Tag Archives: jj abrams

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

Rey approaches

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.

This morning in The Force Awakens: Bob Iger’s praise, London press

STILL-tfa-trailer3-bb8In an email to employees, Disney’s Bob Iger called The Force Awakens “one of the proudest and most exciting moments” in Disney history.

The BBC report and photos from The Force Awakens’ London premiere. Meanwhile, you can watch this morning’s the London press conference.

The Military Times profiles Adam Driver.

→ You won’t need to be a Star Wars expert to enjoy The Force Awakens, Bobby Roberts points out in The Portland Mercury.

Buzzfeed takes a look at J.J. Abrams’ previous movies, leading into some interesting casting bits on The Force Awakens

→ J.J. Abrams and Harrison Ford were on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert the other day, where we get ‘exclusive video’ of J.J. Abrams convincing Harrison Ford to return as Han Solo. Colbert is also pushing the hashtag #SpoilerSpoilers. (My favorite.)

Today in The Force Awakens: $100M in presales alone

tfa-bb8-reyThe Force Awakens’ advance ticket sales have passed the $100 million mark in North America, according to The Hollywood Reporter. That’s at least four times as much as the previous record holder, The Dark Knight Rises.

Don’t forget that the reviews – including mine – will come off embargo tonight at 12:01 a.m. PST (3:01 a.m. EST.) Don’t worry too much, we’ve been asked not to reveal spoilers. (There’s always the Force Block browser extension if you’re paranoid.)

→ Official featurette on your new favorite droid, BB-8, and a Force for Change highlight reel.

→ Slightly more women than men have been talking about The Force Awakens on Facebook, and Rey is the character driving the most anticipation for the film, according to a new survey.

→ Oscar Isaac is GQ’s latest cover dude. Meanwhile, in the Miami New Times, he’s interviewed by his brother, Mike Hernandez.

→ Lupita Nyong’o tells Ellen DeGeneres how she didn’t know that she was auditioning for Star Wars.

→ In /Film’s full J.J. Abrams interview, the director talks about developing the film

→ What does comedian Bill Hader have to do with BB-8?

→ You’ll never guess what some of the internet’s most disgruntled Expanded Universe fans are threatening to do now! Oh wait, you totally will, because it’s utterly pointless and deranged. That Force Block thing is looking pretty good about now, yeah?