The Force Awakens Press Conference: A Council of Stars

By Jennifer Hayman
jajarbinks thumbAll right, let’s get right to it.

>We learned two very important things from the Force Awakens press conference this past Sunday.  J. J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy confirmed: No Ewoks & No Jar Jar…

The lighthearted Q&A over the weekend, led by comedian Mindy Kaling, revealed not only those shocking character absences (eye-roll), but also that the film is indeed in the right hands. JJ Abrams and the entire cast seem to bring a sense of fun to the franchise, but without appearing irreverent. The new cast understands the gravity of introducing a character into the beloved universe. For instance, John Boyega, playing the part of Finn, revealed how he got into the Star Wars spirit by watching old audition tapes of the original stars. He added that while he still wasn’t certain if he was ready for it all, he’s already in it; so, no going back, now, John!

Another interesting point was raised by Academy Award winning actress Lupito Nyong’o concerning her character Maz Kanata. She said: “I do believe that Maz and Yoda, at some point, crossed paths. But that is not something that happens in this film.” Maz is described as a former space pirate who now owns her own cantina. Hmm, I wonder if she and Yoda shared stories over a couple of choice beverages?


The old cast, even Ford, spoke fondly of their re-appearance. “It feels familiar. It is good to be home, just like Han said in the trailer.” He had little advice to the new cast concerning how they should handle their impending stardom, though, saying that each actor will have to find their own path. Carrie Fisher joked that Abrams brought sobriety to the the set, which, according to her, wasn’t always the case with the filming of the original trilogy. Gotta love Carrie.
Still not revealing much of anything in the way of plot, Abrams and Kennedy spoke of the affection that was brought by all to the project, while the rest of the cast also gave brief insights into their individual journeys developing their characters. Gwendoline Christie seemed especially excited to be playing the first onscreen Star Wars female villain. “This is a character who we have related to due to her choices and her character and not due to the way because she has been made into flesh,” said Christie.


The abridged version? There is magic here. Possibly due to the shroud of mystery surrounding the story elements, or maybe because this movie is exactly what we all wanted. That remains to be seen, but we don’t have too much time to wait now, do we?

Oh, and another intriguing thing to ponder was mentioned. With all the speculation and expectation surrounding episode 7, there’s another little movie going into production in January of 2016 (while Rogue One, the first of the “stand alones” is being produced as well): Episode VIII.

Hard to fathom that with all this buildup for Episode VII, we’ve got at least five more movies to look forward to in as many years, with the upcoming installment the first of a whole new trilogy.

The EXCITEMENT is building…have you felt it?

Jennifer Hayman-REPORTER
IMG_0774Jennifer Hayman is a wife, mom, and all around Star Wars fanatic living in Southwest Florida. Jennifer is also an active member of Rebel Legion, the “Good Guy” branch of the Star Wars costuming and charity group, the 501st. When she isn’t talking about Star Wars to anyone who will listen, Jennifer also loves racing sailboats, table top games, and crafting gifts for her friends and family.