Saturday, April 25, 2015

Kathleen Kennedy Gives an Update on 'The Force Awakens' Production

By: Dominic Jones

Lucasfilm President and The Force Awakens producer Kathleen Kennedy chatted with the BBC during Star Wars Celebration last weekend, where she gave an update on the status of the production.  She told the BBC,

"JJ [Abrams, the director] is editing the third act as we speak. We'll probably take a look at the film early summer. We've been working on effects as we've been moving along. We'll score the movie a little bit in June, and then throughout the summer. So it'll be a process as it comes together. But everything I've seen has been fantastic. I mean it just gets better and better and better as it all comes together."

She also discussed the casting process, specifically about finding the film's leads Daisy Ridley (Rey) and John Boyega (Finn), saying, 

"Daisy Ridley was a product of a massive search that we went on for months and months and months. But when she came into the room I would say almost instantaneously she just lit up and was so obviously the right person that we were looking for. She really claimed the role.

And John Boyega was somebody we'd known of because of Attack the Block. And we'd been sort of putting him on the top of our list right from the beginning. But, then again, we went on a massive search just to see who was out there, and we kept coming back to realizing that John would be the perfect Finn."

During the big kick off The Force Awakens preview panel on Thursday at Celebration, Kennedy promised that we would be seeing more strong female roles in the new Star Wars films.  She expanded on this to the BBC saying,

"We're putting women in strong roles.  We're just changing things up a bit so that the characters inside the Star Wars universe reflect the audience. And that's what I think in general most movies should do, and why not Star Wars."

We've already seen some evidence of this in the casting of Ridley as well as Gwendoline Christie and Lupita Nyong'o in The Force Awakens, and the casting of Oscar nominee Felicity Jones in the first Star Wars Anthology film Rogue One.  And, for one, couldn't be happier that Kennedy and Lucasfilm are taking this approach.  I think she nailed it in her answer, Star Wars should reflect its audience and the world around it.  This way more people will become fans, which just means more people to share our passion with.  And that can only be a good thing.

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