WookieeLeaks: Max von Sydow’s ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Role Revealed
ScreenCrush’s WookieeLeaks is a weekly roundup of everything 'Star Wars'! From The Force Awakens, to the upcoming spinoffs and the TV shows, if it pertains to that long ago, far away galaxy, we’re covering it here, bringing you our expert analysis. This week, John Boyega talks about getting cast in The Force Awakens, Gwendoline Christie describes the importance of Captain Phasma, and the name of Max von Sydow’s character has been revealed.
John Boyega Opens Up About Star Wars: The Force Awakens
When John Boyega was cast in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, a select percentage of the movie nerd population lot their minds. After all, this was the guy who owned the screen in Attack the Block, a movie that all but promised that this guy was going to be a star some day. Watching him finally get a role in a blockbuster (and maybe the blockbuster of the decade) has been nothing short of amazing.
Anyway, he recently sat down with GQ to talk about his work in the film and he can’t even try to hide his enthusiasm. Like any proper Star Wars fan getting a chance to get involved in a new movie in any way, there were some tears involved:
When I read the script I cried, and I’m not really a big crier… I’m more like a frog-in-the- throat kind of guy, who’ll try to hold it in and make sure I don’t let it all out.
He also made it clear that he had to work to get this part. The role of Finn wan’t just handed to him – he had to earn it:
I was unleashed into seven months of auditions. It was like The X Factor but without the TV show around it. It was intense.
But what about this Finn? We still don’t know much about this mysterious Stormtrooper-turned-hero, but Boyega is doing a pretty good job hyping him up:
Finn is dope. His story is so epic. It’s a story that’s never been seen before, but it also mirrors the stories of Luke Skywalker and Han Solo. And he’s quirky and charismatic and funny. For me, he was the best character in the script.
Oh, and he did his fair share of lightsaber training. It turns out that the weapon of a Jedi Knight is not light:
They’re heavy, those things, and there’s a lot of running involved. I was trained on a high incline treadmill so when it came to it I could sprint around the desert in a leather jacket. They should do a Star Wars weight loss program.
Yes. Yes they should.
Hey, Gwendoline Christie Has an Interview, Too
Elsewhere on the internet, Gwendoline Christie spoke at length about playing the chrome-plated Captain Phasma in The Force Awakens. It turns out that director J.J. Abrams always wanted a proper actor inside that Stormtrooper armor and Christie found relying purely on her physicality to be a refreshing experience:
It was very important to J.J. that I was there acting a part. I found it to be a really interesting acting challenge, not just because of what I felt this character was representing — and it was just what I felt, and we talked about it a little bit, but it was never like a manifesto, ‘this is what it must be’ — and it was exciting to me to have that weight of responsibility taken away, of having to be a certain way as a woman, to have to be mindful in a way that isn’t always useful. To have that stripped away was very liberating, and it meant that as an actor I had to focus on other things. I had to focus on what my body was communicating and what exactly my voice is communicating.
She also spoke about making this faceless character identifiable as a woman, which sure sounds easier said than done:
It becomes about the way in which you hold your hand, the way in which you walk, where your weight lies and what you want that to mean, and I wanted to give the character identity. I thought it was interesting to make something about the character identifiably female in a non-superficial way, and I hope that comes across.
As the first female Star Wars villain and the first female Stormtrooper, Christie must have the weight of 51% of the galaxy’s on her shoulders. But hey, this is Brienne of Tarth we’re talking about. There is no one else more worthy of taking on such a task.
So Who is Max von Sydow Playing?
So let’s just get the spoiler warning out of the way right now, okay? If you’re avoiding any and all Star Wars: The Force Awakens story details, turn back right now. We’re going to start light and get heavy.
The rumor going around is that Max von Sydow plays a character named Lor San Tekka, a man in possession of information vital to the quest of finding the elusive Luke Skywalker. As an elder of a village on Jakku, Lor San Tekka is sought out by the heroic pilot Poe Dameron to find the missing Jedi’s whereabouts.
So there you go. Expect to see “Lor San Tekka” on some toy packaging sooner rather than later. You will soon be able to own a tiny plastic version of one of the best actors to have ever drawn breath.
While we’re here, let’s enter the second ring of spoilers. After all, what supposedly goes down with Lor San Tekka has been known for quite some time...
Still here? Okay. If the scuttlebutt is to be believed, Lor isn’t long for this universe. Soon after meeting Poe Dameron, his village is invaded by Kylo Ren and his First Order forces. Poe is captured and Lor refuses to give up any information to the Darth Vader-obsessed villain. So he meets the business end of that nasty, hilted lightsaber.
In other words, von Sydow’s role in the movie seems to be all about lending the early scenes in the story some necessary gravity before getting quickly dispatched. Take that as you will.