The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams was asked about the future of gay characters in Star Wars Thursday. “Of course,” he told The Daily Beast. “When I talk about inclusivity it’s not excluding gay characters. It’s about inclusivity. So of course.”
By Abrams’ logic, the sprawling Star Wars universe couldn’t possibly exist without a gay populace—even if we haven’t seen a single character identified as gay thus far. “I would love it,” he said. “To me, the fun of Star Wars is the glory of possibility. So it seems insanely narrow-minded and counterintuitive to say that there wouldn’t be a homosexual character in that world.”
Of course, fans of the new Star Wars novels know that there are already canon gay and lesbian characters there (most notably, though not without ‘controversy,’ in Aftermath) but on film it’s a different story.
Abrams’ comments are far from a promise – or a confirmation – but he does say that discussions on diversity and inclusiveness are happening in Hollywood. And given what Lucasfilm’s done so far, I doubt they’re an exception.
I actually scrolled past this several times in my Twitter feed this morning, thinking it was just another less-than-relevant fan project, but no: Star Wars Headspace is an electronic dance music compilation executive produced by Rick Rubin with the full blessing of Lucasfilm. You can listen to a few tracks over at StarWarsHeadspace.com.
If you’re not an electronic music aficionado, though, there still may be something here for you: The Headspace site is teasing an exclusive premiere for a J.J. Abrams directed video of ‘Jabba Flow’ – apparently not the remixed version. The track by Abrams and Hamilton‘s Lin-Manuel Miranda is heard during the sequence at Maz Kanata’s castle in The Force Awakens, but is missing entirely from the film’s soundtrack. Does this mean a single release? In any case, the video will debut February 18 at 8:15 p.m. on the basic cable channel Freeform (née ABC Family.)
Headspace will be released digitally February 19, with physical copies going to retail on March 18. It can be pre-ordered on iTunes now.
Sick of the various Rey theories yet? I’m getting there! Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow told Entertainment Tonight that they’re going to “make sure” that the answer of Rey’s parentage will be “deeply and profoundly satisfying.” Oh, Colin, you optimist you!
The Force Awakens screenplay (via /Film) sheds a bit of light on the film, including a (temporary?) name for the final planet, details on Rey’s vision, and how Kylo Ren feels about his actions in the final act (which is also reflected in the novelization.)
Both io9 and The Daily Dot explore things we’ve learned from Alan Dean Foster’s novelization that aren’t in the movie – including things that got changed. There are some possible hints at the big question regarding Rey, but remember that the novelizations have a rather tenuous connection to canon – they only really count when they’re supported by what’s in the actual films. (As for Rey, I’m not up for picking any teams yet, but I do plan to explore the question of her possible origins at some point.)
→ What happened to those lightsaber scenes, and other things that we saw in the trailer but didn’t make the final cut? J.J. Abrams explains to Entertainment Weekly.
Anthony Breznican at Entertainment Weekly has more from this weekend’s Writers Guild event with J.J. Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt, with a journey into deep spoiler territory on Kylo Ren and his actions. At The Hollywood Reporter, Graeme McMillan takes a look at why the pivotal moment works.
Things are a bit safer over with the Los Angeles Times, where Adam Driver talks about what the mask says about Kylo and some hints on the Knights of Ren.
J.J. Abrams , Lawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt explained Artoo’s actions (and lack thereof) in The Force Awakens at a post-screening event on Saturday, as reported by Entertainment Weekly. These are some pretty hefty spoilers, so check them out at the link or below the cut.
No, you weren’t hearing things: Those were the voices of Ewan MacGregor, Frank Oz and Alec Guinness that we heard during Rey’s vision in The Force Awakens, J.J. Abrams confirmed to Entertainment Weekly.
Ewan McGregor came in to record his part (after cartoon counterpart James Arnold Taylor took a shot at it,) as did Frank Oz. Guinness’ “Rey” was isolated from existing audio:
As they worked on editing the dream sequence, Bryan Burk, a longtime Bad Robot collaborator and one of the producers of the film, surprised Abrams one day with the gift of a single word: Obi-Wan Kenobi’s voice saying the name “Rey …”
“I said, ‘That’s cool, is that the thing from Ewan McGregor?’” Abrams recalled. “He said ‘No, we took a line from Alec Guinness saying ‘Afraid.’”
Not only that, but the lilt in his voice from that truncated word happened to fit exactly what Abrams had in mind. “They cut it, and you hear the performance – he’s saying it the way I would have begged Alec Guinness to have said it. It is so crazy perfect,” Abrams says. “So when you hear Obi-Wan talk to Rey it is both Alec Guinness and Ewan McGregor doing the voice.”
Taylor and several other familiar voices can still be heard in various parts around the film – but I’ll leave the specific IDing to those more well-versed in the cartoons than I.