UPDATE! Star Wars: The Force Awakens to Skip Early Awards Shows. AFI Pushes Awards Back to Consider Late Releases.

star-wars-force-awakens-official-posterSome mostly unsurprising news from The Wrap today that Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be skipping over the early parts of awards season in what is presumed to be an effort to maintain the secrecy of the plot and avoid spoiler leaks and pirated copies of the film.



This news comes as Disney has decided not to screen The Force Awakens for the National Board of Review on December 1st. This competition kicks off the lengthy awards season and can be an early indicator for Oscar buzz. Additionally, the Wrap states the new Star Wars film won’t screen for the New York or Los Angeles Film Critics Awards either. This comes after it was revealed a while back that general critics screenings will either not occur or be held until after the world premiere.


Although, moves like this can sometimes indicate a lack of quality in the film, it seems unlikely to be the reason here. This seems to be more of a practical maneuver.  As The Wrap points out, Star Wars doesn’t need critic buzz to promote box office. At this point, critics are more likely to do harm than good in terms of promoting the film, so there is no advantage to Disney screening it early. Additionally, these early critic awards are generally reserved for more obscure movies that the critics think deserve more attention than they would receive otherwise. Big budget tentpoles rarely perform well in these sorts of awards unlike the bigger awards shows like the Golden Globes or Academy Awards where big movies occasionally cross over and earn accolades.

harisson-ford-jj-abrhamsAs to those bigger awards shows, this move doesn’t necessarily limit any chances there either. The early parts of awards season can help boost a smaller film’s Oscar chances by giving it additional publicity and awareness within the academy voters. But with a giant film like Star Wars, if for some reason it resonates and gets into the Oscar conversation, it will not suffer for lack of awareness and therefore would still stand a chance of getting nominations.


But even getting nominations is going to be a big task for The Force Awakens.   In any year, a big budget tentpole receiving nominations outside of the technical categories (special effects, sound, makeup etc…) is a difficult challenge. But when a genre film does slip through and get some nominations in the big categories, there will usually only be one of them. With early movements and buzz supporting films like Mad Max: Fury Road (Action) and The Martian (Sci-Fi) some of the bases of what Star Wars brings are already covered. Star Wars would have to surpass the critical buzz around those movies to get its spot. In addition, the Academy is generally against rewarding sequels in ongoing franchises. Even mainstays like John Williams might have some problems getting on the board due to the Academy’s subjective and perpetually shifting criteria that restricts nominations for films that reuse previously written music.


None of this is to say that Star Wars won’t win any awards. Only that the need for secrecy, Hollywood politics, and the fact that it is a sequel are all playing against it on the awards front. So, any awards victories outside of few special effects or makeup nominations are going to present a big challenge. So, neither Disney nor the audiences will likely be looking to awards validation to see if The Force Awakens is a great movie. That will be left to the audiences to decide, as it should be.


Source: The Wrap





It seems that Disney’s game of chicken with the awards ceremonies has caused at least one group to push back the date of its ceremony.  According to The Hollywood Reporter AFI has moved their best of the year awards back from December 7th to December 16th to consider the large volume of late releases this year. THR’s headline indicates this is being done so that Star Wars: The Force Awakens can be considered, but the article also points out that two other films with early buzz, David O. Russell’s Joy and Alejandro G. Inarritu’s The Revenant, would also be impacted by this change.  But regardless of the reasoning, Star Wars will at least now be eligible for consideration by the AFI.



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36 thoughts on “UPDATE! Star Wars: The Force Awakens to Skip Early Awards Shows. AFI Pushes Awards Back to Consider Late Releases.

  • November 12, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    I think this is one of the only issues I agree with George Lucas on:
    “Star Wars is so good, it doesn’t need awards….”

    • November 12, 2015 at 5:05 pm

      The Academy Awards are a joke anyways. Go back and try to watch some of the Oscar winners for best picture in the last 50 years and tell me they were the best films that year. Usually they are so off base it’s hilarious.

      • November 12, 2015 at 6:45 pm

        English Patient FTW!

      • November 12, 2015 at 8:11 pm

        Agreed. Crash. The Artist. The Hurt Locker. Do we even remember these films?

        • November 12, 2015 at 8:59 pm

          The fact that LEGO Movie didn’t even get nominated for best animated film tells you all you need to know about the Academy Awards.

          • November 12, 2015 at 10:37 pm

            Tale of Princess Kaguya was a far better film than the Lego Movie. And that’s the one that would have been left out if it had been nominated.

        • November 12, 2015 at 9:26 pm

          Crash is pretty awful but The Artist and The Hurt Locker are damn good films.

          • November 12, 2015 at 9:43 pm

            They might be. But they had no cultural or historical impact. If in 50 years we look back and see the films that have won Oscars lately, they do not represent where films are right now, or what our culture is right now, or how the art is evolving. Contrast that to, for instance, the films that won in the 70’s or 30’s and you see those eras in film clearly represented.

  • November 12, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    Perfectly fine with this as the Academy is a joke. Even Disney knows it’s secrecy is more important than an award show that wont recognize them with anything anyway aside from MAYBE visuals.

    • November 12, 2015 at 7:18 pm

      Right. Neither Disney nor Lucasfilm need the praise from the Academy.
      Besides, even if the movie were to become the greatest movie of all time, the Academy would never consider it because of it being too mainstream.

        • November 13, 2015 at 8:01 pm

          And, it wouldn’t have made a bit of difference if those films weren’t recognized by the Academy.

          • November 15, 2015 at 5:42 pm

            Sure but that was not the point, your point was that the Academy would never consider a mainstream movie

          • November 17, 2015 at 10:43 pm

            Plus the Original Star Wars. It was nominated for best director, best original screenplay and even best picture.

        • November 17, 2015 at 11:58 pm

          Dark Knight was a special circumstance though.

          LOTR was a film nobody thought could be made because of its source material.

          Avatar did that 3D thing that we don’t like as much now, but back then it was ‘innovative’.

    • November 12, 2015 at 8:47 pm

      Well, does that mean it will be apart of next years movies? If not, then all it really has to contend with is Mad Max. The rest is superhero CGI and the like. And i don’t know….. with the nostalgia of the OT themes, mixed with the epicness of the new film and new themes (which i am sure will be awesome), Star Wars could get a musical nod.

  • November 12, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    Howard Shore won three Oscars for the Lord of the Rings music despite using previously composed themes. Yet John Williams can only win one Oscar for 7 Star Wars films?

    • November 12, 2015 at 7:02 pm

      That’s why I called the criteria arbitrary. The academy is very inconsistent in how they enforce that rule.

  • November 12, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    I’d like to thank the Imperial Academy…

  • November 12, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    With the incredible amount of energy going into these practical effects I would be shocked if it doesn’t even get a nomination for a technical award.
    I think its Oscar chances are decent overall.
    -Best Visual Effects (Almost guaranteed to at least get a nomination. Every SW except RotS has been up for this.)
    -Best Sound Mixing
    -Best Sound Editing
    -Best Costume Design
    -Best Original score (I mean its John Williams. Highly likely unless the academy feels its too much reused music)
    It doesn’t really matter to me if it wins Oscars as long as its a GOOD, FUN movie, but its always nice to get the acknowledgement. I won’t be shocked either way.

  • November 13, 2015 at 8:31 am

    The Academy Awards are a joke but this film looks to be a very “average” Star Wars film which we haven’t had yet.

    We’ve had great ones like ANH and Empire. We’ve had above average like Jedi and Sith. And we’ve had bad films like Phantom/Clones as well as travesties like the CW film.

    But never a middle of the road film. This film would be lucky to even get nominated for a technical award even if they did put their name in the hat.

  • November 13, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    Star Wars is too good for awards shows. Screw Hollywood they can keep their crappy trophies and little drama one hit wonders. Star Wars is a legacy that will outlive all actors and movies before and after it. We fans know this and the general public will see it too in December

  • November 17, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    If the film isn’t screened for critics before the 18th of next month then I’m sure the producers of Jem and Fantastic Four will breathe a slight sigh of relief.

    • November 17, 2015 at 10:05 pm

      The international poster is also vastly superior to the this one too.

    • November 18, 2015 at 12:46 am

      Well, seeing as how the LA premier is the 14th, and many people (including me) have tickets for the 17th, i am pretty sure critics will see it before then.

      Also, are you referring to special effects or something, in regards to Fantastic Four? if so, they would be screwed either way. Mad Max 😉

      • November 18, 2015 at 2:36 am

        I can’t remember but I don’t think the Clone Wars film was screened and we saw how that one turned out. I cannot name one watchable film that did not have advance reviews.

        Mainly to take the heat off the bad publicity they got from it’s failure. I think a lot of the lifting from ANH in this one is because Disney is scared shitless of making another TPM/AOTC and took the “spirit if the OT” notes far too literally. I think Rogue One will be more what I was expecting in that it will be it’s own thing.

  • November 18, 2015 at 2:12 am

    Let’s see, where could Star Wars score…

    -Best Visual Effects: This should be between Mad Max and Star Wars. Though from what I’ve seen from the trailers, nothing in SW beats MM’s lightning sandstorm sequence.

    -Best Sound Mixing: This should be close between SW, Avengers and Ant Man. With BB-8, it may very well go to Star Wars.

    -Best Costume Design / Best Achievement in Makeup: Mad Max, no doubt. What they pulled off there was amazing. Nearly every costume told a story of its own.

    -Best Original score: Should most likely go to Star Wars, unless the academy goes for some obscure drama film with a miminalist score. (They love their minimal. Unless it’s Philipp Glass. Then they hate it. Because it’s GOOD minimal.) Once again though, Mad Max may run away with it, seeing as how the score was an integral part of the film (the war wagon with the taiko drummers and the blind flamethrower guitarist).

    -Best Editing: could go to Star Wars, but will probably end up going to some weird film no one ever heard of.

    -Best Picture: sadly, not going to happen

    -Best performance in a minor role: here’s hoping Harrison Ford wows everyone

    • November 18, 2015 at 2:38 am

      Star Wars hasn’t won any Academy awards since the 80’s, They also have a strong prejudice towards anything remotely sci-fi or fantasy related, and SW is as mainstream as they come which they also hate. It will be lucky to get a sympathy nod.

      • November 18, 2015 at 8:45 am

        Let’s be fair, the prequels didn’t deserve any awards, except maybe for music. The visuals were terrible, the acting was hammy, and the scripts were atrocious (“I don’t like sand..” “From my point of view the jedi are evil”). The story, while decent by itself, moves abysmally slow, doesn’t have a main character, yet doesn’t go the buddy movie route either (Anakin and Obi Wan rarely do anything but bicker) and doesn’t know what to do with it’s female characters (note how none of the central characters are married and the only female in the trilogy ends up being the downfall of one of the central characters – doesn’t take much to see that Lucas has issues with women). Also, the films all suffer from poor pacing.

        The films alternate between snoozefest with talking and walking and more talking and meeting and then walking agin…and then cgi overkill where the movie assaults your senses with too much random crap (lizard chase scene in EP3).

        I don’t think the academy was biased against Star Wars. An academy award for any of the prequels would have been an insult to any serious movie contending.

        The academy was very kind to Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy (too kind one could say). They seem to not much care for the superhero genre, but aside from Batman and V for Vendetta, none of those were oscar material. Let’s face it, most of them are formulaic 3 act stories. Usually a fun introduction (lifted from the comic), heros either othercome their initial differences or personal trauma and finally face off against a bunch of CGI crap and a boss enemy who falls victim to his hubris after the hero figures out some weakness.

        Anyways, I think Star Wars has a fair chance at the academy awards if the movie ends up wowing people. Which I hope it does. Love me some good space opera

        • November 18, 2015 at 11:47 am

          Haha! No arguement here about the PT, Man! Couldn’t have put it better myself.

          Yeah, LOTR was their token award winner for fantasty fims in the grand tradition of Hollywood PC-ism so they can go “see? We aren’t so biased after all. Praise us for our progressive diverse thinking now.”

          The Academy is nothing if not purely political and the awards almost always go to the “message” films that no one sees and don’t hold up well over time. I mean Citizen Kane got snubbed and Crash took Best Picture is the perfect example of that.

        • November 18, 2015 at 10:00 pm

          Everything you said is highly subjective, not science. This is a subjective opinion based art we are talking about here.

          • November 19, 2015 at 2:42 am

            Movies aren#t all subjective. Art rarely is. For each artform requires a level of craftsmanship, which can be judged objectively. Lighting, pacing, sound mixing, etc are not questions of taste. As someone who worked for a major label, I am very familiar with demos that have bad eq-ing. I developed a program which would even tell me without listening to the song, if it was poorly or well equalized (and i’m not talking loudness war, either).
            Art is math. Da Vinci knew this and illustrated the principle in his vitruvian man.
            The only thing subjective about art is whether or not someone enjoys it.

          • November 19, 2015 at 3:58 am

            Is abstract art math?

  • November 18, 2015 at 5:02 am

    I like it. Leave this movie for us fans to see first. Half the world already bought tickets. Maybe the critics will have to pay to see this one just like the rest of us.

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