As we covered before, actress Daisy Ridley and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy visited Japan, for the very first press conference for Star Wars: The Force Awakens 2 weeks ago. It appears in one of the many interviews, Kathleen Kennedy actually revealed some really cool bits about the upcoming movies that we missed…
Special thanks to our reader TOGO from Japan who pointed us to this article. (And apologies for the sketchy translation – cobbled together from multiple sources and paraphrased by me. Keep in mind that this is not a direct translation, but an interpretation of two imperfect translations – we’re working with what we can here.)
Kotaku: As we get into this epic saga, what research did you do in advance?
Kathleen Kennedy: In order to understand George Lucas’s fictional world and his method for creating it, we spent a considerable amount of time doing research onto what he made. The contents, it is his prior research, which was carried out in order of production, such as about the work that he was affected by, such as Flash Gordon and Akira Kurosawa’s movies. In addition, we looked a lot at early concept art by Ralph McQuarrie; we also went to the San Francisco Lucasfilm archive. The Death Star of the model that was actually used in the movie from the archive in San Francisco can be pulled out, and the Stormtrooper costume can be examined anew. Since the staff there are super Star Wars geeks, they fainted when we stopped by. [Laughs]
Daisy Ridley: Compared to Kathleen, I didn’t do nearly as much research! [Laughs] What I did for the movie was look into how to portray an independent character in a compelling way; what I mainly did for this was to conduct physical training. Reading the script and interpreting Rey’s thoughts and actions were also important, as I wanted to understand what I should show in the film.
Kennedy: Daisy trained with the swordfight choreographer of Game of Thrones.
Kotaku: She did a lot of training in swordfighting as well?
Kennedy: She learned the bōjutsu fighting style. Rey uses the staff she has in the trailer to fight. Daisy’s gotten to be so good at bōjutsu that even grown men on the set fear it. [Laughs]
Kotaku: The movie’s about half a year away. What are the fans going to do during the wait?
Kennedy: We’ll be unveiling the story in stages in the next six months or so. One way of spending time is visiting fan conventions, going to Star Wars exhibitions is another. We’re going to reveal new info step by step, but not necessarily on convention stage.
Kotaku: Ms. Daisy, did you get any advice from the cast that appeared in the previous movies?
Ridley: The cast members of Episode IV gave us great warm love and courage. They noted we were about as old as they were when they filmed A New Hope.
Kotaku: Kathleen, did the various actors and crew members need a lot of convincing to sign up to work on/in the next Star Wars movie?
Kennedy: We weren’t hard to convince – they wanted to join! I got a lot of phone calls, so it was harder to find the people who were not able to participate.
Kotaku: In yesterday’s kick-off meeting, you joked that Jar-Jar does not come back. On that note, will Boba Fett come back? Also, is there a possibility of Ewok re-appearance?
Kennedy: Don’t worry: Boba Fett is a high priority among our list, please wait. But seeing how the Ewoks could return is a little harder to imagine. It is quite difficult to give the many stars of Star Wars their own stories on film.
The interview also clarified that post-production is currently focused on implementing CGI work, and that John Williams has gotten started on scoring the film. This information strongly suggests that the second Star Wars Anthology film will be about Boba Fett – and again, it’s worth noting that Lucas Licensing’s Johnathan Rinzler said he did not die in the Sarlaac. It also appears that Rey will not initially use a lightsaber in the movie, and that the polearm she’s seen carrying in the trailer is her primary weapon.
Bōjutsu (棒術?), translated from Japanese as “staff technique”, is the martial art of using a staff weapon called bō which simply means “staff”. Some techniques involve slashing, swinging, and stabbing with the staff. Others involve using the staff as a vaulting pole or as a prop for hand-to-hand strikes. (via Wiki)
In the next video you can see a simple demonstration of bōjutsu:
And in the next, a bōjutsu technique taken to another level (@ 2:00 min.):
As you probably remember during the Abu Dhabi shoot extras revealed that Daisy Ridley’s character is extremely gymnastic and some of her scenes were being doubled by a dancer called Hannah Collins. Also Daisy has a stunt double – Chloe Bruce. In the following video you can see a training video by Chloe. You can even see her bōjutsu skills (@ 1:35 min.):
We can’t wait to see Daisy Ridley and her bōjutsu in Star Wars: The Force Awakens! 🙂
There is another interview with Ridley from another Japanese magazine. Our friend TOGO gave us a quick recap on the most interesting bits:
Daisy talks that she lifted a 70kg barbell for the preparing for the movie. Her father is dedicated Star Trek fan.
Reminded that love is prohibited by Jedi code, the interviewer asked Daisy which she would choose between love and work? She replied both, with smile.
She likes swimming very much, also she likes to play badminton, table tennis with her father.
Her first SW movie was Phantom Menace on VHS when she was 5 years old.
Her favorite character is Luke Skywalker.