Oscar Isaac Was Researching WWII Pilots in Preparation for his Role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Oscar IsaacIn another interview (this time with IGN), promoting his new movie Ex Machina, actor Oscar Isaac also discussed his role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He spoke about the bond between him and BB-8 and also shared, what it was like working with Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher…



From IGN:


On preparing for the role:

“[Joy] is where J.J. [Abrams] operates from. You know the whole thing is infused with such enthusiasm. Such joy. And I think that I definitely do get to inhabit a lot of that feeling. And I know it sounds weird, but the ecstasy of war, which is something that I read about. I read this book called, ‘What it’s Like to Go to War’, which is literal. And this guy talked about that a lot – particularly with pilots. You know that feeling takes you to this weird, sacred space. It’s this kind of high that happens. But yeah, I think that J.J. just infuses his enthusiasm and his passion for this story in every frame.”


Oscar Isaac and BB-8

On BB-8:

“Well, I mean you’ve seen BB-8! It’s very hard not to bond with that little guy. I mean, it’s amazing. It’s an amazing design, too. I mean, just everybody that worked to make him come to life – or to make it come to life. Let’s not give it a gender. It was just so cool to witness that.”

Quite naturally, BB-8 and R2 are now being compared – there’s enough love in fans hearts for both, though – and Isaac assures that, “BB-8 definitely has its own modes of expression that are very unique.”

On working with Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher

“You need to give over to the relationship,” the actor reflected. “I mean there is that moment when I first would walk on the set and just see what was there and see them in costume. Or visit set and see them. And those would be sort of pinch yourself moments. Like, ‘Wow, how did I even end up here?’ So that would be pretty surreal, but then it’s like you almost need that extra bit of energy to compartmentalize and approach it like any other job. Even though in the back of your head you know this is not any other job. In order to function properly and do your job properly you kind of have to diminish the thing.”



For the full interview go to IGN.


*images via Collider


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Founder of SWNN, MNN and The Cantina forums.Born on April 24, 1980.

30 thoughts on “Oscar Isaac Was Researching WWII Pilots in Preparation for his Role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

  • April 23, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    I really like this guy. I feel like he has a personality similar to Han Solo’s, but he’s a really down-to-earth kind of guy.

    • April 23, 2015 at 4:18 pm

      Yeah, I’m thinking he’s somewhere between Solo and Wedge Antilles.. probably more towards Antilles.

      • April 23, 2015 at 10:59 pm

        So he’s somewhere between important main character whose a smuggler looking to make a quick buck and becomes a hero of the course of the story and unimportant canon fodder with all of Six to seven lines in the entire OT?

        All they have in common is being pilots, as far as we know.

        • April 24, 2015 at 4:34 am

          Wedge? The guy who didn’t even get a medal on Yavin? He’s the real selfless hero.

    • April 23, 2015 at 5:51 pm

      He’s a great actor too! He reminds me of a young Al Pacino from his Godfather/Dog Day Afternoon/Serpico heyday.

      • April 23, 2015 at 7:45 pm

        even the lil yell of adrenaline in the xwing cockpit was like hell yes, gives a teeny sense of the energy i think this movie will have. NOT a prequel basher, enjoyed them, but admittedly they were lacking an energy from the actors. what ive seen of boyega and this guy are very encouraging. there seems to be a big sense of urgency, energy, desperation, call it what you will, in what lil we’ve seen in the two trailers….

        • April 23, 2015 at 9:48 pm

          They were obviously given more free reign to add something to their characters, to portray their characters more how they wanted, if they felt like something was missing. His interviews as himself make me really excited to see Poe Dameron on -creen. I feel like he’ll be a big fan-favourite.

        • April 24, 2015 at 9:25 am

          They are faster and more intense 😀

  • April 23, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    I still can’t spot his facial scar they confirmed in the 5 pics we have of him

  • April 23, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    maybe it occurs in the film? part of the story i Mean?

  • April 23, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    It’s really cool that he’s doing his homework for the role, & I love that SW is returning to it’s WW2 roots 🙂

    A bit of slightly sad info for model enthusiasts…
    Yesterday Wacky Bantha shared the following link from StarWars.com that includes high res images of shots from the new trailer. (scroll down to “image gallery”)


    I took a close look at the new star destroyer (flying in space)… and it appears that it is entirely CGI. If you compare it to high res pics of OT star destroyer models, the most notable differences are the window lights (on the models they are much brighter) and the dileniation is a lot fuzzier on the CGI version (like you can make out real clearly where objects with lots of polygons are casting shadows on the model, and the overall contrast level is more intense on the models). All that being said, the CGI actually does look pretty good on my TV set but when it’s up on the IMAX screen?

    I know a lot of people will think this is nitpicky, though if push came to shove I would have preferred to see CGI used for fighters instead of capitol ships. In the film “interstellar” a model was used for the endurance ship; it was absolutely stunning in IMAX. I can see why CGI would be a necessity for rendering certain objects on the new Star Destroyer, as the high res version also shows tons of moving turrets & the lighting in the hangar bays is more realistic. Speaking of which… there are now extra hangars on the rear sides of the ship… and escort shuttles we see in that shot are also present on the exploding hangar scene in the other part of the teaser. I just wish it would have been a model mixed with CGI… well perhaps there might be others.

    I also think the shot with the SSD is CGI but in that case it is *extremely* difficult to tell.

    (*potential spoiler*)
    BTW the shot with the chrome trooper… to the left the wall looks like rock being illuminated with a red light… potentially the markings of a structure attached to a mountain. I think that she’s walking inside of the interior of the imperial structure we see in the other part of the teaser (with the crowd of storm troopers & leader)… I have a feeling that’s the “evil castle” we heard about in other rumors.

    • April 23, 2015 at 7:25 pm

      Parade Ground falls away….planet-based weapon…..sith army….luke missing. the puzzle pieces are starting to come together.

      • April 23, 2015 at 9:55 pm

        I heard that Luke is missing.
        That means he is in the Exile?

        • April 25, 2015 at 8:34 am

          Imprisoned in a way that if he is released, the whole planet will be compromised.

    • April 23, 2015 at 7:51 pm

      I think it might be a model just cgi superimposed into the shot because what’s the use of JJ saying “build as much as possible” then use cgi completly when they could have just made it a model then blue screen it in the background? Also I love have dirty and gritty BB8 is.

    • April 23, 2015 at 8:05 pm

      Interesting analysis on the new Star Destroyer. I think it looks very model like if you look at the second-top structure where the light hits. Whats irritating is the color abberation at the very front end. It probably goes the same proportion during the whole model, while in reality it should go with the perspective. Whats also telling is the motion blur on the foreground elements (ships). In the end it looks very model like but the illusion could be damaged due those details. In the end it does not even matter, just how it looks, even contextual. Fake can look real, vice versa.
      The Star Destroyer looks real. The illusion/composition… Cgi

      • April 23, 2015 at 8:50 pm

        Oh yeah for sure BB8 is fantastic! I was blown away when I saw the video of his reveal @ celebration. I love the sound too… very good contrast to R2’s beeps and bloops. Ben Burtt’s been busy 🙂

        Man you are right, it does look very model like where the light hits. I wish we could get a 4k shot to ultra analyze (it’s very hard to tell if some artifacts are just from lower res screencapture in motion). Post processing might have made a lot of alterations as well, which might account for some artifacts… in context of the full movie it might be more visually pleasing. One other part that looks CGI-ish to me is the underbelly on the right side with the red-ish hue, the protrusions/ structures on that side look a little fuzzy to me. I guess we’ll know for sure if post Ep VII release a “making of” video comes out showing models. 😀

        All I know right now is that lucasfilm is making extensive use of an advanced 3D printer… I’m guessing to build insanely complex objects that would take way too many man hours to construct (the crashed SSD could be a good example of that, it’s an extremely complex shot). I can’t wait to see whatever that printer made.

        Some other things in the photos that look * very* real to me is the scene with the First Order rally, the gun turrets & tie & huge structure look like they are there. The exploding bridge scene… I’d almost be surprised if the tie flying there was actually on set… but if it’s CGI then I’d say CGI has come a long way.

        When all is said & done everything does look real, I’m just being nitpicky. I pretty much got everything I wanted out of this film (non cgi-stormtroopers, star destroyers, & crashed Star destroyers)(haha). If the story/script is solid then I’m sold… but star destroyer models would just be the icing on the cake for me.

          • April 23, 2015 at 8:57 pm

            If I was in post processing the only thing I’d change about that SD model would be to adjust the lighting on the left front ledge (there appears to be a small hangar there as well?) as it’s the only telltale sign of scale. Man I gotta find more pics of these Star Destoryer models.

  • April 23, 2015 at 7:48 pm

    well as much as an emphasis is being placed on practical effects, theres still gonna be a ton of cgi. and thats FINE. use whatever tools you need. the fact that the settings and locations appear to be mostly real is great. if they need to cgi some ships, details, background things that are otherwise impossible with practical, its fine…i wouldnt worry how they arrive at the effects, alil good ole suspension of belief and the quality im sure we’ll get should turn out fine….

  • April 23, 2015 at 9:14 pm

    I’m a bit afraid BB8 is sort of a JarJar version of R2D2. Acting as if it’s a child.

  • April 23, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    Some thoughts on Poe; in the new teaser, the first face we see after Luke’s VO says “You have that power too” is Poe. With Oscar talking about researching about fighter pilots getting into this kind of war exstacy, it almost sounds like he was trying to get into the headspace of someone who really gets into the zone when in a dogfight; fighting, destroying, etc.

    I always thought it would be better if Anakin turned to the darkside from a more internal and organic place- like, being the best pilot in the galaxy, he of course became cocky but also came to love the “darkness” of fightning, killing, destroying. This better than the superficial orphan/don’t want to lose those I love thing that played out.

    Perhaps Poe is a Skywalker/Solo with force abilities, and we will eventually see him (in subsequent films) turn to the darkside, and this “rush” he gets from flying and being in battle will grow into something dangerous.

    • April 23, 2015 at 11:10 pm

      Ya that would explain why his name is Poe Dameron and he’s not seen doing anything but piloting an X-Wing I could totally see them throwing in some convoluted back-story where he ends up being a Skywalker because that Vader being Anakin and Luke and Leia brother and sister wasn’t something they cooked up after the fact at all.

      Maybe he’ll even make out with Rey and have no idea she’s his first cousin if not sister.

  • April 24, 2015 at 2:34 am

    I feel like Oscar Isaac fits Poe’s role perfectly. Oscar is studying a role of a fighter pilot which will make it look like he belongs in that X-wing.

    • April 24, 2015 at 4:06 am

      hey there SB, your trailer was amazing, thanks for sharing, the editing was great brother, i can imagine JJ having seen this already lol hey thanks! put a smile on my day, awesome mate

  • April 24, 2015 at 3:47 am


  • April 24, 2015 at 4:20 am

    I soooooooo agree Brian, I feel that to and my father has it (true that) TFA is going to be epically awesome! to the power of infinity… and beyond! Ohhh Noooo! now there are more than two of them! Oh please please, make it a legion of dark knights, can you imagine having the feel of the Old Republic thrown in Wow! Yes! possible revelations, has me feeling reservedly excited lol

  • April 24, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    In my opinion it’s pretty obvious that the destroyed superstar destroyer in the second trailer is CGI. it’s possible that they used a background plate for the desert.. But both the surface complexity on the SSD in the highlights and the full rendering of detail in the shadows is too flat, almost like a HDR image. i’ve noticed that a lot of digital renderings often look flat and I think it’s partly because you lose the chiaroscuro that hides and binds the image abstractly, When there are spaces that are difficult to delineate in an image they abstract and meld together to become incredibly mysterious. The first Alien movie used shadow to great effect. I didn’t like the quick Zoom Abrams used which I also assume is a kind or easy way to shows two different scales quickly but it comes off to me as almost parody, like he’s trying manufacture the effect of somebody who spotted a dogfight with a shaky handheld camera and quickly and zoomed in. IMO the best scene in the trailer was the tie shooting up the hangar bay, nothing looks CGI to me the only thing there was maybe the forced perspective that makes the hanger seem longer then it actually is. I would imagine with this scene there is probably late additions of CGI like the space in the background but over I was really impressed with it. in my opinion the best science-fiction special-effects recently was interstellar. I didn’t like the movie but nothing other then the waves made the feel like there was CGI used. Unfortunately with this Star Wars movie I think we’re going to get a lot of CGI for spaceships. it’s the best place to use CGI because you can circulate around the CGI model in a way that you couldn’t if it was a real model, but still not ideal.

    • April 24, 2015 at 7:35 pm

      The other thing I wanted to mention is I don’t think CGi is in-itself is a problem. in reality a movie like Star Wars is an edit of a multiplicity of different types of images. What becomes a problem for me is the disjunction between say a close-up of Rays face or the texture of a real explosion that is then quickly juxtapose with a CGI image. In actuality they’re very different types of image constructions and surfaces that produces a disjunction. It can produce the worst kind of kitch because the editor tries to smooth over what essentially can’t be smoothed over. So what you have in the end is a kind of false unity of images that creates a kind of uncanny affect. it’s this strange tension that that pulls you out of the experience of the movie.

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