*Spoilers, spoiler, spoilers.* If you have not seen “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” yet, please turn back and return once you’ve seen the movie.
OK, so you’ve seen “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and if the box office this weekend is any indication — a record breaking $238 million domestic opening, the highest grossing opening for a film in North America ever — chances are you and your family and friends loved it and possibly saw it more than once.
Lots of little character information, plot details, and spoilers are coming out. Some of it centers on the “awakening” scene where Rey (Daisy Ridley) is visited by ghosts of the past in her mind on the planet of Takodana — the verdant green planet inhabited by Maz Kanata (voiced and motion-capture performed by Lupita Nyong’o). In this scene a voice whispers Rey’s name to her. There’s been a lot of speculation on whose voice it is, with most assuming or landing on Luke Skywalker (some speculate this means that Luke is Rey’s father).
The identity of the voice has now been revealed by many people now (see a voice actor below), including director J.J. Abrams, and it’s actually voices. Both Obi Wan Kenobi and Yoda. How does that work?
“The idea of the voices was, we wanted the audience to feel – but not necessarily be presented right in your face — this idea that familiar, Force-strong voices were connecting with her. At least as well as they could,” Abrams told EW recently. And the voices used were that of Frank Oz, who voices Yoda, Ewan McGregor, and even the late Alec Guinness via some clever editing. But you do hear Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in a ghostly chorus of voices calling to her.
“You do hear a little bit of Yoda. You hear Luke yelling out, ‘Nooo!’ from that moment in ‘Empire.’ And you hear Obi-Wan at the end say, ‘Rey … these are your first steps,’” Abrams revealed. “Here’s the cool part. We asked Ewan McGregor to come in and do the line. And he was awesome and we were very grateful. He was incredibly sweet and handsome, and all that stuff. Then he rode off on his motorcycle. Literally the coolest voice over actor ever.”
They even manipulated Alec Guinness voice to say “Rey” by slicing into a moment he said “afraid” in the earlier films. “So when you hear Obi-Wan talk to Rey it is both Alec Guinness and Ewan McGregor doing the voice,” Abrams said.
What does that dream sequence actually mean, aside from obvious nods to her backstory? “We’re hoping Rian Johnson can figure that out,” Lawrence Kasdan joked. “We were really stymied!” Abrams said while Kylo Ren’s backstory was revealed, they didn’t want to get into every character’s origin.
“Can this movie actually also hold, ‘And Rey is this … And Finn is that … And this is where Poe is from …’ This is the first of a series. There is a story to be told. And it will be,” he said.
Meanwhile, in a separate GQ interview with Oscar Isaac, the actor revealed in early drafts his hot shot Resistance pilot character Poe Dameron actually died. “He’s amazing!” Isaac recalls Abrams telling him. “He opens the whole movie!” Abrams added. “Sounds great!” thought Isaac. But then Abrams revealed, “And then…he dies.”
Evidently Isaac and Abrams talked all through the night upon this first meeting, but even as great as an opportunity it was, the actor felt hesitant — partly because he’d done a setting-up role where his character died before, in “The Bourne Legacy.” Isaac eventually agreed regardless, thinking maybe it was better that he wasn’t signing up for three movies and then Abrams wrote him, “Never mind. I’ve figured it out. You’re in the whole movie now.”
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is obviously in theaters now.
@maxreborules it was me originally but they replaced me with some guy named Ewan McSomething… ��
— James Arnold Taylor (@JATactor) December 19, 2015