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The awakening is coming, can you feel it? We are now 7 days away from the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Here is a look at what we’ll be talking about in today’s Force Awakens Bits:

  • A look inside the Star Wars writers room.
  • J.J. Abrams and Daisy Ridley on whether you should see the film in 3D, 2D or IMAX.
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens has already been shortlisted for an Oscar.
  • Harrison Ford says Han Solo’s lines in The Force Awakens trailers aren’t what they seem.
  • In India, Force Awakens could be upstaged by Bollywood holdovers.
  • Learn about Harrison Ford‘s contributions to the script.
  • NASA says BB-8 isn’t well designed.
  • Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy explains George Lucas‘ involvement with Force Awakens and the future of Star Wars.

All that and more. Hit the jump to hyperspace!

George Lucas JJ Abrams Kathleen Kennedy Star Wars

Inside the Star Wars Writers Room

The Hollywood Reporter has an amazing piece on the writers room for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the sequel trilogy, the standalone films like Rogue One and, yeah, basically the future of Star Wars. Here is a short excerpt:

It was around Christmastime 2012 when Michael Arndt, Lawrence Kasdan, Simon Kinberg, Pablo Hidalgo and Kiri Hart converged for the first time in an office at Big Rock Ranch in Marin — the 1,000-acre spread George Lucas built next to his beloved Skywalker Ranch — to carry out an initial brainstorming session. Over the next month, they began creating the framework for Episodes VII, VIII and IX as well as such spinoffs as Rogue One. “It didn’t really begin with much of an agenda other than to put a bunch of people in a room who love Star Wars and are storytellers and see what stories come out of it,” recalls Kinberg.

Kiri Hart remembers, “It was very much about putting ideas up on the board and exploring together. There were millions of things that we bounced around and abandoned.” Oh how I would have loved to be a fly on the wall in that room in those days/weeks.

Oscar 2015 predictions

Force Awakens Shortlisted for an Oscar

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is officially an Oscar contender… kind of. The film has made the Oscar shortlist in the Visual Effects category, alongside Ant-Man, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Bridge of Spies, Chappie, Everest, Ex Machina, Furious Seven, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, In the Heart of the Sea, Jupiter Ascending, Jurassic World, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, The Revenant, Spectre, Terminator Genisys, Tomorrowland and The Walk.

There will be another shortlist of ten nominees revealed later this month. The final five contenders will be announced on January 14, 2016.

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Harrison Ford Says Han Solo’s Lines in The Force Awakens Trailers Aren’t What They Seem

Over at io9, my good friend Germain Lussier talked to Harrison Ford about Han Solo’s line “Chewie, we’re home” which appeared in the second trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Ford explains that the line is actually not what you think it is, and plays very differently in the movie itself:

“‘Chewie, we’re Home,’ is about something else,” Ford told io9 when asked if this line was referring to the Millennium Falcon. “It’s about [director] J.J. [Abrams]’ genius—because it’s preceded with new characters and new stuff, all of which is really intriguing. It’s like walking up to a new house and then you get a glimpse through the window of the new stuff inside. Then ‘Chewie, we’re home’ is the key in the lock that opens the door. To your memories, your emotional memories of the thing. It’s not about Han. It’s not about Han and Chewie. It’s about triggering the memory of the experience.”

Ford says the “It’s true, all of it” line from the third trailer is also played very differently in the film:

“By the time you get to the ‘It’s all true’ part of the movie, there’s a big, full story that fills the frame, and it’s not all about Han,” Ford says. “But in the context of Han’s story, you will learn about things that have occurred offstage in the intervening years, which will lead you to an understanding of why he is capable now of saying the things he says.”

So for those who think they know too much about the film from watching the trailers, it seems clear they are cleverly editing moments to play differently in the ads than they do within the film.

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