10 Things We Learnt From The Star Wars: The Force Awakens Press Conference

star wars press conference

Yesterday saw the big “gobal” press conference for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens and a flood of stories has hit the internet as a gaggle of entertainment journos all try to make a few titbits of information sound like the biggest exclusive ever. They didn’t even get to the see the film, but such is the excitement about the new Star Wars film, Disney didn’t need to screen that yet to get the publicity machine into hyperdrive. We’ve sifted through the various stories to see what the assembled actually did learn…

1. There’s no need to stick around and watch the credits: JJ Abrams said there are no post- or during-credits extra scenes.

2. It’s a Jar Jar-free and Ewok-free zone: “Jar Jar is definitely not in the movie. Ewoks are not in the movie,” said producer Kathleen Kennedy. “That’s because Harrison insisted upon it.” We think that bit’s tongue-in-cheek.

3. Captain Phasma’s costume was originally designed for Kylo Ren: The team went through a lot of ideas for Ren’s name and look and Phasma ended up with one of his cast-offs. “It was originally pitched as Kylo Ren’s costume,” said Abrams, “but didn’t work for story reasons.”

4. Yoda’s secret relationship revealed (possibly): “He was my first love,” said Lupita Nyong’o who plays thousand-year-old space pirate, Maz Kanata. At first we assumed she was joking but Abrams added, “I do believe that Maz and Yoda, at some point, crossed paths. But … that is not something that happens in this film.”

5. Carrie Fisher hasn’t changed: She described Leia’s hairstyle as “like a baboon’s ass” and her new wardrobe, “like a classy gas station attendant outfit.” But also noted, “I was the only girl on an all-boys’ set the first go round. This time Daisy Ridley is the physical power and I just yell at all the men until they pass out.” And working practices have changed: “They drank a lot on the original trilogy. That’s what JJ brought to this one; sobriety.”

6. The movie does not rely on nostalgia: “What do we want people to feel when they come to this movie?” pondered Abrams. “The answer was the sense of discovery, exhilaration, discovery, the surprise and the comedy that George [Lucas] put into Star Wars. That being said, this is not a nostalgia trip.”

7. There may be more than just a Dark Side to Kylo Ren: Scriptwriter Lawrence Kasdan said that Kylo Ren is more complex than just a standard bad guy. “There’s never been a character like Kylo in the saga. He doesn’t have all of his sh** together. Adam acts it so beautifully. You watch thinking he’s some evil genius, but you see all the contradictions.” Actor Adam Driver added, “We tried not to think of him as bad or evil or as a villain, but more three-dimensional. In the beginning, that, to me, seemed more terrifying – having a justifiable reason for doing whatever he’s doing.

8. Poe and BB-8 could be the breakout double-act: Oscar Isaac says his character’s main relationship in the film is, “mostly with BB-8. It’s ‘interdroid’. There’s a real warmth there. There’s a real give and take. That’s who’s got his back in the X-Wing. So if there’s any romance for Poe, it’s with those two little balls.” Innuendo of the week, there man!

9. Captain Phasma will return: It’s already been leaked that Gwendoline Christie’s shiny, gold stormtrooper will be back, though the actress herself is remaining vague. “To not risk ruining everything for everyone, it’s interesting to see where my character may go.”

10. Harrison Ford seems happy: “I’m aware of the value that’s placed on these films by the audience and I’m gratified that they’ve been passed on. We’ve been passed on generationally through families and there’s still an audience for those of us that were in the original film. There’s still some value in them interpreting life somehow. It’s hard to say what the difference is. It feels familiar. It feels good. It’s good to be home, as Han says in the trailer.”


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