Warwick Davis on The Force Awakens, Celebration and More.


Warwick Davis talks about his love for the Star Wars series, how he compares filming ‘The Force Awakens’  to ‘The Phantom Menace’ and shares some thoughts on Celebration in London. Read on for more.



Star Wars star Warwick Davis will appear at Star Wars Celebration in London this month as the host of the special 3-day event. The veteran actor, best known for his portrayal of Wicket the Ewok in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, recently returned to the galaxy far, far way playing the character Wollivan in J.J. Abrams’ blockbuster smash hit Star Wars: The Force Awakens. His career spans more than three decades and also includes starring roles in films such as Lucasfilm’s fantasy epic ‘Willow’, the masterful Harry Potter series and the fan favorite Labyrinth.


In an interview with ‘The Independent’ published on Thursday, the British film star spoke about why he still loves the Star Wars series, offered up a little about the upcoming Celebration Europe in London and how Star Wars: The Force Awakens has attracted a whole new generation of fans.


From the Independent


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Independent: Talking about our love for Star Wars, when did yours begin?

Davis: When I was seven and went to see Star Wars in the cinema. Prior to that, I think I’d seen Bambi, which is a great film. But when you see Star Wars its this whole new thing, and from that point, I loved going to movies. I wouldn’t say it was a moment where I wanted to be an actor or a filmmaker. A lot of people say it changed their lives and gave them the answer to what career they should have, but for me it was just, I love that film. I remember reciting, almost word for word, the whole thing to my mum. It’s interesting looking back at that time and not know Star Wars would be such a massive part of my life and career, for the last 35 years now. Because there aren’t many projects that you do in your career which you continually talk about and feel like you just worked on. It’s an honour.


Independent: Simon Pegg said a similar thing before he was in Star Wars. He didn’t want to be in it because it might take away that magic.

Davis: I didn’t have a chance to worry about it, because when I was in Return of the Jedi I was 11. It was, of course, a chance to get closer to this thing that I love. It was like ‘Wow, I get to go and be part of that Star Wars universe now and interact with my heroes’. If anything, it has enhanced my experience of it. To go to these things, like Star Wars Celebration, to talk about Star Wars, I have to be a fan of it, because hosting events would be hard without having a passion and sharing that with the fans. It’s not the hardest thing in the world to sit there and talk about it when you’re a fan.



Independent: You’re hosting the Star Wars Celebration. How does doing an event for a singular franchise compare with doing those for multiple franchises, such as Comic-Con?

Davis: It’s more focused – a huge number of people sharing one thing they enjoy – it’s a lot more focused. It’s a lot more than just the films; it’s the toys, the video games, everything surrounding it. It’s not even just a particular age group, the demographic is very wide. Now you’ve got Episode VII, with more fans, and people like me, who grew up watching the classic trilogy. A real community of people who have grown up with these films. They’re the ones who come to these events, share stories, memories, and enjoy everything Star Wars has to offer still. And now we’re into this whole new set of films because we had this period where there wasn’t anything new, but the fans were still there, still loyal, but nothing new to get particularly excited about. Now you have the movies, everything, so it’s an exciting time to be a Star Wars fan.


Rogue One 15


Independent: There’s so much coming out, Rogue One and Episode VIII, it’s like, after so many years, just waiting for the prequel trilogy, it’s all come at once.

Davis: It’s too much at once! We don’t know which way to turn because we have Rogue One, then Episode VIII, then Han Solo, then the new video-game. It’s feast or famine in this situation, but here we are. At the Celebration, we have many discussions going on about Rogue One, Episode VIII and Han Solo, with lots of exclusives.


Independent: Speaking of the new projects, are you in either Rogue One or Episode VIII?

Davis: I can’t discuss that or can talk about any of the future films I’m afraid.


The Phantom Menace


Independent: Never mind, worth a shot! Let’s talk about your past work then, because you were in Phantom Menace in multiple roles, including playing Yoda and one of Anakin’s friends. How did working on that film compare to working on Phantom Menace? Because you were with George Lucas on one, then JJ Abrams on the other, was there a different feeling on set?

Davis: The reason those films were different was because of the techniques used. Phantom Menace was a film exploring new technologies. We had the use of CG which was very prominent. For me, as a performer, and some of the other actors, we had very little to work with. Many of the sequences were simply a green screen environment, and you had to imagine everything you were going to see. We had storyboards, sometimes animated ones to give us a sense of what was around us. I thought it was all amazing, the technology, giving the freedom to the filmmaker in that sense.

Going onto Episode VII it felt a lot more like a traditional filmmaking process again. The reason for that was Kathleen Kennedy, she said ‘When we go into Episode VII I’m going to use all the tools in the toolbox’. In other words, you’ve got CG, you’ve got puppeteering, you’ve got creature performers, you’ve got model making; all these techniques that have been used over the years and been honed by Star Wars. To take all of these techniques and use the most suitable application to whatever you’re trying to make, that’s the way to go. Not just to try and use one technique just because you can. You have to ask ‘what’s the best way to make this particular thing work’. Sometimes it’s a case of all of those techniques, and I think that’s what made Episode VII feel traditional, like the Star Wars I remember seeing when I was seven. There are elements of green screen, but it was great seeing puppeteers and performers working together to create these characters. It’s fascinating, because when you see these CG characters on screen, they’re amazing, but as a human being you look at these characters and there’s this lifelessness to them. Look at a performer in a suit, there a subconscious something from that performance that makes you believe there is life in it.




Independent: Episode VII, not just the effects but the story, all harkened back to those older Star Wars films.

Davis: It was celebrating what came before but to move on to the next chapter, and it did it brilliantly. I think that’s because it involved humour, not taking itself too seriously at times, which is what people love. Because we love that retrospective, not taking itself seriously, which is all a bit bonkers, but are we having a good time or what. That’s what I remember Star Wars being and I think it captured it so well.


Independent: Your daughter was also in The Force Awakens. Does she share your enthusiasm for the series?

Davis: Well, she’s grown up with Star Wars. She was born when I was doing Phantom Menace. My wife normally comes with me to these locations, but she couldn’t as she was pregnant with Annabelle. Of course, when she was older we revisited those films, and she comes to these events with us. It’s more normal than something she’s chosen to follow, but she was excited to be in it. She got the part before I did. And she loves seeing it, and the further expanded stuff, like graphic novels that involve her character, so it’s exciting for her to see the characters take on a life of their own outside the film. That’s what’s interesting about Star Wars as you can be a minor character in the film, but then outside be quite a major character outside of it. Boba Fett is a great example, where initially he doesn’t have a huge amount of screen time, but his life beyond the movies is huge.




Independent: There were rumours there was going to be a Boba Fett spin-off film, which is crazy when you think he only had five minutes of screen time before being eaten in Return of the Jedi.

Davis: But many fans do profess he is still not dead. I don’t know whether he didn’t get digested or he managed to get out, but I do enjoy telling fans he is definitely dead. Just trust us on that. But they won’t have it – who knows how he got out.


Independent: It’s great that you’ve embraced Star Wars because many people in these sort of projects try and leave them behind.

Davis: I think you have to embrace them. I’ve embraced everything I’ve been in in my career. I don’t think I’ve ever done anything I want to just sweep under the carpet because it’s all lovely. Star Wars more than any, Harry Potter a close second, I have embraced that. I don’t think a day goes by when I don’t end up talking about or doing something that relates to Star Wars in some way. There are so many facets that I enjoy, which is fascinating. Imagine being in a project that you didn’t like, that kept coming back to haunt you, that would be horrendous. Fortunately, I do enjoy it.



For the full interview go to Independent


Star Wars Celebration takes place at London ExCeL centre 15th July-17th July. For tickets and more information, visit here.


Stay tuned to Star Wars News Net – your Force for news – for more of the latest and greatest stories related to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and everything else in the Galaxy Far, Far Away.


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58 thoughts on “Warwick Davis on The Force Awakens, Celebration and More.

  • July 9, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    First Anthony Daniels, now another prequel actor confirms the overabundance of green screen and CG overkill on the making of those movies and the lifelessness of it all.

    • July 10, 2016 at 12:24 am

      lot of movies have greenscreen.

      • July 12, 2016 at 12:10 am

        That doesn’t make them any better.

        • July 12, 2016 at 12:27 am

          And it doesn’t make them any worse.

          • July 12, 2016 at 3:24 am

            Of course it does. Filming actors in a real environment will always look better and be better for the acting performances then filming them in front of nothing.

          • July 12, 2016 at 4:32 am

            No, that’s a silly thing to say. It’s a tool and depending on how it is used can either help or hurt the movie.

            Examples: https://i.vimeocdn.com/video/443540612_1280x720.jpg




            Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, harry Potter, 300, Sin City and countless more used green screen and had great performances.

            It is not evil, it is not good. It’s merely what you make of it. That’s a fact.

          • July 12, 2016 at 7:19 am

            It’s not silly at all. It’s common sense. No computer rendering or animation can beat the real thing. It can only be an imitation. The human eye is very good at detecting artificiality. 300 looked like a glorified video game. More often than not, it hurts the movie.

          • July 12, 2016 at 4:06 pm

            You are missing the point. 300 to use your own example, accomplished exactly what it set out to. You may not like, which is fine, but it was going for that look, of a moving comic book. And it was a large part of its appeal and success. And the performances were not wooden or bad b/c of green screen.

            It’s just a tool. Good day.

          • July 13, 2016 at 10:14 pm

            So you’re saying the actors sucked?

            Or weren’t given proper direction?

            Because that’s what we’re boiling it down to.

          • July 14, 2016 at 1:13 am

            Yep. Pretty much. Lucas wasn’t as concerned with dialogue and said so many times. So he didn’t care as much and some of them couldn’t handle the dialogue.

          • July 15, 2016 at 1:33 pm

            Therefore…..bad movie.

          • July 15, 2016 at 2:54 pm

            In your opinion. Dialogue doesn’t make a movie. It’s simply another tool. Drive doesn’t have much dialogue, but it is terrific. Mad Max as well.
            The PT has issues for sure, but there isn’t one thing you can point to. It’s a variety of factors.

          • July 16, 2016 at 3:24 pm

            Yep, a variety of things to list. Therefore….

          • July 19, 2016 at 12:14 am

            Yes, I am not denying the PT is bad. But…IT’S NOT BECAUSE OF CGI.

          • July 18, 2016 at 6:17 am

            Lmfao. “Lucas wasn’t concerned with dialogue”. Or acting, emotion, writing, direction, cinematography, heart, story, and everything else that makes a movie good. But he does love him some computers.

          • July 19, 2016 at 12:13 am

            And that’s a comment from someone who knows absolutely nothing.

    • July 10, 2016 at 3:43 am

      He never said there was an overkill, and clearly you’ve never watched the BTS videos. The Phantom Menace and others had plenty of practical effects that people think are CG.

      • July 12, 2016 at 12:09 am

        I have watched all the BTS vids. The actors have said that blue/green screen was everywhere and “a nightmare.”

        • July 12, 2016 at 11:43 am

          And how many of the actors involved had used greenscreen before? Not many.

          • July 12, 2016 at 2:00 pm


          • July 13, 2016 at 3:25 am

            Wrong, totally relevant.

          • July 14, 2016 at 3:12 pm

            No relevance whatsoever. The amount of experience the actors had filming on green screen does not change the fact either way that green screen was ridiculously overused.

          • July 15, 2016 at 4:52 am

            But it is not overused, as that much greenscreen has become normal.

          • July 15, 2016 at 3:05 pm

            It was totally overused. And the fact that other films do it doesn’t make it any less terrible.

  • July 9, 2016 at 8:56 pm


    • July 13, 2016 at 10:13 pm

      I do want more of those long-faced dinosaur looking things.

  • July 9, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    ‘When we go into Episode VII I’m going to use all the tools in the toolbox’… Except maybe writing a good, original script to begin with…

    • July 10, 2016 at 12:34 am

      using the “toolbox” terminology for a movie is aleady terrible, that woman thinks Star Wars is an old car that needs a paintjob, and that’s it, you can sell it as brand new car at high price. SHe doesn’t understand art creativity, or beauty, it’s all about cold hard cash

    • July 18, 2016 at 6:14 am

      I don’t think you understand the word original

  • July 9, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    man oh man, Is it just me or does it seem that more and more haters are taking over the chatboard?

    • July 9, 2016 at 9:34 pm

      From what I can see, it’s the same seven or so people saying the same thing on repeat. It gives the illusion that there are more of them then there really are.

      • July 9, 2016 at 9:40 pm

        ah ok. I didnt’t look that well at them, but This has always been a nice place to chat with fellow fans and even have discussions and disagreements on a friendly level, but for a while now youve got these people that are negative just to heckle instead of forming opinions or discus in a normal way, like gerry blue….

    • July 9, 2016 at 10:07 pm

      Yeah, it’s unfortunate, but thank goodness for the new blocking feature Disqus implemented a few weeks ago.

    • July 9, 2016 at 11:17 pm

      No, it’s TFA fanboys that don’t tolerate opinions that differ from the mindless cheerleading. There was and still is a lot of hate on the prequels, I myself don’t like them, but George Lucas never tried to suppress criticism. Now we have Disney shills who cry every time TFA and the Disney stuff gets called out for what it is, a complete disaster and the killing of a franchise.

      • July 9, 2016 at 11:22 pm

        I think the unfortunate thing is how rude and disrespectful a lot of the TFA negativity is though. It doesn’t support the notion of them being well adjusted human beings in all honesty. Using derogatory words like “fanboys” and assuming they’re “mindless” is a good example.

      • July 9, 2016 at 11:56 pm

        Do you even followed the official records the film gained?

      • July 10, 2016 at 12:23 am

        Case in point.

      • July 10, 2016 at 12:52 am

        yeah ehmmmm A : i like TFA and i can tolerate opinions different then mine (and lots of people like me can). B : Hate is a big word but story wise they are terrible done, just to be clear, on an execution level, even actors in the movies have said in (in nice ways), now on an FX level its something else, ILM is a leader in that world thanks partly to what they had to do on those films C: killing of a franchise???? unfounded opinion like that which is your opinion but defanetly not a worldwide opinion (as generally saying the prequals are terrible is) D: ehmmm ok, so they shouldnt do cool things for children and such? E: Ill give you the “let go of my hand” sentence ray said, yes that was stupid. PS I do remember now that you are one of those haters that keep on commenting negatively on everything posted so this is my first and last reply to you 😉 peace, love and understanding

        • July 10, 2016 at 1:58 am

          TFA fails in every department, even on the FX level. I was unimpressed by the visual effects, it brings nothing new to the table, it’s an average sci-fi movie just like Star Trek. The look of a film like Guardians of the Galaxy is better than TFA. For example the Falcon chase on Tatooine, I mean Jakku, it looked like a videogame cutscene, totally unrealistic ship movement. Maz castle attack and destruction, dull and boring. And the anti climatic Strakiller base assault that nobody can remember because it was ultra boring and had zero tension. The film was a CGI crapfets just like the Avengers. Now consider the prequels were made in 1999, it was innovative back then, even Jar Jar Binks motion capture was new. Now it’s easy to compare to a 2016 movie and say it was bad, and I don’t even like the prequels.

      • July 18, 2016 at 6:13 am

        TFA fanboys? lmao. I love the OT and TFA. Wow what a coincidence they are the 4 best SW movies.

        • July 18, 2016 at 10:32 pm

          Yeah, you don’t make the difference between gourmet food, and microwaved leftovers. You’d enjoy your cheeseburger as much as a plate at a five stars restaurant. Truth is, you have no taste and you can’t discriminate good from bad. Disney loves you though.

          • July 22, 2016 at 11:11 pm


  • July 9, 2016 at 11:26 pm

    WOooow, he’s praising the movie he’s playing in, and probably plays in the next two ones.

    • July 10, 2016 at 5:57 am

      Peter Dinklage is my favorite midget at the moment. I mean, my next door neighbor is a midget but he’s a bit of a prick.

      • July 11, 2016 at 1:50 am

        Well, I don’t see many midgets making it at Hollywood, and I don’t watch GOT.

  • July 9, 2016 at 11:43 pm

    Way to rile people up by bringing attending and posting this article SWNN. Brace yourselves folks because now they’ve done it -_-

  • July 10, 2016 at 1:29 am

    round and round in circles on the comments here innit…..

  • July 10, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    The prequels were great experimental projects about VFX. They can be used to show why a movie made entirely in the front of a green screen will be terrible.
    Just compare the prequels with any of the LOTR episodes from the same years. Thousand times better (with lower budget btw) and aged much-much better aswell.
    Award winning great actors acted like amateurs. Although the direction is also to blame, because Avatar and Jungle Book was made in a similar way and the acting was infinite times better directed.

    This was a lesson Peter Jackson didnt learn with the awful Hobbit trilogy. Thankfully Disney and JJ understood the lesson. Star Wars should only be made in the traiditional way. Its more expensive, its harder to make, but it is the only proper way.

    • July 10, 2016 at 5:56 pm

      Blocked for spreading fallacies & misinformation

      • July 11, 2016 at 12:00 am

        Im pretty sure LOTR is much more of a cultural zeitgeist today than the PT, which rather became some kind of negative example of how a movie should not be made.

        Btw I belong to the reasonable fandom (OT fans) which dosent like to get fed with every crap just because a Star Wars logo is patched onto it. You will never see me talking negatively about the OT.

        • July 11, 2016 at 12:46 am

          I preferred LOTR over the Prequel Trilogy and I’ve been a fan of Star Wars from the beginning. The Hobbit is Peter Jacksons version of the Prequel Trilogy in my opinion.

      • July 13, 2016 at 10:11 pm

        Each LOTR film won the Oscar for Best Picture.

        • July 14, 2016 at 12:47 am

          No. Only Return of the King did.

  • July 11, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    Hoping Wicket returns with a light saber!

    • July 12, 2016 at 5:37 pm


  • July 12, 2016 at 1:58 am

    Mr. Davis makes a good point there. CGI characters are pretty lifeless most of the time. Except for maybe Gollum, whose animations were heavily motion captured, I am having a hard time remembering any of the 100% CGI characters from all the movies I have seen. Most of the time they lack character, because their movements don’t feel like those of real organisms we know from our world. And, of course, the lighting and many other small details (which are really hard to imitate with computers) keep the viewer from actually connecting with CGI creatures in an emotional way.

    Compared to all the other terrible flaws the prequel trilogy had, this might be a minor problem. This uncanney valley problem still has a huge impact on the way we feel about the characters we watch on the screen.

    • July 12, 2016 at 11:24 am

      Well, I think there have been plenty of good CGI Characters over the years. The Hulk in the Avengers(Series), Dobby in Harry Potter, Caesar from the lates Planet of the Apes movies… CGI characters are usually not meant to be main characters, simply because they require a lot of work to do. As far as animation and movement goes they are far superior to any other technique. Animatronics can’t keep up with well done motion capturing which is standard by now (even in AAA games). In 10 to 15 years we will through the uncanny valley. We are already getting really close.

      • July 14, 2016 at 12:46 am

        The Hulk has gotten worse and worse. In AoU, he was very cartoonish. The CGI on GotG, however, was very well-done.

Comments are closed.