Force Awakens Bits: Greg Grunberg's Character, Russell Crowe Reaction, John Williams' Score, Character Posters And More

It's Friday and we're less than a week away from Star Wars: The Force Awakens hitting theaters nationwide. I thought we'd be in Star Wars overkill at this point, but even with a Force Awakens round-up each day on the site I was expecting to be bombarded with much more Force Awakens content the week before JJ Abrams' Star Wars sequel hits theaters. In today's edition of Force Awakens Bits, we take a look at the following:

  • Take a first look at Greg Grunberg's character: X-Wing pilot Snap Wexly
  • See Four new international Force Awakens character posters revealed
  • Are all Bad Robot office visitors are forced to sign a Star Wars NDA?
  • Russell Crowe saw 9 Minutes of The Force Awakens calls it "Spectacular"
  • Nearly an hour of John Williams Force Awakens score was discarded, modified or rerecorded
  • Alamo Draft House Cinema offers Star Wars-themed meals listed on a Millennium Falcon menu
  • How Rick Carter's art team effected The Force Awakens scriptwriting process
  • For preparation, Oscar Issac was given blueprints of every button that had ever been used on screen in an X-Wing
  • Why JJ Abrams And Lawrence Kasdan started from scratch when Michael Arndt left Force Awakens 
  • And the header photo shows Star Wars: The Force Awakens chief of creature and droid effects Neal Scanlan posing with the creatures from the film. So cool.

All this and more in today's Force Awakens Bits. Hit the jump to hyperspace.

Are All Bad Robot Office Visitors Forced To Sign A Star Wars NDA?

The Hollywood Reporter claims that some visitors to J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot offices in Santa Monica are being forced to sign nondisclosure agreements in case they even overhear anything Force Awakens-related. According to their sources, this is for people who enter the building for "even for non-Star Wars meetings". Abrams could not confirm this to the tradepaper but joked that they made anyone who looks "suspicious" sign an NDA. I'll say this: I've personally stepped foot in Bad Robot in the last year and was never asked to sign an NDA, so unless this is a more recent occurrence, I don't think its true.

International Force Awakens Character Posters

With less than a week to go, Lucasfilm and Disney have revealed four new international Star Wars: The Force Awakens character posters, featuring Finn, Rey, Han and Leia, and Kylo Ren. I'm sure these were probably alternate designs to the first batch the studio released that he the covered eye motif.

Russell Crowe Saw 9 Minutes of The Force Awakens, Calls It "Spectacular"

Academy Award-winning actor Russell Crowe was shown 9 minutes of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. why don't know why, how or where, but the actor did tweet out the following:

Just saw 9 mins of the new J.J. Abrams Star Wars —not supposed to say anything...signed a non disclosure form...between us —Spectacular

Well "spectacular" is some high praise.

 Rick Carter

How Rick Carter's Artists Effected The Force Awakens Scriptwriting

Lawrence Kasdan talked to Disney Insider about the process of writing Star Wars: The Force Awakens with director JJ Abrams:

He was recording everything on a cell phone and we would have it transcribed, by [co-producer and Abrams' former assistant] Michelle Rejwan. She was transcribing it because no one was allowed to see what was being done. And Michelle has been integral to this whole process—she's an incredible woman with a brilliant mind about these things. She's the real go-to person. So she was transcribing them and we were remembering and talking about it. Eventually, we had to go to an office and work on it.

He also talks about how production designer Rick Carter (who he describes as "sort of hippie, Zen master) contributed to the writing process:

They were turning out paintings by the dozens while we were just getting started. Anything you'd tell them, they'd turn back 50 drawings. It's great. It would sometimes influence us. But it was great when we'd go, "We actually are going to do something like this," and they would come up with stuff actually directed at something.

I can't wait to see some of the used and abandoned designs whenever Lucasfilm and Disney decide to open that stuff up to the public.

Alamo Draft House Cinema Offers Star Wars Themed Meals Listed on a Millennium Falcon Menu

Alamo Draft House Cinema Offers Star Wars Themed Meals Listed on a Millennium Falcon Menu

The Alamo Draft House Cinema is currently offering a Star Wars-themed meals and drinks that are featured on an cool  Millennium Falcon-shaped menu:

To celebrate STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS, we created an out-of-this-world STAR WARS-themed menu that will hopefully send you into hyperdrive. Food choices include Nerf Strips, Trash Compactor Pizza, Jabba Critter Fritters, Yoda Soba Salad, and Wookie Wasaka Berry Crepes. You can also pair your food with drinks such as the Tatooine Sunset or the Gold Membrosia, created by Alamo Drafthouse bartenders Christian Gutierrez and Matt Tanksley. The STAR WARS-themed drinks were created as part of a company wide competition, with the winning cocktails chosen at this year's Fantastic Fest.

The Empire Strikes Back without music

Nearly An Hour Of John Williams Force Awakens Score Was Discarded, Modified Or Rerecorded

Variety talked to composer John Williams about his latest work, scoring Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The score for Force Awakens was recorded over 12 sessions in Los Angeles scattered over a five-month period between June and November. This is the first Star Wars film scored in Los Angeles, because recording the score in London would "not have worked in this case, because J.J. (Abrams)'s editing process is very different."

The composer began work last December and basically continued all year, completing the recording in mid-November. His 90-piece orchestra recorded 175 minutes of music, he says, although nearly an hour of that was discarded, modified or rerecorded as Abrams re-edited the film. Snoke's theme was recorded by a 24-voice men's chorus.

There are "a few short references" to themes from earlier Star Wars films, but "nearly all of the two-hour-plus score is new." Williams has written a handful of themes for characters including Rey, Kylo Ren and Poe,  along with "a major march piece" for the Resistance and "a choral motif for Snoke (Andy Serkis) based on a Kipling poem translated into Sanskrit."

Oscar Issac Was Given Blueprints Of Every Button That Was Ever Been Used On Screen In An X-Wing

How do you prepare for an acting role that requires flying a fictional spacecraft? Oscar Issac, who plays X-wing fighter Poe Dameron in The Force Awakens, told Good Morning America he was presented with in-depth research:

"I saw a blueprint on my desk, on the table, and it listed every button that had been used in the previous six films in an X-Wing. So I new what did what and which were free for me to imagine anything with. So its an incredible amount of detail that goes into this universe."

Isaac says that Harrison Ford told him to just make it up but he was then presented with the blueprint. Watch the video embedded above to find out about his first time filming in the X-Wing.

JJ Abrams Harrison Ford Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Why JJ Abrams And Lawrence Kasdan Started From Scratch When Michael Arndt Left Force Awakens

Over at IO9, my good friend Germain Lussier again continues his Force Awakens coverage with his JJ Abrams interview. The filmmaker reveals the origin story behind Episode 7. Here is an excerpt where Abrams explains why Michael Arndt left the project and why Lawrence Kasdan and him started from scratch:

"Despite my absolute, burning desire to direct a script that Michael Arndt had written, I realized I didn't have that time," Abrams said. "[Lucasfilm President] Kathy [Kennedy] didn't have that time. Disney didn't have that time. And so I sat with Larry and I said, 'Look, there are things about the story that I know are right. And I believe we could actually answer the questions that we still need to be answered if we wrote this together.'"Kasdan agreed, but because he was now coming on board with a different position, he decided he wanted to wipe the slate clean."For Larry's psyche, he wanted to sort of start fresh" and abandon the script they had been working on with Arndt, Abrams said. "And I said to him, 'Look, we're gonna start to reincorporate very quickly many things because I know I want this young woman to be at the center of this thing. I know I want this Stormtrooper to abandon his post.' There are just fundamental tenets of what we had come up with [with Arndt] that were gonna stick.""That is kind of what this entire experience has been at every level," adds Abrams: "Going backwards to go forwards."

First Look At Greg Grunberg's Character: X-Wing Pilot Snap Wexly

JJ Abrams' childhood friend and actor Greg Grunberg has appeared in nearly every film JJ has ever made, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens is no different. Last year Greg tweeted a confirmation that he would appear in the film, and now we get our first look at the character Grunberg plays in the film, Snap Wexley an X-Wing Resistance fighter who appears to be involved in a scene that takes place on the snow planet (or most likely the deathstar-style weapon Starkiller base).