One of the biggest questions we were left with at the end of The Force Awakens, aside from “Do you think Luke makes his own organic soap out there on that space island?” was “Who the heck are Rey’s parents?” It’s a question that won’t be answered in the Star Wars universe until Episode VIII hits theaters late next year…unless you’re a real smarty-pants like Daisy Ridley.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
The big emotional climax of Star Wars: The Force Awakens isn’t a lightsaber battle or a dogfight in space or even two characters talking. The last scene of 2015’s Star Wars saga revival follows Rey, a young woman from a desert planet, as she finally locates Luke Skywalker, the reclusive former hero of the galactic Rebellion. Without saying a word, Rey approaches Luke, reaches into her bag, and offers the Jedi master his old lightsaber.
It’s pretty well known that Steven Spielberg was a major force (h’yuck) in getting J.J. Abrams the assignment directing Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Lucasfilm wanted a director. Spielberg wanted Abrams to get the gig. “I brought J.J.’s name up,” he said in a roundtable interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “I thought J.J. would be the best person to direct Episode VII and I called J.J. and said ‘Would you do it if it was offered to you?’” Abrams was initially reluctant (he thought his wife wouldn’t want him to take any more time-consuming franchise gigs), so Spielberg actually took Abrams and his wife Katie out to dinner on Lucasfilm’s behalf, asked Katie if it was cool if J.J. directed Star Wars, and basically made a Love Connection of the whole thing. The rest was history.
Eddie Redmayne‘s currently hot on the press trail for Warner Bros.’ hopeful blockbuster Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, forced-smiling his way through the interview circuit to drum up buzz for the Harry Potter spinoff. But Uproxx’s Mike Ryan was more curious about following up on a comment the actor had made around this time last year, when he claimed on the Happy Sad Confused podcast that he had flubbed an audition for an unspecified character in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Ryan was intent on getting to the bottom of the situation, and previewed the following tidbit from his upcoming interview.
Back when The Force Awakens was just about to come out, the inevitable Star Wars merch hit toy shelves all over the country. But while Kylo Ren and ex-Storm Trooper Finn figures were out in full force, Daisy Ridley’s character Rey, the main character of the movie, was absent. Disney blamed concerns that a “girl toy” wouldn’t sell as well with boy audiences, but after backlash, the company decided to include Rey in their second wave of merchandising. And, lo and behold, Rey toys sold even better than any other (with the exception, maybe, of BB-8). This controversy didn’t escape Ridley’s attention, and she’s going to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens underwent a bunch of reshoots, as is the norm for blockbusters these days, and while, at the time, those reshoots were mostly kept a mystery, now some news has come out about one key scene in particular. Apparently J.J. Abrams and Ava DuVernay are good friends (who knew??) and frequently trade footage and screeners back and forth to one another to get some notes and suggestions. And one very important scene in The Force Awakens probably would not have been as cool without DuVernay’s guiding hand.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens was, for most people, a deeply satisfying experience. Director J.J. Abrams and his cast and crew returned the franchise to its former glory, reuniting beloved old characters with exciting new ones. It was the best Star Wars movie in at least 30 years.
Any Star Wars fan knows that nobody speaks as bluntly about the franchise as Carrie Fisher. While Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill might be counted on for the occasional funny soundbite or bit of interesting backstory, if you really want one of the Star Wars actors to lay their chips on the table, it’s Carrie Fisher you need to listen to. The actress and writer possesses one of the most acerbic wits in all of Hollywood and has never shied away from trying to spin her sense of humor into backdoor Star Wars cannon.
As movies have gotten bigger, the call for more and more computer generated effects has become louder, which some might say defeats the point of making the film. The Star Wars films have ridden this wave from practical effects like puppetry and meticulously detailed sets in the ’70s and ’80s to the CGI-heavy world of today, where there can sometimes be whole scenes made entirely from computer generated textures.
The release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens last Christmas was one of the most anticipated events of the season, and naturally everyone had an opinion. From Twitter misanthropes to awestruck fan site die-hards, all four corners of the internet were buzzing with approval or disappointment.