Magazine article Screen International

JJ Abrams Talks Women in 'Star Wars'; Harrison Ford Discusses Young Han Solo

Magazine article Screen International

JJ Abrams Talks Women in 'Star Wars'; Harrison Ford Discusses Young Han Solo

Article excerpt

JJ Abrams, director of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, has talked about placing a woman at the centre of the blockbuster fantasy franchise and casting females in both good and evil roles.

"From the very beginning of our discussions about this movie, the notion of a woman at the centre of the story was always something that was compelling to me and exciting," said Abrams at a press conference.

"It was important that - in addition to Leia, who we knew was a critical piece of this puzzle - we wanted to have other women and not necessarily human but female characters in the story."

He pointed to Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong'o in the role of Maz Kanata - "the voice of Force wisdom in the story - and Game of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma as "the evil side leading the Stormtroopers".

"We wanted to have female stormtroopers, which we do, and we wanted to have female pilots, which we do," added Abrams. "We just wanted this thing to not feel like it was not inclusive and so we did that.

"We always wrote Rey [played by Daisy Ridley] as this central character but as we started casting the movie, it just felt like the kind of thing we wanted to do and make the film look and feel more the way the world looks and feels. …

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