WORTH WATCHING

Watch Kevin Smith Talk About His 'Star Wars: Episode VII' Set Visit

by
July 6, 2014
Source: SlashFilm

Kevin Smith Star Wars

Love him, or hate him, there's no denying that filmmaker Kevin Smith is an unabashed movie geek, and (of course) Star Wars is one of his all-time favorite franchises. There's some interesting discussion about Kevin Smith in relation to Star Wars recently, mostly about his visit to the set in London. "I saw old friends who I haven’t seen since my childhood, who aren't really friends... I saw uniforms, I saw artillery I haven't seen since I was a kid. I saw them shooting an actual sequence in a set that was real. I walked across the set, there were explosions." He's not allowed to say much ("I signed the NDA"), and only posted some nerd tears to Instagram at first, but later divulged more in a recent Q&A at a festival this past weekend. Watch below.

The story goes that Kevin Smith, an uber-level Star Wars fan, was invited to come out to the set of J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: Episode VII filming in England last week. This is a very rare opportunity, as the set is extremely private and closed off and they're not even letting any press or anyone near. When he emerged, all he could show (for now) is his "old Bantha-Tracks subscriber's" tears of joy (referring to the Official Star Wars Fan Club newsletter). We all understand that feeling he had, as it would be an experience unlike any to actually set foot on the new Star Wars set and stand inside the Millennium Falcon. We're all jealous of him.

However, this past weekend at the Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival in Switzerland during his Master Class Q&A, a fan asked him "what was it like being on-board the Millennium Falcon?" From there he goes off on an 11-minute answer about the experience, without revealing anything major (of course), but saying a lot and hinting at so much excitement going on. Here's one excerpt with the full recording after.

"What I saw, I absolutely loved. It was tactile — it was real. It wasn't a series of fucking green screens and blue screens in which later on digital characters would be added. IT was there, it was happening. I saw old friends who I haven’t seen since my childhood, who aren’t really friends, but I love them more than some of my fucking relatives. I saw uniforms, I saw artillery that I haven’t seen since I was a kid. I saw them shooting an actual sequence in a set that is real. I walked across the set, there were explosions. And it looked like a shot right out of a Star Wars movie. I watched them do it four times, standing next to JJ..."

Here's the full Livestream video of the Q&A, which was recorded live Sat, July 5th @ NIFFF in Switzerland. His talk about the Star Wars set visit experience begins at about 35:15 minutes into the Q&A video below.

There's plenty of meaty thoughts in his answer here. To recap: he was invited to set by J.J. Abrams, and references his journey as a filmmaker by being inspired by Star Wars as a kid. "I was a little kid who fucking loved Star Wars who wondered if anyone in the world felt and thought the way I did." I love the poster he references in the office about "Loose Lips Sink Star Ships" and how it's aimed directly at Kevin, because he has a tendency to let loose plenty of details. But it really gets good when he talks about the Millennium Falcon set on "Stage M". He explains how the cockpit in Empire was bigger than in A New Hope, and they used a composite of the two blueprints, and how it's all real. How setting foot on the Millennium Falcon set made him be a kid again and remember all he loved when he was growing up, mainly the joys of Star Wars.

This is Kevin Smith's Instagram tear after his own Star Wars: Episode VII set visit. "All I can share are this old Bantha-Tracks subscriber's tears and snotty nose of joy. The Force is WITH this movie. Holy Sith..."

Whether or not you like his movies, it's hard to disagree with him in this discussion, and it's hard not to listen to what he says about how "he's pulling it off." We all have our doubts, of course, but I think there are those of who are getting more and more excited by the day, more and more optimistic as we hear reports like this about how amazing the set is. How it's real again. Kevin Smith explains the feeling so eloquently:

"As I walked up that ramp I realized that something was missing from those other movies [the prequels] and it's now in these movies. And its not the obvious of like, hey, the Millennium Falcon or, hey, the characters that we know are returning. It's something else entirely — he's building a tactile world, a world you can touch. And he's replicating with all the love of somebody that has the world's greatest collection of Star Wars figures. And when you walk on that set, man, I don't know how else to describe it except thusly: to use another pop culture reference to describe this pop culture phenomenon. It is like the Field of Dreams, the Kevin Costner movie. And, if J.J. builds it, we're all going to come, hard, because it is amazing. It looks fantastic. So anyone out sitting there wondering if he's going to pull it off, he's pulling it off. He showed me cut scenes, he showed me sequences, images, pictures. I cried and I hugged that guy. And I'm sure as I was crying and hugging on him, he was thinking 'time is money' because they're making a movie. But he got it. He was very flattered. And I was like 'Honestly dude, you're doing it. You’re making my childhood again. You're doing our Star Wars.' What I saw, blew me away."

Sounds like everything we're hoping for, and maybe even more. But only time will tell. I know this is mostly hyperbolic hype from a Star Wars fanatic, but I must admit I'm starting to understand what he's saying, and I'm hopeful they are pulling this off in exactly the way he's saying: "If he captures just 10% of what I felt, they're going to make a gazillion dollars... It's old home - it's seeing everybody you want to see again, in a brand new adventure, moving forward." I wish we could all get the experience of walking on set, and feeling how tactile and real it all is, but that's only reserved for the lucky few. We'll have to wait to see the movie in theaters next year. In the meantime, "Star Wars still means the world to me." Same here, Kevin. Bring it on.

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  • Bl00dwerK
    I hope he's right. I want to love Star Wars again...
    • jakelockley
      Good luck with that. It's Disney's Star Wars now.
      • axalon
        Why do you have to be negative? Just let the rest of us enjoy it, nobody is forcing you to watch these movies.
        • http://filmmuseik.synthasite.com Doug
          He's just stating his opinion like anybody else. Why do you have to attack him for having a negative outlook?
          • axalon
            Because it's toxic. Trying to bring other people is just toxic no matter how you slice it.
      • Bl00dwerK
        Well, the prequels weren't Disney's and they left alot to be desired...
      • Chris Groves
        Yep, and Disney owning Marvel Studios totally ruined The Avengers and Captain America: The Winter Soldier....
        • dawko
          Well, it did ruin the rest of the movies :D
          • Chris Groves
            Like Marvel Studios had a perfect track record pre-Disney and a poor track-record post-Disney. The 'lesser loved' entries of Phase 1 like The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man 2 were made without Disney's involvement. Disney execs have come out and said that they let the Marvel Studios guys do their thing, and while I'm sure they are a bit more 'hands on' with Star Wars, I get the feeling that Abrams and Kennedy are being largely left to their own devices.
  • web
    These movies are going to be as bad as the last set.
    • http://filmmuseik.synthasite.com Doug
      That would be quite the feat, honestly. While I'm not looking forward to seeing yet another Star Wars film, there is a very slim chance that, with JJ at the helm, these films will be as bad as the prequels.
      • web
        JJ is a television show director.
    • http://www.sonicmayhem.com Sascha Dikiciyan
      While i dont really think JJ is a brilliant filmmaker (yet) and Intro Darkness was terrible, I still have a lot of faith that he could pull off something decent. Will it be as good as ESB? I doubt it. Times changed. People are too cynical these days. But considering that JJ was your typical nostalgic fan boy age when SW came out, Im sure he knows why most people loved the OT. I really hope he can pull it off....it'd be something else!
  • cuckoozey
    Never been a fan of Kevin Smith's films, but I totally respect his knowledge and love of Star Wars. His glimpse gives me shivers and has me chomping at the bit even more now...
    • avconsumer2
      Odd. The Star Wars references in his films were what made me fall in love with his stuff in the first place.
  • Sick Of Babies
    All of you watch it or don't watch it. Fucking crybabies.
    • http://filmmuseik.synthasite.com Doug
      You're the only comment here I see pitching a fit like a crybaby.
    • avconsumer2
      lolwut?
  • Mike Zarquon
    He mistakenly went to on the next Star Trek set.
  • DAVIDPD
    "Our" STAR WARS!!!
  • Jonathan
    Like his enthusiasm! With JJ, there's no way these movies could be worse than the last three. He did Star Trek justice. It's a win-win here.
  • Chris Groves
    I can't wait. This is going to be what we all want it to be. It'll be like the original film all over again.
    • avconsumer2
      You are unwise to lower your defenses. (a.k.a. get your hopes so high) Remember how awesome Episode I was gonna be?! Got pretty excited before that one too didn't ya?! Just chill. ;)
      • Chris Groves
        Well, I was just under 7 when that came out, and 7 year old me absolutely loved it. ANYWAY I'm simply keeping a positive attitude. My level of excitement and anticipation doesn't impact my expectations. If it delivers, great, if it doesn't, oh well. "all signs point to yes" so far though.
        • avconsumer2
          Aaahhh... 10-4. Was 24. Definitely would have enjoyed it much more as a kid. I have found that my expectations (to include trailer viewing) can have a pretty huge impact on my viewing. This most evident on franchises near and dear to me. (SW likely being the most dear) I will remain cautiously optimistic to negate any great expectations.
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