There’s some great stuff from Lucasfilm head honcho Kathleen Kennedy at Vanity Fair today.
George made it personal. He just made a movie that meant something to him. And I think that’s probably the biggest challenge for anybody stepping into this is that they can’t spend a lot of time thinking about what other people are going to think of the movie. They have to come at it from the point of view of, What does this mean to me and what does it have to do with me? Frankly, I don’t think great movies ever get made unless there’s some aspect of that going on between the creator and the story that’s being told. It can only become emotional [for an audience] if it’s operating on some kind of personal passion.
She also the emotional resonance of Star Wars, the old school experience, and how she and Steven Spielberg ended up hiring J.J. Abrams and Matt Reeves (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) to fix up those old Super 8 films.
How much of The Force Awakens is George Lucas? Well, per the Vanity Fair article (much of which still isn’t online, which means you’re going to be reading dozens of interpretations until it is) the answer is: Not a lot. I’m off to see if I can find a copy…
Today, Vanity Fair has their J.J. Abrams interview, where The Force Awakens director talks about not overexplaining things, his weirdest moment, and capturing the tone of Star Wars. Also, a horrible Max von Sydow pun.
Now, what sparked a lot of discussion today was this bit:
Well, what’s cool is we’ve obviously had a lot of time [during the development process] to talk about what’s happened outside of the borders of the story that you’re seeing. So there are, of course, references to things, and some are very oblique so that hopefully the audience can infer what the characters are referring to. We used to have more references to things that we pulled out because they almost felt like they were trying too hard to allude to something. I think that the key is—and whether we’ve accomplished that or not is, of course, up to the audience—but the key is that references be essential so that you don’t reference a lot of things that feel like, oh, we’re laying pipe for, you know, an animated series or further movies. It should feel like things are being referenced for a reason.
Earlier, they talks about how A New Hope just dropped in references to things like the Clone Wars, and as someone who’s experienced great anvil fatigue over the past decades, I greatly appreciate a return to that, whether it be random whatevers that happened between trilogies or old stuff we already know.
Disney had their earnings call today, in the aftermath of May 4, where Bob Iger talked up their “carefully designed marketing plan” for Star Wars. (…Yeah.) A research film, meanwhile, revealed that the franchise had “197 percent more digital consumption” yesterday than Avengers: Age of Ultron had on the day it was released.
And now, the actual Vanity Fair photoshoot is up – with one more photo set to go out in their email newsletter. We do get a name for Lupita Nyong’o’s CGI character: Maz Kanata, a pirate who has a castle populated with a variety of riffraff. We also get a nice shot of Oscar Isaac and his X-Wing, Rey (and J.J. Abrams) on Jakku and Abrams with Kathleen Kennedy, John Williams and Lawrence Kasdan.
UPDATE: And the last photo has been spotted. Gwendoline Christie is confirmed as Captain Phasma, the chrome stormtrooper. You can read most of the article at VF as well, plus the prequel spreads are back up!
J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy’s “special guests” included the new trio – Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac – who confirmed some of what we’d already heard and/or guessed about their characters. We also got to see the (real!) BB-8 and Artoo, plus their makers, and of course Anthony Daniels, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill and Peter Mayhew also showed up. I’ll be back later with more, but for now just keep an eye on @clubjade, where I’ve been far more active than on the blog. (Sorry!)
It’s the final Friday before Celebration, and the news is flowing.
First up, we have a look at what will be in the official Celebration store. Today we got the second batch, and I guess it’s just as well I forgot to blog the first part the other day, right? (Though at least I remembered the apparel.) My personal highlights are above, but there’s lots for everyone. And yes, the Death Star soccer ball from last Celebration Europe IS BACK!
Collider is reporting that the first poster and a second trailer will debut at Celebration Anaheim, at the opening panel with J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy. Sure, it’s a no-brainer, but hey: It’s Monday.