Loeb recently toldComic Book Resources that news is on the way. We should pay close attention to what’s announced….

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Author: Kwame Opam

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SNL shows what happened when Jon Hamm and Emma Stone auditioned for The Force Awakens

The Force Awakens is less than a month away, and the deluge of everything Star Wars is unavoidable. But Saturday Night Live took the whole affair in a fun (if predictable) direction with its “exclusive footage” of the auditions for the film.

The skit sees a number of celebrities, real and fake, take turns in front of the camera. The impersonators include “David Beckham” punting BB-8 and “Danny DeVito” giving his best impression of the adorable droid, but it’s the appearances from real-life Jon Hamm (playing Hamm Solo) and John Boyega himself that took the spotlight. Boyega smartly comments on the racist outcry surrounding his role by acting that he, too, can’t believe there’s a black Stormtrooper.

For older SNL fans out there, this…

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Author: Dante D’Orazio

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Halo 5 December DLC Teased, Watch Video and See Images Here

Microsoft already confirmed that Forge tools for Halo 5: Guardians will launch in December, but now the studio is teasing even more extra content coming to the sci-fi shooter next month.

Spotted by Designntrend, the end of this week’s Halo 5 livestream (at about 2 hours, 2 minutes) features a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it video that teases December’s DLC. It looks like players have new weapons, weapon skins, and armor to look forward to, as well as what appears to be a Forge map set in Space.

One of the new weapons looks like the M41 Rocket Launcher, while it also appears players are getting the Mark IV helmet and some black and gold weapon skins. We grabbed some screens from the video, which you can see in the image gallery below.

The first major update for Halo 5 was Battle of Shadow and Light, which launched this week. It added the Big Team Battle mode, four new maps, and dozens of new Req packs. It is the first of numerous free updates that 343 plans to release for Halo 5 over the game’s lifespan.

Halo 5 launches for Xbox One on October 27 and made $400 million at launch, representing a new Halo franchise record.

What else can you spot in the video? Let us know in the comments below.

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Author: Eddie Makuch

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How to make friends with rebels and destroy AT-ATs in Star Wars: Battlefront

I’ve put thousands of hours into EA and Dice’s Battlefield series since Battlefield 1942 came out in 2002, so it’s no trifle when I say that Star Wars: Battlefront is the best Battlefield game I’ve ever played. Religious Battlefield devotees might not agree with that, but I think Battlefront successfully sacrifices a bit of complexity to create a focused, exhilarating spectacle.

There are a bunch of game modes in Battlefront, but there’s really only one crown jewel: Walker Assault. In Walker Assault, the Empire’s terrifying AT-AT death machines march in succession toward three key Rebel Alliance positions, and the rebels must destroy them all before they reach their final target. At each of the three stages, rebel players have to…

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Author: T.C. Sottek

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Halo 5 December DLC Teased, Watch Teaser Video and See Images Here

Microsoft already confirmed that Forge tools for Halo 5: Guardians will launch in December, but now the studio is teasing even more extra content coming to the sci-fi shooter next month.

Spotted by Designntrend, the end of this week’s Halo 5 livestream (at about 2 hours, 2 minutes) features a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it video that teases December’s DLC. It looks like players have new weapons, weapon skins, and armor to look forward to, as well as what appears to be a Forge map set in Space.

One of the new weapons looks like the M41 Rocket Launcher, while it also appears players are getting the Mark IV helmet and some black and gold weapon skins. We grabbed some screens from the video, which you can see in the image gallery below.

The first major update for Halo 5 was Battle of Shadow and Light, which launched this week. It added the Big Team Battle mode, four new maps, and dozens of new Req packs. It is the first of numerous free updates that 343 plans to release for Halo 5 over the game’s lifespan.

Halo 5 launches for Xbox One on October 27 and made $400 million at launch, representing a new Halo franchise record.

What else can you spot in the video? Let us know in the comments below.

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Author: Eddie Makuch

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A full work day on Pluto would be a killer

The next time you experience the day that just won’t end, be thankful you’re not experiencing it on Pluto. One day on the dwarf planet takes 6.4 Earth days, and its largest moon Charon also does a full rotation in the same amount of time. This week, NASA released collages showing the full rotations of Pluto and Charon, providing a multi-faced view of the planetary system.

The images in the collages were taken by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft between July 7th and 13th, as the spacecraft prepared to fly by Pluto. During that time, New Horizons went from 5 million miles away from Pluto to just 400,000 miles away. The probe snapped the pictures using its Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) and the Ralph/Multispectral Visible Imaging…

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Author: Loren Grush

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The Verge Review of Animals: the leopard gecko

This column is part of a series where Verge staffers post highly subjective reviews of animals. Up until now, we’ve written about animals without telling you whether they suck or rule. We are now rectifying this oversight.

Lizards can sit unnaturally (or super naturally) still, stare, and then move in a flash — alien movements at alien speeds. Our feeble human desire to anthropomorphize everything is stymied at almost every turn, and somehow this makes the creatures all the more compelling.

Then there’s the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius, which is basically Latin for “good eyelid, spotted”). The leopard gecko is a lizard that evolved away the things you expect from a gecko. It has no sticky lamellae on its feet for wall…

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Author: Dieter Bohn

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