Countdown to 'Star Wars'

‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ countdown: I can now reveal I interviewed Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, etc.

Security was tight for “The Force Awakens” interviews in Los Angeles.
Security was tight for “The Force Awakens” interviews in Los Angeles. RICK BENTLEY/THE FRESNO BEE

After weeks of cryptic messages, vows to keep secrets and security measures generally reserved for the president of the United States, I can now reveal that I spent Sunday at Los Angeles Convention Center interviewing the cast of “Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens.”

Wow. It is great to finally get to reveal that secret.

It was invited to talk to Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, JJ Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Lupita Nyong’o, Kathleen Kennedy, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac and Gwendoline Christie. Stories with all of these actors and from other interviews done Sunday will start appearing on fresnobee.com and in The Bee later this week and run through the opening of the film on Dec. 18.

Disney was so concerned with security that not only could I not say where or when I was doing the interviews but I couldn’t tweet my location once I arrived.

Security was tight. Each journalist had to present a picture ID. Anyone who wasn’t on the list got thrown into the Great Pit of Carkoon.

Once identity was confirmed, the journalists had to wear wristbands for access to the interviews and the displays that filled a large part of the convention center. Disney took the opportunity to show off its massive line of merchandising, the Infinity game, the Google 360-degree app and other “Force”-related products.

“The Force Awakens” Infinity game will be released Dec. 18. The journalists weren’t allowed to play the game because there are spoilers within, including a reveal of the end of the movie.

There also was a large display of costumes used in the movie.

Security was tight throughout the day. It was almost as tight as the lips of the actors, producers and director. Although they talked in general terms, there were no spoilers revealed – unless you count there will be no Ewoks or Jar Jar Binks in “The Force Awakens.” (Feel free to applaud.)

Here’s a taste of the interviews. The moderator is Mindy Kaling:

All the secrecy and subterfuge was worth it, as you will see over the next couple of weeks as I will attempt to give you a full preview and review of what promises to be the biggest box office hit of all time.

Rick Bentley: 559-441-6355, @RickBentley1

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