EW ran a couple of speeches from last nights LA based The Force Awakens premiere, and I have to say, they are pretty moving. Read Kathleen Kennedy's speech in full below and see some quotes from J.J. Abrams and Disney's Bob Iger...
Here is Kathleen Kennedy's speech, which Anthony Breznican from EW said was eerie to say the very least:
“I can’t believe we’re here!” Kennedy said as the audience cheered. “It’s a real privilege to make movies and everyone involved in The Force Awakens knows how lucky we’ve been to carry forward this incredible legacy that George [Lucas] began almost 40 years ago.
“The Star Wars saga is about a series of seemingly chance encounters. They impact the destiny of everyone involved. So… here’s a story for you.
“In 1962, an 18-year-old boy named George Lucas was drag-racing his car. He skidded out of control and wrapped his hotrod around a tree in Modesto. My step-brother’s grandfather pulled George from the wreckage that nearly killed him.”
This coincidence alone led to some shocked murmuring in the audience. But there was more to come.
“Fifteen years later, I stood in line for A New Hope, just like many of you, only to find myself later going to work with George Lucas and his best friend, Steven Spielberg,” Kennedy said. In the audience, Spielberg and Lucas happened to be seated side by side.
“Steven’s next movie was Raiders of the Lost Ark,” she went on, “which was produced by George Lucas and written by Lawrence Kasdan,” who has now co-written The Force Awakens.
“After its release in 1982, a box of super-8 movies Steven made as a kid had long been lost, but were found,” Kennedy said. “I hired two 16-year-old young filmmakers to restore them. One of those boys was J.J. Abrams.”
Again, an audible wave of surprise swept the audience.
“We paid him $300,” Kennedy said, laughing along with the crowd. “Then we watched for 30 years as his career flourished.
“When George offered to have me step into one of the greatest jobs in show business, taking the reins of Lucasfilm, ushering in new Star Wars films, only one person seemed perfect to direct that first movie,” she said. “J.J. has incredible talent, a love of Star Wars, and enormous respect for George.”
“And Destiny? Fate?” she said. “I had to ask myself: was every one of these events, this whole progression, moving toward this? Is it the Force? I think so. If I’m right, then tonight, may the Force be with us all.”
There's more than one peculiar occurrence in there I think. Bob Iger went on to say that:
J.J. Abrams went on to say a few words to those who have inspired him over the years, and a warning, the last quote my have you rolling a tear or two.
To George Lucas he said:
Of another legendary film director, who just happened to be seated next to George Lucas, Steven Speilberg, he said:
But the most moving speech by far was to his parents, his Father, and his late Mother.:
I think it is clear that Star Wars is in the right hands...
Thank you for reading,