Sunday, December 13, 2015

'The Force Awakens' Cast and Crew Talk About the Film With Rolling Stone

By: Dominic Jones

Rolling Stone Magazine has published a fantastic piece featuring The Force Awakens cast and crew discussing the making of the new movie.  Time caught up with director JJ Abrams, Producer Kathleen Kennedy, co-writer Lawrence Kasdan, and stars John Boyega (Finn) and Daisy Ridley (Rey).  Here are some highlights from the feature,

JJ Abrams commented on old rumors that early drafts of the script put the focus more of the returning "Legacy" characters,
"No, because the movie was always about the new characters and the existing characters were always a critical piece of that. It was very much a bridge between what had transpired and what will. But there was never any disagreement that this movie needed to be – as Star Wars is at its core – a generational story."

Kathleen Kennedy spoke about how George Lucas original ideas were incorporated into the process,
"We had discussions based off of George's treatments and then when J.J. and Larry came into the process, there were new ideas being discussed, which is normally what would happen in a development process. We didn't have a script, we didn't have an extensive treatment of any kind, so we were still trying to find the story for the movie, so it's not as though something was just read and then set aside, and everybody said, 'Oh, we don't want to do that, we're going to start on this new thing.' Everything emanated from what George had created with the original movies, and then some of the things he was talking about in this brief synopsis. We carried on from there."

JJ Abrams was asked how he felt about the Star Wars prequels.  He replied,

"I enjoy the prequels.  I am a kid of the Seventies whose life was fundamentally impacted by the original films. And one of the reasons that I preferred the original trilogy was that it felt the characters were more everyman or everywoman characters. They felt scrappy and they felt real and lived in, and characters that were essentially nobodies who had to go up against some of the scariest and most intense villains of all time. That, for me, was inherently a more fun trilogy of stories. I felt that the use of technology, the use of design, the world-expanding that George did in the prequels is incredibly impressive. My favorite of the prequels is the third, which has some very powerful moments and some incredible imagery. But I know that when I went into doing The Force Awakens, my goal was to try and make a movie that felt like it was continuing from Return of the Jedi, which it is. As opposed to the significantly different aesthetic that George applied to the prequels, in his remarkable pushing of the boundaries of cinema."

Kathleen Kennedy revealed that Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) narrated the first script read through,
"That moment was fantastic because no one had been together, or even met one another in some cases, until we had that read through.  Mark was the one that volunteered to read the script; it gave everybody pretty significant chills in the room as this was all unfolding and beginning to come to life. I think everybody realized the reality of it, that we were actually going to do this. It was incredibly exciting."

Daisy Ridley hinted at some of the scenes she's most excited about in the film,
"There are a couple, like, emotional things that were just really nice to film.  There was just this quiet feeling on set a couple times when we were doing emotional things, neither of which I can tell you about, [laughs] but one of those I'm really, really excited about. And there's also an incredible action sequence, and you'll know it when you see it. It involves a group of us, and that will be very exciting to see."

John Boyega commented on how he thinks Harrison Ford really feels about Han Solo,
"Harrison has a deep love for his characters. He treats them with absolute respect. Every freaking line of dialogue must be accurate to how he sees the character, and that's fantastic. So he can't have that much concentration, that much passion, without loving the characters that he plays. He loves Han Solo."
Lawrence Kasdan spoke about the ending to Return of the Jedi, saying,
"That ending, it's not nearly as fun as Empire, where everything is left hanging and everybody's in trouble.  And that always was a problem for me about Jedi. I always used to say, 'Oh, boy, like what? They're getting more medals?' But I never felt any wistfulness about, ‘We should have left it hanging,' because everybody thought that would be it, you know?"

Rolling Stone's interview with the cast and crew was fantastic.  You can read it in its entirety here.

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