A few days ago we were blessed with a brand new TV spot for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and now we have a collection of new images, a synopsis with links to The Empire Strikes Back, plus director JJ Abrams confirms he will NOT direct Episode IV.
The new images come courtesy of EW, and feature 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 an interview with EW, producer and LucasFilm President Kathleen Kennedy talked about how easy it was to convince Abrams to direct, even though he didn’t want to at the start:
“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.”
Abrams chipped in with his thoughts:
“[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.”
He continued, speaking about how he will NOT be directing Episode IX, something which has been rumoured for some time:
“No, I’m not going to direct Episode IX, as much as I am deeply envious of anyone who gets to work with this group of people on the future movies.”
Rian Johnson (Looper, Brick) is writing and directing Episode VIII, and is writing Episode IX. Kennedy spoke a little about Johnson, and the fact he is writing Episode IX. She also touched on how a new director has the chance to make Episode IX their own:
“We know where we’re going, but only in the broadest sense. When Rian [Johnson] came in and started writing his script, he started from scratch, other than knowing what we had done in Episode VIII and projecting out where it was going. He then sat down and put pen to paper, and it’s 100 percent him.”
EW also released this new synopsis for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which has links to The Empire Strikes Back:
The Empire has morphed into a junta known as The First Order, while X-Wing pilots like Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron now fly for a splinter group known as the Resistance. Princess Leia (Fisher) has come into possession of the lightsaber once possessed by her father, Darth Vader, and later lost by Luke (Hamill) when Vader separated him from his arm during that “join me” duel in The Empire Strikes Back.
In addition to this, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) modeled his mask after Darth Vader’s and has a connection to Luke and Leia’s father.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, opens in theaters December 18, 2015. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is directed by J.J. Abrams from a screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan & Abrams, and features a cast including actors John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o, Gwendoline Christie, Crystal Clarke, Pip Andersen, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow. They will join the original stars of the saga, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker. The film is being produced by Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Bryan Burk, and John Williams returns as the composer. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is Episode VII in the Star Wars Saga.