Force Awakens Bits: Captain Phasma Was Originally A Man, Why Leia Didn't Become A Jedi, Easter Eggs And More

With Star Wars: the Force Awakens hitting theaters in just a matter of weeks, an international press tour is sure to bring an overload of Star Wars news. So Star Wars Bits will probably be a daily feature for the next couple weeks, and we'll try to divide the Star Wars news into Force Awakens Bits for those who want to know more about the upcoming movie and Star Wars Bits which will focus on everything else in the galaxy far far away. It's also impossible for us to cover every single interview, nor would we want to. So we're going to try to focus on the best and most interesting. In today's Force Awakens Bits:

  • Captain Phasma was originally written as a man.
  • Learn why Leia didn't become a Jedi after Episode VI.
  • JJ Abrams teases Force Awakens easter eggs.
  • Watch a Disney XD clip featuring a new outfit for Rey, Leia, and a look at Maz Kanata.
  • Learn about the new tech features contained in the First Order Stormtrooper armor.
  • How the Resistance differs from the Rebellion.
  • The story of the R2 Builder who was hired to work on Episode 7 and the extreme secrecy that led to him keeping from telling his family about the job.
  • More talk about The Force Awakens' box office prospects.
  • Preview a new book featuring stories of new Force Awakens alien characters.
  • Details about the opening of the film.

All that and more in today's Force Awakens bits. Hit the jump to Hyperspace for more.

Captain Phasma

Captain Phasma Was Originally Written As a Male Role

We know that Gwendoline Christie's character Captain Phasma is based on a design originally created for Kylo Ren, but now we have confirmation that the role was originally written for a male actor. Screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan told Vulture:

We were just casting about for all the characters. I mean, we were making them up at that moment, as costuming and everything else was happening! It's not like there was a finished script sitting around for months." ..."Everything was happening simultaneously. When the idea came up to make Phasma female, it was instantaneous: Everyone just said, 'Yes. That's great.'

I had heard that the casting directors were told the role was gender neutral, but this is probably the role that Benedict Cumberbatch was rumored for.

Why Leia Didn't Become a Jedi After Episode VI

At the Force Awakens junket, IGN asked J.J. Abrams why didn't Leia become a Jedi after Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. You can watch his response above. Abrams explains its a question that him and Kasdan talked about quite a bit, and it was decided that it was a choice that Leia made. She chose to be a General rather than a Jedi.

Poe Dameron Oscar Isaac Star Wars Force Awakens

How the Resistance Differs From the Rebellion

Over at Io9, Oscar Issac explains how the Resistance is different from the Rebellion from the original trilogy:

Just think about the words, one is to rebel against, so it's an offensive action. Resisting is on the defensive. So I think the big difference is that [The Resistance] is even more cornered. ... There's less of them" and "It's slightly less organized.

New Disney XD Clip

Watch a new Disney XD clip which features among other things: a new outfit for Rey, Leia, and a look at Maz Kanata.

force awakens box office

New Features of the First Order Stormtrooper Armor

In Time Magazine, it is revealed that when Finn (played by John Boyega), takes off his stormtrooper helmet in the film, theres a quiet whoosh sound, as of a vacuum seal being broken. So apparently the new armor has a vacuum seal. Not a huge change, but a cool new addition.

Force Awakens Easter Eggs

Note: the above easter egg is fake, a fan Photoshop

Force Awakens Easter Eggs

Director J.J. Abrams is notorious for hiding Easter eggs in his films (the biggest ones tend to be "Slusho" and "Kelvin" references), so PopSugar asked the filmmaker what to expect in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. While the filmmaker didn't reveal anything, he teased where you might find some of them:

We put some Easter eggs in, but they were Easter eggs that weren't sort of the normal, from-another-movie type of Easter eggs. They were things we knew people would discover upon later viewings. Small things. But there's a chase that involves the Falcon, and if you look at it carefully, there are a couple of things that happen in it that might be fun to recognize.

A New Book Features Stories of New Force Awakens Alien Characters

The Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens collection of short stories, Tales from a Galaxy Far, Far Away: Aliens will be released in April 2016 but four of the six stories are now available in eBook format. Here are the details, and check out the cover images above.

All Creatures Great and Small By Landry Quinn Walker

In a galaxy far, far away, on the desert planet of Jakku, the quiet town of Reestkii is raided by a band of slavers. As the slavers pillage the settlement, a traveling merchant — Bobbajo the Crittermonger — calms the frightened villagers with a story of the tiniest creatures...facing the greatest of enemies. Available now!

High Noon on Jakku By Landry Quinn Walker

In a galaxy far, far away, on the harsh and remote world of Jakku, an explosion rocks Niima Outpost — a banking ship has been robbed! When Constable Zuvio investigates the scene and realizes his trusty secretary droid CZ-1G5 may be involved, Zuvio is determined to find out why his friend has turned foe. Available now!

The Crimson Corsair and the Lost Treasure of Count Dooku By Landry Quinn Walker

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, a cruiser transporting precious cargo for the traitorous Count Dooku's during the Clone Wars crashed into the Sea of Sand on the planet Ponemah, leaving its treasures buried. Years later, Captain Sidon Ithano, known as the Crimson Corsair, and his pirate crew receive a signal from the downed cruiser. The pirates set off after whatever lies beneath the sand, but the hidden ship's signal has gone far and wide. Can the Crimson Corsair find the buried treasure before his rivals? Available now!

The Face of Evil By Landry Quinn Walker

In a galaxy far, far away, during a storm-torn night on the planet Takodana, Specimen Nine has escaped from the dungeon—which means the Frigosian cryptosurgeons have lost their latest test subject! So when a thief on the run lands on the planet, desperate to hide, what price will the Frigosians make her pay to disappear all together?

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Droid Builder Lied To His Sons, Couldn't Reveal He Was Working On Episode 7

We have all heard the story of the two R2 Builders club members that jokingly pitched Kathleen Kennedy on the idea of working on Episode 7 when she visited Star Wars Celebration in Germany a couple years back, and then actually got the job. Well, one of them has a few quotes in a new interview. Here is an excerpt:

I made a comment that if they were making any films in the U.K. and needed any droids, to get in touch. And then, from a very cheeky comment, I was called several months later by Lucasfilm asking if I was available to work on the new film. It was incredible, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. ... My wife knew, which was fair enough, but I've got two teenage sons. So I decided to keep it quiet from them because of school chatter and so on, so I made up a job and had to lie about the job I was doing.

The Force Awakens Legacy Featurette

Force Awakens Box Office Prospects

Meanwhile, Deadline has another article on the box office prospects for The Force Awakens.

In August, I was hearing as high as $315M. That would put this reboot in the realm of Jurassic World which this summer posted a record overseas opening of $315.3M. I'm now hearing some slightly more conservative estimates, although many are suggesting $300M is not out of the question. Whatever it does, it will be huge and as one person said to me today, it's likely to break records in all markets across the globe. On the conservative side, a distribution exec says, "I would think that $300M is a good place to start, but the pre-Christmas time has never been spectacular so if it came in at $250M, it wouldn't surprise me either." Those pre-holiday days compete with shopping, travel and the like. This same person nevertheless says, "This is uncharted territory for sure." Agreeing on the uncharted waters front, yet countering, another source says there's "not a chance" it does $250M. "This is going to blow away Jurassic World."

The article mentions that if The Force Awakens can open in the $275 – $300 million range, it will be on its way to outgrossing Revenge of the Sith within its first week. Read the whole article on the site.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Force Awakens Story Spoilers

Time Magazine also apparently saw twenty minutes from the film and published a description of what the saw. The following contains minor plot description from the beginning of the movie, don't read if you don't want to know:

In that 20 minutes–mild spoilers follow–a young woman named Rey, played by Daisy Ridley, sits disconsolately on a dead-end desert planet in the shade of a wrecked AT-AT, waiting for her life to happen. ("I know all about waiting," she says.) Her only companion is a friendly droid named BB-8. At the same time Poe Dameron, a captured rebel pilot played by Oscar Isaac, is being tortured by the sinister masked dark-sider Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) aboard a Star Destroyer belonging to the evil First Order, a military faction inspired by the Empire. Finn, the Stormtrooper, having realized that he wants to be one of the good guys, busts Poe out and together they steal a TIE fighter ("I've always wanted to fly one of these things," says Poe). ... They crash-land on the desert planet where Rey lives. Poe is presumed dead in the crash, but Finn meets up with Rey and BB-8, who turns out to be carrying information vital to the resistance. The First Order is hot on their heels. They need to escape. There's a ship, Rey says, but it's "garbage"–a clapped-out old rust bucket. Pan over to the garbage ship. It is the Millennium Falcon.