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.)
Normally I wouldn’t post about Harrison’s personal relationships but this was 40 years ago and its more about his response to her telling him it was in the book.
PEOPLE – One might expect Harrison Ford to have had a few choice words for Carrie Fisher when she gave him a friendly heads-up about a book she was writing that would publicly reveal their 1976 affair.
Instead, the dry-witted actor uttered just one.
“He went, ‘Lawyer!’ ” Fisher tells PEOPLE.
The actress-author, 60, took his reaction as playful, if resigned, and assured her Star Wars costar she’d send him an early copy and said she was open to any notes.
Indeed, Fisher, who was just 19 at the time of their whirlwind romance during the original Star Wars shoot, sent Ford an early manuscript for The Princess Diarist, exclusively excerpted in this week’s issue of PEOPLE.
“I called him and said, ‘Where are you? I’m sending it to you,’ ” she recalls. “I don’t want to embarrass anyone and he’s very private. I said, ‘I know you’re not going to be excited but …’ ”
No notes from Ford were forthcoming. (And he did not respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.)
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?”