Kathleen Kennedy on what really makes Star Wars

Kathleen KennedyThere’s some great stuff from Lucasfilm head honcho Kathleen Kennedy at Vanity Fair today.

George made it personal. He just made a movie that meant something to him. And I think that’s probably the biggest challenge for anybody stepping into this is that they can’t spend a lot of time thinking about what other people are going to think of the movie. They have to come at it from the point of view of, What does this mean to me and what does it have to do with me? Frankly, I don’t think great movies ever get made unless there’s some aspect of that going on between the creator and the story that’s being told. It can only become emotional [for an audience] if it’s operating on some kind of personal passion.

She also the emotional resonance of Star Wars, the old school experience, and how she and Steven Spielberg ended up hiring J.J. Abrams and Matt Reeves (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) to fix up those old Super 8 films.

Wired’s oral history of Industrial Light & Magic

wired-ilm-sm

Vanity Fair isn’t the only magazine borrowing some Star Wars mojo this month. Wired today has ‘the definitive oral history of ILM,’ with George Lucas, Kathleen Kennedy, Steven Spielberg, Dennis Muren and more. (Including J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson.)

The Force Awakens: Costumes, Pip Andersen and bōjutsu

tfa-teaser2-firstorderToday, Vanity Fair has an interview with The Force Awakens costume designer Michael Kaplan, which actually feels surprising revealing for this point in the process. Namely, the stormtrooper uniforms are sturdier and Empire and Rebels First Order and Resistance are more color-coded. On that note, a new photo of Oscar Isaac in his base jumpsuit has emerged.

Pip Andersen talked a little bit about his role.

A few more tidbits from the Japanese interviews: Kathleen Kennedy said Daisy Ridley was trained in the bōjutsu fighting style, which means she’ll actually be fighting with the staff we’ve seen the trailers.

→ Hasbro has announced a Star Wars panel for SDCC. Maybe they’ll finally show some stuff for The Force Awakens?

→ Rumor corner, take 1: There’s something floating around a third trailer for TFA may be on Pixar’s Inside Out, and that it’s already been shown at a “Disney blogging conference.” However, another attendee has denied it.

→ Rumor corner, take 2: A Youtube video that supposedly shows an effects scene being filmed has popped up.

Lawrence Kasdan on Star Wars past, future, and Lando

braintrustVanity Fair isn’t done just yet: In addition to (finally) posting their complete cover story on The Force Awakens, they have an interview with Lawrence Kasdan where he talks about the old film, the new film, and hints that Lando Calrissian’s journey isn’t over just yet.

As for TFA, less is more when it comes to running time:

…it’s turning out really great. J.J. directed it so beautifully, and it’s so exhilarating and everything. It’s a big movie. It’s full of wonderful stuff, incident and character stuff and jokes and effects. One of the things that we always refocus on from the get-go was that it not be one of these very long, bloated blockbusters. A lot of very entertaining movies lately are too long. In the last 20 minutes, you think, why isn’t this over? We didn’t want to make a movie like that. I mean, we were really aiming to have it be—when it’s over you’ll say, “I wish there’s more.” Or, “Wait, is it over?” Because how rarely you get that feeling nowadays, and I think we’re headed there. But it means that there will be constant critical looking at it from now to the end, saying, “Do we need this? Do we need that? Is it better if this comes out, even though we love it?” Killing your darlings.

Out this week: Vanity Fair, Star Wars #5

The official street date for this month’s Vanity Fair was yesterday, so if you still need a copy of the article that drove fandom nuts on the 4th you’re probably more than safe to go looking. (FYI, certain things about the article have been wildly exaggerated, but that’s pretty much par for the course.) UPDATE: The full article is now online.

But if you’re here for the usual books and comics, there’s always Star Wars #5, dropping on Wednesday. Preview? Preview.

The Force Awakens roundup: Boyega’s topical jogging gear, Weekends merch features new trooper

john_boyega: Leaving the ultra nerd house for a nerd run. #Troophoodie

john_boyega: Leaving the ultra nerd house for a nerd run. #Troophoodie

John Boyega jogs in a stormtrooper hoodie. Stars: They’re just like us. Also, you can get a glimpse of the stormtrooper figure he got Harrison Ford (and it looks like a few others) to sign.

Star Wars Weekends are revving up at Disney World in Orlando, and there’s an Episode VII tee on sale there that actually features the new stormtrooper. It comes in men’s, women’s and kid’s sizes.

→ Rumor corner: What is the green planet? (I have some doubts, due mainly to a certain actor’s flippancy with something else that recently came up, but spoilers. Sigh.) On that note, it appears that TFA’s water scenes may have been filmed in England’s Lake District National Park.

→ Lucasfilm movies will be featured at D23 Expo this year. This obviously isn’t a surprise, and clearly The Force Awakens will be the priority, but it may be the first chance for something to go wide on Rogue One – though D23 is only two weeks after Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation drops on July 31, which could still be cutting it a bit close.