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Director J. J. Abrams talks about Star Wars: The Force Awakens!

Director J. J. Abrams talks about Star Wars: The Force Awakens!

Scified2015-08-19 14:29:00
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In a months time we can expect the marketing campaign for Star Wars: The Force Awakens to be unleashed in full force, then as we slowly near the December 18th launch date expect to be overwhelmed by trailers, clips, featurettes, posters, interviews and a whole plethora of TV spots, not to mention the multitude of merchandising that is expected to swamp every store in the galaxy. If Star Wars: The Force Awakens is as good as the fans hope it is we could possibly be looking at a contender for the most successful movie of all time.

Will director J. J. Abrams, whom also co-wrote the movie with the legendary Lawrence Kasdan, be shunned by fans in much the same way as saga creator George Lucas was after the release of the prequel trilogy, or will Abrams be heralded as the saviour of the saga and as one of the greatest directors of all time, time can only tell. Speaking recently to LA Times while at the D23 Expo Abrams talked briefly about the movie...

LA Times: The earlier movies, the first movies, things were good and things were bad. The Force was good and the Empire was bad. But now in today we live in a more gray area. I’m curious, 30 years after the fall of the Empire, why would someone want to start a First Order? Why would someone want to associate with the dark side when it’s corrupted everyone that it’s touched? 

Abrams: Exactly, these are the questions aren’t they? Yes, I couldn’t agree with you more. I do think the sort of obvious answer is that the Force has a light side and a dark side. It’s not just one thing. It’s not just that the Force is good, the Force is ... it can be a very dangerous thing. It can be a very seductive thing. I think that the story clearly requires a conflict of some sort.  And so if people were rejecting the dark side somehow entirely it would be a hard thing to figure out what we would be up against. It was part of the, what felt like an authentic and true inevitability of what might of happened in the years post “Jedi.”

LA Times: Are there people that are Empire deniers? Usually in these fallouts there are these weird groups that arise out of the eventual end of a war? 

Abrams: You mean who makes up the First Order, basically? Is that what you’re asking me? Obviously, you’ll see the movie to understand it, but I will say that the interesting thing for me, is the history of these characters is these films, is the history that we know. So they’re aware of what’s come before. And there are, I would argue, those who feel like what the Empire was doing was righteous and had something not gone wrong, as we all know it did, they probably would have succeeded. And it might be worth trying again.

Talking to Collider Abrams talked about his favorite character in the movie, Captain Phasma...

I can only say that Gwendoline Christie is my favorite. She just killed it. You think, “Well, what? It’s wearing a costume.” But it’s a lot to wear and to have a performance when you’re wearing that requires a different kind of skill set and an additional talent, and she’s got it. It’s an incredible thing to work with her. I am glad that a character has been designed that is visually as stunning as that is, because she deserves it and the fans do to. When I first saw that design my mind was blown because it looked so undeniable.

...Abrams then talked about Colin Trevorrows appointment as the director of Episode IX...

Colin doesn’t need my advice, he’s going to kill it. But I will say that he is going to be spoiled by this remarkable cast and incredible crew. I’m jealous that he gets to work with them, because they’re terrific, all of them.

...Abrams then talked about the use of physical effects in the forthcoming movie...

Obviously it’s star wars and there are going to be thousands of CG shots in this movie, but it was really important to us that wherever it didn’t need to be, it wasn’t. It’s incredible how much gets sort pushed off to solve later. We’ll shoot it on blue and figure it out later. We’ll shoot it on green and we’ll make this up later. It was really important for a sense of authenticity that the set be built, the exterior, interior, that we go to real locations that were actually in the sun.

I know it sounds silly, but in the behind the scenes reel you see this giant gimbal of the Millennium Falcon cockpit and it was outdoors. The reason we did it – we didn’t have to do that, but the reason we wanted to was, you just can’t fake sunlight. You can do a pretty good imitation, but you can just tell. There was something about wanting to see Daisy’s character actually sitting in the cockpit with sunlight streaking across in motion. It’s a little detail and I’m not sure anyone’s going to care abut that, but it’s an incredible thing when you see it just how much better it looks because it’s real. So we just tried to do that as much as we could and it was often challenging but it was worth it.

...And finally Abrams talked about everyones favorite Wookie, Chewbacca...

There were these amazing people in the costume department who were sitting and punching in the hair – they literally take a needle that has the round part cut off and using it to punch in one hair at a time. They sit there for weeks at a time to finish the arm. It’s an incredibly time consuming job, and it seems like a thankless job, but I kept trying to thank them because they were doing such an amazing job. You can’t deny Chewbacca, so people were just constantly – whoever would visit the set or be there, even some extras, before the day was over they would go over and embrace Chewbacca. It was an ongoing thing, and one of the casualties was patches of hair on the suit.

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Written by GavinPublished on 2015-08-19 14:29:00
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