Kathleen Kennedy Talks the Story, Characters and Special FX in ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’

The producer and LucasFilm executive talked about the importance of finding practical locations and using real androids for this highly-anticipated sequel.

Star Wars: Episode VII producer and LucasFilm president Kathleen Kennedy took the stage at Star Wars Celebration Europe yesterday, to discuss this highly-anticipated sequel. We also have a video interview with the producer and host Warwick Davis, where she discusses the pre-production process and much more. Take a look at the video, and read on for more details about her presentation at the event.

Kathleen Kennedy revealed that she is currently splitting her time between the LucasFilm and director J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot offices, where they are currently discussing the story and characters.

"The story and characters are all we're talking about right now. We have an amazing team at ILM, who can create fantastic effects, but if we don't have a great story and characters, the effects mean nothing. I do think making huge popular culture - and I've had the good fortune to be a part of a lot it - is really hard to do and get right. And if you don't spend the time you need on developing characters, and finding stories, complicated stories, the audience gets tired because they think they're seeing the same thing again and again."

The producer also talked about combining real locations and practical effects with Star Wars: Episode VII, much like the original trilogy.

"It's a conversation we're having all the time in the development of Episode VII. Looking at all the Star Wars movies and getting a feel for what even some of the early films did, combining real locations and special effects - that's something we're looking very seriously at. So we're going to find some very cool locations that we're going to use in support of Episode VII. And I think we're probably going to end up using every single tool in the toolbox to create the look of these movies."

When asked by panel host Warwick Davis what was in that toolbox, the producer gave this response.

"It's using model makers; it's using real droids; it's taking advantage of artwork that you actually can touch and feel. And we want to do that in combination with CG effects. We figure that's what will make it real."

In related news, Disney has registered domain names for StarWarsAttackSquadrons.com, SWAttackSquadrons.com, AttackSquadrons.com, and AttackSquadron.us. It is believed that these websites will be launched for upcoming video games that are being developed by Electronic Arts.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens comes to theaters December 18th, 2015 and stars John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson. The film is directed by J.J. Abrams.

Sources: IGN, Fusible, StarWars.com

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Comments (11)

  1. Zak Lee Ferguson

    Superb Hand Over

    2 years agoby @Zak-Lee-FergusonFlag

  2. Mieko_Siede

    @raoulduke33 I completely agree.

    2 years agoby @mieko-siedeFlag

  3. Sean

    @undeadslayer4 Whoops, What I meant to say that its going to have like a Star Trek look to it or like a Star Trek vibe to it.

    2 years agoby @themoviefanaticFlag

  4. Sean

    @undeadslayer4 Yeah, it's probably going to have like a star wars look to it or like a star wars vibe to it.

    2 years agoby @themoviefanaticFlag

  5. undeadslayer4

    @themoviefanatic i bet this is gonna be completely different

    2 years agoby @undeadslayer4Flag

  6. Sean

    @mikehd@CoreyB I couldn't agree more!

    2 years agoby @themoviefanaticFlag

  7. Raoul Duke

    "It's taking advantage of artwork that you can actually touch and feel".

    Damn right. This is all the difference in a film for me. The difference between being engaging or just being a bunch of pixels flashing in front of my face that leave me feeling detached. More films need to go this route and utilize practical, tangible effects and props, with CGI not as a replacement but a supplement to lend support to push these practical effects over the edge and bring them to life like was never possible in the 70's and 80's.

    2 years agoby @raoulduke33Flag

  8. mikehd

    Yes thank god they got JJ Abrams all his movies have been awsome

    2 years agoby @mikehdFlag

  9. CoreyB

    JJ Abrams always has a great story or else he wouldnt be involved. This is another huge opportunity for him. Episodes 1-3 were good and the old trilogy wasgreat! I cant wait to see whats next! And Im glad theyre going back to models and things we can touch etc dont killll us w the cgi (tho I dont mind cgi just saying)

    2 years agoby @CoreyBFlag

  10. Devastattor

    There's no doubt in my mind that this next movie will be better than Ep. 1-3 combined. I like that they're focusing on the story and effects needed to support it versus Lucas' effects-fest where nothing was real and the plot and character development was non-existent.

    2 years agoby @DevastattorFlag

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