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.
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.”
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…