Rewrites are common in filmmaking, especially for big blockbuster films, where there are so many moving parts that filmmakers sometimes need to recalibrate to keep things focused — which makes this rumor about Star Wars: Episode VIII hardly surprising. Rumor has it that Rian Johnson’s screenplay may be undergoing a few minor rewrites as a response to the reactions to The Force Awakens, and while that sentence may trigger an eyebrow raise, you should know that this is totally a good thing — if true.
The great franchise toy saga continues, as J.J. Abrams has weighed in on the absence of Daisy Ridley’s Rey from much of The Force Awakens merchandising. The new lead character of the Star Wars franchise isn’t featured in nearly as many toys and merchandising as her male counterparts, inspiring the Twitter hashtag #WheresRey. And following Paul Feig’s reveal of new Ghostbusters action figure prototypes, it seems more crucial than ever that we criticize Disney for their lack of Rey merch — and Abrams is doing just that.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens has officially surpassed James Cameron’s Titanic as the second highest-grossing film of all time, and will take over Avatar’s top spot in the next couple of days as the film hits theaters in China — basically, everyone has seen The Force Awakens, and many of you have seen it multiple times by now, but there are still some lingering questions. While many of those answers won’t be delivered until Episode VIII hits theaters in 2017, the screenplay for The Force Awakens appears to clear up at least a couple of things, specifically with regards to the ending.
To American audiences, Studio Ghibli must be the biggest name in overseas animation, having brought domestic cineplexes such visually sumptuous, emotionally affecting films as ‘The Wind Rises,’ ‘Howl’s Moving Castle,’ and ‘Spirited Away’ to our fair shores. (That last one earned team Ghibli the Oscar for Best Animated Feature back in 2003, a first for the studio.) Those three films all happen to have been created by now-retired Ghibli head Hayao Miyazaki, but as the mind behind ‘The Tale of the Princess Kaguya,’ ‘Pom Poko,’ and ‘Grave of the Fireflies,’ animator Isao Takahata has been just as crucial to the studio’s stellar track record.
With the year winding up, it feels like 2015 made hot-button topics out of damn near everything, but the issue of actorly wages was among the warmest-button debates in recent months. Jennifer Lawrence was not at all pleased to learn that her male...
Hype and speculation about Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been ubiquitous, at least in our line of work, pretty much every day of every week of every month since Disney acquired George Lucas’ company and the rights to Star Wars back in 2012. Three years later, The Force Awakens is finally in theaters. And since it’s already made about $100 million in just one day of release, we’re guessing a lot of people have already seen it and are ready to discuss those spoilers that have been kept so well hidden for all these years. That’s what we’re here to discuss.
The release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens tomorrow (technically tonight if you bought your tickets early! Squee!) means a few things. It means that there is a new (live-action) Star Wars movie in theaters for the first time since 2005. It also means that all the secrets J.J. Abrams and his team have worked so hard to hide from the world will finally be out in the open (so it see it quick if you don't want to be accidentally spoiled, Homer Simpson-style). And it also means that you’ve got about four days before people stop talking about Episode VII and start talking about Episode VIII.
When Lucasfilm initially announced the lineup for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it wasn’t long before the studio began populating the cast with exciting choices: Daisy Ridley and John Boyega in lead roles, Gwendoline Christie, Oscar Isaac and Lupita Nyong’o in supporting roles, the return of Carrie Fisher — all of which proved the limitless, inclusive potential of a galaxy far, far away. What we didn’t (and couldn’t) know was just how diverse the flagship film in the new era of Star Wars would actually turn out to be, and it’s all thanks to one very simple, very effective casting choice.
When you’re out promoting a movie, you’re often asked to do a lot of things, most of them pretty silly. With the amount of press the cast of Star Wars: The Force Awakens was being asked to do, there were asked to do a lot of silly things, none perhaps as silly as going on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and singing a medley of Star Wars music a cappella. But the entire cast — including Harrison Ford! — actually commits, and it actually turns out to pretty fun.
The original Star Wars was driven by nostalgia for pulp magazines, Saturday-morning serials, and a simpler era with clear-cut heroes and villains. The new Star Wars is driven by nostalgia for the original Star Wars, and a simpler era when that title evoked words like “adventure” and “excitement,” and not words like “the taxation of trade routes,” and “Jar Jar Binks.” The characters in Star Wars: The Force Awakens are all searching for something of great importance to the galaxy far, far away. I won’t reveal what this MacGuffin is, but I will tell you what it represents: that old Star Wars magic. Can director J.J. Abrams and the rest of the saga’s new creators find it?