Wake up! “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is such a powerful, well, force, that we’re devoting an entire column to it:
Feel the power
It took 2009’s “Avatar” months to become the top domestic moneymaker with $760.6 million. Any second now, the latest “Star Wars” will eclipse that number after less than three weeks and will probably sail over $1 billion before it’s finished in theaters. Worldwide, the movie has amassed $1.5 billion, with the lucrative China market opening up this weekend. It’s probably only a matter of time before “The Force” surpasses “Avatar’s” $2.7 billion worldwide record.
The voice awakens
Astute filmgoers may have noticed in the end credits that “Saturday Night Live” alum Bill Hader is a “vocal consultant” for everyone’s favorite droid, BB-8. Hader explained to Hitfix that he and director J.J. Abrams were “(messing) around with this sound effects app on his iPad that was attached to a talk box operated by me. It looked ridiculous but it made BB-8’s voice. At first I tried doing a voice, but we all agreed it sounded too human.” Meanwhile, comedian Ben Schwartz, best known as smarmy Jean-Ralphio on “Parks and Recreation,” also gets BB-8 consultant credit. On Twitter he said it was “quite possibly the hardest and coolest secret I’ve ever had to keep.”
‘Saturday Night’ Driver
Speaking of “SNL,” Adam Driver, aka Darth Vader fanboy Kylo Ren, is scheduled to host the show Jan. 16. We can only hope that the skits echo the hilarious Twitter account from “Emo Kylo Ren.” Like this:
The name game
Speaking of Twitter, the humor was out in force this week with suggestions for what NOT to title “Episode VIII,” the next installment of the trilogy. Some of the best #BadStarWars8Names:
Box office is one thing; awards are another. While some soothsayers were predicting a best picture nomination for “The Force Awakens,” Tuesday’s Producers Guild of America nominations say otherwise. The PGA is among the best predictors of Academy Award nominations, and “Star Wars” did not make the cut. The PGA did nominate “Ex Machina,” which includes two “Force Awakens” stars, Oscar Isaac and Domhnall Gleeson. The other nominees: “The Big Short,” “Bridge of Spies,” “Brooklyn,” “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “The Martian,” “The Revenant,” “Sicario,” “Spotlight” and “Straight Outta Compton.” The academy has nominated films that were snubbed by the PGA, but none went on to win.