WookieeLeaks: ‘The Force Awakens’ Spoilers Proven and Disproven at Star Wars Celebration
ScreenCrush’s WookieeLeaks is a weekly roundup of everything Star Wars! From Episode 7, 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, we update the rumor mill with Star Wars Celebration details, dive into the new names for the Empire and the Rebels, and learn how much it costs to get Luke Skywalker’s autograph.
Rumors and Spoilers, Proven and Disproven
As you surely know, this year’s Star Wars Celebration kicked off yesterday with a panel dedicated to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. After an opening interview with director J.J. Abrams and producer Kathleen Kennedy, R2-D2 and BB-8 took the stage, followed by new cast members Oscar Isaac, Daisy Ridley and John Boyega. And then, flanked by Stormtroopers, Anthony Daniels, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew and Mark Hamill took the stage as well. To top it all off, the new trailer premiered.
You know all of this because you probably watched it happen on the StarWars.com live stream and you’ve surely watched the new trailer a dozen times by now.
For those of us who have been following the production of The Force Awakens with unhealthy vigor, the panel and the trailer brought their fair share of surprises ... but they also brought their fair share of confirmations, giving us proof that certain story beats, character details, and spoilers were true ... and occasionally false. So let’s delve into SPOILER territory for a few minutes and talk about which internet rumors look confirmed, which ones look disproven, and which ones are still totally up in the air.
Gwendoline Christie is Playing a Chrome Trooper: TRUE ... Sort of
While the new trailer doesn’t actually show us Christie’s face, everyone’s fifth favorite Game of Thrones character has been reported to be playing a “Chrome Trooper” for a long time. The presence of a slick and deadly looking metallic Stormtrooper in the new trailer feels like plenty of evidence to us.
That Desert Planet is Tatooine: FALSE
For the better part of a year, J.J. Abrams has insisted that the planet seen in the first teaser and the earliest set photos is not Tatooine, the home of Anakin and Luke Skywalker and a setting for five of the six Star Wars movies. But we didn’t believe him. Why would we believe anything that J.J. “Cumberbatch Isn’t Khan” Abrams says to us anymore? Then it was announced at the panel that the desert home of Daisy Ridley’s Rey is a place called Jakku. Okay, we were wrong to doubt you, Mr. Abrams ... unless you’re still lying to us.
Darth Vader’s Dead Body is Involved: TRUE
Very early concept art showcased a villain (who may or may not be Kylo Ren without his mask) cradling the ruined helmet of Darth Vader. Although we still don’t know exactly how he fits into the plot, it looks like the late Lord of the Sith still has a part to play.
Rey is a Lone Scavenger: TRUE
We still don’t know much about Rey as a character, but the rumors that she’s a desert scavenger living and working amongst the ruins of a massive Imperial fleet are true, proven by the trailer and Ridley herself. Does this mean that the rumors of Max von Sydow playing a local elder with extensive knowledge of the past six films are also true?
Finn is an AWOL Stormtrooper: UNCONFIRMED ... Somehow
The first trailer showed John Boyega in a Stormtrooper uniform. The second trailer showed John Boyega in a Stormtrooper uniform in a different location. And yet Boyega, seemingly terrified of retribution, couldn’t confirm the rumors that his Finn is a Stormtrooper who goes AWOL. Let the man speak, Disney!
Luke Skywalker is a Lonely Hermit: TRUE-ish
The rumors about Luke Skywalker’s role in the film have been all over the place, with some claiming that he’s gone to the dark side and others saying that he’s simply living a life of half-crazed isolation. However, there is one commonality amongst all of the rumors: Luke is a hermit and no one has seen him in decades. The shot in the trailer of a hooded man with a robotic hand petting R2D2 by a campfire feels like just enough confirmation of this much.
Chewbacca Will Have a Robot Arm/Gray Fur: FALSE
We’ve been hearing that Chewbacca will possibly show some aging in the movie, with a little gray hair or even a robotic arm in place of one he lost in some battle between movies. Nope, Chewie looks exactly the same and all limbs look intact.
Poe Dameron and Finn Escape in a TIE Fighter: TRUE
One of the latest rumors to hit the internet claims that an early action scene finds Poe Dameron and Finn stealing a TIE Fighter to escape their Imperial captors. The shot in the trailer of a TIE FIghter opening fire on other Stormtroopers in a docking bay is proof that this scene exists in some capacity.
There is a Major Action Scene in a Crashed Star Destroyer: TRUE
Another recent rumor claimed that the big shot-on-IMAX sequence in The Force Awakens was a dogfight between the Millennium Falcon and a few TIE Fighters through the remains of a crashed Star Destroyer. Thanks for proving this one, trailer.
Adam Driver/Daisy Ridley/Domhnall Gleeson is a Skywalker/Solo: UNCONFIRMED
Did you see how freaked out Boyega was when he was asked to talk about his character? Of course we don’t know this yet.
The Empire and the Rebels Have New Names
While touring the Star Wars: The Force Awakens prop and costume display at Celebration, the folks at io9 discovered something very interesting. This was the description next to an image of the updated X-Wing:
The modern incarnation of a classic design, the incom T-70 X-wing fighter is the signature combat craft of the Resistance forces in their fight against the First Order.
And those words kept on popping up throughout the display. The First Order. The Resistance. Yes, this is exactly what is sounds like. In the 30 years between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, both sides of this ongoing conflicts (these star wars, if you will) have taken on new names.
The name change for the Empire is a big deal. After all, the dominant force in the galaxy was dealt a crippling blow when the Death Star was destroyed and their leader was killed. It sounds like the surviving remnants have rebranded under a title that implies genuine fanaticism. The First Order sounds like the name of a Nazi splinter group, which certainly wasn’t unintentional.
As for the Resistance ... Well, it does sound slightly classier and more organized than the Rebels.
The Cost of Autographs at Star Wars Celebration
If you’re at Celebration and you’re hoping to get autographs from your favorite Star Wars actors, you’d better have a lot of cash on hand. The Hollywood Reporter went ahead and laid out exactly how much you have to pay if you want the John Hancock of the saga’s cast members and getting Luke Skywalker to sign your stuff is a bit more expensive than you might imagine.
And let’s face it, Mark Hamill has every right in the world to charge you $125 for his name on a photo. The man’s earned it. Ian McDiarmid, who played the late Emperor Palpatine, charges $90, which is a little high if you ask us. If anything, Carrie Fisher’s $70 asking price seems a little low compared to those two.
Don’t worry, bargain hunters! There are some cheap options for autograph hounds without a massive bank account. Visual effects artist Lorne Peterson is charging $30, Stormtrooper armor sculptor will charge $20, and John Morton, who played an X-Wing pilot in The Empire Strikes Back, also charges $20.
Tim Rose, the actor behind Admiral Ackbar, is also charging $20, but we don’t know about that. Sounds like a trap.
ScreenCrush Celebration Round-Up
Since our own Mike Sampson is tackling this whole Star Wars Celebration thing head-on and providing coverage straight from the convention floor, it seems only appropriate to put all of the appropriate coverage in one place for easy access. So, without further ado...
A new batch of posters and art depicting new characters from The Force Awakens (including Kylo Ren) appeared online.
Hot on the heels of the new trailer came these new images, many of them straight from the first panel and the new trailer.
And, of course, here is everything we learned from that new kick-off panel.
Finally, here are all of the new costumes on display at Celebration, including some very cool variations on the Stormtrooper uniform.
Game of Thrones veteran Miltos Yerolemous has finally spoken up about his Star Wars: The Force Awakens character. Apparently, he’s playing an alien.
Watch Star Wars: Rogue One star Felicity Jones not answer any Star Wars questions!
And finally, here’s a rundown of all the Star Wars theme park merch you’ll soon be able to buy when you visit a Disney theme park. Donald Duck Darth Maul, anyone?