Let’s just dispense with the obvious: Plenty of people are going to be re-watching “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in the next few days. The movie’s global box-office domination is only getting started; not to mention it’s the kind of incredibly entertaining, user-friendly film that probably warrants and, in some cases, demands multiple viewings.
As a professed fair-weather fan of the “Star Wars” ethos, I found ‘The Force Awakens’ to be rousing, incredibly well-made and genuinely artful. But for those who consider themselves seasoned scholars of the Force, a new video courtesy of Mr. Sunday Movies is here to burrow deeper into the deep well of callbacks and franchise mythology in ‘Episode VII.’
The movie is filled with grinning references to the old films: The first glimpse we get of the Millennium Falcon will send most audiences into a triumphant, geeked-out fit, while favorites from the original trilogy like Admiral Ackbar and Nien Nunb make cheeky, welcome appearances. Abrams also puts his own stamp on the material, enlisting the aid of collaborators and friends like Simon Pegg (who was a vital part of the director’s “Star Trek” films), cinematographer Daniel Mindel, and “Alias” actor Greg Grunberg, described in the video as the director’s “lucky charm.” Most of us have heard about Daniel Craig’s low-key cameo and the fact that Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich somehow popped up in the film, but did you know Abrams also found roles for both his father and his grandfather? ‘The Force Awakens’ also contains a neat, blink-and-you’ll-miss it throwback to the holographic chess game from the older films — one that gets a neat, in-depth treatment in the featurette at the bottom of the page.
Abrams fans will get their fix of the director’s earnest brand of geek eloquence in this new Academy talk, moderated by John Horn, where the filmmaker shares the stage with writer Lawrence Kasdan; producer Kathleen Kennedy; the movie’s production and costume designers; and Han Solo himself, Harrison Ford. Abrams is enthusiastic and articulate, emphasizing the vitality and good-natured humor that was always a part of the best “Star Wars” films. Ford says he had an “impossibly great” time making the movie, stating that he felt Abrams’s heart was resolutely in the right place, while the director takes his time to praise his star for acting as a mentor to younger, comparatively untested actors John Boyega and Daisy Ridley.
Check out the easter eggs and secret cameos from ‘The Force Awakens,’ along with this terrific Academy conversation and the holochess video all below. And go and see the movie if you haven’t already!