Last night, J.J. Abrams, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, and other cast members of Star Wars: The Force Awakens joined surprise moderator Mindy Kaling for a conversation with the press about the upcoming film.
By and large, the press conference was a vehicle for the film's stars and creative team to further stoke the buzz around the film, but Abrams and co. made a point of sharing some plot points that up until now, were unclear.
One of the most popular fan theories floating around on the internet about The Force Awakens argues that Jar Jar Binks may, in fact, have been a highly-skilled Sith collaborator all along and that he might show up again. According to Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, though, that is patently not the case.
“Jar Jar is not in the movie," Kennedy stated flatly. "Ewoks are not in the movie. Harrison insisted on it.”
Ford confirmed, stating that it was one the conditions outlined in his contract.
In 2012, Lucasfilm officially became a part of the Disney family after being purchased for a reported $4.05 billion.
Many fans speculated that similar to Marvel movies, which also fall under the Disney umbrella, there might be a chance of a post-credit scene dropping a few hints about the next Star Wars installment. When asked about this possibility Abrams said: “No, there’s not."
Believe him if you want, but there's no reason you can't stay until after the credits if you feel the need to.
Lupita Nyong’o’s character, Maz Kanata, has been shrouded in secrecy since it was first announced that the 12 Years A Slave actress signed onto the film.
Abrams has been largely tight-lipped about her in the past few months, only letting on that she's a space pirate-turned bar owner and that Nyong'o's performance involved intensive facial motion capture.
Now, though, we know that she has at least one important connection to an iconic Star Wars character from much earlier in the franchise: Yoda. Nyong'o joked that Maz and Yoda might have been lovers in the past and Abrams confirmed that the characters definitely have history.
“I do believe that Maz and Yoda, at some point, crossed paths," he explained. "But … that is not something that happens in this film.”
Of The Force Awakens's lineup of villains, Gwendoline Christie's Captain Phasma, the Chrometrooper, is hands down the most badass. Christie shared her thoughts about the positive fan reaction to Phasma saying that felt as if the character, one of Star Wars's first cinematic female villains, was a reflection of society that people wanted to see.
Interestingly, Abrams explained that Phasma's striking chrome-plated look (and perhaps the character herself) spawned out of an early design concept for another character: Adam Driver's Kylo Ren.
“He’s a great cook. He’s a Scorpio,” Driver said of his character. “He’s very unpolished and unfinished.”
We've gleaned from various ads that Finn (John Boyega) will play a pivotal role in The Force Awakens as both a Stormtrooper and a potential Jedi.
The creation of a black male character inhabiting both of those roles has been the cause for both celebration and handwringing in the Star Wars fan community, but Boyega doesn't really care about it all that much, he said. Though racial diversity is important, he explained, personally he felt the deepest connection to Daisy Ridley's Rey.
“This is a movie about human beings, about Wookiees, spaceships and TIE Fighters," Boyega said. "It’s got an undercurrent of courage, a message of friendship and loyalty. The circumstance to find something bigger than yourself is really important to me. In terms of the kids, all they’re going to be concentrated on is BB-8.”
Fusion is partly owned by ABC, a member of the Disney family.