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WIRE Buzz: Soul artist jazzes on fall scene; Mark Hamill finally visits Tosche Station; more

By Vanessa Armstrong & Josh Grossberg
Screenshot from Pixar Soul Trailer

Pixar’s Soul premiered Christmas Day on Disney+, and has received widespread acclaim, including a 96% Rotten Tomatoes score from critics. One of the reasons the film has been received so well is the creation of soon-to-be iconic scenes of the afterlife. Trevor Jimenez, a Pixar director and story artist who worked on Soul, took to Twitter today to share the creative process for bringing those scenes to life (so to speak, of course).

**Spoiler Warning! Mild spoilers for Pixar's Soul below!**

Jimenez specifically discussed his work on a scene where the main character, Joe (Jamie Foxx), falls off an ethereal conveyor belt heading to The Great Beyond and goes on a psychedelic trip to The Great Before, where he ultimately gets tasked with mentoring 22 (Tina Fey), a soul who has spent thousands of years avoiding getting sent to Earth:

Jimenez describes the process for creating the trippy feel of the scene, including sharing the initial boards of how it could look:

The boards show the seeds of the scene's final imagery, which successfully conveys what he and his team were looking to create: “Something visually distinct that would help set up a mysterious tone for the afterlife and pair with the amazing score and sound design” by Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, and Ren Klyce.

Watch the entire sequence and the rest of Pixar's Soul now on Disney+.

It only took 43 years, but mission accomplished for Mark Hamill.

Luke Skywalker's real-life counterpart took to Twitter to share some important news with the Star Wars faithful: he finally made it to Tosche Station!

"I can finally cross this off my to-do list," the actor and voiceover artist tweeted.

Hamill, of course, is referring to the famous scene in 1977's Star Wars: A New Hope, when audiences are first introduced to his iconic character. Uncle Owen has just bought two droids — C-3PO and R2-D2 — and tells Luke to take them over to the garage and get them cleaned up before dinner. And the teenage moisture farmer utters one of the most famous and hilariously whiny lines in the entire Star Wars trilogy: "But I was going into Tosche Station to pick up some power converters!"

"You can waste time with your friends when your chores are done," Uncle Owen replies.

As we all know, Luke never actually got to Tosche Station since Artoo decided to run away to find Obi-Wan Kenobi, thus setting the young Skywalker on one of the most famous galactic adventures of all time, learning the ways of the Force like his father before him.

But lucky for Hamill, perhaps with the magic of Photoshop, he was able to make it to a Mobil Tosche station after all. The thesp concludes his post with the hashtag #BetterLateThanNever.

Spirited Away

Hayao Miyazaki's magical run atop the Japanese box office is over.

Since hitting theaters in 2001, the anime master's classic Spirited Away has held the title of the country's top-grossing film of all time, having amassed 31.68 billion yen, or $313.9 million. But now after almost 20 years, according to The Hollywood Reporter, that milestone has been shattered by Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train, the anime blockbuster adapted from the 2016 manga by Japanese artist Koyoharu Gotouge.

As of Sunday, Demon Slayer has raked in 32.47 billion yen, or $313.9 million, since its release on Oct. 16, according to distributor Aniplex. And it got there in record speed and in the midst of a pandemic that, due to Japan's strict health and safety protocols, has mostly spared the island nation and enabled its movie theaters to reopen after a brief shutdown in the spring.

Demon Slayer, about a young boy and his sister who get caught up in a centuries-old war against flesh-eating demons, not only had the biggest three-day opening weekend ever — 4.6 billion yen, or $44 million — but also crossed the 10 billion yen mark, or $100 million, in a mere 10 days. Helping its success has been the fact that it's pretty much had all of Japan's screens to itself, free from foreign competition as Hollywood studios have mostly postponed their blockbuster releases until COVID gets under control.

Miyazaki's Spirited Away, which was re-released as recently as this past summer, now falls to number two on Japan's all-time box office list.