EW – Thousands of voices cried out and were suddenly silenced Thursday — awestruck as 40 years of galactic history united on stage before them.
At the opening event of Star Wars Celebration in Orlando, Florida, on Thursday, original Star Wars director George Lucas and original stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Peter Mayhew, and Anthony Daniels celebrated 40 years of the saga and paid tribute to Carrie Fisher in the process (more on the Fisher tribute here).
The event was hosted by Warwick Davis, who was just a boy when he played Wicket the Ewok in Return of the Jedi and most recently appeared as a tiny Rebel warrior in Rogue One. Also in attendance were Billy Dee Williams, Hayden Christiansen, Ian McDiarmid, and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy.
Ahead, highlights from the event as it happened in real-time.
— Kicks off with a video showing footage of fans lined up a long time ago: May 1977, outside the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood when the original movie premiered to sell-0ut crowds. It cuts to shots of present-day kids, dressed in costumes at recent Celebration conventions, accompanied by their parents (many of them dressed as their favorites heroes, villains, and creatures, too.)
According to multiple reports, a funeral scene most likely filmed in Dubrovnik in Croatia will have major repercussions on the political landscape of the galaxy…
DORK SIDE OF THE FORCE – According to multiple reports, a funeral scene most likely filmed in Dubrovnik in Croatia will have major repercussions on the political landscape of the galaxy…
When Kylo Ren — formerly known as Ben Solo — drove his plasma bladed lightsaber through the heart of his father, Han Solo, it was one of the most shocking moments in Star Wars cinematic history. It set a darker tone to what had been a more or less lighthearted Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Now according to some digging by Vine Report, it would appear as if Han Solo’s death will have far reaching repercussions throughout the galaxy.
“Han’s life may be over but “The Force Awakens” will definitely not be the last time that the fan-favorite smuggler will be referred to in the future installments of “Star Wars.” In fact, rumor has it that the upcoming installment in the space soap opera will have an emotional funeral for General Solo and will be a venue for the start of political talks in the galaxy.”
This all vibes with what we reported two-months earlier, when photos of citizens of an as yet unnamed planet were dressed in black robes and a galactic-type police force was seen filming scenes.
AV CLUB – Some of the most enjoyable character beats in Star Wars: The Force Awakens come when Finn (John Boyega) and Rey (Daisy Ridley) team up to flee Jakku and wind up—in true Step Brothers fashion—instantly becoming best friends. But it turns out that almost wasn’t the case. During his panel with Chris Rock at the Tribeca Film Festival, director J.J. Abrams revealed Finn and Rey originally had a less friendly partnership that he could tell wasn’t quite working. So when Harrison Ford broke his leg on the Millennium Falcon set, Abrams took advantage of the production delay to rework the film’s central relationship. According to IGN, Abrams explained:
When I was on the set of the Millennium Falcon and we started to do work with Rey and Finn, the first time we did it, it didn’t work at all. It was much more contentious. I didn’t direct it right. It was set up all wrong, and when Harrison Ford got injured—which was a very scary day—we ended up having a few weeks off, and it was during that time that I really got to look at what we had done and rewrite quite a bit of that relationship. So when we came back to work again, we actually just reshot from the ground up, those scenes. It was an amazingly helpful thing to get these two characters to where they needed to be.”
Abrams previously said something similar to Entertainment Weekly before the film’s release, calling Ford’s accident the “greatest gift to the movie.” (We can only assume Ford has a different take on the matter.)
Abrams revealed all sorts of tidbits in his conversation with Rock, including initially quashing a whole bunch of fan theories by claiming Rey’s parents weren’t in The Force Awakens before later walking back that comment to explain she merely doesn’t know who her parents are yet. Vulture has a partial transcript of the 75-minute chat, in which Abrams reveals that Mark Hamill was initially reluctant to appear in such a small Force Awakens cameo for fear it would seem silly. He also apologizes for those Star Trek lens flares and tries to justify why The Force Awakens feels so similar to A New Hope, telling Rock “[w]e very consciously tried to borrow familiar beats so that the rest of the movie could hang on something we knew felt like Star Wars.” And because no discussion of filmmaking can be had without referencing Zack Snyder, at one point Rock just asks what we’re all thinking: “Did anybody see this Superman/Batman shit? What the fuck was that?”
MOVIE WEB – Last week, we reported that Disney and LucasFilm will debut the full-length Star Wars: The Force Awakens documentary Secrets of the Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey at the SXSW Film Festival today. This documentary will be part of the bonus features on the upcoming Digital HD and Blu-ray Combo Pack release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and in case you weren’t able to see the documentary in Austin, we have a sneak peek from Good Morning America, along with a new trailer. The sneak peek includes plenty of behind-the-scenes footage, along with excerpts from John Boyega’s actual audition tape.We also see footage from the now-iconic final shot, where Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) meets Rey (Daisy Ridley) on his island sanctuary, with Mark Hamill revealing that “this feeling” came over him for the first time since he was on the Tunisia set for the original classic, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. We also hear from Gwendoline Christie (Captain Phasma), and Adam Driver exclaims that it was such a hassle to put on his Kylo Ren costume, it helped him get into character.This preview also explores the famous scene where Kylo Ren kills his father, Han Solo (Harrison Ford). Adam Driver revealed that this particular scene “terrified” him, while Harrison Ford stated that the scene “resolved” his destiny in a “powerful and effective way.” In addition to this sneak peek, we also have a full trailer for Secrets of the Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey, along with photos from the SXSW premiere, featuring J.J. Abrams and R2-D2, along with several of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens visual effects artists.
Congrats to the Star Wars: The Force Awakens cast!
MTV – Star Wars: The Force Awakens leads the pack with a whopping 11 MTV Movie Awards nominations, including noms in key categories like Movie of the Year, Best Female Performance (Daisy Ridley), Best Villain (Adam Driver) and Breakthrough Performance (Ridley and co-star John Boyega). Meanwhile, Deadpool scored eight nominations, including five for the Merc With a Mouth himself, Ryan Reynolds. (Here’s hoping he and co-star Morena Baccarin will re-enact their nominated “Best Kiss” on the Movie Awards stage.)
But that’s not all: starting today, fans can cast their votes for their favorites at MovieAwards.MTV.com, through Sunday, March 20. Fans will also be allowed to vote for the coveted “Movie of the Year” directly on Google — just Google “MTV Vote” and make your pick. Seriously, voting has never been easier.
HERE’S EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE 2016 MTV MOVIE AWARDS
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Kevin Hart, both 2016 Movie Awards nominees themselves, will host this year’s ceremony, which air on April 10 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. The show, which marks its 25th anniversary, will be held outdoors at the famed Warner Bros. Studios.
Without further ado, here are your nominees for the 2016 MTV Movie Awards. Be sure to tune to find out who will take home the Golden Popcorn!
Movie of the Year
–Avengers: Age of Ultron
–Star Wars: The Force Awakens
–Straight Outta Compton
–Avengers: Age of Ultron
–Pitch Perfect 2
–Star Wars: The Force Awakens
–The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2
WUSA9 – In the end, the movie’s biggest secret was — SPOILER WARNING — that Han Solo (Harrison Ford) meets his demise, seemingly ending Ford’s involvement with the franchise. So, what was it like on the actor’s last day playing the iconic character?
“I remember going in the day he and Adam [Driver] were doing that scene and there was a real somberness in the air,” Ridley recalled. “It was very strange and poignant. But the last day he made a great speech, and it was really nice because he’s really great at speeches.”
“He really put into words what we were all thinking,” she continued. “There was a huge amount of appreciation. I think he — I don’t want to speak for him — but I think he enjoyed it maybe, not more than he thought he would, but it was so enjoyable, the whole thing. And I think that took people by surprise.”