We'll keep updating this post throughout the press conference:
Ron Howard on how this was different for him: "The level of anticipation is unlike anything that I've done. You fall into it and it's amazing. It was a little bit, like the Beatles documentary that I took on. I could tell from the moment it was announced, Ron, don't f-ck this up. So I immediately felt the same thing with this, the fans care and they should care."
Howard also talked about the importance of practical effects" "[Even with[ all the great CGI, in camera is always what you want to go for first. With the Millennium Falcon and the great sets, the approach is you're trying to get as much in-camera as you can." His hope was to make it "as palpable and immersive" as it can be.
Alden on stepping into the Han's shoes: "It's really wild, it's really exciting and it's bigger than you can wrap your head around. Particularly being in the Millennium Falcon is very cool. You get in and you can't believe you're in it and it's so surreal. And then, a couple months into shooting, you're inside of it, you're flying it, you know where the buttons are and you're like, ok this feels like my ship now." He added that he watched the original movies after he got the role to see how the character "operated" in this world, before trying to figure out how he'd work in this story, at this moment in time.
Alden revealed that Harrison Ford surprised him earlier in the day and his input on the character: "Right before we started shooting, I wanted to talk to Harrison, to pay respect and have him give his blessing. We had lunch 2 years ago, he was really encouraging and really supportive. Today I was going an interview and they said, 'Is there anything you'd like to ask him?' and he was behind me and was so effusive about the movie. It meant so much for me, Ron, Kathy, everyone. It's a huge deal to have him genuinely love it. It meant a lot to me that he took the time to come out here and do that. It was awesome."
Joonas opened up about taking over the role of Chewbacca and his "boot camp" for the part: "It's just something that I really, when I got to know how I had a chance and got to know I would be playing the character, I couldn't sleep at night. This was a life-changer to me. I was borderline jobless when I got this role. My now fiancée has seen me going from living with my mom to becoming Chewbacca, that's the span of my relationship. This character is so loved and Peter Mayhew has been so instrumental in giving me his blessing and giving me some tips in our weeklong session together, how to be this character.
Emilia Clarke couldn't say much about her mysterious character, who knows Solo longer than anyone else but becomes separated from him. "She seems to have lived a pretty dark life in that time," Clarke teased. It's filling in those missing pieces of what happened to her "that keeps coming up throughout the movie."
Thandie Newton talked about the good vibes on set. "We would feel like we were in real battle scenarios with explosions going on, getting mud in places you didn't know you had places. The camaraderie between us was humor. We'd been shooting for a long time and some of the stuff that you share, and taking the piss out of each other. A lot going wrong, so that camaraderie was really felt, we were going into battle together. A fantasy, fun battle, but we're still going into battle." Newton also revealed she brought her son to set and he was drawn to R2-D2, who started to "chat" with him in robot speak. "This is the stuff that dreams are made of," she added.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge plays L3, a droid unlike any other. "She's a self made droid. She turned herself into a unique creature that's taller, stronger and more independent than she was," she teased. "See's got a great attitude and she's very upbeat and fun to be around. She's fearless, uncensored and a revolutionary. She's got an agenda, which is quite extraordinary. It's great to play a droid with a message."
Paul Bettany had a blast going from playing Vision in "Infinity War" to playing the bad guy in this one: "It was great going from someone who is fundamentally good, just to somebody who's deliciously bad and really OK with it. No guilt, just super happy about being evil." He also joked that he "blew" his first take, because he just had to go "in for a cuddle" when he first met Chewbacca.
Subtle political commentary: At one point in the film, droid L3 says she wants "equal rights," a nice touch of political commentary and something Lawrence Kasdan said Waller-Bridge came up with on the spot. "That is a perfect example of something that feels totally true to her character, "he added.
Lando has some amazing style, but Glover wasn't able to take any of the character's iconic capes home with him. "The fur cape I had, they had extra material and they made a pillow out of it for me," he explained. "Now I have a pillow that I try and wear as a cape."
Howard said he was a fan of the "Star Wars" films but was, by no means, "encyclopedic" about all the background stories of the characters. "I immediately said, I'm gonna treat this like it's a true story and I always have technical advisors around. I go for the heart, the drama and excitement of the story and let the technical advisors tell me where else it could go," he added. He said the Kasdans' knowledge was vital.
Glover said he loved seeing the class divide in the film, which reflects the current world we live in. "I love that there are rich people and poor people in this movie," he said. "You get to see why Han is complicated. That's a rough world out there and I really love that it's not simple."