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.
→ 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.
Luke Skywalker is found! Or his earthly avatar Mark Hamill is, anyway. The actor suits up as a First Order stormtrooper and heads out to Hollywood Blvd. in the latest Force for Change video.
Entertainment Weekly isn’t going to tell you where Luke is in The Force Awakens. J.J. Abrams isn’t going to, either. And certainly not Mark Hamill.
Because Luke Skywalker missing is the whole point. A more interesting question may be, what does the rest of the galaxy know?
“It was the thing that struck me the hardest, which was the idea that doing a story that took place nearly 40 years after Jedi meant that there would be a generation for whom Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Leia would be as good as myth,” Abrams says. “They’d be as old and as mythic as the tale of King Arthur. They would be characters who they may have heard of, but maybe not. They’d be characters who they might believe existed, or just sounded like a fairy tale.”
Abrams does talk at length about how Rey and Finn would perceive Luke or the Jedi, however. For Rey, there’s only the scattershot stories she may have heard. For Finn, “raised from the ashes of the Empire,” Luke is a propaganda villain. (Han Solo? A footnote.)
As for the blue lightsaber, it’s “an important piece of the puzzle that will reveal Luke’s fate and whereabouts.”
And yes, there’s more quotes from Abrams and Hamill, but they’re not going to give you the full story. Not yet.
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.”
Did Luke Skywalker actually shout “Carrie!” when he sees Leia for the first time after blowing up the Death Star in A New Hope? Per Mark Hamill himself, nope:
TOTAL BS! Actually said "There she…" as in "There she is." Dialogue in that scene was dubbed. In-jokes disallowed! https://t.co/nWLmsLsgpw
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) October 13, 2015
Star Wars mysteries of the ages, solved. Twitter!
Legendary poster artist Drew Struzan told Movie Weekly that The Force Awakens is “probably going to be the best Star Wars you’ve ever seen.” Pretty high praise, even from a guy being paid by Lucasfilm. He also talks about how J.J. Abrams called him up, how much of the film he’s seen, his process, and why the lightsaber colors on the Revenge of the Jedi poster were reversed.
→ Lucasfilm has trademarked new new names. They could be for The Force Awakens, Rogue One, or just about anything, really.
→ Yet more D23 video: Lupita Nyong’o on being a part of the franchise and her other Disney roles, Abrams on what fans can expect, Oscar Isaac’s favorite character, and Daisy Ridley hopes that her and John Boyega’s friendship comes through on screen.
→ Spoiler corner: A tiny bite-sized scoop of information about Poe Dameron’s squadron name.
→ On that note, a nice, if top-heavy, piece from newcomer The Star Wars Post on if Star Wars 7 News leaking the Luke Skywalker image crossed a spoiler line. I’ll just say that SW7N has never exactly been known for their sound judgement, which is why I tend to warn so profusly when linking them.
A picture of Mark Hamill in costume as Luke Skywalker for The Force Awakens has been C&Ded all over the place – including the source – so it’s likely legit, but I’m not going to post it myself. The internet being the internet, chances are you’ll have no trouble finding it, even if you don’t want to find it.
If you can’t resist, sites still running it (as of post time) include Indie Revolver and Heroic Hollywood. And it’s been posted multiple times in the Luke Skywalker tag on Tumblr, a trend which will no doubt continue. Catch them while you can!
Del Rey previews Luke art for the Star Wars Insider. The artwork by Magali Villeneuve will illustrate an excerpt from Kevin Hearne’s Heir to the Jedi in issue #155.