As Star Wars: The Force Awakens draws closer to being released, rumor and fact have begun to mesh together into some kind of globby new reality that become it’s own movie. Don’t be taken in by this parallel universe made of half truths, that’s just as bad as going to the dark side. Why not hang out with us and learn the facts about Episode VII? We’ll be like Yoda and you can be Luke, carrying us around the swamps of the Internet while we teach you the ways of the force. Or possibly a less convoluted metaphor. The next few months are leading up to the apex of most of our geeky lives, and if you care at all about Star Wars, you’ll want to be in the conversation. Don’t be left behind like Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru, hop in our Millennium Falcon knowledge and learn everything you should know about The Force Awakens.Who is Finn? What’s a BB8? Why is my grandpa hanging out with a very hairy man in a space ship? These are the kinds of questions that we’re here to answer, although, if you don’t know who Chewbacca is we may not be able to help you. On this very important list of things you need to know about Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we’ve done our best to stay out of the realm of rumors and post information that’s come straight from the actors and filmmakers involved with Episode VII.
Producers Were Charged with Breaking Safety Laws
Months after the film's debut, producers were charged with breaking workplace health and safety laws in the UK. The charges stemmed from an accident that happened on the second day of shooting near London in June of 2014. A door from the Millennium Falcon fell on Harrison Ford, shattering his ankle and requiring him to get surgery. The production schedule had to be shifted to allow him time to recover. In February of 2016, Britain's Health and Safety Executive said that their investigation had finally turned up enough evidence to take the matter to trial.
But the accident wasn't all pain and no gain. In fact, a the 2016 Tribeca Film Fesyival, J.J. Abrams revealed that the time off from set to let Harrison heal actually helped him re-write and strengthen the relationship between Finn and Rey.He said: “When I was on the set of the Millennium Falcon and we started to do work with Rey and Finn, the first time we did it, it didn’t work at all. It was much more contentious. I didn’t direct it right. It was set up all wrong, and when Harrison Ford got injured — which was a very scary day — we ended up having a few weeks off, and it was during that time that I really got to look at what we had done and rewrite quite a bit of that relationship. So when we came back to work again, we actually just reshot from the ground up, those scenes. It was an amazingly helpful thing to get these two characters to where they needed to be.”
A Terminally Ill Fan Got to See the Movie Two Months Early
Terminally ill mega-fan Daniel Fleetwood made it his dying request to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens before his death. His wish sparked the global #ForceForDaniel social media campaign, and Fleetwood (who suffered from an aggressive form of cancer) was eventually treated to a screening of the film two months before it opened to the public. It happened just one week before his death on Tuesday, November 10, 2015.
Kevin Smith Has a Line in the Film
In January 2016, Matthew Wood - supervising sound editor on The Force Awakens - released a full list of additional voice actors and their lines in the film. Among them was Kevin Smith, who gave life to a stormtrooper with the line "We have incoming at 28.6! Move!"
One Question Convinced J.J. Abrams to Direct the Film
J.J. Abrams initially (and famously) turned down directing The Force Awakens, until Kathleen Kennedy said to him, “Who is Luke Skywalker?” This question made him reconsider his decision and history was made.