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.)
Empire today revealed the names of three planets from The Force Awakens. Takodana looks to be the jungle world where Maz Kanata’s castle is. D’Qar may be the home of the Resistance Base. The third, Hosnian Prime, is a mystery, though a Hosnian system was mentioned in Lost Stars.
As for a fourth location, copies of Empire are out in the wild, and there is a map which contains a Starkiller Base Origin Point. (It moves! Shit.) There’s some speculation floating around about the Base’s origin perhaps being Ilum. But why is Rakata Prime, a planet that apparently originates in Knights of the Old Republic, on the map? Could it be TFA’s Dantooine, a planet that gets mentioned but never seen, or will it meet a more sinister fate?
→ Entertainment Weekly’s Anthony Breznican talks about BB-8 in the first of four videos. (Nothing here really struck me as anything we don’t already know, but if you’re not glued to the internet, there may be something here for you.)
J.J. Abrams and the cast of The Force Awakens talk about the new Omaze initiative today. It launched with help from Harrison Ford last week, but a key cast member is missing from this one. However, it does end with a ‘to be continued…’
For more information on the charities selected by the cast, head to StarWars.com.
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.
Entertainment Weekly says the The Force Awakens panel at San Diego Comic-Con will have a behind-the-scenes focus, but not a new trailer or clips as we hoped. Still, that doesn’t mean we won’t learn anything – they claim “several actors who haven’t yet spoken publicly about their roles” will be on hand on Hall H.
Actors scheduled to be at the con for other projects include Oscar Isaac – who did show up at Celebration with John Boyega and Daisy Ridley – and Gwendoline Christie, who we’ve heard very little from. Adam Driver, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis and Domhnall Gleeson are also possible, but we’ll just have to wait and see… (As always, I never count on Harrison Ford… Stranger things have happened, but given how much we already know the character there’s probably not much that can be said.) The only confirmed panel members remain Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Lawrence Kasdan.
Don’t count on a new trailer at D23, either – EW says the next one won’t be out until fall. My bet is just before or soon after Force Friday on September 4…
We have a new character name for The Force Awakens this morning – one Captain Phasma. Stitch Kingdom dug the name out of some trademark registrations.
But whose role does the name belong to? Speculation quickly pinpointed Gwendoline Christie, no doubt due to the name’s feminine sound and previous rumors, but it’s probably a last name, which means it could be anyone. Remember how there were also rumors that Christie’s character was originally male?
Badass Digest‘s Devin Faraci has even more on what he’s heard about Episode VII, namely why he believes that Gwendoline Christie’s role was gender-swapped – and may actually be the same role that Benedict Cumberbatch was in talks (or ‘in talks’) for.
This isn’t the first time I’ve heard that Christie’s character was gender-swapped, and I’m still not convinced it was due to the casting uproar, or if it was Geena Davis or something else in play. But if there’s any nugget of truth in this, I’m glad – in part because I am so, so sick of hearing about Cumberbatch.