During the ongoing Star Wars Celebration, director J.J. Abrams took to the stage alongside Kathleen Kennedy to talk all things Star Wars: The Force Awakens, encompassing everything from the importance of practical effects to introducing the all-new leading cast. In fact, Abrams made it explicitly clear that the sci-fi sequel will orbit around an unlikely alliance between a X-Wing pilot, a disillusioned Stormtrooper and a scavenger from Jakku – not Tatooine, as many had assumed.
That trio in question will be played by Oscar Isaac, John Boyega and Daisy Ridley, respectively, and though there is nary a mention of franchise’s original, beloved trio, we expect that Leia, Luke and Han will make an appearance before the end of the weekend. Upon stepping into the limelight, Abrams also addressed the film’s use of practical effects, and how he believes that it not only creates a more memorable moviegoing experience, but it also remains true to what made Star Wars so special in the first place.
“The thing that struck me, that wouldn’t get out of my head, is just how real you knew and felt Star Wars was when you first saw A New Hope. You couldn’t deny it,” Abrams said. “It’s Star Wars. There will be an endless number of effects. We needed a standard. You want it to be legitimate and authentic. Building as much as you could was a mandate…it’s an amazing thing to be able to watch the movie and see what it is and not have to use your imagination.”
Earlier today, we got a pre-emptive glimpse of the character design of one Kylo Ren, an ancient Sith Lord who is one of – if not the – main villains within the film.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens blasts into theaters on December 18.