What does the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special have to do with improving race relations and Elvis getting his groove back? Steve Binder. So this holiday season, I sat down with the legendary director to talk about Wookiees, Hound Dogs and some of the other highlights from his career.
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With Star Wars: The Force Awakens just landing the biggest opening weekend of all time, it’s clear that the appeal of tales from a galaxy far, far away is still high. And since the new sequel shares quite a few story beats and similarities with the original Star Wars from 1977, there’s no better time to look back at what made one of the most iconic sequences in the movie work so well.
A new installment of The Discarded Image takes an in-depth look at the Death Star assault from Star Wars: A New Hope, taking into account the political climate of the time, technical aspects such as sound design, John Williams‘ iconic score and the change in George Lucas‘ storytelling style when compared to his previous filmmaking endeavors. Read More »
Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters tonight nationwide. Before you see the movie, check out the latest edition of Force Awakens bits for the following spoiler-free info:
- Force Awakens has sold more tickets than any other movie on Fandango, not just pre-sales but their full theatrical run.
- Learn how C3PO’s suit was greatly improved for the filming of the new movie.
- JJ Abrams explains why he didn’t return for Episode VIII or IX.
- Abu Dhabi recreated Starkiller Base as a tourist attraction.
- Force Awakens is 95% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with 200 reviews, a ranking currently higher than all the previous Star Wars films.
- Adam Driver explains how the lightsabers in Force Awakens finally realized George Lucas‘ original vision.
- Costume designer Michael Kaplan on creating Han Solo’s more mature look.
- Force Awakens will screen in space
- The header image is a behind the scenes shot from a featurette on shooting in Abu Dubai, which you can watch in this post.
All this and more. Hit the jump to hyperspace!
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As excited as I was to chat with filmmaker J.J. Abrams about Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I was even more excited to chat with super producer Kathleen Kennedy, who aside from producing many of the films of my childhood is the head of Lucasfilm — which means she is in charge of the future of the Star Wars franchise.
I talked to Kennedy about how she and her team are planning out the future of the Star Wars franchise, how George Lucas’ treatments evolved into Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the abandoning of the Star Wars expanded universe, what was being developed at Lucasfilm before George sold to Disney, how the theme park stuff is being worked on, the differences between the Saga films and the Star Wars Story anthology films, the collaboration between J.J. Abrams and future sequel trilogy directors Rian Johnson and Colin Trevorrow, and whether they can top Darth Vader with Kylo Ren. Obviously, some of these quotes were featured on the site last week, but there is so much here that wasn’t — so please read it in its entirety.
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Since it was announced that J.J. Abrams was going to direct Episode 7 of the Star Wars saga, he hasn’t talked too deeply about the process of developing the new film. So when I had the opportunity to talk to Abrams at the Star Wars: The Force Awakens press junket, I was filled with questions about how his vision of the next episode of Star Wars came about.
After the jump you can read my full J.J. Abrams interview. Some of the quotes have been previously features on the site (for instance, the stuff on working with Rian Johnson and The Raid guys and also his belief on the Force being more inclusive than midi-chlorians and bloodlines). But the interview packs a lot more: I ask Abrams about how his vision of the future of the Skywalker saga differed from the treatments that George Lucas turned in for the upcoming sequel trilogy, the lessons he took away from the Star Wars prequels, and more.
And you’ll notice that Abrams uses his Jedi mind tricks to not directly answer some of these questions, but his answers (for instance, his response about what he loved about the original trilogy) are actually very calculated and telling responses.
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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!
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I talked to Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy over the weekend at the Star Wars: The Force Awakens press junket, the full interview will hit the site later in the week. During my chat I learned that the company is still spending a lot of time looking, discussing and developing two of the most notorious left-over projects from the George Lucas era: the live-action Star Wars TV show Star Wars: Underworld and the Star Wars 1313 video game. Could either of these thought to have been abandoned projects find new light in the Disney era? Find out after the jump.
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Over the weekend, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy revealed that just six days after George Lucas said he hadn’t seen a single frame of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the creator of the sci-fi universe had finally seen the film. In addition, she told us that “he liked it.” But now we finally have word from the man himself, kinda.
Find out about this George Lucas The Force Awakens reaction after the jump! Read More »
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Over the weekend I talked exclusively to J.J. Abrams about his new film Star Wars: The Force Awakens. That whole conversation will be posted at a later time, but I thought I’d share one answer that I personally found very interesting.
Its no secret that George Lucas based a lot of the Star Wars saga on Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey, and over the past four decades we’ve seen a lot of films employing the “Chosen One” trope. The Star Wars prequels took the “Chosen One” myth to an even more specific level because Force/Jedi-potential was linked to having a high midi-chlorian count. A lot of Star Wars fans didn’t like the pseudo-scientific explanation, and especially the idea of having to be born with a high midi-chlorian count or from a certain bloodline to harness the powers of the Force.
And now that a new trilogy of Star Wars films is coming out, with the Force having awakened, I wondered if the ideology behind this might have evolved. I asked J.J. Abrams: Does The Force Awakens explore the possibility that anyone can have the power? His answer, after the jump.
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As of the end of November, Star Wars creator George Lucas hadn’t seen a single frame of the forthcoming saga continuance, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But here we are just six days later and that has changed entirely.
Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy revealed that Lucas will be attending the premieres of the movie in Los Angeles and London, but he’s actually already seen the entire movie. So the question is, what does the man who gave us the galaxy far, far away think about this new chapter in the franchise? Find out below! Read More »