We’re a week away from the world premiere of J.J. Abrams’ “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and over the weekend the cast and crew did various bits of press for the film – an interesting experience considering they couldn’t really talk any spoilers and the press asking questions didn’t get to see it.
As a result, the questioning was kept to the basics with much of it dealing with the backstory of the various characters and the universe between the end of “Return of the Jedi” and the start of ‘Force Awakens’. Here’s the juiciest quotes:
The Resistance (Force Awakens) vs. The Rebellion (Original Trilogy)
Oscar Isaac says the difference between the good guys in the classic and new films mostly comes down to footing and size:
“Just think about the words: One is to rebel against, so it’s an offensive action. Resisting is on the defensive. So I think the big difference is that [The Resistance] is even more cornered…There’s less of them. It’s slightly less organized.”
Oscar Isaac talked about helping create the backstory of his character of Poe Dameron:
“[The backstory] was a collaboration. That was me realizing that Yavin, the Rebel base at the end of A New Hope, was shot in Guatemala. I was born in Guatemala. This takes place 30 years later. Which is close to my age. And so I thought ‘Why couldn’t Poe be from Yavin? He could be from there, that rebel base.’ And I said that in some interviews.
Lucasfilm heard that, it got back to the creators of Shattered Empire and they thought ‘That’s a cool idea.’ This is the first time where me talking about my character background I usually do as an actor, I get a comic book out of it. It’s pretty wild. They’re doing a beautiful job. I think it’s great. The story itself I had nothing to do with just the seed of that’s where Poe in born.
He comes from a line of Resistance fighters. He has pledged his total allegiance to the Resistance. He believes in The Force and he wants to take down the First Order. So he puts his life on the line at any given moment to do that.”
J.J. Abrams says there will be no mention of midi-chlorians in the film, and the subject of the Force will be less about bloodlines and more along the spiritual lines of the original trilogy:
“Being strong with the force didn’t mean something scientific, it meant something spiritual. It meant someone who could believe, someone who could reach down to the depths of your feelings and follow this primal energy that was flowing through all of us. I mean, that’s what was said in that first film!
We would like to believe that when s–t gets serious, that you could harness that Force I was told surrounds not just some of us but every living thing. And so, I really feel like the assumption that any character needs to have inherited a certain number of midi-chlorians or needs to be part of a bloodline, it’s not that I don’t believe that as part of the canon…but I also say that the Force has always seemed to me to be more inclusive and stronger than that.”
It seems that much of the backstory for John Boyega’s Finn character is being kept for some of the subsequent movies, indeed even the actors are unsure where this is all headed. Boyega says:
“I just remember during my time screen-testing, I was like, to Daisy [Ridley], ‘there’s no way that our stories are so simple,’ and we still don’t know! So I’ve still got some conspiracy theories as a fan as to where Finn comes from and I’m still trying to figure that out, but I like that it’s a mystery.”
Kylo Ren’s Personality
Lawrence Kasdan on how Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren differs from previous “Star Wars” villains:
“That’s why we were so excited about Adam [Driver] playing this part. There’s never been a character like Kylo [Ren] in the saga. And no, he hasn’t got all of his s–t together – I would say. And Adam acts it so beautifully, because when you’re looking at him you expect, ‘Oh, this is some evil genius,’ but what you’re getting is all the contradictions and conflict that people feel – that anyone of us could feel at any moment. That’s what’s so amazing about him, and that’s what unique about what Adam has done.”
Kylo Ren’s Mask
J.J. Abrams talked about the process of designing Kylo Ren’s look:
“The most difficult one [to design] was Kylo Ren. We went through I don’t know how many hundreds and probably thousands of iterations and versions, and one of the great things about that was, the costume for Captain Phasma was designed. That was actually pitched as a Kylo Ren costume originally. For story reasons it didn’t make sense and didn’t work, but we suddenly realized, ‘Oh my God, this is one of the greatest-looking costumes I’ve ever seen.’ And he, then she, became one of my favorite characters in the movie. But the design of Kylo Ren was the most difficult one and when we finally saw the mask and the beginning of that design, it was really instantly clear that was the winner.”
The New X-Wings
Oscar Isaac says that despite the classic design, these things are faster and more efficient:
“They’re faster. They’re more maneuverable. Just think about a BMW from 30 years ago to now. It’s more computerized. You notice instead of the four thrusters, it’s got the one that separates, it’s a more high powered engine. The guns also. The targeting is better on them, you can get way more specific with taking out individuals from very up high.”
There’s also a stunning new TV spot which you can check out below: