Tag Archives: jj abrams

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?

Tonight in The Force Awakens: Red carpet shenanigans

mark-redcarpetI 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.

I wasn’t able to collect tweets, but here are some from The Hollywood Reporter, Jedi News and @bahnree. There are also pictures at Variety and The Wrap. (The best. Or maybe…)

UPDATE: Kathleen Kennedy’s speech inside the theater and some of the first reactions.

→ 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.

This weekend in The Force Awakens: 60 Minutes extra, why Nyong’o chose to go CGI

tfa-60m-260 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.

→ Also: Another fun Carrie Fisher interview; Sisters and other films that have gone up against Star Wars.

Today in The Force Awakens: The review embargo is in

tfa-kylo-finn-reyWe’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.

→ J.J. Abrams has more praise for coffee enthusiast Pablo Hidalgo from in the Toronto Sun. Elsewhere, he talks about The Raid stars with /Film.

→ Costume designer Michael Kaplan on Kylo Ren’s helmet for Time.

Vice News did a half-hour piece on Adam Driver’s Arts in the Armed Forces organization. (Guess what made the headlines?)

→ Also: Phasma and Rey action figures flying off the shelves, Lupita Nyong’o was on GMA this morning, and Anthony Breznican on Bobbajo.

Today in The Force Awakens: Red carpet to be livestreamed, Abrams on the script and starting from scratch

Today on Twitter: @HamillHimself is such a troll. (USA Today asked the cast.)

Today on Twitter: @HamillHimself is such a troll. (USA Today asked the cast; Carrie’s is best.)

After a successful deployment at Celebration Anaheim earlier this year, StarWars.com will be livestreaming The Force Awakens red carpet at the film’s official world premiere in Los Angeles on December 14. Andi Gutierrez, Anthony Carboni, and David Collins will be hosting and interviewing the cast and other notables.

→ 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.

→ Harrison Ford sheds some light on “Chewie, we’re home,” at io9, and says The Force Awakens “correctly ambitious in every sense” in the LAT.

→ 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.

→ In an interview with IGN, Adam Driver says that Darth Vader’s “commitment” is inspiring to Kylo Ren. He’s in favor of Stephen Colbert’s explanation for the broadsaber.

→ 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.

Today in The Force Awakens: Why Leia isn’t a Jedi, lightsabers coming to ESPN

Head to our Tumblr to see more new Stills.

Head to our Tumblr to see more new stills.

J.J. Abrams on why Leia hasn’t become a Jedi. “It’s never too late,” he said, but “it was simply a choice that she made” to lead the Resistance. We will see her Force sensitivity in play again; it’s “an intrinsic piece of her character.”

→ 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.

→ Spoiler corner, book edition: Jedi Bibliothek has screenshots of picture book leaks and the beginning of Finn’s tale in Before the Awakening.

→ Spoiler corner, Hasbro edition: A Rey action figure featuring her second outfit (which we first saw yesterday) has a pretty hefty spoiler on the packaging. (It’s not her last name.)

→ Also: A new BB-8 poster, a few of John Boyega’s impressions and Anthony Breznican on the Millennium Falcon.