Comic-Con 2015 Live: Lucasfilm's Big Star Wars Hall H Presentation
by Alex Billington
July 10, 2015
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away… Or rather, here in San Diego at Comic-Con 2015, it's time to kick off Lucasfilm's Star Wars panel. Many know that years ago, back in 1976, Star Wars made its very first appearance at Comic-Con. Lucasfilm has been hosting panels every year, but they haven't had much to show in the last decade. Everything changes in 2015. Not only do we have The Force Awakens coming up this December, but we have Rogue One and more spin-off movies, not to mention a few other Lucasfilm properties. Who knows what will happen today, so follow the live blog below for updates as they happen.
Updates LIVE directly from Lucasfilm's Comic-Con 2015 panel on Friday, from 5:30PM - 6:30PM PDT:
6:45PM - So JJ decided to bring all of us inside Hall H to a live Star Wars concert. We're all about to get up and go there. The panel is over, but our night is not over. We'll see you later!
6:44PM - JJ talking about how important the music is. So why not…
6:41PM - Hamill: "When you find out the woman you really fell head over heels for was really your sister…" Answering a question about "where they thought they would end up when it came back" and Hamill first thought he'd be a nomad out living by himself. Ford's response is just "I never thought we'd do another…" When he read the script, he thought it was "well written" with some "very intriguing developments" and he was "very delighted to be involved" and "very happy to be part of the story and the cast again."
6:39PM - Ford: It's a development of theme & a natural progression of the stories we told in the first three. An emotional rounding of the experience.
6:38PM - Back out to audience questions. Currently waiting for something worthy of quoting again.
6:37PM - Ford: It should have felt ridiculous, that was 30 years ago! I sort of grew up. But… "I will tell you, it felt great." "The company was the right company, the director was the right director, Larry wrote us a wonderful story. I was proud to be involved." "It was great to be back. Thank you."
6:36PM - So how is he? "I'm fine, I'm great!" Asked about his foot. "Well, I just walked here…"
6:35PM - Lots and lots of cheering for Harrison Ford as he takes the stage.
6:34PM - Harrison Ford comes to the stage!
6:33PM - Hamill jokes about how he took a Star Wars trivia contest and flunked.
6:33PM - Fisher: Talking about how showing Star Wars is a family affair, a generational thing. "If we don't like the same character, I'm going to hate my kid!" She jokes.
6:31PM - Hamill: Says when he meets people, everyone has their own story. "It's very moving to me, sometimes it's very hard to absorb the impact you've had." When he sees it put together it's not him, it's Luke. "I've never taken it for granted."
6:30PM - Hamill: "I've been a fan since I caught the black & white King Kong on television… I think the fans understand that - I'm one of them." "Without you, we're nothing."
6:29PM - Photo of Mark Hamill from the 1970s in front of a Star Wars sign at a fan convention. They had a few props, and 25 photographs of various scenes, and he says it was incredibly hard to describe what it was.
6:29PM - Next they bring out Luke himself, Mark Hamill! Keep ’em coming.
6:27PM - "It was kind of like a flashback," she says about the feeling of coming back again. "I thought they were right about the acid flashbacks." "It was a little bit like before, but we look more melted this time… That kind of Force melted."
6:27PM - Carrie Fisher comes to the stage!!
6:25PM - Lame fan question about "do you like the dark side or the light side?"
6:23PM - Gleeson: Nervous about what he's saying when he mentions he's on a "star killer base, or something." JJ chimes in and adds: "The name of the base of The First Order is: Starkiller Base. Spoiled by Domnhall Gleeson." The name originally inspired by Lucas' first name for Skywalker.
6:21PM - Gwendoline: "It was an opportunity to explore a female character who is totally not about the way she looks in the flesh… It's more about the outside feeding in. I found it really fascinating that beneath that armor is a woman."
6:20PM - Driver: We didn't have conversations about bad or evil, but rather, what are the differences between being "bad" and being "right". Thinking they're "right" is something different when it comes to people who are hurting others. That's how they approached this kind of character.
6:19PM - To Adam Driver, can he tell us anything about his connection to the Dark Side? "No." JJ stops and is like "Adam, say something!" "What do you want me to say?"
6:18PM - Bringing out the villains - Adam Driver, Domnhall Gleeson, and Gwendoline Christie. New photos of each on the screen behind them. Domnhall Gleeson is playing General Hux, a bad guy
— JoBlo.com (@joblocom) July 11, 2015
6:17PM - Question about what color would their lightsabers be. Kennedy: blue. JJ: red. Kasdan: black. Boyega: gold. Daisy: silver. Oscar: rainbow colored.
6:15PM - Question about working with the original cast. Oscar Isaac says "Harrison thought I was wearing a wig. So that was fun, that was cool." Daisy: "Working with the legends… it was everything we could've hoped for. They're funny, they're warm, they're welcoming, and they made us feel a part of the universe."
6:13PM - Kennedy says they will continue this idea of casting not for color, but just to cast good people to build this world. "There is every intention" to keep making diverse stories.
6:12PM - Audience question if there will be any Asians cast coming up. They can't confirm yet, but JJ Abrams says he's not casting the other movies, "I would cast them as only Asians." But there are Asians in The Force Awakens. They didn't write any of the characters of any color, they just cast the movie.
6:10PM - Oscar Isaac talking about he wanted to learn how to actually fly the X-Wing, but was told "it's fake". Ha. He says these characters lived the stories that we grew up watching in the movies. He watched and wanted to be a hero in that world, and wants to do that so much that he's sometimes do it recklessly.
6:09PM - Daisy had "solid months of training" which was amazing for her to learn the physicality of the role. "We were running through 125 degree heat, and those explosions were real…"
6:08PM - Daisy Ridley and Oscar Isaac are also on stage, now time to hear from Daisy.
6:08PM - Boyega is so awesome. Just listening to him speak about going out on the showfloor and encountering a fan, who happens to be in the audience! Fun little chat.
6:07PM - Peter Mayhew comes out, along with John Boyega.
6:06PM - Beautiful five minute behind-the-scenes video showing a LOT from The Force Awakens, that really captures just how emotional and how wonderful it is to see this movie coming together. Got me all emotional, a little teary eyed.
6:01PM - Footage time, be right back! Behind the scenes only.
6:00PM - They made a statement about not being able to show footage, but do they have anything? Yes. No scenes from the movie or a new trailer, which will be coming "later in the fall", but they want to show us something here at Comic-Con.
5:58PM - Question about the emotion and how much Star Wars means to all of us. JJ: "Because we love it and care about it so much, our job is not to be blinded [by being a fan." They have to really say "what's the story". When they're directing a scene on the Falcon, it doesn't make it good that his emotion is there, so you have to ask "what do the characters want, what are they expecting?" Storytelling 101, he says. "The power of what comes before is so deep, you have to respect it, but you can't be blinded by it." "What does it mean, why are we doing this?" is the question they always asked themselves.
5:57PM - Kasdan talking about how they were sitting in the bay of a Star Destroyer and watching Stormtroopers drilling in front of them and it "was all real". JJ: "We wanted to tell a story that would make us feel, and feel like a continuation of the incredible story George Lucas started."
5:55PM - They sit down and asked them "what feels right?" and the answer was: "what delights us?" "It has to be compelling." JJ talking about figuring out how to continue what began in the original trilogy. Talking about how amazing it was to write with Kasdan.
5:54PM - Now for some quick audience questions before we continue the panel.
5:52PM - Hardwick talking about how the animatronic and realistic feel of the creatures makes a difference in an emotional way when we see them.
— Marcus Errico (@MarcusErrico) July 11, 2015
5:51PM - There are five people operating this new creature sitting in a photo, showing tons of photos of the various creatures/characters in behind the scenes photo.
5:51PM - "These guys have done an unbelievably job", Kennedy says, referring to Neal Scanlon and the creature shop that built all of the practical effects.
— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) July 11, 2015
5:50PM - Talking about the creature and they wanted to show that this wasn't CGI. They're bringing out the bumbling guy from the desert photos, nicknamed "Babajo".
5:48PM - "There's nothing normal about getting to write a movie with Lawrence Kasdan," JJ says. Talking about how there's "nothing normal" about anything that's happening, as he seems to be as giddy and freaking out about all this as much as we are. "There's nothing normal about this moment," he says, referring to Comic-Con.
5:47PM - Kasdan talking about the 30 years between making Empire and Jedi, but Star Wars has been a part of him that it never felt like any time had passed when he came back. "JJ and I ended up spending a year walking around, and figuring it out."
5:46PM - JJ says he has a cut of the movie (The Force Awakens), and they have the time to "do it right", and are currently making minor tweaks in order to fine tune the movie.
5:44PM - Kennedy thanks all the fans, as they're the ones who they're making this for.
5:43PM - Kathleen Kennedy takes the stage, along with JJ Abrams, and Lawrence Kasdan.
5:42PM - Hardwick: "I know you guys waited a long time to get in here… decades, really!" "I really want you to think about this, and enjoy the experience as it happens."
5:41PM - Chris Hardwick is the panel's host for tonight.
5:40PM - And here we go… Comic-Con moderator takes to the stage to get this show underway. Discussing all the rules about not recording footage so they'll keep coming back.
5:37PM - After a quick chat with a security supervisor, we seem good to go. Still waiting for the panel to begin…
5:33PM - Security guard tells us that all devices must be off the entire time. We're resisting, and will do our best to keep this running.
5:30PM - We're all here inside Hall H, waiting impatiently for the panel to begin. The audience is relatively quiet.