Star Wars Bits: Harrison Ford Destroys a Han Solo Doll, John Boyega Breaks Out a ‘Shrek’ Impression, and R2-D2 Swears Up a Storm
Posted on Thursday, December 3rd, 2015 by Jacob Hall
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, the cast and characters of the Star Wars universe did a whole bunch of things you never thought you’d see. In Today’s Star Wars Bits:
- Harrison Ford shows us where the Millennium Falcon hurt him.
- John Boyega dazzles us with off some impressions.
- R2-D2 reveals himself to be quite the potty-mouth.
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens ticket scalpers have a field day.
- The strange path of Daisy Ridley.
- A glimpse at an upcoming French Star Wars art show.
- Time magazine’s new Star Wars cover.
- And more!
The insane demand for Star Wars: The Force Awakens tickets has been a double-edged sword for Disney and LucasFilm. On one hand, they can bask in the glow of $50 million in advance ticket sales so far, a number that is expected to go as high as $100 million before the movie’s December 18 release date. On the other hand, the film now has smash December box office records (and maybe all box office records) to be seen as a hit in the eyes of many. Disney and theater owners alike are concerned that the news of so many sold-out screenings will deter ordinary folks from coming to the theater on opening weekend. That’s why the AMC theater chain has announced that they still have 3.5 million tickets available for the film’s opening weekend, with 500,000 of those being at IMAX 3D theaters. That’s how you know The Force Awakens is the pop culture event of 2015 – it’s forcing companies to create bizarre announcements like this.
And AMC’s memo to the public may be more necessary than we thought because scalping tickets for the film is a big business at the moment. Those hoping to see the film in major cities in premium formats can find tickets to sold-out screenings going for $200 or more online. However, that’s nothing compared to tickets to the special opening night screening at Walt Disney World, where a ticket (originally $100) would get you a screening of the movie and an invite to a party of the Hollywood Studios theme park. Those tickets are now going for $1,000.
Speaking of demand, Variety is reporting that Star Wars: The Force Awakens merchandise sales could reach $5 billion, which is an astonishing number. After all, that’s $5,000,000,000. But doubly after all, the entire Star Wars series, over 38 years and six movies, has made $20 billion in merchandising. And now one movie may produce 25% of that revenue. That’s nuts. There are a few factors at work: old fans and collectors buying specialty toys and items, kids buying (well, getting their parents to buy) Star Wars toys for them, and a renewed focus on a young female audience, who have been a major focus of the Disney marketing department.
Mr. Ford, can you show us on the doll where the Millennium Falcon hurt you? While appearing on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, the great Harrison Ford was asked about the now-famous incident where the door of Han Solo’s ship came falling down on his leg, leading to a nasty break. The accident temporarily derailed filming of The Force Awakens and caused a lot of headaches, but everyone is having a good laugh about it now… especially Ford, who demonstrated to Fallon what happened using a Han Solo doll. He may be exaggerating just a little. Also: where has this hilarious, lively version of Ford been for the past few years?
Speaking of Star Wars cast members being charming and funny, Good Morning America sat down with Daisy Ridley and John Boyega. Neither of them reveal anything too groundbreaking: they’ve seen the movie, it made Ridley cry, it made Boyega cheer, they’re excited to share it with world, the auditioning process was ultra-secretive and terrifying, etc. But both of them are chatty and enthusiastic and naturals when it comes to selling a movie on a talk show. Most importantly: Boyega does an impression of Pinocchio from the Shrek movies.
Speaking of new cast members, The Guardian has published an article tracking the rise of Daisy Ridley, who was plucked out of obscurity to play Rey. With only a few minor roles in small films and a few student film appearances to her name, J.J. Abrams and Lucasfilm bet big on her having the chops to share the screen with the likes of Harrison Ford. Interestingly, Ridley is pursuing a social sciences degree between bouts of Star Wars acting. Could her career as an actress just be a stop-gap to other things? After all, other Star Wars actors went down unique paths (see: Mark Hamill’s voice acting career) after appearing in the saga.
And now: time for a paragraph of ugly gossip that we hope is entirely untrue! According to a report from the British tabloid The Mirror, J.J. Abrams is unhappy with Lupita Nyong’o‘s performance as the wizened alien Maz Kanata and has been forced to trim her role in the film. The reason is one we’ve heard before from other actors – she just couldn’t get the hang of the motion capture process, which sometimes creates distance between actors and their characters. However, this is about as far from confirmed as you can get, so let’s not get too worked up about this yet. Tabloids gotta tabloid, after all.