Star Wars 7 Press conference - Judy Sloane
Star Wars 7 Press conference - Our reporter Judy Sloane made a new friend at the press event! ©2015 Lucasfilm

The Star Wars Press Conference was a first… the first time I’d gone to a press junket without having seen the movie. Then again, it was Star Wars: The Force Awakens, a film so shrouded in secrecy it’s amazing cast knows what’s in it!

Star Wars 7 Press conference
Star Wars 7 Press conference – The lobby ©2015 Judy Sloane

I arrived at the Los Angeles Convention Center around noon. Other activities were taking place in the same building, but no one attending them were aware that the Star Wars junket was there too. All the journalists were sworn to secrecy about the location of the press conference for security purposes, even asked not to ‘geo tag’ when going on social media while posting their photos while at the press event.

The Dark Side or The Light Side?

Star Wars 7 Press conference
Star Wars 7 Press conference – The two new ice cream flavors, The Dark Side and The Light Side! ©2015 Judy Sloane

I was escorted to a white curtain and I passed through it into a mini-Comic-Con. The first thing I was asked was if I wanted to be part of The Dark Side or The Light Side, ie: did I want a white or black wrist band? I chose to wear a white band. My journalist friend, Rick, said to the PR person, ‘I’m a critic, what do you think?’ He was immediately handed a black wrist band.

Star Wars 7 Press conference - Captain Phasma's costume
Star Wars 7 Press conference – Captain Phasma’s costume ©2015 Judy Sloane

The press conference didn’t start until 2 p.m., but there was plenty to do; costumes from the movie and Star Wars toys to peruse, making your own t-shirt, photos to be taken – even Star Wars inspired ice-cream to be tasted from Ample Hills Creamery. Continuing in my force for good, I went with white marshmallow with crispie clusters. I have to admit I was tempted to sample The Dark Side, dark chocolate ice cream with espresso fudge brownies, but you know what happens when you cross into the Dark Side, and I wasn’t sure the force was going to be with me and I’d be able to stop eating.

The main event

Star Wars 7 Press conference - Mindy Kaling, JJ Abrams, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Lupito Nyong’o, Carrie Fisher and Lawrence Kasdan
Star Wars 7 Press Conference – Chair Mindy Kaling, JJ Abrams, director, Daisy Ridley who plays Rey, Adam Driver who plays Kylo Ren, Lupito Nyong’o who plays Maz Kanata, Carrie Fisher who plays Leia and Lawrence Kasdan who’s the screenwriter ©2015 Lucasfilm

Finally, the main event. Two press conferences with the filmmakers and stars of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, moderated by Mindy Kaling – yes, that Mindy Kaling from The Mindy Project.

The big news coming out of the press conference? Producer Kathleen Kennedy pronounced no Jar Jar Binks, no Ewoks in the new movie. Hey, what other news are they going to disclose about a film that nobody has seen for a good reason?

Star Wars 7 Press conference - Harrison Ford, Kathleen Kennedy, John Boyega, Gwendoline Christie and Oscar Isaac
Star Wars 7 Press Conference – Right to left: Harrison Ford who plays Hans Solo, Producer Kathleen Kennedy, John Boyega who plays Finn, Gwendoline Christie who plays Captain Phasma and Oscar Isaac who plays Poe Dameron ©2015 Lucasfilm

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Press Conference Gallery

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Judy Sloane

Judy is Film Review Online's regular Los Angeles based reporter.