Hyperspace Theories Episode 11: Disney Influences, Shifting Scripts, and the Star Wars Everyman

Rey BB-8 TFA InstagramThe topics for this month’s episode of Hyperspace Theories practically generated themselves. After Star Wars Celebration earlier in the year, in August the city of Anaheim hosted another huge fan gathering: the D23 Expo featuring all things Disney. In addition to major news about a Star Wars land coming to Disney Parks, The Force Awakens and Rogue One also put Star Wars movies in the spotlight at the convention, along with major coverage in Entertainment Weekly. Joining us for the episode is Ryan Hurley of Turtle Power Podcast, whose core fandoms – Star Wars, Disney, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – fit in perfectly with our topics.

We begin with considering the influence of Disney on Star Wars now that the multinational, publicly traded company owns Lucasfilm. In addition to its own creations, Disney has managed the successes of fellow subsidiaries Pixar and Marvel. Observing how Disney protects the images of its characters in its theme parks, for example, may indicate how Star Wars characters will be handled in the future. Another important impact of Disney’s influence on the future of Star Wars was the willingness of Disney’s leadership to transition away from the treatment for Episode VII created from the notes of George Lucas to a script written by Lawrence Kasdan and J.J. Abrams instead.

For our speculation meta segment we discuss the challenges of speculating about a movie when multiple versions of a story or screenplay exist during the course of the development process. Ryan shares his experience with following the production of Michael Bay’s 2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, which underwent at least four substantial story revisions, including a major re-edit of the film after principal photography had concluded. Finn saber TFA InstagramFor The Force Awakens, it seems likely that some of the concept art and rumors about the film have emerged from the period of the Lucas treatment and very early versions of the screenplay – and it is entirely possible that some of this information, while accurate at one point in time, may no longer reflect the content of the film.

In the worldbuilding segment we evaluate some of the information revealed about the core characters in The Force Awakens that provides new insight into the state of the Star Wars galaxy at the time of their adventures. In Entertainment Weekly, J.J. Abrams revealed that Kylo Ren’s name comes in part from his membership in the Knights of Ren, and in Empire magazine he shared a few hints about the motivations of behind the rise of the villainous First Order. In an interview conducted at D23, John Boyega disclosed that Finn and Rey have parallel backstories, which also creates interesting dynamics for the characters and their world.

The storytelling segment ventures into the latest officially released information about The Force Awakens, including the D23 poster by renowned artist Drew Struzan, cast interviews from the convention, and additional information from Entertainment Weekly. We assess what these latest hints reveal about the story design to be unveiled in full detail just a few short months from now when the movie opens on December 18th.

You can also listen to Hyperspace Theories at Libsyn or download the show there. Or subscribe on iTunes.

The Force Awakens castmember audio clips via Cineplex. Daisy Ridley interview via LA Times. Images via Star Wars Instagram.

Related Links:

Hyperspace Theories is on Twitter @HyperspacePod!

Tricia is @FANgirlcantina on Twitter, as well as posting at FANgirl Zone on Facebook and on Tumblr.

Kay tweets @Geek_Kay.

Ryan is @figdonpat on Twitter.



Tricia Barr took her understanding of brand management and marketing, mixed it with a love of genre storytelling, and added a dash of social media flare to create FANgirl Blog, where she discusses Star Wars, fandom, and the intersection of women within Star Wars fandom. She is co-author of Ultimate Star Wars and Star Wars Visual Encyclopedia from DK Publishing, a featured writer for Star Wars Insider magazine with numerous articles on the Hero's Journey. Her FANgirl opinions can be heard on the podcasts Hyperspace Theories and Fangirls Going Rogue. Tricia Barr's novel, Wynde, won the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Ebook. She was also part of Silence in the Library's successful all-female creator science fiction and fantasy anthology Athena's Daughters, which is available now. For excerpts and tales of her adventures in creating a fictional universe, hop over to TriciaBarr.com.

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