Between Wired’s J.J. Abrams interview, Entertainment Weekly and all those TV spots, we seem to have officially entered the “faster, more intense” phrase of The Force Awakens marketing. (No, you haven’t seen too much, calm down.) Here’s some stuff that got sidelined:
→ Settle your bets: The crossguard blades on Kylo Ren’s lightsaber “are raw power vented from the primary central blade,” per the description on display at Disneyland’s Star Wars Launch Bay. (IGN has a tour.) We already knew he built it himself, but the design is “ancient.” (via Reddit)
→ Speaking of Kylo, we haven’t seen much of Adam Driver lately, but he did tell Vulture that he found SDCC to be “intense” and “surprisingly moving.”
→ The Force Awakens is skipping some early award shows, says The Wrap, but the only one here you may have heard of is the Screen Actors Guild Awards. It will be out in time for consideration for the Academy Awards.
→ Variety says there was indeed new music from The Force Awakens in the Shondaland spot.
And in other movies…
→ Could Episode VIII return to Ireland? We know they’ve already shot on Skellig Michael, RTE thinks they’re looking at another location in County Kerry as well.
→ Jedi News claims to have the codename for Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s Han Solo spinoff.
In a new interview with Wired, The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams talks about Star Wars in general, keeping secrets, the Millennium Falcon “changing hands,” and how the previous films succeeded and influenced the new. It’s today’s must-read (so far.)
Some excerpts below the cut, or go straight to Wired.
The Associated Press was first to ask The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams about how Luke Skywalker has been missing from all the promotional material. “These are good questions to be asking,” he said. “I can’t wait for you to find out the answer.”
“It’s no accident,” he continued.
One thing we can put to rest: Luke is not Kylo Ren. Adam Driver is playing Kylo Ren, not Mark Hamill, which we’ve known since the Vanity Fair shots were unveiled in May. Bring up the Kahn fib from Star Trek Into Darkness all you like, but no one was going around saying that Benedict Cumberbatch’s role was actually being played by Bruce Greenwood. A ten-year-old video of Mark Hamill saying he’d have liked a more complicated arc in Return of the Jedi is not really the best evidence for that actually happening now.
Abrams also addressed where production stands: “The visual effects process goes on for so long that my guess is we’ll probably be doing visual effects for the next three or four weeks, even though the cut will be done before then. We’re in the editing room working on the cut, going over visual effects and going over reviews. We still have another scoring session with John Williams, who’s a god when it comes to music.”
While the music in the latest trailer for The Force Awakens obviously uses John Williams’ original work from the previous Star Wars installments, it’s not a newly composed track from the composer, as many of us originally assumed. /Film digs in a little and comes up with a few names.
Below, a version of the trailer music with the distracting volume fluctuations for dialouge normalized. (via)
If you want some analysis on the trailer as a marketing move, Devin Faraci at Birth Movies Death has it down: “What we’re seeing is a major blockbuster hitting the standard checkpoints of movie marketing with great reluctance.”
→ Meredith Woerner at the L.A. Times has pieced together stuff from the trailers with convention-season cast interviews and is, if nothing else, a good refresher for those who aren’t spending 99% of their time in “the bubble.”
→ In China, the trailer debuted on the Great Wall, because why not.
→ All The Force Awakens trailer numbers you may need.
→ AMC will be giving out a cool poster to folks who go see the film in IMAX 3D.
→ Relevant! There’s a new interview with Pablo Hidalgo (plus Dave Filoni, Shelly Shapiro, Chuck Wendig and Kieron Gillen) about Lucasfilm’s Story Group.
→ Spoilers! Someone let slip some interesting info on Pip Anderson’s character to the Making Star Wars folks last night.
Sony Classical is reissuing three new collector’s sets of John Williams’ iconic Star Wars soundtracks in January, in vinyl, CD and high-definition download. They’ll be available January 8, 2016.
StarWars.com has announced that John William’s soundtrack for The Force Awakens will drop the same day the movie does – December 18.
This doesn’t mean they won’t pull a ‘Qui-Gon’s Noble End’ on us – it’s highly likely we’ll get packaging leaks well ahead of time. (If not an actual, official track release.) But it’s also worth noting that they managed to avoid spoilers with the Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith soundtracks, so save your concern trolling for other matters.
→ With Entertainment Weekly, J.J. Abrams reiterated that we won’t get a new The Force Awakens trailer at D23, or at all until fall. There’ll be no TFA footage at all, “behind the scenes or otherwise,” he said. Of course, that doesn’t mean we won’t get something, like another character reveal or a new poster. (Not to mention things regarding the Parks…) And I’d bet actual money is still that we’ll get something for Rogue One.
→ The Force Awakens scoring sessions are “beyond anything I have experienced musically in my life,” a source tells the John Williams Fan Network.
→ More juice for the theory/hope that Episode VIII will return to film on Skellig Michael at The Star.
→ I won’t be tracking every TFA merchandise leak this month, but here are a few interesting ones: A Micro Machines Millennium Falcon playset, Black Series Finn, Chewbacca and < href="https://twitter.com/Sompeetalay/status/630494610574458880">Kylo Ren and Funko Pop Vinyl figures. My favorite, though, is a lunch bag with some new-to-us Captain Phasma art, which I love because even though she is 100% in armor, the way she’s standing is badass yet makes it absolutely clear that the character is a woman. Men don’t stand like that!