SXSW 2016: 15 Facts I Learned from “Star Wars: Secrets Of The Force Awakens”
On Monday, March 14, 2015, the SXSW film crowd was invited to an exclusive first look at the Star Wars documentary “Secrets of the Force Awakens.” The 70 minute documentary will debut on the Blu-Ray release of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens on April 5, 2016 and is loaded with a lot of behind the scenes footage and insight. There is a lot to take away from this documentary and Star Wars fans will absolutely love this in-depth documentary about the visual effects, casting, story, and everything else about this new generation of this beloved franchise.
While there is plenty to get out of this documentary, I wanted to highlight some of the greatest take aways for me personally. These are things I wasn’t aware of prior to seeing this documentary and found them to be rather interesting.
15. There were over twenty-two hundred shots in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
14.The table read was the first time that everyone in the cast and crew were in the room for the first time.
13. The table read was narrated entirely by Mark Hamlin because JJ Abrams wanted to focus on the hearing the script read out-loud for the first time.
12. No one who was a part of the film was allowed to talk about the film at all while being shot or while doing any sort of press for it.
11. The Millennium Falcon was rebuilt for this film using every known image of the previous models and film footage on file.
10. Harrison Ford had a particular request for the Millennium Falcon for this film. In the previous films, the switches on the control panel had no springs, so they would slowly move if you paid close attention to them. Ford wanted springs in this film, and they informed him they had the budget for springs this time.
9. Harrison Ford was always uncertain about reprising the role of Han Solo. He was part of the decision to make sure that his character’s death served a purpose in The Force Awakens as a way to pass the torch to a new generation.
8. Maz Kanata was modeled after a teacher who inspired JJ Abrams
7. The origins of C3P0’s red arm will be discussed in an upcoming comic book.
6. Carrie Fisher stated that the first day on set for the Force Awakens was the worst day of her entire career.
5. Andy Serkis helped Lupita Nyong’o understand and embrace the concept of motion capture.
4. Peter Mayhew reprised his role as Chewbacca but wasn’t in the film a whole lot due to a knee replacement and many of his scenes were shot with him seated. A stunt double was used for the walking scenes. Bonus fun fact: Mayhew is 7ft 2in tall and his stand in was 7ft tall.
3. Gwendoline Christie loved playing Captain Phasma because the character wasn’t sexualized in anyway. She loved that the way she could act in the costume would allow for audiences to know that it was a female.
2. Daisy Ridley’s audition tape was the scene where Kylo Ren tries to get into Rey’s head. JJ thought she instantly nailed and the scene and knew she was right for the part.
1. Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron was originally supposed to die early on in the film. After talking to JJ about how he has acted in several films where he died early on, JJ decided to re-write the character to have more of an active role in the story.
Star Wars: The Secret of The Force Awakens will be featured on the Force Awakens Blu-Ray which is available to purchase online and in-store on April 5, 2016 from Walt Disney Entertainment.