Notes: The Force Awakens Panel at Star Wars Celebration

Star Wars Celebration is here and there’s a panel discussion on The Force Awakens.  Who’s on this panel?

  • JJ Abrams, Director & Producer STar Wars TFA
  • Kathleen Kennedy, President of Lucasfilm

But here are some notes:


 Using Real Sets

JJ spoke of setting a standard for the visuals for TFA.  They used as many real sets rather than full CGI.  While there will be a lot of effects, “you can just watch the  movie” and know what’s going on.


A New Desert

The desert landscape is not Tatooine, it’s a new planet named Jaku.


The Droid Mechanics

Kathleen described their hiring of two Star Wars fans, Lee & Oliver.  These two had built a realistic R2-D2 that they were asked to build the new R2-D2 and other Astromech domes for X-Wings that were in The Force Awakens.  (Again, not CGI’d – built by a couple of fans).

There was also a live appearance by a functioning BB8.  Yes – rolling ball with an upright dome.  This robot/puppet was also used in TFA (again…not CGI).  (Just as another note, the live BB8 looks amazing.  There’s some really interesting tech powering that thing).


The new leads


There are three new lead characters: Oscar  Isaac (Po Dameron),  Daisy Ridley (Ray),  John Boyega (Finn),.  They were there on stage.

Ray is a scavenger in a ship graveyard on Jaku.  The adventure begins when Ray runs into Finn.

Finn… is in the Storm Trooper uniform.  And his life is changed forever.

Po Dameron – He’s the X-Wing pilot. “The best frickin pilot in the galaxy”.  He’s been sent on a mission by a “princess” and comes across Fin and their “fates are forever intertwined”.

John Boyega also did a Harrison Ford impression.  My rating: 2.5/5.


More Women!

Kathleen confirmed that the future of Star Wars will include many more interesting roles for women.


Pending Horror

JJ notes a particular point of “Horror” that will be part of this next movie.  My guess is that this has to do with the death of Luke Skywalker.  That is horrible, but also… expected.  My hope is that we at least get a glimpse of Luke being wise and powerful before his transition (if that is the case).  Could also be the death of any of the other cast members.


New Storm Troopers


Old Cast

We got an appearance by original cast members Peter Mayhew, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Anthony Daniels.


New Teaser!!!