I don’t generally link to speculation, but ComicBook’s Lucas Siegel has an interesting theory on Rey and Kylo Ren. I buy them as siblings, but I don’t like the theory that the two are actual twins. Just look at the actors – the age difference between Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver is far too obvious. But Siegel’s theory is more about the idea of their roles mirroring each other. (Look at the costuming if nothing else.) Even if he does bring up The Clone Wars’ bizarro Mortis arc.
→ Empire is out in the U.K. (I’m not sure about the U.S., given that I’m avoiding retailers like the plague at the moment) and there are a few new bits bits of information that didn’t (shocker) make Empire’s own perfunctory online coverage, including that Snoke was “was critical in the seduction of [Kylo?] Ren to the dark side.” Fair warning that this is via Star Wars News Net, aka the former Star Wars 7 News, but it’s almost all quotes with little interpretation. (Avoid the comments, though.)
After a few days of nothing, a new one-minute spot for The Force Awakens debuted on Facebook today. As perhaps appropriate for almost a year to the day of the first teaser trailer, the Kylo Ren-centric spot continues the “awakening” line, and gives us more Poe Dameron, X-wings and (presumably) Starkiller Base.
There’s a fairly epic gallery of props from The Force Awakens at Wired today. Lots of good stuff for weapons and helmet geeks. And yes, some of them do have very complicated names.
→ Mark Hamill on keeping secrets. (No, he’s not in mo-cap for Star Wars.)
→ The Force Awakens has already pulled in more than $50M in advance ticket sales, the Wall Street Journal reports.
→ Empire has a new Kylo Ren photo (not that different from several of the old Kylo Ren photos) and Adam Driver’s compares the character to a religious fanatic. (It’s Adam Driver’s birthday, by the way. He is 32.)
→ Settle your bets: The crossguard blades on Kylo Ren’s lightsaber “are raw power vented from the primary central blade,” per the description on display at Disneyland’s Star Wars Launch Bay. (IGN has a tour.) We already knew he built it himself, but the design is “ancient.” (via Reddit)
→ Speaking of Kylo, we haven’t seen much of Adam Driver lately, but he did tell Vulture that he found SDCC to be “intense” and “surprisingly moving.”
→ The Force Awakens is skipping some early award shows, says The Wrap, but the only one here you may have heard of is the Screen Actors Guild Awards. It will be out in time for consideration for the Academy Awards.
→ Variety says there was indeed new music from The Force Awakens in the Shondaland spot.
Rey was ditched on Jakku by her family when she was a child and has no idea why — or why they never returned. “She’s been alone for a long time,” Ridley says. “When something occurs when you’re 5, you know what went on but you don’t understand the reasoning. She’s hopeful for what lies ahead, whether that involves the past or not.” So why hasn’t abandonment made her bitter, angry, and… prone to the Dark Side? “Hope makes people good, a lot of the time,” Ridley says. “You hope for a brighter future, and resentment is outweighed.”
Plus Finn with Poe as prisoner of The First Order. (And Rey’s staff is just a staff, but we knew that already.) Check ’em out!
In short order today, several character posters debuted for The Force Awakens. The official Star Wars pages produced Kylo Ren and Han Solo, Daisy Ridley had Rey on her Instgram, and John Boyega and Carrie Fisher dropped Finn and Leia on their Twitter accounts. You can nab high res versions at StarWars.com.
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.”