Dissecting The Force Awakens BTS Video

TFA_logoOh, how I wish I could be at San Diego Comic-Con. This year more than ever. Why? Because this is the first year we’ll see a new Star Wars movie since 2008. One of the coolest things to come out of the Star Wars panel yesterday at SDCC was this behind-the-scenes video from The Force Awakens. So, I thought I’d write a blog post, pulling out some of the things I found most interesting in the video, things that just might reveal some of what we could be seeing in the upcoming film. If anyone had doubts about my nerd cred before now, this post should disabuse them of any such notion post haste.

In the following image, we see a costume guy (sorry, I don’t know his name), talking about Chewie’s costume. In the clip, he talks about how this costume probably wears out the most because everyone wants to hug Chewie. Awwww, right?

TFA_BTS2But that’s not what I find most interesting about this particular screen grab. No, what I find interesting is what’s in the background.

What's up with that?
What’s up with that?

This character. Specifically, this character’s helmet or whatever it is. It reminds me quite a lot of the pit droids that were featured in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. If so, I kind of like that. I like that there will be nods to the design aesthetic of the prequels. I think that’s something that really needs to be done as we’re moving forward in the Star Wars universe.


So, what do you think? Am I crazy?

Here’s another Chewie-related screen grab. In this image, a couple of costumers are helping Peter Mayhew don his big, furry head.


What I want to draw your attention to are Chewie’s arms. They both look the same as they have in the previous films, do they not? I bring it up because some time ago there was some leaked concept art that seemed to depict Chewbacca as having a mechanical arm (see below).


So, does this BTS clip indicate that Chewie doesn’t have a bionic arm? Or does the character get injured later in the film, necessitating the arm’s replacement? You can see from the concept art that there are two version of Chewie, so maybe that’s the case. I guess we’ll have to wait to find out. Personally I think the whole mechanical arm thing is a bit played out. Both Luke and Vader have robot appendages. Is this just something we’re going to see over and over again? Is there a Star Wars equivalent of Oprah on Coruscant handing out mechanical arms? “You get a robot arm! And you get a robot arm! Everyone gets robot arms!”

It has been long rumored that Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Mission: Impossible, Star Trek) had a part in Episode 7. Because he said he did. But I’m not sure it was officially confirmed. Well, consider this official confirmation:


Obviously, Pegg is playing a costumed creature of some kind. Whether or not this is just some random background creature or something more important is yet to be seen. I was trying to figure out if the costume Pegg is wearing is the same as this guy below.


But I’m leaning toward no. That guy does look pretty intimidating, doesn’t he?

Here’s another neat shot of a cool looking alien.


But once again, it’s the background of this image I’m really interested in. Take a look at this:


That’s clearly a picture of the bounty hunter Bossk on the wall. Are we going to see Bossk in this movie? Because if so, awesome! Now, that picture on the wall could just mean we’re going to see some other Trandoshans, and they have the picture up there for reference. But I’m hoping for Bossk. A recent rumor says Bossk will be featured in Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One, along with Fett, IG-88, and the other bounty hunters who were featured in Episode 5. And also Cad Bane from The Clone Wars. I feel like it’s too good to be true, but I’m hopeful.

The following shot shows Daisy Ridley, who plays a central character named Rey, in an elaborate camera rig that is clearly the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon.


A wider shot shows what the whole contraption looks like.


The thing I find interesting about this is that Rey is alone in the cockpit. She’s flying the Falcon, apparently ALL BY HERSELF. Who in the galaxy would Han Solo allow to fly his baby all by their lonesome? Someone he trusts. Someone he loves. A daughter perhaps? Whether Rey is Han’s and Leia’s daughter has been the subject of speculation from the very beginning. But I think this shot is further evidence that this is the case.

Now, for people who are familiar with the Star Wars Expanded Universe (now under the non-canonical label of Star Wars Legends), Han and Leia had three children, a set of fraternal twins, Jacen and Jaina, and another son named Anakin. I’ve always hoped they would keep the names from the EU, and the revelation of the name Rey for Daisy Ridley’s character seemed to dash that hope. But what if Rey is just a pseudonym? Like maybe Jaina is on a secret mission with a secret identity? It’s possible. Oh, and I also think that Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is probably Han’s and Leia’s son, but so far there’s really not much to back that up. It’s just a hunch. I’m probably wrong.

Moving on: the following screen grab is big. It’s the first image of Carrie Fisher as Leia (well, sort of; keep reading).


I breathed a big sigh of relief when I saw this. She actually looks pretty cool. I think it’s the hair. With the Princess, it’s always about the hair.

But this pic is even more important to me because it proves (I believe) something I’ve been saying (not just me, though, to be fair) since the trailer came out. In the trailer (which debuted at Star Wars Celebration, Anaheim), there’s a shot of someone handing a lightsaber to someone else. I was adamant in my assertion that the person receiveing the saber (which is Luke’s old saber from Episodes 1 & 2 and Anakin’s saber from Episode 3) was Leia. I also said that the one handing off the saber was an as of yet unidentified alien character (we’re now pretty sure it’s Lupita Nyong’o’s character, Maz Kanata). In fact, I got into a big “discussion” on Facebook about this. A lot of people were surprisingly unwilling to believe that that was Leia on the left. Well, the above BTS footage proves it in my mind. Take a look at the screen grab from the trailer. Same costume. Gotta be. Case closed.


The following grab is Daisy Ridley again. Does she remind anyone else of Keira Knightley (another Star Wars alum, btw)?


This photo, to me, is more evidence of the Han’s and Leia’s daughter theory. Why? Because I think, in addition to looking a bit like Sabé (Knightley’s character in Episode 1), she also happens to look a bit like Natalie Portman, a.k.a. Padme Amidala, a.k.a. Luke’s and Leia’s momma. Rey takes after her grandmother, obviously. And for what it’s worth, Sabé, you may remember, was not just Amidala’s handmaiden, she was also her bodyguard and double.


Before yesterday, we’d only seen a couple shots of Han Solo from the Episode 7. Here’s a new one:


The thing I want to comment on from this picture are the cylinders in Han’s pocket. To me, these look like what is known in the Star Wars universe as code cylinders. In the original trilogy, these were seen worn on the uniforms of Imperial officers. Not only did these contain important digital codes, I believe they were also meant to be indicators of rank. Click this link for more info about code cylinders.

Now, I’m wondering if this doesn’t indicate that Han still holds some particular rank in the government. I could be way off here. It could just be a pocket protector. Or tools. Or just a random design element. I’m sure it’s not something that will be explained in the movie; I’m just speculating about a piece of minutiae.

Finally, a cool shot of Han in the cockpit of the Falcon. Oh, and look who’s sitting next to him? Rey. Father and daughter flying the old family spaceship together. Yeah, she’s totally his daughter.


But where’s Chewie in this pic? Why isn’t Chewie copiloting? I’m starting to get worried.

Well, that’s all, guys. I apologize for the massive nerd explosion, but I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited for a movie. And I mean EVER.

As always, I’d like to hear your thoughts about these speculations. You think I’m way off? Well, you’d be wrong but whatever. I guess we’ll see come December.






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