“The opportunity far outweighs the risk,” J.J. Abrams told a room full of superfans at the kick off of Star Wars Celebration this afternoon regarding his impressions so far as the director of one of the biggest movies of the decade. By now, you’ve seen the new trailer for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens“ once or a few times, but throughout the hour-long build up, the director and cast shared a few new details about what we can expect from the mega sequel. But the first thing Abrams noted was that he was initially reluctant to take the job.
“I said no partly because it was an incredibly daunting thing. Partly because it felt I’d been doing sequels in the past and I wanted to break away from that,” he admitted. But once he talked with producer Kathleen Kennedy, he started to feel differently and began to get excited at the prospect of telling a new story in the universe George Lucas built.
One of the things that got a massive cheer from the crowd in Anaheim was the discussion about Abrams’ insistence on practical effects. “When we started [to explore] what the story would be and how to make it happen, the thing that struck me is just how real you knew and felt ‘Star Wars’ was when you saw ‘A New Hope‘ ” he said, noting that film’s reliance on tangible sets rather than digital backdrops. “We needed a standard,” Abrams said. “You want it to be legitimate, you want it to be authentic.”
But at best, part of making a sequel means pushing the franchise forward, and of course a whole new cast of players comes into view. Oscar Isaac, Daisy Ridley and John Boyega teased what they could about their characters in the story that Abrams says takes place “decades after ‘Jedi.’ ” Ridley revealed that Rey (Ridley) is a scavenger on the planet Jakku whose life changes when she meets Finn (Boyega).
“Finn is in incredible danger and the way he decides to react to this danger changes his life and launches him into the ‘Star Wars’ universe in a very unique way,” Boyega said. But when asked about why he’s wearing a stormtrooper uniform (as he does in both trailers), and whether he’s a hero or villain, the actor playfully buttoned up.
Meanwhile, Isaac had this to say about his character Poe Dameron: “He’s the biggest friggin’ pilot in the galaxy. He’s been sent on a mission by a certain princess and he ends up coming across Mr. John Boyega’s character and their fates are forever intertwined.”
So, mull that over, as we still have a way to go until December 18th. Below are new images from behind-the-scenes, the film and the latest trailer.
A photo posted by Steve Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) on