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CNET Magazine, Winter edition, is a force to be reckoned with

This holiday season is loaded with magic: a new "Star Wars" film, Disney's updated Infinity video game and scores of hot tech gifts for the gadget hounds in your life.

The Walt Disney Co. has long been a force in the entertainment industry, thanks to its film studios, cable TV networks, theme parks, beloved characters like Mickey Mouse -- and toys. Now, the house that Mickey built aims to stake an even bigger claim in the toy market.

Just in time for the holidays, Disney Interactive has updated its Infinity video game and added new characters from "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," the latest film in the sci-fi franchise. With Infinity, plastic figurines of key characters -- like the villain Darth Maul and the new hero, Finn -- step into the video game's digital world. CNET's Ian Sherr gets an inside look at the studio where Disney Interactive's creative team brings its biggest game to life.

Finn has remained a mystery to fans from the moment the first "Star Wars" trailer hit the Internet last year. John Boyega, the actor who plays Finn, maintained that mystery even as he gave an exclusive interview to CNET about how it feels to see himself as an action hero -- on the big screen -- and as a 4-inch toy brought to life on the digital screen.

The new issue of CNET Magazine features John Boyega, who stars in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." The black collector's edition cover is available in limited quantities.

Josh Miller/CNET

"I can't even say it's a dream come true," Boyega said during the cover shoot for the Winter issue. "It's more like an altered reality."

In our cover story in this issue, Boyega talks about his favorite scene in the new movie and why the Star Wars story has resonated with fans in a way that other big-budget sci-fi movies haven't. He also reveals how he prepared for his audition for the part (Hint: He went to YouTube).

CNET also visited a famous Disney animation studio. Reporter Richard Nieva checked in with Pixar in time for the 20th anniversary of "Toy Story," the animated feature that changed cinema.

This issue also includes CNET's iconic gift guide, this time expanded to 26 pages for the holiday season. Our editors have assembled the hottest and most fascinating tech gifts around -- from an affordable virtual-reality headset to the most beautiful television we've ever tested. And we organized them by price so that you can surprise your loved ones with the very best no matter your budget.

Grab the popcorn, settle in and enjoy. And, of course, may the Force be with you.

One more thing: As a bonus to readers and fans of "Star Wars," we created two covers for our Winter edition featuring Boyega -- our regular newsstand edition and a "collector's edition" that's available in limited quantities at Barnes & Noble stores and through retailers in New York.

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