While J.J. Abrams and Co. may not be revealing any footage during this weekend’s Lucasfilm at the Disney convention D23, fans will apparently get their Star Wars: The Force Awakens fill today by way of EW’s Fall Preview coverage. We already shared the Kylo Ren-infused cover, and now the outlet has unveiled a number of new images from the most anticipated film of the year.
In keeping with Abrams’ penchant for secrecy, there’s not a ton to be gleaned here, but it’s nevertheless nice to see more looks at our heroes—Finn (John Boyega), Rey (Daisy Ridley), and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac)—as well as the trio of bad guys: Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren, Domhnall Gleeson’s General Hux (the leader of the First Order), and Gwendoline Christie’s warrior Captain Phasma.
In addition to the images, though, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy also spoke with EW and revealed exactly what she did to persuade Abrams to say “yes” to Star Wars in the first place. He initially turned the offer down, but after going to a few other directors, Kennedy circled back around to Abrams with one intriguing question:
“In the context of talking about story and laying out what we were thinking, I said one thing to him,” Kennedy recalls. “‘Who is Luke Skywalker?’” Abrams, who’s 49 now but was only 11 when the original Star Wars debuted in 1977, decided he needed to know the answer, even if he had to devise it himself. “He said, ‘Oh my God, I just got the chills. I’m in,’” Kennedy says. “I mean, it really was almost that quickly.”
Interestingly, Abrams tells EW that there was no set story in place for Episode VII when he took the job, even though screenwriter Michael Arndt was hashing out the story and screenplay with Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg:
“[They] had just been hypothesizing and throwing out a bunch of what-ifs, but there was no story in place. It was, without doubt, a formidable assignment. There were so many options and so many paths that could be taken. Even when we were in debate — and sometimes it was frustrating and heated — it was always thrilling, because it seemed almost everywhere you looked there was something potentially extraordinary, which felt very much like the DNA of Star Wars itself.”
Indeed, Kinberg recently confirmed that he, Kasdan, and Arndt spent a week developing the stories for the new trilogy and potential standalone films, and Abrams doesn’t shy away from the fact that the development process was intense at times, which led to Arndt leaving the project and Abrams and Kasdan taking over The Force Awakens scripting duties. Though it’s understandable that, with a universe this vast and beloved and so many different ways you could take a sequel, passions were high amongst the core group of folks tasked with actually making the movie. Here’s hoping they landed on something truly satisfying.
Check out more of the new images below, via EW. Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in theaters on December 13th.
Peruse our recent Star Wars: The Force Awakens coverage below:
- ‘Star Wars’ Villain Kylo Ren’s Original Trilogy Roots Revealed
- ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ TV Spot Reveals New Footage
- ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ IMAX Details Revealed
- J.J. Abrams Broke His Back on ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’
- 100 New Images from ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’