This past weekend in Germany, fans from all over the world gathered for Star Wars Celebration Europe to congregate and pay tribute to the beloved movie franchise from a galaxy far, far away. There were also a number of activities planned such as the christening of a half-scale replica of Darth Vader’s TIE fighter and various panels with the legendary figures that made and will make ‘Star Wars’ possible. One popular discussion featured the new Lucasfilm President, Kathleen Kennedy, as she discussed a number of things with everyone’s favorite Ewok, Warwick Davis, including J.J. Abrams’ ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’.
Kennedy gave an extensive update on where they are on the project currently. First, she said that putting together the story is the top priority right now:
“The story and characters are all we’re talking about right now. We have an amazing team at ILM, who can create fantastic effects, but if we don’t have a great story and characters, the effects mean nothing. I do think making huge popular culture – and I’ve had the good fortune to be a part of a lot it – is really hard to do and get right. And if you don’t spend the time you need on developing characters, and finding stories, complicated stories, the audience gets tired because they think they’re seeing the same thing again and again.”
Then, the executive producer went into the technical side of things and shared that physical sets and practical effects are definitely things that they all want to happen and plan to incorporate as much as possible:
“It’s a conversation we’re having all the time in the development of ‘Episode VII.’ Looking at all the Star Wars movies and getting a feel for what even some of the early films did, combining real locations and special effects – that’s something we’re looking very seriously at. So we’re going to find some very cool locations that we’re going to use in support of ‘Episode VII.’ And I think we’re probably going to end up using every single tool in the toolbox to create the look of these movies.”
Finally, she did say that all that would include using every resource possible to create this tangible ‘Star Wars’ universe:
“It’s using model makers; it’s using real droids; it’s taking advantage of artwork that you actually can touch and feel. And we want to do that in combination with CG effects. We figure that’s what will make it real.”
After Davis and Kennedy left the stage, they participated in a quick backstage interview to talk more about the convention and ‘Episode VII’. You can see that below from the official ‘Star Wars’ YouTube channel:
Well it sounds like the preproduction process is coming along nicely. Are you excited by the things that Kathleen Kennedy revealed at Star Wars Celebration? Do you look forward to finally seeing ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’? Sound off in the comments and let us know.