Eight days to go: Phasma, midi-chlorians and a new TV spot

It’s now eight days until France sees The Force Awakens and nine days until Australia sees it.

First up, here’s a new TV spot:

And here’s a new Disney XD featurette:

Next up, here are some quotes from director J.J. Abrams on midi-chlorians and the Force:

I’m not someone who quite understands the science of the Force. To me Star Wars was never about science fiction — it was a spiritual story. And it was more of a fairytale in that regard. For me when I heard Obi-Wan say that the Force surrounds us and binds us all together, there was no judgement about who you were. This was something that we could all access. Being strong with the force didn’t mean something scientific, it meant something spiritual. It meant someone who could believe, someone who could reach down to the depths of your feelings and follow this primal energy that was flowing through all of us. I mean, thats what was said in that first film!

[…]

And there I am sitting in the theater at almost 11 years old and that was a powerful notion. And I think this is what your point was, we would like to believe that when shit gets serious, that you could harness that Force I was told surrounds not just some of us but every living thing. And so, I really feel like the assumption that any character needs to have inherited a certain number of midi-chlorians or needs to be part of a bloodline, it’s not that I don’t believe that as part of the canon, I’m just saying that at 11 years old, that wasn’t where my heart was. And so I respect and adhere to the canon but I also say that the Force has always seemed to me to be more inclusive and stronger than that.

And here’s Harrison Ford on spoilers:

I don’t want to talk about the film, I want people to submit themselves. I want people to let the whole thing wash over them and discover it in context of the music and the popcorn in a sequential way. You have to preserve the information. They aren’t secret, they are just information that you don’t want people to know so it becomes a secret. When the first one came out, nobody gave a rat’s ass because nobody knew about it. Nobody knew there was going to be a giant spaceship that flew over head and nobody knew what John Williams score was going to sound like — it was a surprise. People would sit there and watch a guy in a dog suit, some monkey running around, some space cowboy running around, some wise old warrior and a princess with buns on her head. It was original.

Lawrence Kasdan, meanwhile, has revealed that Captain Phasma was originally male before a gender switch, resulting in the casting of Gwendoline Christie. Writing with Abrams after the departure of Michael Arndt, Kasdan says they were still crafting the story as assets such as costumes were already being finalized.

We were just casting about for all the characters. I mean, we were making them up at that moment, as costuming and everything else was happening! It’s not like there was a finished script sitting around for months. […] Everything was happening simultaneously. When the idea came up to make Phasma female, it was instantaneous: Everyone just said, ‘Yes. That’s great.’

The film is now fast approaching. It’s been an interesting three years…

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