Solo’s L3-37 is “a completely different kind of droid”

Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s droid L3-37 in Solo: A Star Wars Story is “a self-modified droid,” co-writer Jon Kasdan tells Entertainment Weekly. “The idea is that she’s sort of a mutt, if you will, of various parts of different kinds of droids who has improved upon herself.”

“She’s a complete individual in the galaxy,” Jon Kasdan says. “We wanted to have it be a completely different kind of droid than you’ve ever seen in the movies. And we definitely wanted it to be a female. We thought it was more than time for that.”

She has a “working relationship with Lando” that is “very sophisticated” and has evolved over the years, Lawrence Kasdan says.

She’s very smart and advanced for a droid, “and Phoebe is hilarious and brilliant and really helped bring that character to life in ways that are funny and surprising,” Ron Howard says.

Roundup: Does The Force Awakens novelization answers, raises questions about the film

The Force Awakens novelizationBoth io9 and The Daily Dot explore things we’ve learned from Alan Dean Foster’s novelization that aren’t in the movie – including things that got changed. There are some possible hints at the big question regarding Rey, but remember that the novelizations have a rather tenuous connection to canon – they only really count when they’re supported by what’s in the actual films. (As for Rey, I’m not up for picking any teams yet, but I do plan to explore the question of her possible origins at some point.)

→ What happened to those lightsaber scenes, and other things that we saw in the trailer but didn’t make the final cut? J.J. Abrams explains to Entertainment Weekly.

→ Video: J.J. Abrams, Kathleen Kennedy, Lawrence Kasdan and other behind-the-scenes folks discuss The Force Awakens after the movie’s official Academy screening.

How to talk to your family about The Force Awakens. Important!

→ Also: Buzzfeed profiles Domhnall Gleeson, Wired interviews Jason Ward of Making Star Wars.

J.J. Abrams: We had to do something “bold” with Kylo Ren

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Anthony Breznican at Entertainment Weekly has more from this weekend’s Writers Guild event with J.J. Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt, with a journey into deep spoiler territory on Kylo Ren and his actions. At The Hollywood Reporter, Graeme McMillan takes a look at why the pivotal moment works.

Things are a bit safer over with the Los Angeles Times, where Adam Driver talks about what the mask says about Kylo and some hints on the Knights of Ren.

No end credit scene, Kylo Ren’s star sign: What we learned from The Force Awakens press conference

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A two-part press conference with The Force Awakens notables was held this afternoon in Los Angeles. It was moderated by (surprise!) Mindy Kaling, and here are a few things we learned. (Thanks to Entertainment Weekly and ComicBook liveblogs, plus all the live-tweeters.)

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Today in The Force Awakens: Lawrence Kasdan, Carrie Fisher, and so much more.

Abrams and KasdanToday’s must read is Lawrence Kasdan at the Los Angeles Times. He talks about coming back to Star Wars, working with J.J. Abrams, canon (pure gold here), and the inate goofiness of the original trilogy. Just some great stuff.

Plus, on Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII: “He’s going to make some weird thing.”

(The LAT also headed to Abu Dhabi.)

→ Carrie Fisher was on Live! with Kelly and Michael this morning, where she dubs her poster hairstyle “the baboon ass.” She’s in the Wall Street Journal as well.

→ The Fiat Chrysler Star Wars commercials are surprisingly clever (particularly given how weird their Hunger Games ones are) and one even has today’s MVP, Mark Hamill! (Okay, he’s just narrating.)

→ On the talk shows last night, we had Lupita Nyong’o and Adam Driver.

J.J. Abrams’ assistant Morgan Dameron on having a character named after her.

→ J.J. Abrams and John Boyega are firmly on Team Han Shot First. Sorry, George.

Chat alerts: There’s a cast Q&A tomorrow on Twitter, while John Boyega and Oscar Isaac will be answering questions via Complex Magazine on Tumblr.