The Force Awakens spoilers

It’s been over ten years since George Lucas finished his prequel trilogy, and it’s no secret they left plenty of fans twiddling their thumbs in disappointment. Despite coming from the man behind Star Wars, the prequels didn’t feel like Star Wars movies — they were missing the spirit, emotion and adventure of the original trilogy. All these years later, can J.J. Abrams get this series back on the right track with Star Wars: The Force Awakens?

Well, we’re finally finding out tonight. After the jump, share your thoughts on Star Wars: The Force Awakens in the comments. Please note that spoilers are encouraged in the comments section for this post. If you have not seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we encourage you to return once you have.

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens Power of Storytelling Q&A

A  couple weeks back, the cast and filmmakers behind the new Star Wars film Star Wars: The Force Awakens participated in a Power Of Storytelling Q & A at YouTube Space Los Angeles. Video of the entire 44 minute stage presentation is now online. YouTube executive Danielle Tiedt moderates the question and answer session, which includes Force Awakens director JJ Abrams, producer and Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley and Gwendoline Christie.

The topics include the first stories that inspired them, how do you keep Star Wars fresh over almost four decades, how JJ Abrams became involved in the project, Abrams talks about how you have to look backwards to go forward, the pressure from the intense fanbase, building characters that are different than your own story, what characters inspire them, how did they plan the sound design of Force Awakens, advice for young female creators, managing the human elements in a Star Wars movie, will the Force Awakens capture new audiences like the original did, how do you balance telling an original story but based in a branded franchise, practical effects vs computer generated effects, and the struggles of performing in 125 degree heat in a stormtrooper outfit.

All that and more. The video is filled with some interesting and insightful answers into the inspirations and creative process behind these stars and filmmakers of The Force Awakens.  Hit the jump to watch the Star Wars: The Force Awakens Power of Storytelling Q&A.

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Jaws 19 trailer

Now that Steven Spielberg is back at Universal, many industry insiders have been wondering if the legendary filmmaker will dig into his Amblin archives for some new remakes or sequels. Well, we know two things for sure: He will never remake Jaws or E.T. But what other movies in the Amblin library might he be considering?

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Kathleen Kennedy and JJ Abrams

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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jj abrams

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 week has finally come, a new Star Wars film will hit movie theaters in just a few days. The world premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens takes place tonight in Hollywood, and the first reactions are probably coming shortly after that. I’m extremely fortunate to be attending the premiere tonight and am so excited. I will give you my reaction afterwards on twitter (non-spoiler of course, followed by more in-depth review on the site later in the week). Okay, lets take a look at the latest Star Wars: The Force Awakens news and tidbits:

  • Steven Spielberg recommended that Disney hire J.J. Abrams for Force Awakens.
  • Adam Driver’s response to the question of if Force Awakens will be better than the prequels.
  • See new behind the scenes photos featuring Daisy Ridley and John Boyega.
  • Find out how Jakku market merchant Bobbajo was created
  • Learn more about Andy Serkis‘ character Supreme Leader Snoke
  • How the Force Awakens world premiere in Hollywood is “bigger than the Oscars”
  • Is Force Awakens about Star Wars fandom and is Kylo Ren just a huge Star Wars geek?
  • J.J. Abrams designed Rey’s outfit so that it would be simple enough that kids could doodle it in class
  • Preview some of the limited edition “Galaxy Premiere” merchandise which will be sold in select theaters
  • John Boyega talks Force Awakens deleted scenes
  • Watch BB-8 explore London.
  • Header photo thanks to HeroicHollywood

All this and more in today’s Force Awakens Bits. Alright Chewie, Punch it! Hit the jump for hyperspace!

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JJ Abrams Interview

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is not just a movie, but the beginning of a new trilogy of films. How does a filmmaker like J.J. Abrams balance worrying about this film versus setting up ideas and characters for the rest of the arc? Did he create a treatment for the sequel trilogy with Lawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt? Did he work with Episode VIII writer/director Rian Johnson and Episode IX helmer Colin Trevorrow?

At the Star Wars: The Force Awakens press junket, I sat down with Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy and Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams to learn how the future of the Star Wars saga is being created.
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star wars torture

Would you look at that – Star Wars: The Force Awakens is less than a week away. Try to contain your excitement through this latest edition of Star Wars Bits, which includes:

  • J.J. Abrams reveals the most disturbing Star Wars scene.
  • Kathleen Kennedy teases Star Wars Episode VIII.
  • Harrison Ford does not want to talk about the young Han Solo movie.
  • Lawrence Kasdan is happy to talk about the young Han Solo movie.
  • A collection of adorable Star Wars Facebook stickers.
  • J.J. Abrams discusses his future involvement in the saga.
  • James Corden and Chris Hardwick sing a Star Wars Christmas song for some reason.
  • And more!

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willow 2

Are you a massive Willow fan? Then today’s your lucky day, because director Ron Howard didn’t totally brush off the idea of doing a sequel to the film. It’s been almost 30 years since the fantasy picture, starring Warwick Davis (Life’s Too Short) and Val Kilmer (Top Secret!), was released, but it’s a world Howard wouldn’t mind returning to.

Read the In the Heart of the Sea‘s director’s comments after the jump.

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Kathleen Kennedy and JJ Abrams

Continuing my coverage from the Star Wars: The Force Awakens junket, today I bring you Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy, who helps to explain how the Star Wars anthology movies (i.e., the “A Star Wars Story” films) will be different from the Star Wars Saga movies. Along the way we might even learn something about the rumored Boba Fett movie. Hit the jump and learn how the Star Wars standalone movies will be different.

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