During the global press day for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, press sat down for select one on one interviews, but in the interest of time, also had the opportunity to talk to nearly the entire cast, plus director JJ Abrams and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. In two press conferences, they talked about their experiences with the films, answering questions from moderator Mindy Kaling and press in attendance.
During the second conference, ComicBook.com got to ask a question of newcomers Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, and Gwendoline Christie, and inquired about how much of their characters' backstories and development they were privy to (apologies for the shaky camera, as I was also holding a handheld mic, then had to give it back in the middle of their answers).
"I think this has been one of the coolest things about working on this film with JJ and with Lucasfilm. There's been a real sense of collaboration with that kind of thing," Isaac told us. "There's been almost a sandbox element - we can talk about those things and there's an evolution from the first meeting with JJ, Kathy, and Larry [Kasdan] and what ended up on screen."
Isaac, in particular, asked early on about where Poe Dameron, his X-wing pilot character, came from. In the first Star Wars, Isaac's native Guatemala played the role of Yavin, the scene of the first Death Star's destruction and where the medal ceremony took place.
"One of Guatemala's claims to fame is that last shot, when they show those temples, that's Guatemala. Me having been born there, I thought, maybe Poe's from there!"
As it turns out, now Poe Dameron is from Yavin in the official canon of the franchise, something Isaac was thrilled to learn in a unique way: by reading Marvel Comics.
"This comic book comes out, called Shattered Empire, where Poe's parents wind up going to Yavin IV and making sweet love," he said to quite a bit of laughter. "So that's an amazing thing! I think that's the first time that talking about where a character came from ends up in a comic book!
"It's a beautiful thing. It feels like we're creating these things together."