First short in 'Star Wars: Forces of Destiny' has Rey and BB-8 on the run

Very seldom does a week go by without bringing at least one new piece of Star Wars-related news — even when that week falls on Independence Day. Per ScreenCrush, the latest from a galaxy far, far, away, is the first in a series of animated shorts entitled, Star Wars: Forces of Destiny.

This first installment (embedded above) is called Sands of Jakku and gives us a peek at Rey and BB-8 palling around on the perilous planet. The main action comes when the pair are chased by a formidable, subterranean, junk-eating beast known as a nightwatcher worm, and it is hardly spoiling anything to say that both manage to escape the ordeal in one piece. We actually got a fleeting glimpse of the monster’s (antennae?) in Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens, but when it rears its ugly head (and we do mean ugly), we realize there was something far more frightening waiting just beneath the desert sand.

The 2 minute, 48 second-long film is primarily meant to fill in the gaps between scenes from the most recent installment of the Star Wars franchise and will be followed by a new one each day at 1:00 p.m. (ET) until Sunday, when the collected shorts will air on The Disney Channel. Don’t expect anything revelatory out of this series but — if you’re looking for a fun little diversion to tide you over until Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi — this may just do the trick.

That said, you shouldn’t expect Disney to phone these in, either. The studio has Daisy Ridley voicing Rey in this first animated adventure and subsequent entries will feature Rogue One’s Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), as well as Star Wars Rebels cast members like Tiya Sircar (Sabine Wren) and Vanessa Marshall (Hera Syndulla). To top it off, Lupita Nyong’o narrates the series as Maz Kanata.

That’s not a bad lineup for a side project and it will be fun to see what these shorts have in store for some of the series’ new stars.

You can watch the trailer for the series below and — to all those celebrating the upcoming holiday — may the Fourth (of July) be with you.

Movies & TV

You should read these epic sci-fi novels before they become blockbuster films

You can get ahead of the next crop of science-fiction movies coming out of Hollywood by picking up the books that inspired them. We compiled a list of books you can add to your reading list now to get a glimpse of the future.
Movies & TV

J.J. Abrams wraps production on Star Wars: Episode IX with a heartfelt message

Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams has wrapped production on Star Wars: Episode IX, which he directed and co-wrote. Here's everything we know about the movie before it premieres in December 2019.

Take to the virtual skies with these free flight simulators

You don't have to spend the entirety of your paycheck to become a virtual ace, at least when it comes to flight simulation. Our list of the best free flight simulators will let you unleash your inner Maverick.

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Movies & TV

Did I really watch that? Here's how to delete your Netflix viewing history

Everybody has some skeletons in their streaming closet, but you don't have to live with them if you don't want to. Learning how to delete your Netflix viewing history is easy, and we're here to help.
Movies & TV

From Roma to Isle of Dogs: Here’s where to watch 2019’s Oscar nominees online

The 2019 Oscar field is a strong one, and if you missed some of the films in theaters, you may be in luck: Several of them are available on popular streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and HBO.
Movies & TV

Eye-popping Alita: Battle Angel delivers a beautifully hollow cyberpunk spectacle

With Alita: Battle Angel, Robert Rodriguez and James Cameron finally deliver a cyberpunk adventure that keeps the action high with groundbreaking visual effects, even when the story falls short.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Home Theater

Here's how to turn off subtitles on Netflix, no matter the device

Subtitles are great if you want or need them, but they can be a major headache if you’ve somehow turned them on by accident and can’t figure out how to get rid of them. Don't worry, it's not as complicated as it seems.
Home Theater

Everything to know about Sling TV: Channels, pricing, and more

Sling TV has grown a great deal since its launch. Now there are more channels and more packages to chose from, with prices to match, and more is being added all the time. Everything you need to know is right here.
Movies & TV

Oscar Effects

Every year, five films are nominated for an Academy Award in the “Visual Effects” category. Each of the projects nominated this year offer a unique, inside look at the amazing tricks filmmakers and their talented effects teams use to…
Home Theater

ATSC 3.0: The next-gen TV update explained

ATSC 3.0 is the next major update to the broadcast standard we use today. Will this be the second coming of free, over-the-air TV? We're here to explain everything about the new standard.
Movies & TV

Ben Affleck explains why he is no longer working on The Batman

Warner Bros. Pictures' The Batman will come out in June 2021, but it needs a new star. Ben Affleck has confirmed he's hanging up the cape and cowl once and for all and explained why on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Apple's wild TV service, Jason Momoa joins Dune, Alita's epic battle

This week on Between the Streams, we'll talk about Apple's radical new TV streaming service, Robert Rodriguez and James Cameron's epic new CG adventure Alita: Battle Angel, Hulu's multiple new Marvel series, and much more.