More ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Cameos Revealed by J.J. Abrams

     December 20, 2015


We’re still in the middle of all of the Star Wars madness, which might (read: almost certainly won’t) be cleared up a bit by end-of-day Monday. But as the film has been available for viewing for over 60 hours or so at this point, spoilers have been overflowing out of fans that just. can’t. help. themselves. and just plain old jerks who get some truly shallow satisfaction out of ruining the surprise for those who have yet to take the trip as of yet. So, in the interest of not joining either of those groups, let me slap a big old Spoiler Warning on here, before we talk about a revealing interview that Entertainment Weekly had with J.J. Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan, and Michael Arndt after a recent WGA screening of The Force Awakens.


Image via Lucasfilm

The interview with the trio went over plenty of material, but the most interesting part of the conversation touched on one of the film’s most memorable and remarkable scenes, that being the flash of images that hit Daisy Ridley‘s Rey when she first touches Luke Skywalker’s (Mark Hamill) lightsaber. Though there are a series of stunning images, including two well-known images of Skywalker patting R2D2 and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) with his acolytes on a planet with torrential rain, Abrams was more revealing about the audio and who they involved in the clips of dialogue that are heard in this sequence. Here’s what Abrams had to say:

“The idea of the voices was, we wanted the audience to feel – but not necessarily be presented right in your face — this idea that familiar, Force-strong voices were connecting with her. At least as well as they could…You do hear a little bit of Yoda. You hear Luke yelling out, ‘Nooo!’ from that moment in Empire. And you hear Obi-Wan at the end say, ‘Rey, these are your first steps.’…Here’s the cool part. We asked Ewan McGregor to come in and do the line. And he was awesome and we were very grateful. He was incredibly sweet and handsome, and all that stuff. Then he rode off on his motorcycle. Literally the coolest voice over actor ever.”


Image via Lucasfilm

So, on top of Daniel Craig and Simon Pegg having their small parts in the film, on Jakku and the First Order’s base respectively, we now have confirmation that McGregor, one of the few salvageable parts of the prequel trilogy, had his hand in The Force Awakens. It’s a great addition, but it’s far from the only quiet nod to the films that have come before, as Abrams also opened up about the use of the late Alec Guinness and Frank Oz‘s voices in Rey’s waking dream sequence. Here’s what he had to say about cutting audio to have Guinness say “Rey…” during the scene:

“I said, ‘That’s cool, is that the thing from Ewan McGregor?’…He said ‘No, we took a line from Alec Guinness saying ‘Afraid.’…They cut it, and you hear the performance – he’s saying it the way I would have begged Alec Guinness to have said it. It is so crazy perfect. So when you hear Obi-Wan talk to Rey it is both Alec Guinness and Ewan McGregor doing the voice.”

And here’s what he had to say about Oz coming into the Bad Robot offices to bring back the voice of Jedi Master Yoda:

“He was incredibly generous and came in to Bad Robot, where we had a recording area, and he was doing Yoda, saying a number of lines we gave to him…This whole experience has been one outrageous moment after another. Just watching Frank Oz, you look at him and talk to him and his voice is very deep. I don’t know why I would have thought he sounded like Miss Piggy!…He was very generous to say, ‘Whatever makes the movie better, I’m happy to help out.”


Image via Lucasfilm

Finally, Abrams commented on how the revelations of the new trilogy will be sprinkled out over the next two films, rather than just all shoved into The Force Awakens, which has plenty of big plot turns, frankly. Here’s what Abrams had to say about how the story and the backstories of the main characters will unfold in the next installments:

“Everyone who has seen these movies thinks about ‘I am your father …’ and ‘There is another …’ But neither of those things were in [1977’s original] Star WarsStar Wars didn’t say Luke was the son of Vader. Star Wars didn’t say Leia was the sister of Luke. You didn’t understand what these references were: the Empire, dark times, Clone Wars. There were these things that were discussed that don’t get explained. George [Lucas] dropped you into a story and respected you to infer everything necessary to understand what you need to know…Can this movie actually also hold, ‘And Rey is this … And Finn is that … And this is where Poe is from …’ This is the first of a series. There is a story to be told. And it will be.”

And so, the wait begins, for Rian Johnson to pick up the ball and run with it.

For more on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, peruse our recent links below:


Image via Lucasfilm


Image via Lucasfilm


Image via Lucasfilm


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