Actor Ryan Reynolds hasn’t appeared in a “Star Wars” movie yet.
That being said, he did handle a lightsaber in 2021’s “Free Guy.” He also maneuvered a very lightsaber-eque weapon for his 2022 Netflix time-traveling adventure, “The Adam Project.” The film also featured a very Endor-like chase scene through the woods. Both projects were helmed by frequent Reynolds collaborated, Shawn Levy, who was just signed on to direct the third installment of the “Deadpool” franchise, in which Reynolds also stars.
In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, the “Red Notice” star explained how they worked those “Star Wars” nods into the movie to delight fans of all ages.
Ryan Reynolds Breaks Down The ‘Star Wars’ Nods In ‘The Adam Project’
In the movie, Reynolds is a pilot from the year 2050 who travels back in time to meet his younger self. He runs into his wife, Zoe Saldana, who he had thought died in a tragic accident. As they’re escaping in a truck in a heavily wooded area, they are being pursued by armored soldiers who look eerily reminiscent of the Stormtrooper armor that has become seeped in pop culture. These not-really-Stormtroopers are pursuing them on flying hoverboards, which seems reminiscent to the Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) line from “The Rise of Skywalker”: “They fly now.”
However, it’s not “The Rise of Skywalker” that the movie wants you to remember. It’s the chase scene that happens on Endor in 1983’s “Return of the Jedi” that the Netflix film attempts to make an homage to. In the movie, Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker and the late Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia Organa are being chased by troopers on speeder bikes through the heavily wooded planet of Endor, where the Ewoks reside.
During a conversation with the cast of “The Adam Project,” Levy said that he remembers “being so wowed by that sequence through the woods [in Star Wars], and we had this chase scene. It was supposed to be just a truck and a spaceship, and it wasn’t interesting enough.”
That was when the film’s stunt coordinator found a YouTube clip of guys riding what he called “hoverboards surfboards at high speed.”
“I said, ‘Can we actually do that for real?’” Levy recalled. “And we did.”
Director Shawn Levy Explains The Difficulties Of Shooting The Chase Scene
When they were attempting to film that scene, it was shot on a green-green set. “I remember being on a microphone and, because we needed to simulate the turns, I’d go ‘3, 2, 1, left!’ And no one knew if it was my left or your left,” Levy joked.
“I didn’t go the wrong way,” Reynolds insisted. “Physics: just out the window.”
The two also discussed the “electric staff” weapon that, again, looks eerily similar to a lightsaber.
“There’s a mixture of spectacle and fantasy and comedy and, above all, heart,” Levy said of the film. “I was in Los Angeles with Ryan a couple of weeks ago finishing the movie, and when the movie ended, I said, ‘This is exactly the movie I’ve been waiting to make.’ Something that takes all of those influences and all those sensibilities and is just about audience delight and, hopefully, human connection. It’s probably been as satisfying an experience I’ve ever had.”
There is definitely a lot of heart in the movie, with Ryan Reynolds explaining how his father’s death helped inspire a key moment in the story.
Ryan Reynolds’ Father’s Death Inspired A Key Moment In ‘The Adam Project’
“There’s a line in there that is from my real life, which is that ‘boys always come back for their mamas.’ And that’s very true when my dad passed away,” Reynolds recalled during the video series, referring to the scene where an older Adam runs into his mother (Jennifer Garner) at a bar. His father, played by Mark Ruffalo, had passed away in a car accident years before.
“I’m one of four boys and it was just like this circling the wagons around my mom. We really all came back for her in a way that I know was incredibly meaningful to her. And to this day she still talks about it,” he recalled.
Levy recalled the idea of reconnecting and forgiving your parents something that helps bolster the human connection to the film.
“There’re some ideas in the movie that all of us yearn for,” Levy said. “Forgiveness of your parents through understanding your parents, and making peace with your former self. All of us have been that kid wondering if everything’s going to be okay. What a dream that would be. So, this movie got to explore a lot of what I think are like collective human what-ifs.”
“The Adam Project” is currently available to stream on Netflix. Fans can check out current reviews for the film here.