Highlights From The Force Awakens Press Q and A


Today marked the first (and probably the last) press junket for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. We have the highlights below.

The cast of The Force Awakens, as well as director J.J. Abrams, Lucasfilm president and Episode VII producer Kathleen Kennedy, and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, sat down at the movie’s press junket for a Q&A moderated by the comedian and television star, Mindy Kaling (via Entertainment Weekly).

There were two sessions; the first featured Abrams, Kasdan, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Carrie Fisher, and Lupita Nyong’o. The second saw Kennedy, Harrison Ford, Gwendoline Christie, John Boyega, and Oscar Isaac answering questions.

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The first session unearthed a lot of interesting tidbits about the newcomers to Star Wars and a few details about the movie itself, though nothing too spoilery (unless you consider “no Ewoks” to be too big a spoiler).

The biggest revelation, however, has nothing to do with the movie. It has to do with Maz Kanata and Yoda, who, J.J. hinted, may have crossed paths at some point.

"“I do believe that Maz and Yoda, at some point, crossed paths. But … that is not something that happens in this film.”"

(Lupita did say Yoda was Maz’s “first love,” but she was probably just joking… right?)

Adam Driver and Lawrence Kasdan spoke at length about Kylo Ren. Apparently Kylo’s good with food, but he’s not so good with other aspects of his life.

"For Adam Driver, Kaling jokes that the villain Kylo Ren looks “hilarious.”  “He’s a great cook. He’s a Scorpio,” Driver jokes. “He’s very unpolished and unfinished.”Kasdan says there’s never been a character like Ren in the saga. “He doesn’t have his shit all together,” the screenwriter says. “You’re getting all the contradictions and conflicts that people feel. That’s what’s unique about what Adam has done.”"

Driver also said they tried not to think of Kylo Ren as a villain, rather as something “more three-dimensional.” In other words, he’s probably more human than, say, an icon of pure evil, like Darth Vader or the Emperor. “He’s more dangerous and unpredictable, and morally justified in doing what he thinks is right.”

Kaling asked J.J. if there were any Ewoks in this movie, to which he replied, “Living?” After some groans from the crowd, he got more serious and said, “No, there are no Ewoks in this film.”

“That you know of,” Carrie interjects.

Maybe Carrie’s dog, Gary, could have pulled off a role as a fuzzy space bear, but sadly, he did not. Nor did he play any other kind of galactic creature.

"One reporter asks Fisher if her dog Gary could ever play a “long-tongued alien” in the Star Wars universe. “I wish!” Fisher says. ‘I begged J.J. Gary was willing to sleep with J.J.!” The crowd laughs, but Fisher clarifies: ‘”I mean nap – but still.”"

J.J. also confirmed there will be no post-credits scene at the end of the film.

Follow the link to Entertainment Weekly to read the entire Q&A for the first session.

The second session with Kennedy, Ford, Christie, Boyega, and Isaac featured mostly insights into the cast’s experience on the set. Like whose trailer was the party trailer.

"Kaling says there’s always a trailer were everyone goes to get high – even though she says she’s sure nobody on set did anything like that. “I went to my trailer,” Isaac says. “It was mostly going between Carrie and my trailers. The party trailers.” He said even his uncle, who visited the set, disappeared and was found in Fisher’s trailer, laughing loudly and hanging out with Gary the dog."

Oscar Isaac also revealed who he shares a “romantic” relationship with in Episode VII.

"“Yeah, I think mostly … with BB-8,” Isaac jokes. “Inter-droid? What would you call that. There’s a real warmth there. There’s a give and take, and that’s who’s got his back in that X-Wing. If there’s any romance for Poe, it’s with those two little balls.”"

“…those two little balls”? Oh, Oscar.

John Boyega weighed in on the controversy surrounding him playing a stormtrooper, the first black stormtrooper we’ve seen onscreen.

"“I’ve got to be honest, I really don’t care about the black stormtrooper stuff. I [couldn’t] care less,” he says. “This is a movie about human beings, about Wookiees, spaceships and TIE Fighters. It’s got an undercurrent of courage, a message of friendship and loyalty. I watched the movie with Kathy last week, and I really relate to Rey more than any of the characters. The circumstance to find something bigger than yourself is really important to me."

Kennedy said Episode VIII will begin filming in London (probably at Pinewood Studios) in January. She also said there will be no Jar Jar Binks in The Force Awakens (sorry, Jar Jar fans).

Kennedy talked about the secrecy surrounding the film, with one of the journalists at the Q&A pointing out none of those who were there had been allowed to see it yet.

"“We have so few surprises anymore when you walk in to see a movie. It’s all in the trailers or ends up online well in advance,” she says. “That’s really all that’s driving it. We’ve respected that in all ways we can.”"

The cast also talked about their favorite moments out of the previous Star Wars films. Isaac said it was the moment in Return of the Jedi when Darth Vader’s helmet is taken off and you see ““a sad, old man inside.” Christie loved Princess Leia… and it turns out, Ford did, too.

"Christie said she was inspired as a young girl by seeing Princess Leia as a fierce action warrior.Ford speaks up to say, “I asume you’re not talking about the scene in a snake-bikini sitting on Jabba’s lap?”“No,” Christie says.“Because that’s my favorite,” Ford says."

Apparently, Star Wars actors and actresses get snarky when they’re old. Beware, new cast members!

Next: New The Force Awakens Behind the Scenes Featurette

For the a full Q&A recap, visit Entertainment Weekly.