You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Comic-Con: New ‘Star Wars’ Behind-the-Scenes Footage Released

The “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” panel at Comic-Con in San Diego elicited enough fan excitement to power the Millennium Falcon.

Appearances by original cast members Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher were rivaled only by the presentation of new footage from behind-the-scenes of the latest installment.

Hamill, Ford and Fisher were joined onstage by director J.J. Abrams, producer and Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, and writer Lawrence Kasdan. Cast members Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson and Gwendoline Christie were also in attendance.

This marked Ford’s first public appearance since being injured in a plane crash earlier this year. He expressed his excitement about being involved in the reboot of the franchise.

“I was very gratified when I read the script,” Ford told Hall H. “I read something that was remarkable … with some very intriguing developments… It’s a development of theme and a natural progression of the stories we told in the first three. An emotional rounding of the experience.”

He added that returning to the “Star Wars” set was a positive experience. “It should’ve felt ridiculous, but it felt great.”

Ford and Hamill both said the experience of being involved in the series has been deeply emotional.

“When I meet you on the street everyone has a story, and it’s such a personal story … it’s very moving to me,” Hamill said to the fans.

Of reuniting with her co-stars on the big screen, Fisher noted, “I didn’t think it was going to happen again. It was a little bit like before, only we looked more melted this time — but in a good way.”

In addition to the video, Abrams debuted one of the many practical effects in the film — a fully articulated puppet character called Bobbajo, who walked across the stage independently, to the delight of the crowd.

Fans were pleased to learn that Abrams already has a cut of the film, and that they’re currently in the process of “fine-tuning.” The director praised Disney for not rushing the movie to theaters: “To have the time to do it right is not a small thing,” he noted. “The only real mandate we had was ‘what delights us?’ That doesn’t mean it has to be fun all the time, but it has to be compelling… We wanted to tell a story that would make us feel, and would feel like a continuum of the story that George started.”

Abrams also fielded questions about how race factored into his casting decisions.

“We didn’t write the character of Finn to be any color, we didn’t write the character of Rey to be any color … we wanted the movie to look the way the world looks,” he said, with Kennedy noting that their commitment to diversity would extend to the other films in the ongoing “Star Wars” franchise.

The Hall H panel culminated in the announcement that the entire, 7000-strong audience would be treated to a surprise “Star Wars” concert by the San Diego Symphony immediately following the discussion. The emotional event was presented by Abrams, Kennedy and the entire cast, with fans receiving free lightsabers upon reaching the outdoor waterside venue.

The Symphony performed John Williams’ iconic compositions from all six “Star Wars” films, presented with montages of memorable moments from the movies. The evening climaxed with a rendition of the iconic main theme accompanied by a dazzling firework display that took place above the water.

More Film

  • Atmosphere91st Annual Academy Awards, Governors Ball

    Inside the 2019 Oscar Parties

    Stars party all around Hollywood before, during, and after the Oscars. Here, Variety hits the town to give you the inside scoop on all the star-studded soirées. Keep checking back throughout the weekend for the latest updates… Variety x Armani Beauty Makeup Artistry Dinner Sunset Tower, Los Angeles, Feb. 20Variety and Giorgio Armani Beauty honored makeup artists Molly [...]

  • 'Monty Python’s ‘Life of Brian’ Heads

    'Monty Python's Life of Brian' Gets 40th Anniversary Release (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Monty Python’s Life of Brian” is heading back into movie theaters to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the classic comedy film. Trafalgar Releasing took the rights to the film last year. The event cinema specialist is planning a 400-screen release on April 18 that will span the U.K. and U.S. as well as territories [...]

  • Korea's CJ CGV Switches Turkey CEOs

    Korea's CJ CGV Switches Turkey CEOs as It Battles With Local Industry

    Yeun Seung-ro has been appointed as CEO of CGV Mars Entertainment, the Korean-owned company that operates Turkey’s largest cinema chain. He replaces Kwak Dong Won, another veteran of the CJ-CGV group. The change of personnel may reflect two ongoing battles within the Turkish film industry. CJ-CGV, which bought Mars for some $650 million in 2016. [...]

  • Woody Allen Developing Next Film With

    Woody Allen Teams With Spain’s Mediapro for Next Film

    MADRID — Woody Allen is re-teaming with Spain’s Mediapro, one of Europe’s biggest independent film-TV companies, to develop his next film with an eye it seems to shooting in Spain. Mediapro co-financed and co-produced two of Allen’s highest-grossing movies, 2008’s “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” which grossed $96.4 million worldwide, and 2011’s “Midnight in Paris” which earned [...]

  • 'Stitches' Review: Berlin Film Festival

    Berlin Film Review: 'Stitches'

    An elegant hybrid of true-story exposé and slow-moving arthouse thriller, Serbian director Miroslav Terzić’s sober sophomore feature “Stitches” takes a familiar idea — a lone crusader taking on a corrupt system in pursuit of the truth — but delivers an unusually thoughtful, psychologically compelling character study. Taking its cue from Snežana Bogdanović’s eerily composed but fathomless [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content