Film and TV

THE FORCE AWAKENS – What we now know, and TRAILER

by on 16/04/2015

So, earlier today, Star Wars Celebration held a panel for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The full panel can be viewed below.

So, for those of you who don’t wish to sit through the whole thing (officially runs 00:38:00 – 01:36:40), what are the main tid-bits to take away from this panel?

– Well, Abrams apparently originally turned down the offer to succeed Lucas, “partly because it was an incredibly daunting thing,” whilst also feeling like he was becoming “the sequel guy.” Given the recent Star Trek films, it’s hard not to see his point.

– One of the things which the prequels were criticised on was its fondness for CGI – which, looking back, I can get behind. I know that there was something special about Tatooine, Hoth and Endor, because it was all so real. This was something Abrams recognised – “The thing that struck me, and wouldn’t get out of my head, was just how real you knew and felt Star Wars was when you saw A New Hope,” Abrams said. “It’s Star Wars. There are going to be an endless number of effects, CG and otherwise, but we needed to set a standard that was real, that felt like you knew those people were in those places.” Also he felt it was necessary to have a “sense of everything being really weathered and used. This movie takes place decades after Jedi, so this film needs to follow suit.”

– That’s no Tatooine…that’s a new planet called Jakku. Yup, apparently that sweeping desert landscape (courtesy of Abu Dahbi) isn’t the old sand-ball we know and love, but a new planet entirely. So…does that mean that the X-Wings aren’t flying on the forest moon of Endor, given how it seems like Abrams is going to take an interest in new planets?

– We already know about the new droid BB-8, but apparently there will be some sparks flying with R2-D2 (I’m guessing no droid likes to see newer models. And since R2 has been around a long time, one can only imagine how much more advanced this newer model is). Additionally – LOOK MOM, NO CGI! I’M A REAL DROID!

– Well, we know that the Stormtroopers have a new look. What we now know for certain is that John Boyega’s character Finn is a Stormtrooper, not just disguising himself as one. He also confirms that when we meet him “he’s in incredible danger”. Personally, I’m betting that his character becomes Force Sensitive, which makes him a target of the Empire.

– We also know that the universe is about to get a little more girl power,but unfortunately there weren’t that many at the panel as Gwendolyn Christie and Lupita Nyong’o were unable to attend. Producer Kathleen Kennedy promised that there will be “really strong women” not just in Episode VII, but in the subsequent films as well. “I wouldn’t have had a lot of choices” if she wanted to pick what Star Wars character she would be as a child, Kennedy said. “That’s going to change.” For now, we’ll be meeting Daisy Ridley’s character Rey on Jakku. “She is a scavenger in a ship graveyard,” Ridley said. “She’s completely self-sufficient and does everything for herself, until she meets another character and an adventure begins.” They were quite tight-lipped as to who it is, but I’m guessing it will be Finn, given how he seemed stranded on Jakku back in the teaser.

– Oscaar Issac isn’t too modest about his character Poe Dameron, pilot of one of the X-Wings. “He’s the best freaking pilot in the galaxy,” according to Isaac. “He’s been sent on a mission by a certain princess, and he ends up coming up across [Finn], and their fates are forever intertwined.” Princess? Isn’t Leia supposed to be married to Han by now? Something to chew on until more facts come in…

– Speaking of a certain princess, it has been confirmed that the Leia Buns will not be making an appearance, not even for the sake of a cameo. “But we have an alternate thing you’ll be very into, which is not the metal bikini,” said Carrie Fisher. So it looks like the bikini is retired too. Not even going to put that on a display to remember the good ol’ days?

– Unfortunately, Harrison Ford was MIA during the Celebration, although Kennedy promised he will be involved in the promotion of the film as the release date gets closer. You can kind of agree that the guy might have needed some time off after the incident with the plane…apparently his flight skills extend from travelling at lightspeed to “[making] an emergency landing on a golf course in front of two doctors” according to Kennedy.


I have to say, I genuinely had to visit all of my housemates and apologise for the noises I made.

So, let’s see what we have.

A Star Destroyer, a relic of an old authority. Another relic, this time the symbol of an iconic Skywalker who trod the path of light and dark. New X-Wings, Tie Fighters, Star Destroyers. Something risen from the ashes of the Empire (or perhaps, the remains of an unfallen Empire). A good look at the new Stormtroopers, including one with seems to have some importance (the shiny armour and mini-cloak gave that much away). Some sweet Millennium Falcon footage. And some familiar faces.

“Chewie. We’re home.”