The 2015 Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim got underway today, with Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams and Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy in attendance, along with several key cast members from The Force Awakens. The lineup included original Star Wars movie trilogy stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew, and Anthony Daniels, as well as the new young stars of Episode VII: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Oscar Isaac (not to mention, R2-D2 and new droid BB-8).
A handful of previously-unreleased Force Awakens set images and screenshots were premiered in public during the kickoff panel for the 2015 Star Wars Celebration. In addition, the three fresh-faced leads of Episode VII provided some new official details about their characters in Abrams’ upcoming Star Wars installment. The panel then culminated with the unveiling of the second Force Awakens trailer, which you can now watch online.
Here’s the breakdown of what was revealed during the Force Awakens panel:
- Daisy Ridley says her character (Rey) is a “scavenger in a ship graveyard” (glimpsed in the new trailer) who leads a solitary life on the desert planet Jakku – which is the desert planet shown in the Force Awakens trailers (NOT Tatooine).
- John Boyega says his character (Finn) finds himself in “incredible danger” on the planet Jakku – where he encounters Rey – and nodded when asked if he is in fact a stormtrooper in the film (much to Abrams’ mock disapproval).
- Oscar Isaac described his character (Poe Dameron) as the “best friggin [X-Wing-] pilot in the galaxy” and teased that his character is sent on an important mission by a “certain princess” – which is when he crosses paths with Finn and “their fates are forever intertwined” thereafter.
These official Force Awakens character details align with at least some of the rumors we’ve been hearing for some time about the film’s story (based on the screenplay by Abrams and Empire Strikes Back scribe Lawrence Kasdan) – like, how Poe and Finn are on opposing sides when they first encounter one another (before having to team up), or that Rey is a scavenger who’s been surviving by and large on her own for years now – possibly, because she’s been kept in hiding due to her being the offspring of certain original trilogy characters.
Meanwhile, rumors continues to persist about who the following Force Awakens cast members are playing:
- Lupita Nyong’o, most recently rumored to be playing a character named Rose in Force Awakens.
- Gwendoline Christie, long rumored to be playing Finn’s Imperial boss, Captain Phasma (a character with her own secrets).
- Domhnall Gleeson, rumored to be playing “The General” – a man who’s on neither side of the ongoing galactic war in Force Awakens.
- Max von Sydow, rumored to be “The Vicar”, a part-man/part-machine who does business with Rey.
- Andy Serkis, whose Force-sensitive character – heard narrating the original Force Awakens teaser – is rumored to be named Uber.
- Adam Driver, who is heavily speculated to be playing the film’s “cross-guard lightsaber” wielding villain, Kylo Ren.
Keep in mind: as Abrams himself has confessed, it’s definitely not ALL smoke and no fire, when it comes to the Force Awakens rumor mill. So, we can all probably start taking some of these other rumored character descriptions (and plot beats) all the more seriously than we did before.
Our new xwing pilot pic.twitter.com/ZpOFyd9HOC— Peter Sciretta (@slashfilm) April 16, 2015
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens opens in U.S. theaters on December 18th, 2015.