Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015 Movies)
Director:- J. J. Abrams
Based on:- Characters by George Lucas
- 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
- Max von Sydow
Music by:- John Williams
- December 14, 2015 (Los Angeles)
- December 18, 2015 (United States)
Country:- United States
- $306 Million (gross)
- $258.6 Million (net)
Box office:- $2.068 Billion
Thirty years after the destruction of the second Death Star and the Galactic Civil War, the First Order has risen from the fallen Galactic Empire and seeks to eliminate the New Republic. The Resistance, backed by the Republic and led by General Leia Organa, opposes them while searching for her brother, Luke Skywalker.
Resistance pilot Poe Dameron meets village elder Lor San Tekka on the planet Jakku to obtain a map to Luke’s location. Stormtroopers commanded by the mysterious Kylo Rendestroy the village and capture Poe, while Ren kills Tekka. Poe’s droid, BB-8, escapes with the map and encounters a scavenger named Rey near a junkyard settlement. Ren tortures Poe using the Force, and learns of BB-8. Reticent stormtrooper FN-2187 frees Poe, and they escape in a stolen TIE fighter; Poe dubs FN-2187 “Finn”. They crash on Jakku; Finn survives, but he believes that Poe was killed in the crash. Finn encounters Rey and BB-8, but the First Order tracks them and launches an airstrike. Finn, Rey, and BB-8 flee the planet in the Millennium Falcon, which they steal from a junkyard.
The Falcon is captured by a larger ship piloted by Han Solo and Chewbacca, looking to reclaim their former vessel. Two rival gangs, seeking to settle debts with Han, board and attack, but Han and his allies flee in the Falcon. The gangs inform the First Order. At the First Order’s Starkiller Base – a planet converted into a superweapon that harnesses energy from stars – Supreme Leader Snoke orders General Hux to use the weapon for the first time. Snoke questions Ren’s ability to deal with emotions relating to his father, Han Solo; Ren says Solo means nothing to him.
The Falcon crew views BB-8’s map and determines it is incomplete. Han explains that Luke attempted to rebuild the Jedi Order, but exiled himself when an apprentice turned to the dark side, destroyed the temple, and slaughtered all the other apprentices. The crew travels to the planet Takodana and meets with cantina owner Maz Kanata, who offers assistance in getting BB-8 to the Resistance. Rey is drawn to a vault on the lower level and finds the lightsaber that once belonged to Luke and his father, Anakin Skywalker. She experiences disturbing visions and flees into the woods. Maz gives Finn the lightsaber for safekeeping.
Starkiller Base fires and destroys the Republic capital and a portion of its fleet. The First Order attacks Takodana in search of BB-8. Han, Chewbacca, and Finn are saved by Resistance X-wing fighters led by Poe, who survived the earlier crash. Leia arrives at Takodana with C-3PO and reunites with Han and Chewbacca. Meanwhile, Ren captures Rey and takes her to Starkiller Base. However, when he interrogates her about the map, she is able to resist his mind-reading attempts. Discovering she can use the Force, she escapes using a Jedi mind trick on a nearby guard.
At the Resistance base on D’Qar, BB-8 finds R2-D2, who has been inactive since Luke’s disappearance. As Starkiller Base prepares to fire on D’Qar, the Resistance devises a plan to destroy the superweapon by attacking a critical facility. Leia urges Han to return their son alive. Using the Falcon, Han, Chewbacca, and Finn infiltrate the facility, find Rey, and plant explosives. Han confronts Ren, calling him by his birth name, Ben, and implores him to abandon the dark side. Ren refuses and kills Han, enraging Chewbacca, who fires and hits Ren. He sets off the explosives, allowing the Resistance to attack and destroy Starkiller Base.
The injured Ren pursues Finn and Rey to the surface. A lightsaber battle between Ren and Finn ensues, leaving Finn badly wounded. Rey takes the lightsaber and uses the Force to defeat Ren, before they are separated by a fissure as the planet begins to disintegrate and implode. Snoke orders Hux to evacuate and bring Ren to him to complete his training. Rey and Chewbacca escape with Finn in the Falcon. On D’Qar, the Resistance celebrates while Leia, Chewbacca, and Rey mourn Han’s death. R2-D2 awakens and reveals the rest of the map, which Rey follows to the oceanic planet Ahch-To. She finds Luke and presents him with the lightsaber.
- A rogue and a smuggler, formerly a key player in the Rebel Alliance. Ford said Han “does not aspire to the position of Obi-Wan, nor do I aspire to be some New Age Alec Guinness. His development is consistent with the character, and there are emotional elements which have occasioned his growth… There’s a lot of the rogue still left in Solo. Some things don’t change…”
- The last Jedi, who has gone into hiding. Regarding Luke, Han, and Leia, Abrams stated: “They’d be as old and as mythic as the tale of King Arthur. They would be characters who [the new characters] may have heard of, but maybe not. They’d be characters who they might believe existed, or just sounded like a fairy tale…” Hamill was initially skeptical of Luke’s reveal at the end of the film, although he later reconsidered his limited screentime to be “a great surprise”. Abrams added that the film’s ending was intended to be “this great long drum roll up to seeing this guy”.
- The former princess of the destroyed planet Alderaan, now General of the Resistance, and Luke’s twin sister. After the events of Return of the Jedi, she is described as “a little more battle weary, a little more broken hearted”. Fisher described Leia as “Solitary. Under a lot of pressure. Committed as ever to her cause, but I would imagine feeling somewhat defeated, tired, and pissed.” Abrams said: “The stakes are pretty high in the story for her, so there’s not much goofing around where Leia’s concerned.”
- A dark warrior strong with the Force, originally a member of the Knights of Ren, and a high ranking member of the First Order. He is the son of Han and Leia. Driver said the team tried “not to think of him as being bad, or evil, or a villain. Something that was more three-dimensional. He’s more dangerous and unpredictable, and morally justified in doing what he thinks is right.”
- A Force-sensitive scavenger who was abandoned as a child on the desert planet Jakku, waiting for her family to return. Ridley said: “She’s completely self-sufficient and does everything for herself, until she meets [Finn] and an adventure begins.” Cailey Fleming plays a young Rey.
- A reformed First Order stormtrooper. Boyega said that he learned he obtained the part “over a nice breakfast in Mayfair” during which Abrams told him, “John, you’re the new star of Star Wars.” Boyega said: “When we find Finn, he’s in incredible danger. And the way he reacts to this danger changes his life, and launches him into the Star Wars universe in a very unique way.” He said in another interview: “He’s been taught about [Luke], he knows about his history. For him it’s like joining the army and then learning about one of the great enemies of your country.”
- A Resistance X-wing fighter pilot. Isaac said: “He’s the best freaking pilot in the galaxy… He’s been sent on a mission by a certain princess, and he ends up coming up across [Finn], and their fates are forever intertwined.”
- A wise and perceptive figure operating a somewhat shady cantina on the peaceful forest planet, Takodana. J. J. Abrams said Kanata has “lived over a thousand years. She’s had this watering hole … and it’s like another bar that you’d find in a corner of the Star Wars universe.” According to Abrams, the character was based on his former high school English teacher, Rose Gilbert, who lectured at the Palisades Charter High School from 1961 to 2013. Abrams said the team “really wanted the story to feel authentic, despite being a wild fantasy. I mentioned Rose in an early story meeting as a sort of timeless, wise figure that I’d actually known in my life.”
- The political leader of the First Order. He is Kylo Ren’s master and is very powerful in the dark side. Serkis described Snoke as “quite an enigmatic character, and strangely vulnerable at the same time as being quite powerful… He is large. He appears tall. And also just the facial design—you couldn’t have gotten there with prosthetics… Without giving too much away at this point, he has a very distinctive, idiosyncratic bone and facial structure.”
- The commander of the First Order’s Starkiller Base. Gleeson described him as “pretty ruthless. A strong disciplinarian would be a mild way of putting it… He’s kind of opposite Kylo Ren. They have their own relationship, which is individual and unusual. One of them is strong in different ways than the other. They’re both vying for power.”
- A humanoid protocol droid under Organa’s service. Daniels said the actors were allowed to experiment with their performances, and that Abrams “made a field, a playpen where you were allowed to take your time and suggest things”.
- A loyal Wookiee and Solo’s longtime companion. Mayhew’s double Joonas Suotamo portrays the character in several action scenes, and Ian Whyteperformed stunts, as the 71-year-old Mayhew suffered from knee problems.
- Max von Sydow as Lor San Tekka:
- A retired adventurer on Jakku, aiding the Resistance in locating Skywalker.
In July 2013, John Williams was confirmed to compose the score. The music for the film’s first two trailers was reworked from earlier Williams compositions. He began working on the film in December 2014, and by June 2015 had been through most of the film reels, working on a daily basis. In May 2015, Williams stated that he would return to themes from the previous films, such as ones for Luke, Leia and Han, in ways that “will seem very natural and right in the moments for which we’ve chosen to do these kinds of quotes. There aren’t many of them, but there are a few that I think are important and will seem very much a part of the fabric of the piece in a positive and constructive way.” He said that working with Abrams was similar to the process he went through with Lucas in the earlier films.
Recording sessions for The Force Awakens began in June 2015 at the Sony Pictures Studios‘ Barbra Streisand Scoring Stage in Culver City, with William Ross conducting most of the music. The first day of recording was June 1, 2015. Williams attended the sessions and conducted the remainder of the recordings.
Williams said the recording process was “very luxurious”, with 12 sessions scattered over a five-month period between June and November. The score was recorded by the Hollywood Studio Symphony, a freelance orchestra, with sessions continuing on and off over that five-month period. The 90-piece orchestra recorded 175 minutes of music, although nearly an hour of that was discarded, modified, or rerecorded as Abrams re-edited the film. Williams’s theme for Snoke was recorded by a 24-voice men’s chorus. Gustavo Dudamel conducted the opening and end title music for the film at Williams’ behest. Recording of the score was completed on November 14, 2015. The film’s soundtrack was released by Walt Disney Records on December 18, 2015. Williams’s score is more than two hours long.
Lin-Manuel Miranda and Abrams contributed music to the film’s cantina scene, similar to the Mos Eisley Cantina. Abrams met Miranda at a performance of his Broadway musical Hamilton, where Miranda jokingly offered to compose the cantina music, should it be needed. Unknown to Miranda, Williams had previously told Abrams that he did not want to compose the music for that scene, wanting to focus on the orchestral score for the film. Abrams then contacted Miranda, and the two began to collaborate on the music for the scene, over a period of two months.
South Korean boy band EXO released their song “Lightsaber” in collaboration with the film for its release in their home country on November 11. The promoted track was subsequently released as part of their Sing for You album with a Chinese version, as well as also being released in Japanese. Chinese pop singer Luhan provided the Chinese theme “Inner Force” for the Chinese release of the film.
The Force Awakens is the first Star Wars film to not have a direct tie-in game to accompany it. Instead, select characters, scenes and/or locations from the film became part of other Star Wars video games, as described below:
- Characters from the film were added to an update to the mobile game Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, available for iOS and Android and released by Electronic Arts.
- Free downloadable content for Electronic Arts’ Star Wars Battlefront reboot allowed players to battle on the planet Jakku, which was where the remaining Imperial forces took their last stand at the conclusion of the Galactic Civil War.
- An update to the mobile game Star Wars Commander, released by Disney Mobile for iOS, Android and the Windows Store, allowed players to battle on the planet Takodana during the Galactic Civil War era.
- A condensed version of the film’s plot becomes an add-on “playset” in the toys-to-life game Disney Infinity 3.0, with Finn and Rey becoming its starting characters. Poe Dameron and Kylo Ren are also playable add-on characters.
Eventually, the film got a full Lego video game adaptation, titled Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which was released by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment for Android, iOS, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Wii U, Xbox 360 and Xbox One in the summer of 2016. In addition to fully adapting the film, the game also includes bonus levels that also take place a few years before the events of the film.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens grossed $936.7 million in the United States and Canada, and $1.132 billion in other countries for a worldwide total of $2.068 billion. Box Office Mojo estimates that the film sold close to 110 million tickets in North America, the most tickets sold by any film in North America since Titanic in 1997. The Force Awakens earned 8.6% of the total 2015 releases in North America, second only to the 8.8% of the box office earned by Titanic in 1997. The film is the highest-grossing film of 2015, the highest-grossing film in the franchise (surpassing The Phantom Menace), the highest-grossing film released by Walt Disney Studios, the highest-grossing film in North America(dethroning Avatar), and the third-highest-grossing film of all time. It was the 24th film in cinematic history to gross $1 billion worldwide, standing as the fastest film to surpass the mark, doing so in 12 days. It was also the third film in history to surpass $2 billion worldwide, doing so on its 53rd day of release. Deadline.com calculated the net profit of the film to be $780.1 million, when factoring together all expenses and revenues for the film, making it the most profitable film of 2015 and the most profitable film in the last seven years.
Awards & Nominations
Several awards held their nominations before the December release of The Force Awakens, making the film ineligible for the 73rd Golden Globe Awards and some other awards ceremonies. However, the film was added to the 21st Critics’ Choice Awards‘s slate of best picture nominees after a special vote by the board of directors, and the announcement of the 2015 American Film Institute Awards was delayed until after the release of The Force Awakens, where it was named one of Top Ten Films of the year.
The film received five Academy Award nominations at the 88th Academy Awards, including Best Original Score, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Film Editing, and Best Visual Effects. The film garnered four nominations at the 69th British Academy Film Awards for Best Original Music, Best Sound, and Best Production Design, including two wins, one for Best Special Visual Effects and a BAFTA Rising Star Award for John Boyega. It was nominated for Best Picture at the 2016 Critics’ Choice Awards. The film received seven Visual Effects Society Awards nominations, winning four, including Outstanding Visual Effects in an Effects Driven Feature Motion Picture. It received the most nominations at the 21st Empire Awards, including Best Film, Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy Film, Best Director for J.J. Abrams, Best Male Newcomer for John Boyega, and Best Female Newcomer for Daisy Ridley. It became the most nominated film in Saturn Award history with a total of 13 nominations at the 42nd Saturn Awards, where it won in eight categories, including Best Science Fiction Film, Best Writing, Best Actor for Ford, Best Supporting Actor for Driver, Best Music, Best Special Effects, Best Editing, and Best Make-Up.
Daisy Ridley and John Boyega each received several nominations and accolades for their performances. They were nominated as Best Newcomers at various critics circle and associations, including the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, and the Florida Film Critics Circle, The Force Awakens received eleven nominations at the MTV Movie Awards, the most for the ceremony, including Movie of the Year, Best Female Performance for Ridley, Best Breakthrough Performance for Boyega, and Best Virtual Performance for Lupita Nyong’o and Andy Serkis.
The Last Jedi
Rian Johnson confirmed in August 2014 that he would direct Episode VIII, later titled The Last Jedi. It is scheduled for release on December 15, 2017. Some second-unit filming took place in September 2015 in Ireland, with principal photography beginning in February 2016 at Pinewood Studios. Hamill, Fisher, Driver, Ridley, Boyega, Isaac, Nyong’o, Gleeson, Daniels, Christie, Serkis, Vee, and Mayhew will reprise their roles in the film, and are joined by Benicio del Toro, Laura Dern and Kelly Marie Tran.
Episode IX is scheduled for release on May 24, 2019. Film director Colin Trevorrow was originally set to direct the film, before dropping out on September 5, 2017, due to creative differences.