Kathleen Kennedy and Mark Hamill announce Lucasfilm’s latest Force for Change campaign. And stare at things. Intensely.
Vanity Fair has a new interview and profile of Kathleen Kennedy in the wake of The Force Awakens. The most interesting part, perhaps, comes from writer Tony Kushner (Angels in America:)
“She talked about the way in which the conventional approach to these things is that a script starts from an outline, and that’s what everybody focuses on before there’s a word of dialogue.” In Kushner’s recollection, Kennedy was urging the writers to turn their focus to the characters. She kept saying to them, “Who are these people? I don’t know who these people are.” Kushner felt that “she was expressing an impatience about character being secondary to story line, which violated something very essential for her.”
He went on: “We had an interesting conversation about how a lot of playwrights start with outlines because it gives you something to hold on to, but that you know the characters are likely to derail the outline once they start doing what they do.” He and Kennedy talked about how “there’s no telling what will happen once you have invented a person. They may be willing to do what the outline says to do, but they may have very different plans in mind.” The sense Kushner got was that Kennedy “was pushing people to be unafraid of being lost for a while. It was good to see her holding the banner of complexity in the middle of this huge enterprise of Star Wars.” The machines, in other words, have not won.
She also addresses Leia’s slave bikini:
Referring to a notorious scene in Return of the Jedi, I asked Kennedy if she would ever have put Princess Leia in a golden bikini—the famous “slave Leia” costume that is embedded in the collective unconscious of legions of men who were adolescents in the 80s. “With a chain around her neck?,” Kennedy asked, arching an eyebrow and laughing. “I don’t think that would happen.” She quickly added that she didn’t think George Lucas would put her in that bikini today.
Lucas’ wife, Mellody Hobson, on the other hand, says “George is not apologetic about that bikini.” I don’t doubt it.
The article notes that there isn’t a ban on the slave bikini – but I’ve always suspected the real story is that there’ll be less bikini, as opposed to a blanket ban, considering the source of the ‘banning’ brouhaha is a pinup artist.
In any case, you’re going to want to read the whole thing.
Both 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!
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.
→ People sheds just a tiny it of light on Andy Serkis’ Supreme Leader Snoke – or at least, his height.
→ In Mexico City, Kathleen Kennedy revealed that exteriors for Episode VIII and Rogue One will shoot on location in Mexico, according to Excelsior (English) It’s a bit unclear, but she also may have confirmed Benicio del Toro?
→ Rolling Stone has posted their complete Carrie Fisher interview (only some of which made it into their cover story). She discusses her upcoming book, The Princess Diarist, the nature of fame, and not being surprised by Episode VII. Her dog Gary, meanwhile, now has his own Instagram.
→ “I couldn’t be more delighted to see the amazing fan response to Captain Phasma,” Gwendoline Christie tells ComicBook, where she also talks about the physicality of the character.
→ And in the most shocking news of the day, Star Wars fans are big spenders.
Although the first contest wrapped up a few days ago, Lucasfilm will be rewarding two additional fans who donate to Force for Change with a trip to The Force Awakens premiere.
Today’s must-read was an article from Meredith Woerner at the Los Angeles Times about the women of The Force Awakens. In addition to the characters (it’s revealed that Captain Phasma will be returning for VIII,) Kathleen Kennedy also talks about the importance of having women behind the scenes, and how that helped the movie.
→ On that note, agent Adriana Alberghetti told the LAT that she’s gotten meetings for four female directors and three female writers for Star Wars films. She doesn’t name names, but Newsarama notes that her clients include Orange Is The New Black director S.J. Clarkson and Buffy the Vampire Slayer writer Marti Noxon.
→ George Lucas has seen The Force Awakens and, Kathleen Kennedy tells The Hollywood Reporter, “he really liked it.”
→ Carrie Fisher was on Good Morning America this morning, and not only was she amazing, but she was full of praise for the film.
J.J. Abrams, Kathleen Kennedy, and several of The Force Awakens’ stars were on hand today for #TwitterAwakens, a live Q&A via the @starwars Twitter. It was a crazy whirlwind, and yes, Harrison Ford dropped what may be a major spoiler – if you haven’t been paying attention. (It’s the spoiler – it’s not about Luke or anyone’s parentage, though he did spell Kylo as ‘Kilo,’ which is hilarious.)
Also, Mark Hamill trolled, and Daisy Ridley and Oscar Isaac sang a (brief) duet.
I’ve collected most of the tweets, but to see the actual questions you have to read it on Twitter. If you want to avoid Harrison’s spoiler, skim over everything from the Lupita picture (or Carrie’s “Good, I was jealous.”) until you see Harrison’s own mug (above center.)
There’s a rumor that Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin) got one of those (rumored) Episode VIII roles, but it’s based on Rian Johnson and John Boyega following her on Twitter, which, okay. To be fair, plenty of us read a random Rian Johnson tweet as a hint towards Gugu Mbatha-Raw, so maybe there’s something to it after all. Verdict: Maybe!
There’s another rumor going around regarding Finn’s last name. I won’t even link anyone who’s running it because it’s based on an unofficial description from a third-party Amazon listing, and shockingly, that is nowhere near a sound source. Verdict: Ha ha, no.
Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy was among those who spoke at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit today, where she addressed the number of women at Lucasfilm (particularly on the Story Group) and said that she’s confident that there will be a woman directing a Star Wars film one day.
“I have a huge number of men who call me,” she says. “And tell me how much of a Star Wars fan they are, how much they want to get involved in anything to do with Star Wars. I don’t have a lot of women who call.”
It’s a strong parallel to points made in an essay by actress Jennifer Lawrence that came out today, about getting paid less than her male co-stars.