Star Wars: The Force Awakens Production In Review! Writer’s Roundtable Volume 2 (Part 2 of 3)


In the first part of this latest edition of the Writer’s Roundtable we took you through the Episode VII production from the August break to the end of September. Now let us look back at the MAJOR events that came to define a very busy and thrilling October!



OCTOBER 6th, 2014 > Making Star Wars relays a report from a fan that the living legend, the maestro himself, John Williams, announced at a concert in Milwaukee that he planned on beginning the Star Wars: Episode VII writing process in “two weeks time,” quite obviously signalling an end of principal photography and the beginning of the hectic period of post-production.

“Went to see John Williams conduct the Milwaukee symphony last night and he confirmed he is starting work on EP VII in 2 weeks!”

Concept Art

How awesome is it that John Williams is back for the Sequel Trilogy?


Pomojema: Unfathomably so. I still think that new composers should cover the music of the spinoffs, though. Otherwise, John Williams should be a part of the Star Wars universe for as long as he can.


DEKKA129: One of the most exciting things about the Sequel Trilogy for me is that, at least for this first film of the trilogy, we will once again get an original John Williams soundtrack! Let’s face it – in many ways, John Williams IS Star Wars. As amazing as the films themselves are, it has always been Williams’ iconic musical themes driving the action forward that have given Star Wars its unique character.


Viral Hide: We all know that he is an essential part of the franchise and it’s great to know that he is back. Still it would be interesting to see if Williams will also be attached to the spin-offs. I have a feeling that they will choose another composer for those. Of course that’s not a bad thing. There are many talented composers out there who can take the baton.


Jason: I think that’s what makes me positive that no matter what this is going to feel like a Star Wars film.



Anyone think we’ll hear the Imperial March again or has it died with Vader and Palpatine?


Pomojema: Considering that it seems to be the Imperial “national anthem” of sorts, as indicated by the Rebels episode “Empire Day,” I’m going to have to say that the answer is a big fat “NO.” Plus, it would be a disservice to not have that song play.


DEKKA129: I strongly suspect that it will make at least some sort of appearance in the new films. Perhaps as a subtle quote tucked away somewhere, or perhaps as a full-on performance. But I’d be very surprised indeed if we didn’t hear it.


Viral Hide: Who knows. It’s an Imperial March and it appears that the Empire is still not dead. Probably if we hear it, it will be a newly altered version.


Jason: I think we will. I think holding back and sparing leitmotifs was a George Lucas thing. He wanted to keep them special. Look at the music on Star Wars: The Clone Wars and the music on Star Wars: Rebels. On Rebels they aren’t holding back at all as George isn’t there to restrain them on that level any longer.



OCTOBER 15th, 2014 > Our friend and special guest, Jason Ward, had been leading up to this day with many Blog posts describing what was to come on this day — a massive leak of concept art pictures! Yes, in mid-October, 31 Episode VII concept art pictures hit the internets and caused a great disturbance in the Force. Fans the world over poured through every picture and discussed every last detail of the pictures and what they possibly could mean for the story.


Jason [Ward] described a lot of the leaked photos before anyone else had them (we can divulge that we had some beforehand). What was more controversial — the descriptions of the photos or the actual leak?


Pomojema: I don’t think controversial is the right word to use here, but it was certainly interesting. I’m still hoping he can actually post a couple of them before the movie comes out without screwing with his source.


DEKKA129: Though I have kept my own exposure to Jason’s scoops to a minimum in my effort to avoid major spoilers, it seems as though it was the descriptions of the photos that generated more controversy among fans. While I personally thought that Jason’s descriptions were an excellent way to get the word out without getting his sources in a jam by posting confidential images, I know that the fanbase seemed rather split on this approach.


Jason: The actual leak. There is a big difference between saying what’s out there and showing it. The one thing I don’t like about concepts leaking is that they might be considered for future films and spin-offs. At the same time, there’s such a difference between seeing a piece of art and seeing the film, actors, costumes, sets, and John Williams rocking our faces off. That’s why I look at everything and read everything. For me, the execution is the surprise.



Episode VII Cyborg

The two most controversial descriptions revolve around the cyborg character that may or may not be Luke. Now that we’ve all seen them does anyone think Luke is a cyborg in the Sequel Trilogy?


Pomojema: Well, he does have a mechanical prosthetic hand, so he would could as a cyborg by default. But if you mean to ask if he’d become a little more robotic, then I would say no. He grew a friggin’ huge beard for a reason, and it’s not to look like a Borg from “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” Viral Hide has been insistent that no new characters are cyborgs, though he doesn’t seem to discredit the idea of characters having prosthetic limbs. My guess is that this character just has a mask or something that looks cybernetic, but isn’t.


DEKKA129: Given the fact that Mark Hamill went out of his way to grow that great Jedi hermit beard for the production, and the fact that we didn’t see him going around with half of his beard cut off to make room for facial cybernetics, I tend to doubt that it’s Luke who’s the cyborg in The Force Awakens. And really, it would make little sense for him to have deliberately avoided his father’s path, only to have become “more machine than man” in the years since Return of the Jedi.


Jason: This question is a little weird because you haven’t all seen them. You’ve seen one of like 25 depictions of this particular sequence. I do think something interesting happened during the development of this sequence and I’ve seen written about it on the my site. I firmly believe Luke Skywalker is unhinged and the heroes think he might be dangerous. But as time goes on, it is seemingly more and more like the final iterations of the cyborg stuff might be the eventual fate of Kylo Ren.


Viral Hide:  Since this rumor started I learnt from a source that no major characters in the movie are cyborgs, including Luke. In less than a year we will find out if I am right.



OCTOBER 16th, 2014 > We learned a couple pieces of Official information on this day. First, perhaps as a way to distract from the concept art leaks, Kathleen Kennedy announces that principal photography has but three weeks left. Also, via a humorous video, fans learn that fellow fan and Star Wars acting alum, Warrick Davis, has a part in Episode VII.



Disney and JJ, in particular, stated they wanted to recapture the Original Trilogy feel and have brought back just about everyone who was involved with the OT. What did you think when you heard Warrick Davis was coming back for his third movie?


Pomojema: I don’t really have a lot to say on this one. I pretty much knew he wasn’t going to be Wicket from the get-go, but I was still happy to see him back.


DEKKA 129: I love the fact that Warwick will be back! He seems like a really nice fellow and I’ve always enjoyed his performances in Star Wars and elsewhere.


Jason: I think it made sense. Star Wars features characters of all shapes and sizes. Who is better than Warwick Davis?


Viral Hide: It’s great to see that no one from the major characters from the OT is forgotten. I wonder if Warwick will have a bigger role this time. At least I know he won’t play an Ewok.


What about the lack of news on the Billy Dee Williams front OR have we heard something?


Pomojema: I’m guessing he has a small part in the film, but nothing major enough to warrant an announcement. I think it’s safe to say he’ll be in Episode VIII, though.


DEKKA129: I just don’t think he’s in the movie, is what it is. He obviously wants to be, and has made this fact known to one and all. But if he were in the film, we’d almost certainly know about it by now. There’d be no reason to keep him under wraps to this extent.


Jason: There were rumors early on he was going to show up at the very end of the film. But so far the sources that said as much haven’t panned out at all. I think we’ll see Billy Dee in Star Wars: Rebels first. Maybe they’re saving Billy Dee for Star Wars: Episode VIII?


Echo-07: Personally, I think Episode VIII makes the most sense. It would be another way of getting the “OT feel” but it can also “rhyme” as an homage to George. Lando first appeared in the middle episode of the OT so it would be equally apropos for him to do likewise in this trilogy.


Viral Hide: Lando’s character is too important to be left out of the ST equation. He will be involved, the question is when. I won’t be surprised if we see him in TFA although he denied.



OCTOBER 21st, 2014 > Jason Ward and Making Star Wars break another set leak, this time an apparent stormtrooper fighting among some debris or wreckage:

I love this story. Alan and Paul. Two friends. They go out for the day at a nearby park. They know Star Wars: Episode VII is filming nearby. They decide to have a look and they actually see something. You can’t tell me if you’re reading this site, you haven’t had that fantasy at least ten times this week. Well, these buds took the journey and it actually happened. They actually heard Han Solo’s voice and saw Stormtroopers. It is just insane it happened and it did happen! There’s photographic proof.

Incendiary Leak

Fans apparently crept onto a set DURING filming. Did JJ’s mystery box have too many holes in it or are Star Wars fans the craziest [read dedicated], most ardent fans in the world?


Pomojema: Well, we’re still pretty much as in the dark now as we were when we heard about a couple of fans breaching set perimeters, aren’t we? Granted, they might have had a few details, but it was basically a shot in the dark. There wasn’t too much to learn from the plot – just that “Harrison Ford was here, John Boyega was there,” that kind of thing.


DEKKA129: We just have some brilliantly nutty ninja fans among us, god love ’em! I don’t think it has so much to do with holes in the “Mystery Box” as much as it does with there being Star Wars fans out there with the dedication, ingenuity and obsidian cajones to do whatever it takes to get a peek inside the production.


Jason: The mystery box is a plot device. I don’t like the mystery box getting a bad rap. Star Wars: A New Hope is a mystery box which unfolds rather well, actually. I think Abrams secrecy is exactly the same as most any other big film’s secrecy. The only difference is that Abrams cares more and keeps things under wraps generally. That said, The Force Awakens is a huge film. The only way they could have kept things more secretive was actually own the studio itself. With other films being made there, things are seen and talked about. But with Disney, Lucasfilm, Bad Robot, and contractors around, that’s too many fingers in the pie to keep it a secret regarding what’s for desert, in my opinion.



OCTOBER 31st, 2014 > Carrie Fisher is one of the last “Legacy Characters” to film according to her Tweet:

Carrie Fisher’s “Leia” was one of the last legacy characters to film on the production — What ideas can we draw from this?


Pomojema: Easy – she has the least amount of action scenes out of the Big Three. If we were to go off on the idea that she’s a political figure for the most part, this would make perfect sense. But again, bear in mind that she shed 35 pounds for a reason, and that’s no small feat for someone of her age.


DEKKA129: Uh… that she drew the short straw and got stuck with scenes at the end of the shooting schedule? ;^) Seriously, I’m not sure that we can really glean much of anything from this. Production schedules are generally far more a matter of logistics than anything. I would assume that what probably happened was that Carrie and Harrison had scenes together that were pushed back to the end of the production due to his injury.


Jason: I think her part is smaller but important. It appears she’s pretty much confined to the rebel base sets, codenamed “Pirate’s Cove” by the production.


Does anyone think Harrison Ford was involved as well since his scenes had to be delayed because of his broken leg?


Pomojema: With Leia’s scenes? Most likely. Han and Leia had a much more interesting romantic dynamic (at least before the unintentional incestuous subtext kicked in), and given that they’re supposedly married at this time, I can easily see how they’d delay the shooting of many of Leia’s scenes until after Harrison Ford got better.


Could this be the last time Carrie and Harrison film a Star Wars movie? Is this something they can actually keep secret?


Pomojema: Here’s what I think is going to happen regarding Han: the entire movie will foreshadow that he’s going to die. You’ll hear several lines like “I have a funny feeling I’m never going to see her again” that make it clear that Solo’s number is up. And then, at the climax of The Force Awakens, Han gets into an extremely desperate life-or-death situation… and lives. I think that everyone is expecting Han to die at this point, and messing with expectations is something that I think J. J. Abrams enjoys doing. As for Leia? I don’t see her dying, at least not until the end of Episode IX.


DEKKA129: I think it’s entirely possible, and likely probable. I really can’t see us getting through TFA without losing a major OT character, and I would be very surprised if both Han and Leia survive the film. As for whether Carrie and Harrison can keep their characters’ fates a secret, I don’t see why not. They are both professionals, and they’ve apparently got some pretty substantial non-disclosure agreements to make sure they keep mum about the film.


Jason: If there is a death in the film, as materials move over to publications and things of that nature, we’ll start to hear more rumblings. At this point, we’ve heard everyone in the film dies and it’s really sad when it happens. Until we get something more substantial, it will be impossible to know. But I do not believe it could be kept under wraps at all.


Echo-07: To follow up, what do you mean by “everyone in the film dies?” Do you mean the OT cast?


Jason: At this point, every character has a death rumor I’ve heard. The whole cast can’t die! All or most of them have to be utterly unsubstantiated rumor at this point.


Echo-07: LOL Ahh, gotcha. I hadn’t heard rumors of anyone dying except for Han.


Jason: Oh yeah, another forum has stuff on their boards now about Rey dying. It’s all silly.


Echo-07: That would be silly since Daisy Ridley was reported to have signed on for all three films.


However, for most of the cast and crew of the Star Wars: Episode VII production, Halloween marked the last day of principal photography and the end of a long-short adventure!

Highlights Include:


* Principal Photography lasted between May 16th and November 6th = 174 Days
* Harrison Ford broke his leg
* Famous visitors included: Kevin Smith, George Osborne, Simon Pegg, Benedict Cumberbatch, Daniel Radcliffe, Daniel Craig, and Peter Jackson
* Locations used in shooting included: Abu Dhabi, Puzzlewood Forest of Dean, Skellig Michael and Greenham Common
* JJ Abrams and co. released two Force for Change videos with a sneak peek at a set and a ship as well as several hand-written notes that showed the Millennium Falcon’s Holo-chess table as well as some very Empire-esque looking lights
* TMZ released a bunch of photos from the Abu Dhabi set
* A mysterious source leaked about 30 concept art pictures as well



NOVEMBER 1st, 2014 > Will Htay, member of the production, reveals that the warp party — the unofficial end of production — is happening this night:



NOVEMBER 6th, 2014 > Today marks the Official end of Star Wars: Episode VII principal photography and the beginning of post-production. Along with this Official announcement fans the world over are surprised as the Official Star Wars site reveals the secret subtitle to the world and forevermore Episode VII will be known as . . .



What do we think of the subtitle — The Force Awakens? Does it work with all the other titles?


Pomojema: It’s good, and I think people will like it more once we have the movie to explain the context/significance of the subtitle. Nonetheless, anyone who thinks the fake name of “The Ancient Fear” was at all a better title needs to have their head examined. I think it meshes well with the other names.


DEKKA129: I like it. While it may not be QUITE like any other Star Wars subtitle, it certainly creates an image that is simultaneously evocative and ambiguous, which I like. Plus, it has the added advantage of reflecting the rebirth of the Star Wars franchise, which I suppose makes it seem a bit more like the product of a marketing department than a creative team. But when you get right down to it, is it really any less “Star Wars-ey” a title than A New Hope? (Seriously, imagine if back in the mid-‘70s Lucas had tried to market the original film as a science fantasy epic called . . . A New Hope. How far do you think he’d have gotten?)


Jason: I think it is probably the least fun of the titles. It feels more like a publishing title than a film title to me. As time goes forward, it has become more impossible to imagine the film being named anything else and eventually it will be weird it ever seemed weird to me, I’m sure. That said, I prefer the pulpy titles a little more than this. But hey, if it fits the film, it fits the film.


Viral Hide: I like the title. It works very well with the new Disney era. After all the franchise has awakened and we need a new force for that.


And with that grand news the Star Wars: The Force Awakens production ends and begins the year’s long journey through post-production. Join us on the last leg of this Writer’s Roundtable as we of the Blogosphere crank the hype machine to lightspeed toward December 18th of 2015!

+ posts

30 thoughts on “Star Wars: The Force Awakens Production In Review! Writer’s Roundtable Volume 2 (Part 2 of 3)

  • January 4, 2015 at 8:21 pm


    • January 4, 2015 at 8:29 pm

      You’re not on Kendall Jenner’s Instagram.

  • January 4, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    I for one love the title. It adds to the mystery that is the sequal trilogy!

  • January 4, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    spin offs will feature some serious chart music…rumor has it that no other than britney spears will write the main theme, yay!!

    • January 4, 2015 at 10:25 pm

      Han and Lando’s standalone will feature 70s-80s funk music classics, like:

      – Brick House – The Commodores
      – Tear the Roof Off the Sucker/Give Up the Funk – Parliament
      – Theme from “Shaft” – Isaac Hayes
      – Play That Funky Music (White Boy) – Wild Cherry
      – Super Freak Part I – Rick James
      – Jungle Boogie – Kool & The Gang

      The two of them and Chewie will cruise around the galaxy on the Falcon for chicks and tear it up, Blackstar Warrior-style.

      Ask your mama! @B^{|}>

  • January 4, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    Remember when everyone was shitting on the title? And then the names (some people still are) I think that will all change though.

    I hope that if they do episodes IX – XII that Williams might still be able to score those… though he’d be pushing 90 at that point probably.

    • January 4, 2015 at 9:56 pm

      So…. probably no 6-year Old Republic trilogy break then?

    • January 4, 2015 at 10:27 pm

      Williams style can be duplicated, by other good Composers, its just not common practice amoung professionals to clone that product. Some sci fi low budgets imitate poorly, but it is the Musicians in the end that make the music they are hired to read.
      We will notice a difference I feel, but not by much if they pay the right people.
      It will be unfortunate when he is gone, but he has inspired and mentored other great Composers. After all he pulled off greatness from the temp tracks that Lucas selected from existing composers work, so it will be done again.
      Each film has had some new score tracks but mainly recycled from the first film with slight variation.

      • January 5, 2015 at 1:09 am

        Michael Giacchino’s score for the recent Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was a great example of a composer replicating elements of someone else’s work whilst maintaining their own individual style. MG managed to bring in just little characteristic elements of the original Planet of the Apes score, which just made it all the more magical to watch and hear. Who’s to say someone couldn’t do the same for John Williams?

        I feel that even the spin offs should be kept to that style. Maybe not in a rigid sense that stops them being their own, but at least to an extent that maintains that classic Star Wars feel!

        • January 5, 2015 at 10:31 pm

          I’m sure it will happen.

      • January 5, 2015 at 8:31 pm

        John Williams has signed on to do all three movies. kathleen kennedy said this herself at the last Star Wars celebration.

        • January 5, 2015 at 10:36 pm

          That doesn’t mean he will be finishing what he started. It is going to be almost a decade from when he signed.

  • January 4, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    “A new return of the empire attack against the jedi menace awakens the revenge of the force” would be a better title….

  • January 5, 2015 at 12:18 am

    The Phantom Menace to me was like, “Huh?” when I first heard it.
    Now I total love it.
    The Force Awakens!!!
    The Force aaaaa…
    ……………. n
    ………………. s
    …………………… s

    Its all how you say it.
    Fort Apache THE BRONX!
    Great title that is even stronger than the film.
    The Force Awakens, I’m Excited!!
    The Falcon shot is Adrenaline PUMPED!

  • January 5, 2015 at 12:22 am

    Anyone else who wants to see Chewie have ‘his’ moment? Something like saving a major character or a ‘hand to hand combat scene’ with the major villain or something. Doesn’t have to be long, just get him to the foreground at a surprising moment. I really hope that we’ll have some character development and that he gets his moment to shine. Anyone with me?

    • January 5, 2015 at 12:30 am

      I want to see some Stormtrooper armour getting hurled in front of Camera, a quick, shot no blood necessary.
      I’m with ya on that, oh yeah boyeeee!!!

      • January 5, 2015 at 12:36 am

        I definitely want to see the MIGHTY Chewbacca!!!!
        Its about time to see a very Pissed off Wookie!!!!
        Like the wrecked train door in the Super 8 trailer. I thought the Hulk was in there.

  • January 5, 2015 at 3:05 am

    The title can be The Rainbow Power Force or The Force Hatched and people will still love it.

    • January 5, 2015 at 10:52 pm

      Not really, its just that all the films have few flaws. In comparisons to other franchises, Star Wars is strong with great creators, all of the titles are fine.
      I would like to see Rainbow Force lightning!!!!

  • January 5, 2015 at 5:03 am

    It should’ve been called ” Force REAwakening”

  • January 5, 2015 at 5:08 am

    Because it was almost gone with only Luke to carry on & supposedly awakening in 7 & onwards

  • January 5, 2015 at 5:11 am

    star wars: all too easy

  • January 5, 2015 at 5:26 am

    Star wars: death star 3

  • January 5, 2015 at 8:04 am

    i like the force hatched. It would be about the first jedi dewback – clawy taildragger, and then prequils would cover the egg/nest saga.

  • January 5, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    What is the story in episode VII?

  • January 5, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    You may want to consider changing the title of this post and similar posts in the future- Its very misleading to call it a writers roundtable while showing an actual picture of the Lucas Film writers. It may be more appropriate to call it a bloggers roundtable. Furthermore, if someone is not in the know as to who the writers for this site are, they might actually think that these people have some connection to the Star Wars universe in an official capacity because this article does not state who these writers are and why they are qualified to speak on the topics they are speaking.


    • January 5, 2015 at 10:46 pm

      It was not that distracting, you are being too technical. This is an internet BLOG, not ground breaking Journalism.
      The pic is fine, and this site is not misleading to that it is a Disney/ Lucasfilm site.

  • January 5, 2015 at 8:08 pm


    • January 5, 2015 at 10:38 pm


  • January 5, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    The best thing about last fall is the leak. Ward’s “descriptions” were and still are shatty.

    I expect nothing less from someone who is unemployed living in his father-in-law’s Vallejo guesthouse while his pregnant wife works 16 hours a day.

Comments are closed.