Today marks the opening day for Star Wars Celebration. For the next four days, we will be covering some of the major events that are going on in sunny Anaheim, CA. We’ve already seen the new teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
The brand new footage provided some answers to the questions we had about the first teaser, but also added new ones. For the sake of keeping it spoiler-free, we won’t delve too much into it, but one question on everyone’s mind is, what did Han mean when he said: “Chewie, we’re home.” At the convention today, Before we saw the explosive trailer twice, director J.J. Abrams and LucasFilm President Kathleen Kennedy talked about some of their favorite Star Wars memories, and what it was like to shoot the film after George Lucas sold LucasFilm to Disney. We also learned a few things about the film, nothing too spoilery, but just enough of a tease to keep you going until the official full trailer comes out.
Here below are some details we learned at Star Wars Celebration about Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
4 – In a day where green screens and CGI seem to be overwhelming films, Abrams felt that it was necessary to bring back the practical effects that the early Star Wars trilogy was known for. “When we were working on pre-production, the thing that struck me is just how real you knew and felt Star Wars was when you first saw A New Hope,” he said. “That feeling of actually being there, whether they were shooting in Tunisia or various physical sets you couldn’t deny it.” Abrams had shot ten days worth of footage in Abu Adabi, where temperatures climbed to a sweltering 128 degrees. Shooting on location allowed for “real tangible John Ford landscapes” which added to the idea that practical effects was to be emphasized.
3 – The desert we see in the two teasers is not Tatooine. Abrams confirms that it is a new desert planet called Jakku. The director described that it was a landscape that could make the film feel like “a western and a fairy tale.”
2- Having attended the Star Wars Celebration in Germany in 2013, Kennedy came across some fan-made R2-D2 droid units. Seeing how much attention to detail they put into their work, she made a call to the creature shop in England, and convinced them that they alongside them during the production of The Force Awakens. Abrams described the crew as efficient, fixing any problems at a moment’s notice, and that “there was never a costly droid delay.”
1 – Since the release of the first trailer, we’ve known that learned the names of some of the characters: Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), Finn (John Boyega), and Rey (Daisy Ridley). We still don’t know the identity of Kylo Ren. While his identity has yet to be revealed, Isaac, Boyega, and Ridley made an appearance to talk about some of their characters.
Ridley on Rey: “Rey is a scavenger in a ship graveyard on the planet Jakoo. She’s completely self sufficient and solitary, until she meets another character, and an adventure begins.”
Boyega on Finn: “He is incredible danger, and the way he reacts to this danger introduces him to the Star Wars universe in an incredible way.” The actor, though, would not confirm if Finn was a stormtrooper or not.
Isaac said that Poe “is the best fracking pilot in the galaxy.” He adds that his character is “sent on a certain mission by a certain princess,” and that “he comes across a certain stormtrooper, and their fates are intertwined.”