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New Revelations From Empire’s New Issue on The Force Awakens

SoloEmpire’s special Star Wars: The Force Awakens edition is out now and we’ve read it. It’s a great issue with lots of new tiny bits and piece here and there that are really interesting. We’ll share with you some of those, but if you want the full experience, make sure to grab a copy and read it yourself. Those covers look great!

 

 

Excerpts from Empire:

 

J.J. Abrams’ inspiration for TFA:

Before he started The Force Awakens, Abrams watched some movies. No, not those ones, Other ones. He looked at “the confidence” of John Ford Westerns. He took in the “unbelievable scene choreography and composition” of Kurosawa’s High and Low. And he studied “the powerful stillness” of Terrence Malick. “It’s not something I would normally have thought of coming to Star Wars,” he says. The spare visual style of Ford, Kurosawa and Malick points to a key mandate for Abrams’ approach to Episode VII: the distinctive less-is-more quality of the originals.

 

A different take on the Snoke explanation:

On his first day playing the First Order’s enigmatic overlord, Andy Serkis found himself atop a towering podium. His co-stars, Adam Driver and Domhnall Gleeson, were 25 feet below. Yet he had no idea what Snoke even looked like. “It was quite an unusual situation,” he says, calling Empire from a Canadian “middle of nowhere” where he’s shooting War For The Planet Of The Apes. “It was one of the most scary film experiences I’ve ever had.”

Andy Serkis Snoke

Whether Snoke is a two-storey-tall giant or a floating spectre, Serkis confirms he is definitely an alien we haven’t seen before, and the Emperor Palpatine of this series. “Exactly that. And he’s severely damaged. Although he is a powerful leader, he comes across as vulnerable.Very scarred and disfigured.”

J.J. Abrams was wary of having any CG characters in his proudly analogue Star Wars vision, though with such an “extreme look”, as Serkis puts it, he realised it was the only way to do Snoke.

 

What is a Force Back in TFA:

If filming started with the light side (filming in Abu Dhabi), it ended with the dark. At 21:30 on November 6, 2014, at Pinewood on S Stage, TFA wrapped with Kylo Ren and the Knights of Ren unleashing a ‘Force Back’. Don’t run to Wookieepedia – a Force Back is a term used by the crew to describe…
What exactly?
“We’ll just let that dangle, shall we?” says Kennedy.

 

Finn vs Kylo

The lightsaber fights in TFA:

For Abrams the lightsaber battles in Episode 1 to 3 were “increasingly spectacular and stylised, almost like dance choreography”. So when he came to stage runaway stormtrooper Finn versus baddie Kylo Ren in a snowy forest, he went back to the source.

“When you look at Star Wars and Empire, they are very different lightsaber battles, but for me they felt more powerful because they were not quite as slick. I was hoping to go for something much more primitive, aggressive and rougher, a throwback to the kind of heart-stopping lightsaber fights I remembered being so enthralled by as a kid.”

 

Things that didn’t make the last trailer:

1. Lupita Nyong’o’s pirate queen Maz Kanata:
“She has been a smuggler for a long time and has been running this watering hole for a thousand years. She is the sort of barkeep you go for help,” says Abrams. Kanata’s castle, also glimpsed in the trailer, is festooned with flags that chart a history of Star Wars tribes and factions.

2.Andy Serkis’ Big Bad, Supreme Leader Snoke:” I will say this one spoiler-y thing: he was critical in the seduction of Ren to the dark side. he is a hugely important part of the story and will continue to be.”

3. And of course, Luke Skywalker, the no-show poster boy of The Force Awakens. “I love that anyone cares,” Abrams says about the Jedi’s absence. “It was always the thought to keep our powder dry but it wasn’t to make people crazy. We did it because it was appropriate for the story.”

 

13 Mark Hamill in rocky compound

Mark Hamill on Luke:

Rest assured, Luke will appear in TFA, although it’s a fair bet that he won’t quite be the innocent farm boy we met back in A New Hope. “Obviously you’re seeing him in a very different time in his life,” says Hamill. “There are lots of surprises in this movie. You’re going to love it.”

If scuttlebutt is to be believed, much of TFA will concern the search for the reclusive Luke, and there’s a prevailing theory that Hamill spends a large part of the movie by himself. Certainly, Hamill’s strongest memory of shooting the movie supports that. “It reminded me of when I was in Tunisia on the salt flats. If you could get into your own mind and shut out the crew and look at the horizon , you really felt like you were in a galaxy far, far away. I had that same wave of emotion happen to me when I was on Skellig Michael in Ireland. I wasn’t anticipating it.”

Expect Luke’s seclusion to end at some point, and for the original trio of Luke, Han and Leia to be reunited. Because another thing Hamill says he “could never have anticipated” was working once more with Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher.

This last sentence is particularly interesting. It’s probably just a speculation by Empire, but seeing Luke united with Carrie and Harrison on the big screen will be really amazing. But at the same time it will be against some common rumors about the fate of these characters.

 
Screenshot_9Simon Pegg on Hamill:

I am on set as a consultant, acting as a sounding board for J.J., who is making tweaks to the already wonderful screenplay. My computer is open in Final Draft and, at the top of my screen, the scene heading reads, “INT. S-REDACTED-R – Day”. I hear a familiar voice and turn to see Mark walking onto set, looking trim and cool, with a beard that he grumbles about but makes him look handsome and Jedi-like. When they shot Luke placing his robotic hand on R2’s head, a moment glimpsed in the trailer, I sat at the monitors with Mark’s family and marvelled at the huge significance of the moment.

This is actually the first official confirmation that it is indeed Luke who puts his hand on Artoo. The scene name mentioned by Pegg is probably not connected with the scene they were filming, since it was an exterior shot. It’s probably a scene that involved a Star Destroyer or Starkiller base.

 

Empire also revealed that during the interview Hamill was preparing to go into Bad Robot’s Santa Monica offices to start recording DVD extras for the film!

 

Kylo_Ren

Adam Driver on how he got contacted for the role:

Two years ago, J.J. Abrams saw Driver in Lena Dunham’s HBO show Girls, and invited him to Bad Robot HQ in California to discuss the role of Kylo Ren, Darth Vader’s dark-side heir. They talked about it for a couple of months, then Driver said he’d think about it. Wait, he had to think about Star Wars? “As a fan of the movies you don’t want to do a bad job,” he reasons.

 

Adam Driver on Kylo Ren:

Screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan says, “There’s never been a character quite like the one that Adam plays.” Most peopledescribe Kylo Ren as the movie’s villain but Driver thinks that the really worrying bad guys are the ones who believe they’re good. Beware the righteous fanatic. “When they think their actions are morally justified it makes them dangerous and unpredictable. There’s no level they won’t go to accomplish what they’re after. I never thought of the character as an evil person.”

 

Adam Driver on seeing TFA:

Adam Driver might be the only Star Wars fan in the world who isn’t planning to see TFA. It’s not that he doesn’t think it will be good, it’s just that he doesn’t want to see himself in it. The last time he tried was with the Coen brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis in 2013. “I was like, ‘Oh my God, it’s bad.'” he says, “I can’t help but see things I wanted to do differently. I was there. That’s good enough for me.”

So might he make an exception for the most anticipated film of the year? He laughs awkwardly. “I would like to, yeah. I am still debating it. Eventually I have to watch something.”

 

Han

Harrison Ford on TFA:

Will you be back for Episode VIII?
You can’t ask that question

Do you mean you can’t answer it?
No. You can’t ask it. We’ve already established that we both thnk it’s bst to allow the audience to experience the story rather than be told about it in advance. It doesn’t serve the audience for me to answr direct questions about outcomes.

Have you seen the finished film yet?
I’ve seen a good bit of it, in various stages.

And?
And I think it’s going to be a great ride.

 

Ford on Lucas’ involvement with TFA:

What was it like being back in the SW universe without the guiding hand of George Lucas?

George was involved in the development of the script. It had George’s genius behind it, and he left us in a very good position to pass things on to a new director. I was very comfortable with J. J., having known him since he wrote Regarding Henry. He was very involved in that production. I felt George had made his choices and I was comfortable with that as well.

 

Peter Mayhew on the touching first meeting with Harrison Ford on TFA set:

“I was sitting in my trailer, he says,” recalling his first day on set of TFA. “There was a knock on the door and someone shouted, ‘Where’s that walking carpet?’ It was Harrison. He came in, gave me a big hug and said. ‘Welcome back.'”

 

There are many, many more interesting details in this issue, but we don’t want to spoil everything. We definitely recommend buying this one. You won’t regret it.

 

 

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  • John DiLillo

    “Because another thing Hamill says he “could never have anticipated” was working once more with Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher.”

    Yeah, that’s just Empire speculating. Hamill certainly spent time on set with Ford and Fisher, but I don’t think he filmed any scenes with them. I’d say he’ll be reunited with Leia in Episode VIII, and there will probably be some resentment between them based on Leia’s superweapon/Luke’s absence. It’ll make for good drama.

    • HM King Krappery of Kanine

      Yup. I see this as the most likely scenario – and I think it would’ve been a little churlish to have made Hamill stay away on the days that Ford and Fisher were filming.

  • Toybota

    I’m really curious as to what the redacted name is…

    • Paul Dameron

      Grave digger perhaps.

  • Sean

    I’d venture a guess that a “Force Back” is the term they used for the film’s flashback scenes, since unlike traditional flashbacks, these are probably Force visions seen not just by the audience, but by the actual characters in the film (as rumored).

    • Ghost of Obi Wan Kenobi

      I find it highly likely that ‘Force Back’ is a flashback for three reasons
      1) force back sounds like flashback.
      2) the knights of ren scene has long been rumored to be a flashback sequence
      3) the knights of ren are rumored to have done something very important in the past. (not to spoil anything)

      I just wish Empire magazine would have straight out told us what it is or just simply not mention “force back” at all.

      • Hendrik

        Maybe they resurrected Snoke (Plagueis)

        (I hope lol)

    • Gerardo Perez Fonseca

      The Knights in the rain…

      • Tuareg Mahoma

        knights of rain

  • NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

    I’m all for the lightsaber duels looking more rough and less “choreographed” (even though that’s why what they ultimately are anyway) but PLEASE don’t make it too slow. A mix between the one from Jedi and ROS would be great. Same pace but more intense. After all if Finn does turn out to be force sensitive, a duel between two people that can sense each others moves before they happen should look as such.

    • Ghost of Obi Wan Kenobi

      if JJ wants his lightsaber duels to look more like the OT that is his own personal preference… I just doubt his tastes when he claims that the ANH duel looked better than TPM duel.

      • Darth Vedder

        Lucas was quite clear on this. The reason why lightsaber duels in the OT were far slower and clumsier than in the PT was because all we saw were duels between an older Jedi past his prime, a crippled half-man/half-cyborg, and a young Jedi hopeful far from reaching his prime.

        One would think that Abrams got this and that he’s just pretending otherwise so as not to offend PT haters, but the more I see of this guy the more I fear he might actually be this dense for real.

        • Monolith

          It’s possible that Ren is still advancing as a swordsman, and it appears that Finn may only have some rudimentary ( not Jedi level) skills himself. In that case, the fight between these two would likely represent the more visceral fights of the OT. And that would mean that J.J. actually took Lucas’ justifications to heart rather than ignore them, as you suggest.

          • Darth Vedder

            Yeah, that’s quite possible. In fact, I sure would like for this to be the case. I never said that Abrams should try to make his lightsaber duels faster,
            more intense, as Lucas would put it, in TFA.

            I’m just getting tired of hearing a good, albeit not great filmmaker belittling the PT every chance he gets. So the guy hates the PT, like a gazillion other SW fans. OK, I get it. But maybe he should keep his mouth shut about these things, at least until we’ve seen if TFA is actually better than the PT.

            • Monolith

              If that really is the case, then, yeah, that would be a bit gauche of J.J. to slight the Prequels.

              Preferably, he’s just favoring the Originals, which were so clearly formative for him, at the inevitable expense of the Prequels. More preference than criticism?

              But I admit to not reading many articles written recently about J.J., so you could be right.

              • Darth Vedder

                Well, that’s just what I’ve been getting from Abrams’ lately. I give him props for being honest, but I think TFA would be better served if he were a little more diplomatic and clearer in his answers. Like explaining the reason why Lucas decided for lightsaber duels to be so frantic in the PT, for instance.

                The idea may/may not have worked on the screen, but at least it was justifiable on paper, IMO.

                • HM King Krappery of Kanine

                  Maybe he doesn’t actually know Lucas’s reasoning.

                  • Darth Vedder

                    Wouldn’t that be unprofessional and irresponsible from Abrams? After all, he did talk to Lucas when he took over the project…

        • Bruno O. Barros

          If the explanation for the boring dual in ANH is that Obi-Wan was an old man past his prime, why does Dooku fights so well in AOTC?

          • HM King Krappery of Kanine

            Because he’s made of CGI. :D

            • Bruno O. Barros

              I guess you’re right…

          • Darth Vedder

            IDK and frankly, I don’t care. I never said if I like or dislike Lucas’ thinking in this. I just said that there’s a reason for it, which Abrams left out of his comment.

        • HM King Krappery of Kanine

          When I listen to some of his Star Trek interviews, I have serious reservations that Abrams often gets the material he’s working on at all. Still, he claims to be a SW fan, so…

          • Darth Vedder

            Lol, yeah. I don’t question Abrams’ love for SW (or the OT to be more precise). It’s his ability to translate that passion to the screen that worries me.

      • TUD

        I think both duels were crappy af. Getting a mix between them would be good.

      • HM King Krappery of Kanine

        ANH no, but the duals in Empire and Jedi are vastly superior – not in skill, but because the scenes aren’t about the lightsaber use and acrobatics. but rather the pacing, the emotion and the drama.

    • Tuareg Mahoma

      faster and more intense. Got it.

    • Monolith

      I imagine it would it look like a hilariously ineffectual duel between two opponents who can anticipate each others moves that would consist solely of clumsy feints and botched maneuvers with neither contestant even attempting, let alone successfully landing a meaningful blow. It would be a travesty.

    • HM King Krappery of Kanine

      I have some reservations about JJ’s approach and the effort to pretty much run away from the prequels, but on this I think he’s 100% correct. As cool as they were at the time I now find it very hard to stomach the prequel fights. They’re just so over the top that all realism is lost. Yeah, I know Jedi and Sith are well tried, but the way, for instance, that Darth Maul jumps around is just ridiculous. Some of the ballet stuff just doesn’t make sense.

  • Kenny Ritchie

    There’s Luke, he was hiding behind Artoo the whole time.

    • yth

      Holy shit. And to think we all thought J.J was giving direction to a unmanned R2.

  • HeadleyGrange

    It’s still hard to believe that we’re only 3 weeks away.

    • daveolden

      YODA:
      “That…. is why you fail…”

      (Sorry, couldn’t resist ;)

      • HeadleyGrange

  • WackyBantha
    • TUD

      YES!

    • OpinionGiver

      Who cares! No need to bring this crap up in an article that has nothing to do with that movie. Drop it!

      • TUD

        Be careful with that salt.

        • OpinionGiver

          I said who cares (no need to rehash old stuff, especially if it has nothing to do with TFA, much less this article)! Move along…

          • Davis

            This isnt old tho, it was uploaded 3 days ago…

            • OpinionGiver

              Again, it has nothing to do with this article.

              • Adavanter Mki

                You do realize that “How it should have ended” is often a joke not intended to be a real criticism? It’s not like a detailed bashing of the film. It’s just poking fun.

                So technically posting something funny about Star Wars to a Star Wars fan site seems kind of on topic.

                • HM King Krappery of Kanine

                  Not totally crazy, but almost certainly not on topic. He should sign up to the forum and post it there.

          • TUD

            I don’t need you telling me what to do. I suggest YOU move along. We will do what we like.

            • GeekFurious

              Typical troll logic.

              • TUD

                You talkin’ to me? Because in that case, I assure you, I am not a troll.

        • yth

          Salt is NOT A FUCKING EMOTION! IT IS A SUBSTANCE YOU PUT ON FOOD!

    • Admitted Kylo Ren Fanboy

      Hilarious.

    • HM King Krappery of Kanine

      What does this have to do with the article?

  • origonalname112

    Empire magazine. Empire. I get it.

  • mark21967

    Ok so … I don’t know if this has been discussed ( I’m sure it has already been hypothesized ) but Luke’s fleshless robotic hand has been very interesting to me.

    Has anyone guessed why there is no flesh attached to it anymore? I think that is a huge hint and very intentional.

    I know everyone debunked the Luke-cyborg rumors long ago – but he doesn’t have to be a cyborg. Perhaps he is disfigured … from an incident that occurred that forced him into exile.

    Again I’m sure these theories are already all over the place but seriously … The robotic hand is not random.

  • Admitted Kylo Ren Fanboy

    http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s–DOhEvX1H–/c_scale,fl_progressive,q_80,w_800/1230712033879358792.png

    So this is actually Mark Hamill? I figured this was some random younger actor playing Luke in a flashback scene.

    • TUD

      Flashbacks are not very Star Wars. Force Backs on the other hand…

      • nph53

        but flashbacks are very JJ, so we might be breaking some new ground here.

        • Bruno O. Barros

          Why is everybody saying that flashbacks are very JJ? I don’t get it… people are saying that just because of Lost? In Lost flashbacks were a huge narrative device, but JJ has done a lot of movies that had no flashback at all.

          • Christopher J

            JJ just help create lost. He didn’t really have much to do with it after that. It was more Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse running that show season to season.

            • Kai

              Midway through season 1 JJ stopped having any involvement with Lost.

              • Bruno O. Barros

                I know that. That just adds to the mystery why people say JJ loves flashbacks.

                That said, I love Lost and Damon’s work.

      • Kicker2

        In response to that, it’s like saying anything not seen in a SW film
        before is un-Star Warsy. By that argument, Luke’s vision in the Dagobah
        cave was not Star Warsy because it had not been seen in SW before that
        the time. There are things (even camera movements) that happen in every
        SW film that didn’t happen in a previous SW film if you analyze every
        scene and frame.

        • Patrick

          Kinda like demystifying the force with midichlorians but that happened …. oh crap, know Im having flashbacks … the bad kind. ;)

          • Kicker2

            Didn’t demystify anything to me, because I know they aren’t the force. And it was never said they were. Of course you can beat the dead horse some more.

            • Patrick

              Maybe you know that, but to the casual fan its STILL midicholoians = force points …. Its not a dead horse if people are still pissed about the piss poor stories and the piss poor delivery of the PTs

              • Kicker2

                If they had even listened to the movie they’d know what Qui-Gon said.

                Poor or good is subjective opinion, it’s not science. An opinion does not become fact even if everyone believes it. It’s all up to individual subjective opinion if something is good or not. Film is art, not science. Very subjective. EP 1 & 2 got around 50/50 good and bad reviews. EP3 got nearly 80 percent good reviews.

                • Patrick

                  See what youre doing there? First you say poor or good is subjective (“not science”) …. But then you follow it up with “scientific” proof that they supposedly dont suck …. Regardless, a bad movie is a bad movie, Ed Wood is a professional case study of that … the Prequels had good “ideas” that were poorly executed and were accented by mostly poor acting and even poorer dialogue …. Theres no way you can argue otherwise, they were just inferior …. Oh, and BTW, I thought ROTS was fairly good but it just had too many moments of terribleness … NNNOOOOOOOOOOO!!! …. In it

                  • Kicker2

                    I can argue otherwise but it’s merely an opinion, no more or less valid than your opinion that you just stated . Nothing I said was science. I just said Qui-Gon mentioned that midiclorian “speak” the will of the force. Never was it said they “are” the force in the story. The facts I gave were the percentages of reviews. Just the opinions that were out there.

                  • Kicker2

                    Suck or don’t suck that’s up to the individual. To some people all SW suck. Or they are apathetic. I was just giving a sampling of the reviews because people who hate the films say the reviews prove it. They just prove percentage of the counted reviews.

          • EJo

            They’re not the Force. There’s even a whole arc devoted to what the Force is in TCW.

      • Darth Vedder

        Maybe it’s not flashbacks that we’ll get but visions of what might happen if Rey and/or Finn refuses to embrace his/her destiny. And visions are obviously very Star Wars-y…or Star Wars-ish, if you prefer.

    • HM King Krappery of Kanine

      May well be a stand-in for that shot – but Hamill was clearly on the set for other shots from the same scene.

  • Padre de Perritos

    I sure hope a “Force Back” does not indicate time travel. That’s the last thing we need in Star Wars.

    • Bruno O. Barros

      Force Back = Flashback. I guess they were referring to flashbacks as Force backs — probably induced by Maz Kanata.

    • Darth Vedder

      Nah, I don’t think so. Abrams and co. want to pay tribute to the OT, not introduce such controversial themes into the saga.

    • HM King Krappery of Kanine

      Seriously doubt that.

    • Patrick

      What ….and ruin Doc Brown’s cameo?

  • nice cover

    • HM King Krappery of Kanine

      Ha ha. Bungle = Legend.

  • Bluemilk7

    i’m thinking that the shot of luke with r2-d2 is han solo’s funeral on skellig michael.. those rock formations in the background can be seen all over the island. we’ll see!!

    • HM King Krappery of Kanine

      It’s said….
      .
      .
      .
      .

      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      ..
      .

      to be part of a flashback, as R2 is seen with Threepio later in the movie but Luke isn’t meant to show up until Skellig, which is at the end.

  • mabruno

    “Force backs” may be what makes John Boyega hesitant about how fans will react to this movie. It doesn’t sound good to me at all.

    • Monolith

      What if the film introduces a character that can see the force — as I think some suggest Maz can — and if seeing the force allows for visions past and future, who knows. Would you make allowances for scenes that represent these visions?

      • Kenny Ritchie

        Not so sure she can see into the future. If she could then why couldn’t she predict her own castle destruction that happens shortly after?

        • Monolith

          Good point, and you’re likely right. But my logic was that Star Wars has already had force-sensitives foresee events. And while those visions were ultimately accurate, they nevertheless unfolded in unforeseeable ways: Anakin’s belated role in bringing balance to the force as seen by the Emperor; Luke’s vision of his friend’s suffering in Empire; Emperor’s understanding of Luke’s role in defeating him.

          It seems plausible then based on those examples that Maz may see her or other characters’ fates, yet still be ignorant of how precisely those destinies will unfold — her castle’s destruction representing a similar prophetic blind spot. It wouldn’t be unheard of.

          Anyway, It’s more than probable that I just imagined the entire ‘future visions’ aspect of Maz — presumably because it’s been used in that universe before. And I’m tired.

          • Kenny Ritchie

            Your explanation sounds very plausible, perhaps she can see the future as well.

        • Ryan Tomes

          Whoa man. Spoilers. Have some friggin courtesy.

          • Kenny Ritchie

            Behave. We’ve seen this in the trailer/TV footage.

          • Patrick

            Joke, right? Otherwise you wouldnt be perusing a spoiler site … Right?

    • HM King Krappery of Kanine

      As I said above, with the suggestion that it’s the Knights of Ren that are “executing the
      force back” I don’t think it has anything to do with The Force at all.
      If the rumours are to believed, then the Knights of Ren are seen either
      when they are attacking a village or attacking somewhere in the scene
      with Luke’s hand (which is said to be a flashback of the Knights
      destroying Jedi Padawan). With that in mind, I think what they are
      saying is “the Knights of Ren are advancing and forcing back their
      opposition”.

    • Jedi John

      did you read it? is say a term used by the crew for something. its not a term used in the film!

  • Christopher Payne

    I’m willing to bet that when Kylo has his hand in front of Poe’s face, he is forcing him to endure a force back….I think it’s forcing him to show Kylo a memory of his.

    • Darth Vedder

      If this mind trick was possible, I’m sure Vader would’ve tried to use it on Leia in ANH.

      • Christopher Payne

        Force lightning was possible, and he never did that either.

        • Darth Vedder

          Yeah, but unlike Dooku and Palpatine, Vader didn’t have any flesh and bones arms left in the OT.

          • Christopher Payne

            Yeah, and like force lightning, perhaps this force power requires flesh and bones in the arms and hands.

      • Paige Michael-Shetley

        Ki-Adi Mundi could read Anakin’s thoughts about his mother when he came before the Council in TPM.

        Anyways, Force users tended to have natural abilities and proclivities for certain skills. Mace Windu may not be on par with Yoda as a Force user, but he had the Shatterpoint ability- which Yoda didn’t.

        • Darth Vedder

          Ki-Adi Mundi felt that Anakin’s thoughts dwelt on his mother, the same as Vader sensed Luke’s concern for his sister in RotJ. But this isn’t the same as gaining access to their memories of Shmi and Leia, respectively.

          I know Mace also felt the confusion in Anakin’s mind before leaving for Palpatine’s office. But again, he couldn’t gain access to Anakin’s memories and/or deepest secrets.

          We’ve never seen anything like this in all 6 previous films, and I seriously doubt they would introduce a new mind trick in TFA that neither the Jedi nor the Sith had mastered before.

    • HM King Krappery of Kanine

      With the suggestion that it’s the Knights of Ren that are “executing the force back” I don’t think it has anything to do with The Force at all. If the rumours are to believed, then the Knights of Ren are seen either when they are attacking a village or attacking somewhere in the scene with Luke’s hand (which is said to be a flashback of the Knights destroying Jedi Padawan). With that in mind, I think what they are saying is “the Knights of Ren are advancing and forcing back their opposition”.

      • Christopher Payne

        If it were just an action…a verb…like “I forced them back”, then why would they refer to it as a thing…a noun…like “A Force Back”….even with the words capitalized also? Also, why would Kennedy just let it hang there?

      • HORSEFLESH

        It’s a play on Flashback – so Forceback would imply it’s a Force induced Flashback, which as a Force ability, would provide an in-story reason that would get around the old structural “rule” in Star Wars of not just cutting to flashbacks to explain or show things that happened previously.

        • Dorian

          If this is indeed the case, a Forceback being a Force induced flashback, then the writer of the article used poor grammar/choice of words. It should have read something like: “the last scene was filmed in November and consisted of Kylo Ren and the Knights of Ren *IN* a Forceback. Rather it reads: “Kylo Ren and the Knight of Ren *UNLEASHING* a Forceback. Thusly, I take it to mean that a Forceback is not some sort of Force vision that the Knights of Ren happened to be in rather a Forceback is an action that they “unleash”.

          • HORSEFLESH

            The difference is ForceBack is described in the article as “…a term used by the crew to describe…”, which implies that it’s specifically a “technical” film-making term used by the crew to describe it, like FlashBack, rather than just being a Force power.

            • Dorian

              That doesn’t really change my point though. In fact I’ll edit my comment to reflect the fact that Forceback is just a term the crew used but it won’t change the point of what I’m saying.

              • HORSEFLESH

                The use of the word “crew” suggets that it might not be as clear-cut as you believe.

  • Paul Dameron

    Yeah maybe he is ‘the gravedigger’ from the concept drawings after all and not Kylo Ren and also everyone is assuming it is Kylo who had Vader’s helmet that’s why the concept art is Kylo…perhaps its been Luke all along.

  • Paige Michael-Shetley

    I have mixed feelings on his comments on lightsaber dueling. I had a feeling he was going to revert to OT style choreography. I think he’s right to point out that the Prequel duels got to the point of dance choreography. But for him to use the word “primitive” to describe the lightsaber techniques in the Sequels makes me very hesitant. You can have raw, powerful, authentic duels that still display a high level of technical swordplay. Obi-Wan vs. Maul in TPM post-Qui-Gon’s death was a fantastic duel combining technical skill, power, and stakes regarding the outcome. And I would argue that the outcome of the duel- Obi-Wan’s amazing Force-assisted move- is probably in the top-3 in terms of memorable outcomes of a lightsaber duel and was a display of raw battle intuition to finish off a sophisticated lightsaber duel.

    I also think the Mace Windu vs. Palpatine duel is highly underrated duel. There was some sophisticated swordplay, but it wasn’t excessively elaborate, with each strike being pointed toward a goal of doing damage. You had saber locks, instances of both duelists struggling, plenty of power being the duel- and, again, high stakes regarding the outcome.

    I think a ideal lightsaber duel would combine elements of Luke vs. Vader TESB, Windu vs. Palpatine in ROTS, and Obi-Wan vs. Maul in TPM.

    Furthermore, the lightsaber techniques used for blaster deflection the Prequels were an absolute joy to watch and serve an excellent purpose. For me, watching lightsabers deflect blaster bolts is just as fun as watching a duel.

  • Notorious SL Snoak aka Grant

    I guess the fact that JJ is against CG characters means we won’t see any PT era ones either?

    • Patrick

      Uhm, if hes against the use of CGI characters then please explain Maz Kanata and Snoke. What he seems to be against is cartoony buffoonish CG characters that add nothing but distraction to the “story”

  • Dorian

    Kurosawa was a huge influence on George Lucas. Many people are surprised to find that John Ford was a huge influence on Kurosawa since most people don’t conflate old westerns and samurai films. If you really pay attentions though you can see the influence being passed down from John Ford to Kurosawa to Lucas. Watch ‘Stagecoach’, then ‘The Seven Samurai’, and then ‘Star Wars’ and you can see the stylistic influence being passed down from generation to generation. I’m very excited to read that JJ Abrams went back and watched these old classics to get inspiration for TFA. This is a good sign. That very first scene in the very first teaser trailer that came out about a year ago actually gave me a very spaghetti western feel.

  • scififlixfan

    I went to Books-a-Million tonight to pick this issue but they had the November issue and not the new Star Wars issue. I’ve never bought this magazine before. I did buy the November issue though. I hope their Star Wars issue gets to the book store before the movie comes out.

  • Kale Dolfin

    “George was involved in the development of the script. It had George’s genius behind it, and he left us in a very good position to pass things on to a new director.”

    Doesn’t that go against what George Lucas just said in a recent interview? That he has washed his hands of the franchise, and that Disney didn’t want to do the outlines for future episodes that he handed them?

    • Notorious SL Snoak aka Grant

      PR Bullshit or Lucas is being a whiner again and exagerrating per usual. Either seem plausible to me.

  • MaxboxOne

    cool. its motsly what we have already read but still good news