After Star Wars fans watch The Force Awakens in theaters beginning Thursday night, they can head to Disney Infinity to continue the adventures of Rey, Finn, Kylo Ren and Poe Dameron.
Four new members of the Star Wars universe are playable characters in The Force Awakens add-on play set for the toys-to-life video-game platform Disney Infinity. (In stores Friday, the play set is $34.99 and each of the characters are $13.99.)
Before the new set launches, the Infinity community can tune into Twitch.com Thursday at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT for a first look at the Force Awakens characters in action. “The team will show off the abilities of each character and special Star Wars-themed Toy Boxes, making sure to leave no room for spoilers before the film’s released,” says John Vignocchi, vice president of production for Disney Infinity.
Plus, after players unlock the various toys and characters in the Force Awakens play set, they can take part in a challenge that runs Dec. 11 through Jan. 6 where winning Toy Boxes will be chosen by special guest judges from the Star Wars games team.
In The Force Awakens play set, gamers can play as Rey and fly the Millennium Falcon while shooting down enemy TIE Fighters, or go on missions against the First Order with Poe and Finn. The playset’s over-arching story closely follows the movie’s plot, according to Vignocchi, and each of the characters is voiced by their cinematic actor: Daisy Ridley is Rey, John Boyega is Finn, Oscar Isaac is Poe and Adam Driver is Kylo.
The Infinity team started developing the Force Awakens character figure before much film reference was available in order to understand their personalities, according to Jeff Bunker, vice president of art development.
The goal with Rey was to find an appealing caricature while also capturing her strong, independent spirit, Bunker says. “I like how her outfit, with the wraps hanging from her waist, help create movement and action to make her pose more dynamic.
“We didn’t have too many notes (from filmmakers) except for her hair, which they were very particular about — and understandably so, because the attention those kinds of details get from Star Wars fans. Look at how iconic Leia’s hair became.”
Rey more than holds her own in the film and the game due to “her tremendous capabilities,” adds Vince Bracken, Disney Infinity game director. “Armed with her custom bo staff and hand-me-down blaster, she is great at keeping groups of enemies at bay. While not the highest damage dealer, she has mechanics that allow her to juggle enemies, deal with groups, and trick her opponents.”
Kylo and Poe’s poses were tricky to perfect. The initial design for Kylo was powerful and dramatic, but the filmmakers wanted more menacing. “It was only after viewing the trailers that we realized the final pose we decided on is much more authentic to his character,” says Bunker, adding that with Poe, “there is so much to his flight suit that is important to his character.”
Visually, Kylo Ren is Bracken’s favorite of the new characters given his forbidding looks and powerful in-game abilities, he says. But despite how ominous the lightsaber-wielding bad guy is, “I tend to ‘turn against the Dark Side’ and stick with Rey when playing through the story.”
As for Poe, he’s “a natural pilot and handles the X-wing extremely well,” Bracken notes. “Also, when things go bad, players will enjoy who Poe is able to call in as reinforcement.”
Comparatively, Finn was relatively easy to create. From a figure standpoint, Bunker thinks some of that might be because of Boyega’s strong features, and his personality was clear enough that creators were able to dial into it quicker than with other characters.
As for action, Bracken describes Finn as “a combat-trained soldier (who) comes equipped with a very powerful rifle that becomes all the more effective when upgraded to maximum firepower.”
Players will be able to take other Disney Infinity 3.0 characters such as Darth Vader and Yoda into the Force Awakens play set once they’ve collected the appropriate champion coin, and the game allows folks to visit a wide variety of planets and other galactic locales.
“Players are able to land on and explore moons within certain star systems to discover new missions and collectibles,” Bracken says. “We also did our best to deliver multiple epic moments from the film that hopefully make the player feel as if they are truly reliving every great moment within it.”
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