President of Lucasfilms, Kathleen Kennedy recalled the days of the past that led to the making of the current team of the movie including George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and J.J. Abrams.
For a limited premiere, Star Wars pulled out all the stops. With phalanxes of stormtroopers in gleaming white armor at seemingly every turn and red carpet reunions for Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford, Joseph Gordon-Levitt showing up in Yoda facepaint and Rainn Wilson attending in a floor-sweeping brown Jedi robe; it was like a galactic fiesta.
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When the cast and production of the movie gathered on stage before the screening of the Dolby Theatre, there was anticipation, excitement and emotion. Lucasfilm president, Kathleen Kennedy took her moment on the stage to tell a story of how the present Star Wars team came into being.
She started by saying that they were all lucky to be a part of something so big that George Lucas had started 40 years ago. According to EW, she said that she believed that everything that happens or had happened was all fate.
She then reiterated a story of George Lucas’ teenage days when he had crashed his car while drag racing. She said that coincidentally one of her relatives pulled him out of the wreckage and fifteen years later she was one of the hopefuls in line for A New Hope. She ended up working for the two greats, George Lucas and his best friend Steven Spielberg. Then Steven went on to make Raiders of the Lost Ark which George produced and it was written by Lawrence Kasdan. Kasdan has also co-written The Force Awakens. She then hired two teenage filmmakers to restore 8 of Steven Spielberg’s projects and one of them was J.J. Abrams.
Abrams was paid $300 at that time and they have seen his career flourish ever since. The crowd was in awe and shock. The origins of the Star Wars team was amazing to hear and Kennedy added that Abrams was the perfect guy to ask when they heard that there was another Star Wars movie to be made. So it was truly fate that led to this truly amazing team.
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Abrams then took the mic and thanked George Lucas for starting it all and giving him a chance to carry on his legacy. He also thanked Steven Spielberg for favoring him when it was time to give the job to the new guy. He thanked his parents for taking him to see Star Wars when he was 10 because it had surely changed his life.