3 'Star Wars: Episode VII' Facts From J.J. Abrams' 'Vanity Fair' Interview That You Need To Know
Vanity Fair has been killin' it with the Star Wars exclusives this week. So far, the magazine has unveiled photos of the cast and crew taken by the legendary Annie Leibovitz (look at me, I feel like Tyra Banks on ANTM), as well as information on the new characters. The latest reveal brings the first portion of an interview with director J.J. Abrams, released through email. In it, he chats about his experiencing creating the highly anticipated sci-fi event.
When you think about it, we haven't seen too much of Star Wars: Episode VII. There have been two teaser trailers, each no more than 90 seconds, and we've seen a handful of photos of the cast in action. We want more! And now we're getting it... in little bits and pieces. The film features a number of high-profile talent, including John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, Gwendoline Christie, Andy Serkis, Dohmnall Gleeson and Lupita Nyong'o. Speaking of which, we recently learned that she's playing a character by the name of Maz Kanata, a space pirate created through motion-capture technology. That's why the Oscar winner is decked out in polka dots on polka dots on polka dots.
In addition to the interview with Abrams, Vanity Fair also debuted a new photo of Nyong'o working some mo-cap magic. Before the full interview is released tomorrow, here are some things we learned from Part 1.
1. Lupita Nyong'o Looks Graceful Even In A Motion-Capture Suit
Every time I see photos of the 12 Years a Slave actress, I think this woman is flawless, and even with her face covered in dots, she still looks graceful and Vogue-worthy.
Here's a little insight into how this technology works: actors are fitted in tight spandex suits covered with white markers. They are then surrounded by cameras, all blasting infrared lights at them, and they have to act out their scenes. The light bounces off the markers and into the cameras to record their movements and render a digital avatar, which animators then work over with magic to create the computer-generated characters you see on the screen. Nyong'o's face is also covered with these markers, which work the same way.
2. Episode VII Will Help Fill In The Gaps
The last Star Wars film in the timeline of the franchise was The Return of the Jedi, which saw Luke battling his father, Darth Vader, confronting the Emperor and all that jazz. Episode VII takes place 30 years after this movie. A lot has happened since we left the galaxy from far, far away, but thankfully we won't be left in the dark...at least, not completely.
Well, what’s cool is we’ve obviously had a lot of time [during the development process] to talk about what’s happened outside of the borders of the story that you’re seeing. So there are, of course, references to things, and some are very oblique so that hopefully the audience can infer what the characters are referring to.
The director said he had to take a lot of these "references" out because it seemed to be a bit
Overkill, but he promises the ones that are in there are essential to understanding this new film.
3. The Most Surreal Moment From Making Star Wars
John Williams is practically as synonymous with the Star Wars films as George Lucas. Well, maybe a little less, but he did compose that famous theme music. He's returning for Episode VII, and, for Abrams, he was involved in one of the most surreal experiences of his life.
Abrams has been talking about his love for the Star Wars films even before he landed the job of Episode VII director. So for him to be interacting with Williams, a mainstay of the franchise, was unfathomable. As he said:
All I will say is, just to state the facts of it: I am about to show John Williams 30 minutes of a Star Wars movie that he has not seen [and] that I directed. That’s probably as surreal as it gets in my professional life experience.
Vanity Fair publishes the full interview on Wednesday. Star Wars: Episode VII will drop into theaters on December 18.