Lately here at Entertainment Weekly, it has been, in the words of Bill Murray’s Saturday Night Live lounge singer Nick Winters: “Star Waaaaars! Nothing but… Star Wars!”
The Force Awakens panel at the Star Wars Celebration gathering finally gave fans a deeper idea of what to expect from the Dec. 18 film, while still leaving plenty of questions hanging. EW had exclusive access to the stars and filmmakers, both onstage and off, so as things quiet down again before the next big revelation (most likely at San Diego Comic-Con in July) here’s a collection of some of our recent analysis and interviews, for those who may have missed them.
In this backstage Q&A, the fellows who play C-3PO and Luke Skywalker, Anthony Daniels and Mark Hamill, reflect on long-ago battles from the original trilogy and the new challenges ahead as they welcome a new generation of Star Wars fans to the cast. (They both also break out their dueling Alec Guinness impersonations as they reminisce about the Obi-Wan Kenobi actor.)
Princess Leia herself discusses protecting the Star Wars legacy, saying that when she feels the character going the wrong direction she has dug in her heels to change course. Fisher also expounds on the addition of more female characters to the sci-fi saga, and reveals which of Leia’s many versions (the white-cloaked diplomat, the battle-ready Hoth commander, the enslaved would-be rescuer) she likes the best.
Little was known about the now-23-year-old actress when she was cast as one of the leads of The Force Awakens. The same day her casting announcement went out, her online reel of previous small roles went down. Now we’re learning more about the hardscrabble scavenger Rey, eeking out an existence on the blighted planet of Jakku, and a little bit more about the young woman who plays her, too. Turns out, she pulled down that video of previous work herself…
Boyega’s was the first face we saw from Episode VII, sweating and hyperventilating as he spun around a sandy landscape while clad in some familiar white armo. We now know the 23-year-old’s character, Finn, is truly a stormtrooper, not merely a Rebel in disguise. How did he get there? What does he do now? Should he tell anyone? These are questions the Attack the Block star was asking himself, too, after landing the part.