Oscar Isaac (briefly) on The Force Awakens, Episode VIII in Rolling Stone cover story

isaac-rsOscar Isaac is on the cover of Rolling Stone, and while the article is a straight-up profile, we do learn a few things about The Force Awakens:

All of the funny lines – including one about Poe being unable to hear Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren through his helmet, and the “who talks first” exchange – were added in reshoots, and Isaac improvised some of them. He’s always pushing to complicate and deepen Poe, who started as little more than a charming archetype. “We’re making shit up as we go,” he says.

As for Episode VII:

“In the new film, there’s a lot more to do,” Isaac says. “What happens now is the heroes get tested. All three of them” – Poe, Daisy Ridley’s Rey and John Boyega’s Finn – “get tested immensely.” And how’s BB-8 doing? “BB-8’s doing all right. BB-8 gets tested too! Everybody gets tested! It’s the dark second chapter, but not really dark.”

P.S. The dog’s name is Moby.

Today in Episode VIII: Cast arrives in Belfast

Today’s big VIII buzz is that director Rian Johnson and several cast members have arrived at at Belfast International Airport in Northern Ireland, where they’re expected to film at Malin Head. (A familiar object is being built there.)

Mark Hamill went all out for the photographers, but his costars were less gregarious. Director Johnson and Daisy Ridley are no surprise, but the fourth person joining them may be, so click at your own risk.

→ Though Malin Head is the only known filming location in Northern Ireland, there are several in Ireland now – SWNN has a map.

→ John Boyega picked up a Chopard Trophy at the Cannes Film Festival yesterday, (alongside Bel Powley, who was rumored for a VIII role at one point) and even found time for a couple of interviews. With Variety he discussed Finn and Rey and described VIII as “a different take, darker, bigger” than The Force Awakens. At Vulture, he has nothing but praise for new costar Kelly Marie Tran.

→ Meanwhile, Oscar Isaac and his Poe Dameron haircut are doing publicity for X-Men: Apocalypse. To Collider he says “Poe has a lot of love to give,” while he tells Entertainment Tonight that VII characters will get “tested intensely.”

Today in The Force Awakens: Making of book canceled?

tfa-bts-ridley-jjAlthough it was never officially announced, it appears that The Making of Star Wars: The Force Awakens book from Mark Cotta Vaz and J.W. Rinzler has been canceled. A listing for the book appeared before the movie – usually a reliable indicator – and it was pushed back to October before the film’s release. However, it now it no longer appears on the publisher’s site, and Florian at Jedi Bibliothek found a listing on BookManager that says it’s been canceled..

All-out cancellations are rare, but I don’t expect we’ll get any word on the reasoning anytime soon. (Again, it was never actually announced.) My only guess is that it may have something to do with the lawsuit over Harrison Ford’s on-set injury. Note the incident isn’t mentioned in the official behind-the-scenes documentary on The Force Awakens Blu-ray – and may be off-limits until the legal issues have been worked out. Everyone loves the original trilogy Making of books, but here’s hoping we won’t have to wait 30 years for this one.

→ Speaking of the accident… Something we overlooked during the big Rey parentage debacle was J.J. Abrams revealing exactly how Ford’s injury actually helped the film.

→ A great new behind the scenes video from Discover Ireland.

→ Casting director Nina Gold talks about finding Daisy Ridley and John Boyega (plus some Game of Thrones folks) in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

→ Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and actor Oscar Isaac are among of Time’s 100 most influential people.

Custom BB-8s created by Star Wars stars and luminaries, being auctioned for charity.

Today in Episode VIII: Oscar Isaac speaks, possible costume descriptions

viii-0prodtease-rey2Oscar Isaac spoke briefly to the Los Angeles Times about Episode VIII, comparing the experience to “making an independent film,” and saying that “Rian [Johnson] is definitely going to places and investigating things that haven’t really been done in the ‘Star Wars’ universe.”

In spoiler corner, Making Star Wars has descriptions of Luke Skywalker and Rey’s costumes, while The Movie Bit has pictures of the setup-in-progress at Ceann Sibéal. UPDATE: Artist Natalia Trykowska has drawn the outfits based on MSW’s description.