Welcome to the Legion!

IMG_7997

Question: My first question is for Mr. Ford. Aren’t you rich? Why are you doing this?

Harrison Ford: It’s because it’s what I do. It’s what I like to do. It’s what’s fun for me. And the chance to work with people that I really admire, doing something that I thought was going to be fun and which actually turned out to be fun. And to work with J.J., whose work I really admired … it seemed like a good idea.

Question: Catherine, I can’t ask you what’s in the movie. Can we talk about what’s definitely not in the movie?

Kathleen Kennedy:  Jar Jar’s definitely not in the movie. Ewoks are not in the movie.

Question: John, I loved Attack the Block, and you are poised in my opinion, to be international hearthrob. And to be a fixture at Victoria’s Secret runway shows. My question is, do you have an attorney, and are you excited about this?

John Boyega: I’m going to tell you yes,yes. I’m going to be rich like Harrison. I’m trying to have planes and all that stuff, absolutely. Harrison, would you agree?

Harrison Ford: [silence]

Question: Mr. Ford, can you describe what it means to you to be one of the bridges between the original series and this new generation?

Harrison Ford: It’s gratifying to be asked to be part of this. There was an interesting story to tell through the character. It’s always nice to anticipate working in something that you know people will have an appetite for. This not a crap shoot. This is big casino[4:14]. And it’s fun to play … it’s been a great experience.

Question: Did you map out the whole two movies?

Kathleen Kennedy: We haven’t mapped out every, single detail yet, but obviously, everybody’s talking to one another, working together. And that collaboration, I think, is what’s going to guarantee that everybody’s got a say in how we move forward with this. And so far, it’s going great. I mean, J.J. and Rian already talked at length because Rian’s [Johnson] about to shoot shooting Episode VIII. You, guys are getting ready to head over in January, and then Colin’s will start working with Rian and spending a lot of time on set with him.

Question: What character would you be if you could be any other character in Star Wars?

Gwendoline Christie: That’s tough. A character I don’t really think I will particularly be suited to but would definitely like to play is, of course, Han Solo. I might have just a modicum of swagger opposed to the Grand Canyon that’s at the end of the sofa. [gestures to Harrison Ford]

Mindy Kaling: Are you grateful maybe?

Harrison Ford: I’m grateful for the kind attention.

IMG_8003

Question: Mr. Ford, what is the bigger difference between this “Star Wars” and the other “Star Wars,” and how does it feel being back?

Ford: What is the difference? I think it’s hard to say what the difference is. I can tell you how it feels. It feels familiar. It feels good. “It’s good to be home,” as Han says in the trailer, in the teaser trailer. I’m aware of the value that’s placed on these films by the audience, and I’m gratified that they’ve been passed on generationally through families. And it’s still and audience for those of us that were in the original film. There’s still some value to them in the [inaudible 7:47] life, somehow. And it’s a bit of a mystery, but it’s very gratifying to be part of that.

Question: What was the difference in the wrap parties?

Harrison Ford: It was really hard to get a drink at the last wrap party. Wasn’t it? It was, right? It was hard to get a drink. I didn’t know where the bar was.

Question: As a parent, what’s it like telling your kids you’re coming back to this franchise? Did that up the cool factor with them?

Harrison Ford: My kids do not think I’m cool. Being in this movie is not going to convince them otherwise. No. They just glad to see their dad is still working.

Question: Oscar, in my experience, there’s always one actor on set where everyone goes to their trailer to listen to music and to get high. None of you, guys do drugs because you’re professional. This is a Disney movie. But which trailer did you go to?

Oscar Isaac: I went to my friend’s.

Question: Did anyone go to yours?

Oscar Isaac: Yeah, it was mostly going between Carrie’s and my trailer.

Question: John, did you hang out in your trailer or also go to Carrie?

John Boyega: No, no. I didn’t go to Carrie’s trailer, no.

IMG_7950

Oscar Isaac: My uncle’s a huge Star Wars fan. I mean, he’s so obsessed with Star Wars. And I lost him. I couldn’t find him. And I heard all this laughter coming out of Carrie’s trailer. And I went in there. He was there just with Gary Fisher, her dog, just hanging out with him. I said, “Tio what are you doing there? Get out of there.”

Question: Star Wars is basically a religion now. Are you prepared to ascend to the level of sainthood?

Harrison Ford: I think my advice is pretty much limited to look both ways before you cross the street, stuff like that.

John Boyega: Solid advice.

Harrison Ford: Yeah. But I’m not going to tell them how to navigate this very personal space of trying to figure out the careers that they’ve chosen for themselves. It is bizarrely individual how you navigate the space between where they’re at now and the rest of your useful professional life. But they’re in for a big ride. And they know it, I think. I hope they know it. They didn’t have a chance to answer their part of the question.

John Boyega: I don’t know if I’m ready for this whole thing. I just know that I’m just in it. It’s going to come out regardless. But it should but fine. You’ll let me sleep on your couches, after, right?

Harrison Ford: I hardly know you.

John Boyega: You’re just saying that!

Question:  Are you prepared for Captain Phasma became an instant sensation with fans, and do you think that positioned you possibly for a really strong run at the Captain Marvel role?

Gwendolyn Christie: I was very surprised and heartened at the overwhelming response to the character of Captain Phasma. But we felt that what Kathleen and J.J. and everyone had created at Star Wars was – I think J.J. has been open about the fact that he wanted it to respect the origins of the films and celebrate them. But to bring them into the modern day. And confirmation of that seemed to be, to me, in this amazing character of Captain Phasma who is Star Wars first onscreen female villain, and more than that, this is a character who, so far, we have related to due to her choices, due to her character, and not due to the way she has been made in flesh. And conventionally, that is how we have related to female characters. So this, to me, felt very progressive. And the response from the audience and the fans has been so celebratory, it makes me think that this is the kind of thing that people want to see. People want to see a more diverse reflection of society. And I feel incredibly privileged to play that part. If anyone else wants to offer me any work then I am very grateful.

IMG_7957

Question: Kathleen, why the unprecedented level of secrecy around this film?

Kathleen Kennedy: I think right from the beginning, we respected the fans. And the fans have really been the ones focused around making sure that everybody and anybody who watches this movie gets to be surprised. We have so little things that surprise us anymore. When you walk into see a movie, it’s all told in the trailers. It ends up online way in advance. And I think that’s something that overwhelmingly, I even had people say to me, I don’t want to read anything, at all, so they can get into the theater and actually have a pleasant surprise. So that’s really all that’s driving it. And we respected that in all ways we can.

Oscar Isaac: I can’t remember – the last time I went to see a movie that I didn’t know anything about was “Boxing Helena.”” That was the last time that I’ve ever seen a movie I didn’t know anything about.

Mindy Kaling: That’s a doozy of a movie.

Oscar Isaac:  I was in 9th grade. We just saw the poster?

Mindy Kaling: He cuts off all her limbs.

Oscar Isaac: We didn’t know that before we went in. We just saw like a female body.

Kathleen Kennedy: Make sure that they know that that does not happen.

Oscar Isaac:   That doesn’t happen. No Jar Jar. No females cutting…

Question: It’s kind of a shame that we don’t know what happens in the movies because we can’t know about the greater themes. But John, being a black Stormtrooper, the casting alone made headlines. Can you tell us what you hope people come away from the movie with?

John Boyega: For me, I’ve got to be honest. I really don’t care about black Stor trooper stuff. I couldn’t care less. This is a movie about human beings, about Wookies, space ships and TIE fighters. And it has an undertone and a message of courage and a message of friendship and loyalty. And I think that’s something that is ultimately important. I watched the movie with Kathy just last week, and I really, really relate to Rey more than any of the characters, and to be in a circumstance where you have to find something bigger than you who you are, within yourself, is something that’s inspirational to me. And I think that people take that away. In terms of the kids, all they’re going to be concentrating on is BB-8.

Question: I know you both reprise your roles for Infinity 3.0, what was it like, and was there any time between the movie?

John Boyega: Yeah, I’ve had to go back twice, once for Disney Infinity, and the second time for Star Tours, the ride at Disneyland. And it’s been… [laughs] to be a playable character, I get to play with myself. But it’s been amazing. It was fun. And the characters in Disney Infinity are more of the child-like versions of the characters in the movie. So that was very cool.

Oscar Isaac:   Yeah, I had never done anything like that before, so that was very fun and creative to do. Yeah, it’s slightly more energetic and child-like.

John Boyega: Yeah, I’m Finn! And I’m in charge now!! Hey!

IMG_7951

Question: For the newcomers, how much of your characters’ back stories were you told ahead of time?

Oscar Isaac:   I think this has been one of the coolest things about working with J.J. on this and working on this film is that there’s been a real sense of collaboration with that kind of thing. There’s almost been a bit of a sand box element of it. We talk about those things, and there was an evolution of the character, even from the first meeting with J.J. and Kathy and Larry to what ended up on screen. For example, with me, after we started filming, I was talking a bit about just where Poe had been from. And at the end of New Hope, Guatemala’s claim to fame was that last shot where the ships are leaving where you see the temple’s had been shot in Guatemala. And for me, the fact that I was born there, and that’s a rebel base. And I’m playing a resistance fighter, maybe Poe was there. Maybe that’s where he’s from. And then this comic book comes out, where Poe’s parents ended up going to Yavin and making sweet love. And I think that’s the first time where talking about where the character comes from ends up in a comic book. And it’s a beautiful thing. It feels like we’re creating these things together.

John Boyega: I didn’t know much going in because of the spoilers and all that kind of stuff. But I do remember having the sides which were loosely based on who Finn and Rey was. But I just remember during my time screen testing, I was like to Daisy, there’s no way that our stories are so simple. And we still don’t know. So I’ve still got some conspiracy theories as to where Finn comes from. And I’m still trying to figure it out. But I like that it’s a secret. I like that.

Gwendonline Christie: Mine was similar. I was so heartened that it was a genuine, creative experience to work with J.J. about who the character was and to develop that together. And really without horribly ruining everything for everyone, I think it’s interesting to see where my character may go… [laughter] Isn’t that interesting?

Question: You are obviously huge fans. What is your favorite rumor?

Oscar Isaac: That Jar Jar is Kylo Ren. I kind of wish that could be true.

John Boyega: I remember this theory that Finn is Mace Windu’s grandson. Something like that? And I was at a party, and someone behind me just tapped me on the shoulder and was just like, yo. Black Jedi! And I turned around and it’s Samuel L. Jackson!

Gwendonline Christie:  It’s absolutely impossible to follow what John has just said. And I have not – maybe I should start? I’ve not followed any fan theories at all. I’m just going to say because I’ve been busy with Game of Thrones [cheers].

John Boyega:  Is Jon Snow alive or dead?

Gwendonline Christie:   I only read my bits in the script. I’ve got no idea.

Question: Mr. Ford, how difficult was it for you to slip into the role, and how did you prepare. Is it easier to originate a role or come back to something familiar?

Harrison Ford: It seemed easy to come back to the character. Clothes make the man. I’ve walked more than a mile in those boots. I was interested in the described path of the character. I thought that it was an interesting bit of business for the character to do. And I’ve been having a real good time with J.J. Abrams talking about it and getting ready for the adventure of filming. So it was easy.

Kathleen Kennedy: I can attest to the fact that for all of us that were there, the second he walked in, into the Millennium Falcon and said his first line, Han Solo was back. It was pretty instantaneous.

Question: John, when you found out you were going to be using the Skywalker legacy lightsaber, how did that feel?

John Boyega:  Oh, I was very excited to use that thing because I think blue suits me. And it was amazing for me to read the whole script and to find out all the things that Finn gets to do. And for me, it’s like, I feel like for some reason – did J.J. know what kind of fan I was when it came to Star Wars and write this role for me? Because I get to wear a Stormtrooper suit, a Rebel jacket. I have a blaster. I use a light saber. I hang out with fricking Han Solo and Chewie. It’s just fantastic!

IMG_7949

Question: Did you have any concerns about getting a limb hacked off?

John Boyega: I did. Because Adam Driver has a really long reach. And that’s an issue, but I’ve done my Floyd Mayweather thing, just bob and weave.

Question: I have a question because my mind goes always to romance. The reason why I love Star Wars so much, although people wouldn’t necessarily think of me is that there are parts in this that are better than any romantic comedy, and then there’s action comedies, buddy comedies, interspecies. Anything you could ever want. But my question is, I first saw you in Romeo and Juliet in New York. And I always thought that you and Carrie had such acrimonious chemistry. And can you speak about any romance for your character in the film?

Oscar Isaac: Mostly with BB-8. It’s true.

Mindy Kaling: Surprising.

Oscar Isaac: The droids. Yeah, there’s a real warmth, and that’s who’s got his back in that X-Wing. So that’s it if there’s any real romance for Poe, it’s those two little balls.

Question: I wanted to ask you about athlete warm up songs, and Ronda Rousy, for example, comes out to “Bad Reputation.” Did you have like a walk up song for your character?

Gwendoline Christie: Is this to me? Oh, good lord? [Sighs] I’m trying to think of the name of it because it’s just coursing through my brain now. It’s something that goes, da, da, da, dah.

Audience: Cashmere.

Gwendoline Christie: Yes, exactly that! [Cast sings along]

Question: What was the number one thing that you thought, do not offend Han Solo, otherwise he’s going to walk off the set?

John Boyega: Did I offend you? Did I say you looked older?

Harrison Ford: No. That wouldn’t have offended me at all.

John Boyega: I didn’t say that. I said you looked good, right? That’s what I said.

Harrison Ford: I don’t remember what you said.

John Boyega: We’re best friends, eh?

Harrison Ford: I was not paying a lot of attention to you.

John Boyega: You did too, right.

Isaac: No, no.

John Boyega: I’m the only one.

Question: What did you do to offend Harrison Ford?

John Boyega: I have to say though there was a moment on the Falcon where Harrison, you had the blaster in your hand, and you were trying to skillfully put it in the holster. And Harrison stood there, Damn it. Damn it! And me and Daisy were just behind the camera like, this is fricking insane. Harrison is fricking right there. And we had to do a scene together and not freak out. It was like mesmerizing to see Harrison in this environment, in the movies that we absolutely loved. And it was good to see you with Chewie. We freaked out, but we didn’t show you nothing. We tried to keep it professional for you.

Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 8.11.38 PM

Question: What are your favorite parts of the original franchise movies, and how did those moments affect your performances?

Oscar Isaac: My favorite part, I think, was when in Return of the Jedi when Darth Vader’s helmet comes off, and you see that he’s just a soft, sad, old vulnerable man underneath. I don’t know how that affected my importance, but that’s my favorite part.

Gwendoline Christie: I was about six when I saw the film, and I remember being so struck by the character of Princess Leia, and thinking, even then, in my infant mind, this seems different to the other women I see in films and feeling very, very inspired by that and inspired by a woman with such tenacity and being so strong minded. And I asked Carrie Fisher. I said, it felt like watching your performance implanted a seed in my mind. And Carrie said that she did plant a seed, actually, in my mind.

Harrison Ford: I thought you were talking about the scene in the snake bikini sitting in Jabba the Hutt’s lap.

Gwendoline Christie: Not that, no.

Harrison Ford: That’s my favorite.

John Boyega: I remember during the audition, not in the original films, but during the audition, I had screen tested. And I heard that I was going to be brought back one last time. And mind you, I had been auditioning for several months. And I just needed inspiration. And I went on YouTube, and I saw Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill’s original audition tape just on YouTube, and that really inspired me to tap into the Star Wars-esque energy because I think that was something I was trying to gauge. And that really inspired me, and I booked it! Thanks, Harrison. You’re so great.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens will hit theaters on December 18.

About author View all posts

Jenna Busch

Jenna Busch is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Legion of Leia and has hosted and written for sites like Nerdist, ComingSoon.net, Metro, Birth. Movies. Death., IGN, AOL, Huffington Post and more. She co-hosted Cocktails With Stan with the legendary Stan Lee and has appeared on Attack of the Show, Fresh Ink, Tabletop with Wil Wheaton, in the documentary She Makes Comics, on NPR and Al Jazeera America, and has covered film/TV/gaming/comics for years. She's currently a co-host on Most Craved. She's been published in the comics anthology Womanthology, is a chapter author for Star Wars Psychology: Dark Side of the Mind, Game of Thrones Psychology and Star Trek Psychology and more, and owns a terrifying amount of swords and 20-sided dice. There are also those My Little Pony trailer voice overs that give one nightmares.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.