Entertainment Weekly’s Anthony Breznican got what he could from J.J. Abrams, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyong’o, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and more for the magazine’s latest profile of The Force Awakens. While some of it isn’t necessarily news (or new news for that matter), each article is fun to read and there are some genuine reveals hidden within. Full breakdown (and therefore mild spoilers) below.
The first few article dumps were a reminder that things like these weren’t for the fans like you reading this website or for the ones rewatching the trailers thousands of times over or the ones who bought tickets one minute after they went on sale, but instead for the people who have enjoyed the films but don’t follow all the latest news, maybe saw a trailer, and are thinking they might see it sometime in December. Sure, there were some cool tidbits abound, but this was meant to help hype up the film for everyone else. And I got to say, these articles certainly should do the trick.
Things started with the big get: Harrison Ford talking about the universally loved Han Solo. Ford always provides some entertaining interviews, as his gruff nature and short replies offer both humor and frustration. Within this one, he reveals how he arraigned for his own medevac when the Falcon crashed on him, that he’s never really thought about someone else playing his character (i.e. the Young Han Solo film), and how Han’s character development will be consistent with the scoundrel we all know and love. Here’s a good quote from him on that:
“We spend a lot more time [in the movie] on his failure to master basic skills, like accounting,” Ford says, rubbing his thumb and forefinger together. “And accounting for his own behavior. There’s a lot of the rogue still left in Solo. Some things don’t change.”
J.J. and Carrie Fisher had some things to say about Leia’s journey and that the stakes couldn’t be higher for her in the film, which is interesting when you start speculating a bit. Fisher says Leia is, “…solitary. Under a lot of pressure. Committed as ever to her cause, but I would imagine feeling somewhat defeated, tired, and pissed.” Imagine everything you fought for 30 years ago was on the cusp of coming undone? Hopefully General Organa can rally the troops and help bring the First Order down (and yes, first revealed in Moving Target back in August, Leia is a General by TFA).
But it looks like this fight will be much harder than the one before, thanks to ruthless Generals like Hux (played by Domhnall Gleeson) and the (very) deadly Starkiller Base. J.J. revealed some people in-universe refer to the new superweapon as a Death Star, but this one is more powerful than its predecessors (and while the article speculates to the point it feels the need to warn of mild spoilers, StarWars.com’s databank entry on the weapon already revealed, a few months ago, Starkiller’s true potential). General Hux (who’s likely father we meet in the Servants of the Empire series), is again quoted as being utterly ruthless, but it is revealed he’s killed his way to his position and some of his motivations for “order” make him out to be an interesting character. It’s also mention that he and Kylo are, for the lack of a better term, frenemies.
On the flip side, Daisy Ridley and John Boyega, and consequently their characters Rey and Finn, are actual friends. The article with Ridley and Boyega is one of my favorites, as these two have charm and personality that’s easily infectious. They both fight for the much welcomed diversity they bring to the film, with Ridley telling a story about how parents have said they’re happy their daughters get to see Rey being independent, resourceful, and hopeful, while Boyega shuts down the haters again by pointing out, “We see through the eyes of children that they’re not talking about race the way we grown folks are. They’re not talking about color or how much melanin is in someone’s skin. That should teach us something.”
They also get to tease a few more details about their characters: Rey is revealed to have been on Jakku since she was 5, dropped off by a family she barely remembers; Finn is trained since birth to fight and die for the First Order (something General Hux’s father started) and he’s been taught Luke Skywalker is the Empire’s biggest villain. But when they meet, their shared goal of looking for a greater purpose sets them on a path they’ll never be able to come back from.
My favorite article however is the one on Maz Kanata, who has gotten way more interesting once she started doing voice overs for the TV spots and trailer. J.J. drops some intriguing info that has made her shoot up my list of new characters I can’t wait to learn more about:
“Her history is that she was a pirate for a long time,” he says. “She’s lived over a thousand years. She’s had this watering hole for about a century, and it’s like another bar that you’d find in a corner of the Star Wars universe.”
A thousand years?!? Imagine all the eyes she’s seen and all the eyes she looked into through all that time. I only mention her eyes, besides the fact that she talks about them in the first TV spot, because they hold a special power. J.J. has promised we’ll learn more of her backstory in other venues, novels/comics/etc, and I know I’ll be rushing out to pick up whatever format her story comes in. There’s also some discussion from Lupita about Serkis’ advice to her about motion capture and how Maz’s role in the film made having her as a puppet impractical. Mull that final bit over for awhile…
Here are a few other nuggets of info:
- No, EW wasn’t going to reveal Luke’s actual fate in the film, just that it’s the most important part of it. It’s a fun read just to see how Abrams and Hamill dodge answering the question.
- No images of Supreme Leader Snoke were revealed, but Andy Serkis did offer a few details like: “(Snoke) is quite an enigmatic character, and strangely vulnerable at the same time as being quite powerful.”; the scale of the character wouldn’t allow for prosthetics; and no, he’s not Darth Plagueis!
- Speaking of things not being Plagueis, Rey’s staff is just a staff. Period.
- BB-8 is largely referred to everyone working on the film as male, but it’s argued there’s no official genderization yet for the lovable little ball droid. Also, it seems BB-8 knows how to use its cute looks and charm to its advantage to carry out its very important mission. Can’t wait for BB to roll into our hearts even more so in December!
- There’s also a gallery with several new images.
Are we all still mad about J.J. Abram’s mystery box? I think not.
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