How Harrison Ford avoided becoming a ‘movie star’
10 ways to Star Wars up your kitchen.
“People have spent a lot of time trying to explain the attraction of these stories,” Ford said. “Basically it’s stories about growing up, loyalty… it’s a heroes’ journey. Harrison Ford was the ultimate badass of the 1970s and 1980s because when you play characters such as Han Solo and Indiana Jones you’re automatically considered badass.WHEN Ewan McGregor was shooting The Phantom Menace, Star Wars filmmaker George Lucas had to ask him to stop making lightsaber sound effects during fight sequences.Unlike original stars Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher, the man who played Luke Skywalker is absent from the trailers for the movie, which opens Dec. 18.
It has sort of transcended national borders and cultures, and I’m gratified for that,” Abrams has been someone that Ford had admired “for a very long time”, and he said he was happy to be part of the rebooted project. While Indiana Jones searched for treasures of the Third World on Earth, Han Solo was shooting down droids and making a name for himself in the world of Jedis, Siths and scantily clad princesses. In fact, Hamill is pretty much a missing person in promotional efforts for the franchise’s long-awaited revival, which is fueling much speculation about what plot secrets could explain his absence.
The actor grew up as a fan of the franchise and said it was the happiest day of his life when he got the gig to act in blockbuster sequel The Force Awakens. I would send him an email at almost any hour asking some arcane question and I’d hit send and I’d hear “ding” and he’d already have responded with an answer.
Boyega plays Finn, a stormtrooper-turned-aspiring-Jedi who, alongside Daisy Ridley’s mysterious scavenger girl Rey, will be carrying the torch for the younger generation. There are not many cookware items that haven’t been turned into a Death Star, lightsaber or X-wing, from chopsticks to cutting boards to ice cube trays. What you realize, by the way, in working on these movies is that even things that are canon, that are beloved and absolute to fans, are very much fluid and in flux.
After a series of auditions and screen tests, Abrams met him for a cuppa and changed his life forever. “He asked if I’d be interested in training, both as an actor and physically. The documentary also examines the connections between the duels and the sport of kendo, a Japanese form of fencing. “I really feel that kendo has informed so much of what we have done in the films it is about time that it gets some long-overdue recognition,” Hamill said in an ESPN statement. When I was watching the reels in 3-D, there were a number of shots — and I know this sounds insane — that I hadn’t understood in the three-dimensional space quite the way I did when I saw them in 3-D. Fast forward many months to filming in Abu Dhabi – doubling for war-torn alien planet Jakku – and buzzing Boyega found himself blown away by the props. Boyega’s kendo trainer also will be interviewed “I really want to make sure that we’re not ruining the movie for people, that they’re not seeing too much of it before it comes out.
After a barrage of bombastic imagery each of these newest promos blasts us with the words: “EVERY GENERATION HAS A STORY.” The message to here is clear: everyone loves Star Wars and seemingly, always has. And, of course, Finn has to be in the Stormtrooper outfit. “I was trying to be professional but every time J.J. came up to me with a note, I’d be like, ‘It’s a TIE fighter’. Scott of The New York Times worried a blockbuster film like The Avengers was bullying the audience to love it through “obedience.” But Star Wars is taking our money way more effectively: with love. There’s not much he hasn’t been made into over the years, from the sensible (pepper grinder, stubby holder) to the downright bizarre (lingerie, aquarium). From advertisements for video games to tie-in Walmart toy-campaigns, the financial powers-that-be associated with Star Wars are certainly not only aware of nostalgia, but actively cashing in on it.
Though I love that we all have access to movies on the devices in our pockets and I love that home screens are often better than theater 17 at the multiplex, I also feel like movies speak to a human desire, if not need, to congregate and to experience stories communally. Set roughly 30 years after the Rebels defeated the Empire at the climax of Return of the Jedi, the film follows the battle between The First Order – an evil army made up of the remnants of the Emperor’s forces and the Resistance, the modern-day version of the Rebel Alliance.
On the light side of the force, Boyega and Ridley star alongside newcomers Oscar Isaac, who plays hot-shot pilot Poe, as well as heroes Ford, Fisher and Hamill reprising Han Solo, Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker. I own these myself (please don’t tell anyone how I live) and while they can be a little clumsy to use, believe me when I say you haven’t lived until you’ve eaten mi goreng with the weapon of a Jedi knight.
In whatever format it is, whatever screening, whatever the best available version is, I would just argue that, if possible, to try to see it with a crowd. Bestselling writer and critic Lev Grossman seems to have pinpointed the moment when Star Wars permanently became part of nearly all childhoods, not just those who saw it in the 70’s. On the dark side, Adam Driver plays Sith-style baddie Kylo Ren, Domhnall Gleason is General Hux, Gwendoline Christie is chrome-plated stormtrooper-in-chief Captain Phasma while Andy Serkis is Supreme Leader Snoke.
And that moment, he told me, was the theatrical re-release of the original films in 1997. “That was the point where Lucas sort of declared, you know what, this is a permanent feature of the cultural landscape, deal with it,” Grossman said. “You’re not going to forget about it, you’ll be looking back on it for the rest of your life. Basically because you can also wear it as a cape, you can pretend you’re Chewbacca piggy-backing 3PO’s torso around Cloud City like in The Empire Strikes Back. (I can’t conceptualise anything nerdier than actually doing this). It was only this year that it became a really big part of my life.” Boyega added: “Daisy and I met during the audition process and it was important for us to get to know each other so we could have good chemistry on screen. There’s also a killer Millennium Falcon bottle opener, but because Landspeeder merchandise isn’t too common, this heavy metal version of Luke’s sweet ride wins first place in the awesome awards. Beyond being a statistic that probably doesn’t mean a whole lot (I know way too many women who bought tickets for this to be true) this article’s headline also calls these 34 year-olds like me “older men.” So if I’m 34, Lev is 46 and Natalie is 27, are we all experiencing the same Star Wars nostalgia, or does one of these generations have a more legit claim to it?
People of all ages latch onto different parts of the Star Wars universe in different ways” Still, like that great LCD Soundsystem song “Losing My Edge,” Lev Grossman was there. We get on really well and are both incredibly silly.” He said: “The official Daisy Ridley and John Boyega Star Wars album was founded on some time off in the desert. He tells me he saw the original Star Wars six times in the theatre in 1977 when he was only eight. “I can’t imagine anybody having more nostalgia for it than I do… Because you know what? It won’t carbon freeze (have you seen what they’re charging for tibanna gas on Bespin these days?) but it will store 18 cans of beer, so you can enjoy a cold Hahn solo* after a hard day shooting womp rats. “This is no cave!”. We weren’t ready for it, so we got hit hardest.” The 70’s generation may not own it, my generation my not own it, and the generation after me probably doesn’t own it either.
It might be my favourite item on this page and I don’t even care for the franchise that much (except for Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan, which is objectively excellent). The nostalgia we are currently seeing is from fans who connect the film with their childhood or an earlier, happier time.” Perhaps there’s no way to really know how and why Star Wars created such warmth and buzz and feelings of familiarity when it first attacked us back in 1977. But if Lippincott was ever worried he didn’t do his job at promoting the film, the evidence is not only all around us that he did succeed, but also in the memories of someone who was really there: my mother, Rebecca Britt.
We were drinking vodka tonics…we brought them out of the bar and right onto the street to wait in line for the movie…we hadn’t seen anything like that ever.” My mom has never made in a secret that she’s liked Harrison Ford, but she does make a point that thing she remembers the most about Star Wars—and loving about it—was the fact that “you got close to those characters right away. You really liked them and cared about what happened to them.” My mother’s warm feelings about the characters are exactly in line with Natalie’s feelings, which seems to be perhaps the true, not-so-secret ingredient to the mad, enduring love of all things Star Wars. And everyone, from critics like Lev and me, to awesome retired teachers like my mom, to younger brilliant people like Natalie and Amy, we’re maybe more than a little in love with those fictional people from a galaxy far, far away. He looks pretty damn good to me.” Ryan Britt is the author of the essay collection Luke Skywalker Can’t Read and Other Geeky Truths out from Plume (Penguin Random House) this month.
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