Wired has some really cool Star Wars: The Force Awakens content today thanks to a discussion they had with director J.J. Abrams. I suggest reading the complete interview, but if you’re pressed for time here’s the big points that I found interesting:
- Abrams and Kasdan wanted The Force Awakens’ story to be self-contained with its own beginning, middle, and end for accessibility to new audiences.
- Abrams felt that with Super 8 and Star Trek: Into Darkness he had not solved some fundamental story problems as they went forward with filming and for The Force Awakens he was determined that not be the case and it appears he feels he succeeded.
- For Abrams, working on The Force Awakens with Lawrence Kasdan was like an extended master class in clarity, efficiency, brevity, and wit.
- Their goal was to make the movie “delightful.” They wanted to please themselves, not appease a corporation about how many toys they could come up with.
- Abrams doesn’t feel like the trailers and the film are different. They’re honest representations of the film.
- Surprising to Abrams, Disney hasn’t wanted to release an abundance of materials and footage from the film.
- There’s a balance between protecting the audience and seeming like a withholding shithead.
- Abrams says he pushed for the trailer to come a year in advance.
- The script for Star Wars: Episode VIII is written.
- Episode VIII director Rian Johnson and his producer Ram Bergmen watched dailies from The Force Awakens while it was shooting to write the best film possible.
- As Executive Producer on VIII, Abrams wants to make sure it is very good, which meant being transparent with Johnson while Johnson rewrote VIII and Abrams catered to his needs with VII.
- Rian Johnson doesn’t ask nor does he need Abrams to oversee his work.
- While Abrams was working with Michael Arndt on The Force Awakens, production designer Rick Carter was invited to collaborate on the story and he thinks up things no one could. (That’s where elements like Threepio’s red arm and the Falcon’s new radar dish came into play, to show a passage of time.)
- Harrison Ford was required to bring a complexity to Han Solo that 30-year-old Han Solo wouldn’t (or couldn’t) have.
- They knew they weren’t casting one movie; they were casting at least three movies.
- When Anthony Daniels expressed his love for BB-8, Abrams knew he was onto something good and he worked hard to make sure the chemistry between all the actors was just right.
Check out the full article and check out the nice pictures there too.