In Variety, John Williams reveals that the motif for a new character in The Force Awakens is based on a Kipling poem translated into Sanskrit (which could give us something reminiscent of The Phantom Menace’s ‘Duel of the Fates’).
→ 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.
Oscar Isaac talks to io9 about the Resistance, Poe’s Shattered Empire backstory (though it’s worth noting he was already old enough to be talking – he’s mentioned in #2 – before his parents settled on Yavin) and how the X-wings have evolved.
→ You can listen to both yesterday’s press conference(s) thanks to Full of Sith. Or watch the videos (1, 2.)
→ Captain Phasma was originally a man, Vulture reports, and the backlash to the initial casting may have played a part in the gender swap. That said, anything that saved us from Benedict Cumberbatch is fine by me.
→ Clutch your pearls, because J.J. Abrams talked midi-chlorians with /Film.
→ Droid tales: Anthony Daniels get profiled by Vulture, while CNN talks to the BB-8 designers about the droid and his adventures on set.
→ On Twitter, Greg Grunberg confirms his action figure and his character name.
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.”
→ In a new interview with Time, Carrie Fisher talks about coming back as Leia.
→ Costume designer Michael Kaplan talks to Elle, mostly about Daisy Ridley’s Rey costume.
→ There a new still of Captain Phasma over at Empire.
→ Brent Simon chatted with J.J. Abrams yesterday, and while he’s under embargo, he did say he saw an extended scene and that an additional 30 minutes of John Williams score that’s not in the film will be released.
Gwendoline Christie talks to Entertainment Weekly about Captain Phasma and why fans are drawn to the character:
“We see Captain Phasma, and we see the costume from head to toe, and we know that it is a woman. But we are used to, in our media, connecting to female characters via the way that they look, from the way they are made flesh.”
“We are actually connecting to a female character as a human being,” Christie continues. In another interview with the L.A. Times, she compares Phasma to Boba Fett – in terms of screentime, and getting the part:
“I really wanted to be in ‘Star Wars’ because it had a special meaning to me,” she said. “Being someone who never felt part of the mainstream, who always felt unusual, it felt like a world that I could inhabit in terms of my imagination and who I was. I became like a dog with a bone and was absolutely insistent: ‘Please, please, please try to have me seen.’ Eventually they were worn down by my incessant asking.”
She was also recently profiled by Harper’s Bazaar, where she enthuses a bit more about the costume.
Force Friday has unleashed some talking toys on us, which means our first time actually hearing some of the new characters speak. Here’s Finn (and some interpretation,) Kylo Ren and Captain Phasma. Only one of them actually sounds like I’d expect…