Tag Archives: jj abrams

J.J. Abrams: “Of course” there will be gay Star Wars characters

60m-jjabramsThe 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.

Electronic music compilation Star Wars: Headspace, ‘Jabba Flow’ video coming later this month

star-wars-headspace-700I 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.

Colin Trevorrow says the answer to the Rey question will be “deeply and profoundly satisfying”

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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!

J.J. Abrams knows. Of course he does!

Roundup: J.J. Abrams addresses The Force Awakens’ throwback feel, Roger Guyett on VFX

tfa-rs-kylo-vader-smJ.J. Abrams discusses The Force Awakens with The Hollywood Reporter, including the criticisms that the film is too similar to A New Hope, and why it was important “to go backwards to go forwards.”

Today, Abrams was at TCA for Hulu’s 11.22.63, where he told Entertainment Weekly not to expect an extended edition of The Force Awakens and addressed the lack of Rey toys.

→ At Studio Daily, ILM VFX Supervisor Roger Guyett talks about the film’s visual effects, including the Falcon on Jakku.

The Force Awakens has opened strong in China with a record $33M Saturday opening. Meanwhile, here in the U.S., there’s some real box office competition this weekend thanks to The Revenant. Who wins? Either way, Domhnall Gleeson.

→ Speaking of actors, The Force Awakens has let Harrison Ford reclaim the title of highest grossing actor of all time from fellow Star Wars alumni Samuel L. Jackson.

→ Business Insider profiles Joonas Suotamo, who doubled for Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca.

→ Award watch: John Boyega is a nominee for the BAFTA’s Rising Star award. TFA itself is up for BAFTAs in production design, sound, music and visual effects. The film is also up for a Costume Designers Guild Award.

The Force Awakens script names the film’s final planet… Maybe?

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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.)

It’s also, apparently, hilarious. (We briefly toyed with that Mean Girls AU over at Twitter.)

Roundup: Does The Force Awakens novelization answers, raises questions about the film

The Force Awakens novelizationBoth 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.

→ Video: J.J. Abrams, Kathleen Kennedy, Lawrence Kasdan and other behind-the-scenes folks discuss The Force Awakens after the movie’s official Academy screening.

How to talk to your family about The Force Awakens. Important!

→ Also: Buzzfeed profiles Domhnall Gleeson, Wired interviews Jason Ward of Making Star Wars.

J.J. Abrams: We had to do something “bold” with Kylo Ren

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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.

Spoilerphobes beware: Abrams on why Kylo Ren turned


In an interview with IGN, J.J. Abrams is surprisingly candid about Kylo Ren, how exactly he idolizes Darth Vader, and why he turned to the dark side.

At Birth. Movies. Death., Siddhant Adlakha explores why Kylo is such a great villain, and how he works as a metaphor for Abrams himself.

And for those who wonder, Pablo Hidalgo himself on Kylo’s age.

Spoilerphobes beware: On R2-D2 and Luke Skywalker in The Force Awakens

tfa-artoo-lighterJ.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.

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Spoilerphobes beware: A couple of old friends showed up (vocally) in The Force Awakens

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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.