John Williams won Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media for his score for Star Wars Episode VII – The Force Awakens, at the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony on Feb. 12, 2017, in Los Angeles.
Over a year after its release in theaters, Star Wars Episode VII – The Force Awakens has picked up another award. John Williams picked up the award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media for his work on the soundtrack for The Force Awakens at the 2017 Grammys. The presentation was made during a non-televised portion of the award ceremony.
This is the fifth Grammy that Williams has won for his work on the Star Wars films (three for A New Hope and one for The Empire Strikes Back) and his 23rd Grammy overall. The Force Awakens was also nominated for Best Soundtrack at last year’s Academy Awards, but lost to Ennio Morricone’s score for The Hateful Eight.
Congratulations to composer John Williams for his 23rd Grammy award. He is currently working on the score for the eighth film in the Skywalker saga, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which hits theaters this December.
Source text: ScreenRant
The Star Wars galaxy is full of fan-favorite characters like Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, and Darth Vader, but the main players of the films aren’t the only ones who attract large followings. In the franchise, there are plenty of instances of a minor character catching on the audiences and becoming an icon in his or her own right. With Star Wars: The Force Awakens now playing in theaters everywhere, it’s no surprise that the latest installment in the saga has added to this legacy.
In the film’s second act, Finn (John Boyega) is approached by a lone stormtrooper during the First Order’s attack on Takodana. The stormtrooper calls Finn a “traitor” and the two engage in a sword fight. Finn, of course, is using Luke Skywalker’s original lightsaber, while his opponent wields an electric melee weapon that apparently was part of First Order training practices:
Since The Force Awakens came out, the stormtrooper has become a viral sensation, spawning several Internet memes regarding his now famous scene. Fans have even started to call him TR-8R (a cute play on his line of dialogue), and now Lucasfilm is joining in on the fun. Noticing just how popular the character has become, they’ve fleshed the stormtrooper out with a backstory using the new Star Wars canon material.
According to StarWars.com, the trooper who takes on Finn is officially called FN-2199, but his friends gave him the nickname “Nines.” He appears in Greg Rucka’s young reader novel Before the Awakening, where he is shown training alongside Finn (who then was just FN-2187). His weapon is a Z6 baton, which is issued to soldier part of riot control. Nines was in an elite squad that can either “enforces order or squashes uprisings.” Theoretically, it’s supposed to be non-lethal, but it can cause serious harm (to the point of killing someone) when used with enough force.
For his appearance in The Force Awakens, Nines was played by veteran stunt performer Liang Yang, who has worked on high-profile films such as Skyfall, World War Z, and Edge of Tomorrow. The character’s voice was provided by David Acord, a sound editor at Skywalker Sound. Acord has worked on a number of projects set in the galaxy far, far away, including Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, and the Clone Wars and Rebels animated series.
While fans have quickly become enamored with the stormtrooper, they have sadly seen the last of Nines on the big screen; FN-2199 met his ultimate demise during the battle of Takodana. His contributions to the saga may have been all too brief, but at least Nines made the most of his 15 minutes and will go down in Star Wars lore. He’s so memorable that he’s even been immortalized by Sideshow Collectibles, which is a claim that only a few Star Wars characters can boast.
Given what transpires in the film, that may become a more desired item than the Captain Phasma figure – a turn of events few would have predicted.
She heads off again. Finally he beeps to her – something sweet this time. That he is alone, scared, has no one else. This makes her stop. She turns and looks at him. Not liking him. But a gesture of her head says, reluctantly, “Come on.” BB-8 quickly moves to her. They head off together.
BB-8 finds R2-D2 in Star Wars Episode VII The Force Awakens.
C-3P0: You’re wasting your time.
C-3P0: It is very doubtful that R2 would have the rest of the map in his backup data.
C-3P0: I am afraid not. R2-D2 has been in low-power mode ever since Master Luke went away. Sadly, he may never be his old self again.
BB-8: (CHIRPS SADLY)
A new video (click here to watch) tries to take some conclusions about who is Rey’s father in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens.
Star Wars Secrets: Who REALLY Is Rey’s Father?
Source text: ScreenRant.Com.
The marketing for Star Wars: The Force Awakens kept this movie’s biggest reveal a secret right up until release, when fans learned that Rey, the scavenger from the planet Jakku was the next trilogy’s hero, to be trained by Luke Skywalker himself. With Rey’s parents noticeably absent in the story, and after more than a few hints were dropped that the girl was following in Luke’s footsteps, a ton of fans walked out of the theater assuming the same thing: that Rey was really the daughter of Luke Skywalker – a secret that would probably be revealed over the course of the new trilogy.
We’ve run down the evidence and theories in a previous docu video, but as more and more fans have taken father-daughter relationship to be an obvious one, we think it’s only fair to remind everyone that it’s still just a theory for now. In fact, when you weigh all the evidence, there’s just as much reason to believe she CAN’T be a Skywalker in disguise. We’ll let you decide for ourselves when our latest docu video is over: Is Luke Skywalker REALLY Rey’s Father?
The Evidence: Mystery Parents
The most obvious clues may not be the most convincing, but they’re impossible to ignore. When The Force Awakens begins, Rey is living alone on a desert planet – not too different from Luke Skywalker’s childhood – or his father, Anakin’s. Rey is obviously a fan of the Rebel Alliance, too, decorating her scavenged home with a Rebel pilot doll, and even wearing a Rebel helmet for the fun of it. But once she reveals her last memory of the parents who left her behind, the big hints start dropping, as a flashback shows Rey watching as her parents fly off, leaving her behind on a backwater planet, but promising to come back for her one day.
The plot point makes it obvious that Rey’s parents are important, since audiences wouldn’t have even wondered if the film hadn’t made it a mystery to begin with. When her interrogation at the hands of Kylo Ren reveal that she imagines an island in the middle of a sea when in need of comfort, the movie ending on that exact same island – with Luke Skywalker on it – was all the evidence needed that father and daughter were destined to be reunited. And Luke’s best pupil would be his own daughter.
More Than Just Force Powers
Skill in The Force being passed from parent to child may be all the evidence some fans needed, but it wasn’t just Rey’s Force powers that seemed to imply she had Skywalker blood in her veins. Take your pick: there’s her knack for flying spacecraft, rebuilding and maintaining the most stubborn spaceships and tech, and even an immediate affinity for a droid on a mission all fit the bill of both Luke and Anakin. Her power was enough to get the attention of Kylo Ren, seeming to be an even more powerful Force user. And if you believe that BB-8’s arrival on Jakku, or Rey being pulled into the war between the Resistance and the First Order was total coincidence, then it was just as random when Anakin, then Luke, were plucked from the same situation for similarly great things. Luck, or the will of The Force – you decide.
The Force Vision
The most convincing bit of evidence comes when Rey first crosses paths with Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber – the one originally built and used by his father, Anakin, before it was cut from, and with, Luke’s hand (Empire). For starters, the lightsaber actually calling to Rey implies she’s no random Force user – and her childhood screams at being abandoned on Jakku being used to call her to the weapon add even more importance to the mystery of their identity. When she actually takes hold of the saber, she’s given visions of Luke and Anakin’s fight, Kylo Ren’s betrayal of Luke Skywalker, Luke leaving directions to his hiding place in R2D2 – basically, a crash course in the Skywalker family, and a sign of what comes next.
But it’s the voices spliced into the vision which also seem convincing: Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi, the powerful Jedi who trained Anakin and Luke are both heard calling to Rey, telling her that, just as was the case with both Skywalkers, she is taking her “first steps” into the larger world of The Force, and the Light and Dark Sides of it. Why would simply touching a lightsaber trigger such memories? If they were those of the new user’s father and grandfather, it would make plenty of sense to even casual fans.
And if Luke really did leave Rey behind before heading into exile, her not just finding him, but bringing the Skywalker lightsaber he had presumed lost forever would probably convince him that there was no use fighting the will of The Force: helping a new Skywalker finish the battle he couldn’t.
Again, it’s all just fan theories and speculation for now. Fans have assumed that Rey is Luke’s daughter for a reason, and it’s mainly due to hints and clues that the filmmakers have counted on the audience catching. It could be true, but when you start thinking about the actual twist and logic, there seem to be some real problems with the assumption. Beginning with the biggest reason some doubt the upcoming reveal of Rey Skywalker at all…
It’s Just Too Obvious
It seems pretty pointless to go the trouble of keeping a heroine’s identity a mystery, and draw extra attention to the audience not knowing who her parents are… and leaving only one real conclusion for every single viewer to draw. Not just the diehard, conspiracy-obsessed Star Wars fanatics, but even casual moviegoers who leave the theater assuming they are to believe Luke is Rey’s father. J.J. Abrams has a better track record of twists when it comes to his other projects (LOST, Star Trek Into Darkness), and frankly, the reveal would be obvious to the point of being boring. Luke Skywalker living out his father’s origin story seemed poetic, but doing it a third time is wearing out the poetry – especially if the goal is moving the series in a fresh, inspired direction.
The problem then, is the conundrum at the heart of the Rey’s parents mystery. If it is a mystery at all, then it can’t be Luke. Because if it’s Luke, the mystery was obvious from the word go. Somehow, we think people will actually be surprised when the identities are revealed in the future. But that’s just our gut talking – there are other reasons that are a bit harder to argue.
She Wasn’t Hidden Safely
In Luke Skywalker’s case, Obi-Wan Kenobi took Anakin’s son to a backwater world, leaving him in the loving hands of Anakin’s stepbrother and his wife. Fans can argue that Kenobi’s move was an idiotic one, leaving Darth Vader’s son with his own family, and even keeping his last name. But had things gone to plan, Luke would have lived quietly and safely on a moisture farm.
In The Force Awakens, Rey isn’t left with family, or even an acquaintance likely to keep her safe: she’s left with Unkar Platt, a cruel, unfair, deceitful scrap trader. But fine, it’s still in the middle of nowhere, safe from prying eyes, right? Wrong. When BB-8 pops onto the First Order’s radar, Platt tries to buy the droid from Rey. But when she refuses, Platt reveals he’s secretly communicating with First Order agents, and sells Rey out in a heartbeat.
It’s easy to think of reasons why Luke Skywalker would leave his daughter behind: out of fear he would corrupt her, too, or that she would be a target for Kylo Ren, as eventually does happen in the movie. But Luke leaving her behind with nothing, in the hands of a corrupt, villainous alien who wouldn’t hesitate to sell her out to Kylo Ren’s allies? It doesn’t make much sense. Even the idea that Rey is a daughter of Leia Skywalker doesn’t hold water, since Leia says herself that if she had kept her son close, she could have kept him from falling to the Dark Side. So why would she make the same mistake twice, or let Luke make it himself?
There’s A Better Story To Tell
At this point, the best surprise would have to be the biggest. And with all the rumors spinning and theories being built, the biggest surprise would probably be if Rey’s true parents were… just some random people. Maybe a jedi, or another character or family from the previous films, but definitely not a Skywalker. We would be just as happy as the fans to see that twist played out with love and purpose, but c’mon: the third time telling the same story would be… well, less groundbreaking than fans were told to expect.
And would the prophecy of the Chosen One bringing balance to the The Force, an act completed when Anakin and Luke both defeated the Dark Side, be better, or worse, if it was just continued for another chapter? Anakin fell to the Dark, so Luke could save him from it… and Rey could do the same over again? The more interesting answer is that fans haven’t seen the ending to this story before: maybe the beginning, and maybe even the middle, but shrouded in mystery, they won’t see the conclusion coming until it’s here.
Could Rey be a descendant of Obi-Wan Kenobi instead, with Luke forced to train his friend’s descendant, moving Luke completely into the role of his former Master? Maybe Rey was the daughter of another missing Jedi, or even a Rebel hero too dangerous to even name? It’s the same idea as mentioned earlier: if Rey’s identity or lineage is meant to be a mystery, then we tend to think just a single movie in, it still is. If we’re wrong, and Rey really is Luke’s daughter, then it’s not the twist, surprise, mystery, or story that fans – or the filmmakers – must have hoped for. And we can’t help but think feel that Abrams would have done a better job of hiding it so close to the start.
J.J. Abrams Clarifies Statements on Rey’s Parents
Fans have speculated a lot about Rey’s parentage, with most theories having her be the child (or grandchild) of one of the characters from the original films. A few of those theories may have been debunked, however, as director J.J. Abrams recently caused a stir saying that Rey’s parents didn’t appear in The Force Awakens.
Speaking during a Q&A with Chris Rock at the Tribeca Film Festival, Abrams was asked about Rey’s parents. While it’s obvious that he wouldn’t give away that sort of information in advance of its planned reveal, he went further and said that the parents weren’t featured in the film at all. He went on to explain:
“Rey’s parents are not in Episode VII. So I can’t possibly in this moment tell you who they are. This is all I will say: It’s something that Rey thinks about too.”
Obviously, Abrams’ comments caused an uproar, as they ostensibly debunk nearly every popular fan theory on the subject. However, EW caught up with the director to see whether or not he could (or would like to) clarify his statement. What Abrams followed-up with certainly alters the “not in Episode VII” comment considerably. Abrams said:
“What I meant was that she doesn’t discover them in Episode VII. Not that they may not already be in her world.”
Even if Rey simply “doesn’t discover” her parents, it doesn’t necessarily mean Abrams’ comments aren’t interesting. There are two ways to look at what he said. If Abrams’ answer just means that the characters in question weren’t revealed as Rey’s parents (which now seems most likely), that would pretty much put all theories back on the table. If by “discover”Abrams meant Rey doesn’t interact with or meet them, then that could still change things and rule out key players like Han, Leia, and even Luke.
While it’s not quite the bombshell ruling out several likely suspects, there’s a chance some slick wordplay is involved where even Abrams’ clarified statement might still be leading theorists astray, and that there’s something completely unexpected coming in regard to Rey’s parentage.
Could Rey be a Kenobi, and not a Skywalker?
Another fan theory claims that Rey it’s not a Skywalker because this would be too obvious, but a Obi-Wan Kenobi descendent. Check out the infographic below and read the text from The Star Wars Post:
The timespan for our saga is pretty easily laid out as it spans sixty years. A nice even number starting from Nute Gunray’s “Oh Shit” moment about two Jedi’s ready to storm his bridge to Luke Skywalker having a staring contest with Rey on the lovely island of who’s knows what on the gorgeous planet of who knows where. Let’s get down to some simple math before we begin on where and how our heroes and new vilain were born into this Galaxy. To keep things simple we decided to start the events of The Force Awakens at year zero and work ourselves back sixty years to the Battle of Naboo. This is accurate after scouring numerous sources on the web. It’s exactly sixty years.
According to this Timeline we can see how Rey, who is 19 years old during The Force Awakens is born, you guessed it 19 years into our timeline. Kylo Ren, aka Ben Solo, who is 29-30 in The Force Awakens is also born 29 years into our timeline. One of the key important moments for our character Rey is when she was abandoned on Jakku in the care of Unkar Plutt. A moment we witness during Rey’s flashback when she touched Luke’s old lightsaber in the catacombs of Maz’s castle. It has been confirmed that Rey was five when she was left on Jakku by her parents which put that date on our timeline at fourteen years in.
Fourteen years in could potentially be a big deal for some of the speculation that is going around. There are debates that Rey was a padawan at Luke’s fledgling academy when it was attacked by the traitorous Kylo Ren aka Ben Solo and The Knights Of Ren. Rey’s outfit looks to be the garb of a Jedi Padawan when she holds the hand of Unkar Plutt. If this is true then, according to the timeline, Kylo Ren would be fifteen years old when he betrayed Luke and his fellow Padawans. Looking at that menacing image of the Knights of Ren in the movie, standing a wet field with bodies everywhere, there is a possibility there is a fifteen year old in that costume. So it is possible. What is more unnerving is that Kylo Ren has not changed his look in fourteen years. Would you want to be running around looking like the characters of the tv show Friends right now? I think not. That also implies that Luke has been gone fourteen years as well. Quite a long time to be gone from everything and everyone that you know.
Now that we know about Rey and Kylo and where they fit in this timeline it’s time to start looking at the math when it comes the theory that Rey is a descendant of Kenobi and perhaps just maybe, Skywalker as well. First and foremost by doing the math, there is no way that Obi-Wan Kenobi is the father of Rey. Especially considering that Obi-Wan whisked away, via the Force fifteen years before Rey was even born. So how could Rey be a Kenobi? There are really only two ways Rey could be a Kenobi. Either she was born from a Kenobi family member or she was the eventual offspring from the child of Obi-Wan Kenobi.
There have been spoilers and speculation that Rey’s village, where the Kenobi family lived, was attacked by the Knights of Ren and she was shuffled off to safety. We suspected the scene of the menacing group in the rain is actually her village and not Luke’s academy. She has that great British accent like a Kenobi and of course she is a white human and gorgeous looking. If Rey is just a child born from Obi-Wan’s sister or brother, that is a decent twist to the story but it feels sort of like diet soda, the Diet Coke of plot twists. If you are a storyteller and you want to reach for the stars with an incredible twist, you are swinging for the fences. Therein lies the second option, that Rey is the Grand Daughter of Obi-Wan Kenobi. For that, let’s once again hit the timeline and look at the math at what’s possible.
To make this simple, The Star Wars Post decided to have two markers for Rey’s Mother. One where Rey’s Mother is twenty years old when she gives birth to Rey and the other when she is forty years old. By looking at the timeline, we see that would put Rey’s Mother’s birth between the Battle of Naboo and five years before the Battle of Yavin. Let’s say for arguments sake that Obi-Wan Kenobi was a stand up chap and kept his focus on the war and remained celibate at the sprite age of thirty eight until the time of the dreaded Order 66. That age would still give Obi-Wan Kenobi plenty of time during his years in exile to father a child. With the Jedi Order in ruins and the despair of seclusion, perhaps Ben Kenobi found love and had a daughter of his own.
It’s incredibly interesting that of all the voices heard by Rey in the catacombs of Maz’s castle it was Obi-Wan Kenobi’s. Not Anakin’s or Luke’s. The hints for Rey and Luke were everywhere in The Force Awakens. That is what really is very suspicious, because J.J. Abrams doesn’t spoon feed you this much, in this way. When all the clues and Easter eggs point to one thing in a J.J. Abrams film, you can almost bet on it that it means that it’s going to be something else. The one thing Kasdan and J.J. are known for is making you look in one direction when the truth smacks you from the other. Especially in The Force Awakens, where the tie in with Luke and Rey are everywhere.
If you really want to dive into the crazy deep end of the pool then there is an even bigger bet to make. What if her big reveal is not only that she is the Granddaughter of Kenobi but also the Daughter of Luke Skywalker. What if Luke met and fell in love with Kenobi’s daughter. Of course this is pure speculation with zero evidence to support it.
So, could Rey be a Kenobi? Sure, why not. I like to think she is, because for one thing, the Kenobi name lives on. Moreover, is sure sets up the possibility of a Ewan McGregor Obi-Wan Kenobi spin off film. Who doesn’t want to see this rugged exiled Jedi find love on the barren wasteland of Tatooine or some other place, while Luke was teething and learning his ABC’s.
It’s no secret to anyone who saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens that J.J. Abrams leaned heavily on A New Hope (and to a lesser extent The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi) for the new movie. But the extent of Abrams’ *ahem* inspiration has now been cataloged by filmmaker Zachary Antell in a video entitled “A New Awakening”.
While some of the visual comparisons are stronger than others, it’s still impressive that you can make a video that’s over four minutes of nothing but similarities between the original Star Wars and the birth of the new saga. While I understand that Abrams wanted to draw heavily on nostalgia, here’s hoping that it will be much harder to make a similar video with future Star Wars movies.
Star Wars: Episode VII – A New Awakening or The Force of Hoping?
There’s no denying that The Force Awakens is strikingly similar to A New Hope. This is by design; Disney wanted to bring back the old fans who felt distanced from Star Wars following the disappointment of the prequels. But what may be more surprising is just how closely The Force Awakens mirrors Episode IV, shot by shot.
In order to make the two films this similar, great pains must have been taken during the writing of the script. Shooting the film and editing it would have taken a tremendous attention to detail in order to capture the right camera angles, colors, etc. There’s a purposefulness here that goes beyond pleasing the crowd. It goes back to George Lucas’s meticulous treatment of Episodes I-VI, and the precedent he set for connecting each Episode together with particular themes, plot points, even cinematic shots.
Lucas once described the original trilogy and the prequel trilogy as being like stanzas in a poem. Each film corresponds to another; The Phantom Menace to A New Hope, Attack of the Clones to The Empire Strikes Back, and so on. This is evident in certain major plot threads, such as the death of a mentor and the destruction of a super structure in the first installments of both trilogies, romance in the second, and a cataclysmic spiritual shift for one of the main characters in the third (Anakin Skywalker falling to the dark side, Darth Vader turning back to the light).
Specific shots, like Anakin and Luke in their cockpits in Episodes I and IV, provide even more “rhyming” connections. Alternatively, Mike Klimo’s Star Wars Ring Theory suggests each shot of The Phantom Menace matches sequences from Return of the Jedi, and so on moving inward to Episode II matching Episode V, and Episode IV matching Episode III.
The point is, the Star Wars films are connected by more than just a common story line, characters, and a setting in a galaxy far, far away. There’s a cinematic artistry threading them all into one cohesive epic. The Force Awakens, it appears, is continuing that glorious tradition. There are nods to both A New Hope, as the video above showed, and The Phantom Menace scattered throughout the film (one small nod to The Phantom Menace I take pleasure in is Poe Dameron telling Red Group and Blue Group to follow his lead; Captain Panaka says something similar to the Naboo guards in Episode I).
To what extent this will continue in Episode VIII and IX is uncertain. However, Rian Johnson, director of Episode VIII, has expressed a fondness for the prequels that is hard to find in filmmakers these days, and he’s likely to have seen the connections between the two trilogies. And while neither he nor J.J. Abrams may agree with all of the creative choices Lucas made, they surely have respect for his vision as a filmmaker. Through them and Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow, Star Wars will hopefully continue on into another stanza.
The Star Wars: The Force Awakens Blu-ray is set to release on April 5. But if you can’t wait that long, you can own Star Wars: The Force Awakens via Digital HD Download on April 1. The Blu-Ray release of The Force Awakens contains a good selection of extras, including an hour-plus documentary called Secrets of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey, several featurettes, as well as a few deleted scenes:
Secrets of the Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey
The Story Awakens: The Table Read
Blueprint of a Battle: The Snow Fight
John Williams: The Seventh Symphony
ILM: The Visual Magic of the Force
Force for Change
Plus – Deleted Scenes
For everything you need to know about the Star Wars: The Force Awakens Blu-ray, including release date and deleted scenes info, just click here.
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens is directed by J.J. Abrams and stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Max Von Sydow. Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk are producing with Tommy Harper and Jason McGatlin serving as executive producers. The screenplay is by Lawrence Kasdan & J.J. Abrams and Michael Arndt.
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens hits theaters on December 18th, 2015, followed by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on December 16th, 2016, Star Wars: Episode VIII on May 26th, 2017, and the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25th, 2018. Star Wars: Episode IX is expected to reach theaters in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.