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.
StarWars.com’s Andi Guiterrez has some questions for J.J. Abrams and the cast of The Force Awakens. Also, lollipops! Sadly not the infamous Jar Jar ones.
In an email to employees, Disney’s Bob Iger called The Force Awakens “one of the proudest and most exciting moments” in Disney history.
→ 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.)
The 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.)
→ 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?
I was only able to see about half the world premiere red carpet livestream, but I did catch the most magical part: Carrie Fisher interviewing Oscar Isaac. Or attempting to interview. Whatever it was, it was wonderful, and you can watch it on Youtube.
→ Kathleen Kennedy and J.J. Abrams talked to /Film on how they collaborated with Episode VIII writer/director Rian Johnson, and how IX director Colin Trevorrow will likely work in.
→ Wired takes a look at Sphero, and how exactly BB-8 was a boon for them.
→ Some great The Force Awakens fashions by designer Catherine Elhoffer. You may have seen them on the red carpet tonight!
→ Andy Serkis ‘confirms’ evil Jar Jar on Conan.
→ Korean boy band EXO has an (authorized) song called ‘Lightsaber’. We truly live in an age of wonders.
60 Minutes posted extra footage after tonight’s feature on The Force Awakens, including John Williams conducting some of the first music in the film, but we also get a glimpse of the scene with Rey, BB-8, Teedo and the luggabeast.
→ Lupita Nyong’o tells Buzzfeed why she chose to play a CGI character.
→ Rolling Stone shares a few things they learned about The Force Awakens that didn’t make the main article.
→ Spot the new stuff in today’s commercial.
→ Dan Mindel on the The Force Awakens cinematography, and how the film being pushed back turned out to be a positive.
We’ll be seeing the first The Force Awakens reviews on Wednesday, December 16th at 12:01am PST. Plan accordingly. In Hollywood, things are shaping up for the Monday premiere, which will have “Academy Award levels” of security and crowd control.
→ The Force Awakens will be featured on CBS’ 60 Minutes on Sunday, and in the preview video we get to hear some of John Williams’ new score.
→ Today’s best bet: Samuel L. Jackson and Gwendoline Christie chat for Interview magazine.
→ Costume designer Michael Kaplan on Kylo Ren’s helmet for Time.
→ J.J. Abrams talks to io9 about the script process (including Michael Arndt’s exit,) starting fresh with Lawrence Kasdan and even the Expanded Universe. (On that note, The Hollywood Reporter on the pre-Abrams story meetings.) At Nerdist, he says he wants to see Selma’s Ava DuVernay do a Star Wars film. She seems game! And Pablo Hidalgo’s fame continues to spread, as he’s the subject of the first question from the Associated Press.
→ Daisy Ridley and John Boyega are in the New York Times! With the AP, John shares the story of how (and why) he got Robert Downey Jr. as his mentor in fame. But he couldn’t resist getting a little saucy about Star Trek with Yahoo. (Well, about William Shatner, technically. Which is, I believe, legal under the Carrie Directive)
→ It was Oscar Isaac’s turn on Good Morning America today, where he talked about flying an X-wing.
→ A film still of Billie Lourd in the movie has been floating around for a while now (plus she was in one of the first TV spots) but People has an official character portrait, in which we can see she wears her hair in a toned-down version of Leia’s iconic buns. Still no character name, though.
→ J.J. Abrams, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Adam Driver were in Seoul today goofing around, while Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o and Kathleen Kennedy were in Mexico City. I can’t find any reports in English, but damn they looked cool.
→ Also: The Force Awakens was the #1 movie on Facebook for 2015; Yesterday’s spoilerific Rey action figure got DMCA’d; NASA scientist would pick Threepio over BB-8 or Artoo to take to space. I am outraged! I have to go lay down now.
→ ESPN will air ‘The Evolution of the Lightsaber Duel’ on December 15th at 7 p.m.
→ “It’s like we’re collaborating over this vast public field,” Oscar Isaac says of his imagined backstory for Poe becoming canon.
→ Vulture runs through the Journey to The Force Awakens books and stories. Some minor errors (Poe is namedropped in Shattered Empire #2) but overall a decent roundup.