Kathleen Kennedy Reveals How She Secured J.J. Abrams For Star Wars: The Force Awakens As A Dozen Screenshots Debut


As if to appease those disappointed by the lack of new footage at this weekend’s D23 event, Entertainment Weekly has continued its blowout of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, revealing new details about characters on both sides of the lens, and a stunning array of screenshots.

Long before the cameras began rolling on the galactic sequel and the director’s chair remained vacant, it was well known that J.J. Abrams had initially turned down the offer to helm The Force Awakens, instead sticking to Paramount’s rebooted Star Trek universe. But what changed the filmmaker’s mind? Well, according to Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, it all came down to one simple question.


In order to put the untapped potential of Disney’s new mainline trilogy into perspective, Kennedy asked “who is Luke Skywalker?” Granted, it’s not exactly a Jedi-esque mind trick, but it was enough to make Abrams click with the studio’s new vision.

“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.”

Elsewhere, it’s also revealed that the lightsaber spied in the most recent teaser trailer is – spoilers – the same one that once belonged to Luke, before it was sent plummeting into the depths of space along with his severed arm. On the other side of the Force, Kylo Ren, the devious villain portrayed by Adam Driver that currently occupies EW’s new cover, has been described as “Darth Vader obsessed,” which would explain the shot of the empty mask in the same sizzle reel.

But where does Domhnall Gleeson’s character fit into Abrams’ galaxy far, far away? Indeed it seems the Irish Ex Machina star is on board to play the sleazy, power-mongering General Hux, “a cruel leader of The First Order who craves to show the galaxy his might.” Expect plenty more information pertaining to The Force Awakens to scurry online in the coming days, but in the meantime, be sure to feast your eyes on the striking screenshots above.

Star War: The Force Awakens opens on December 18.

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