I’m not even going to say that there are spoilers ahead in this article – if you haven’t watched Star Wars: The Force Awakens yet – close the browser, log out of your device and don’t come back until you have. Shame on you…
Now for everyone else who has obviously watched the movie, we know it was a really fun Star Wars experience, but not perfect. There are many people who have complained that it was perhaps too similar to Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope or were not happy with some of the character development and strange use of the force going on in the movie. And Star Wars fans have been very vocal in raising their objections at these issues. For now JJ Abrams has dismissed most of these claims, as it was still the movie he wanted to make and for the most part – did it really well.
However, there is one scene in particularly that he views as a mistake in hindsight and its one which is not all that surprising considering how it just doesn’t add up no matter which way you look at. In an interview with /Film about his upcoming product 10 Cloverfield Lane, the director was asked about his choice to have Leia give new recruit Rey a hug, rather than embracing Chewbacca, her old friend and longtime companion of Hans Solo. Abrams has explained that the scene, which is minor in the film but nonetheless still confusing, didn’t play out the way he had intended:
My thinking at the time was that Chewbacca, despite the pain he was feeling, was focused on trying to save Finn and getting him taken care of. So I tried to have Chewbacca go off with him and focus on Rey, and then have Rey find Leia and Leia find Rey. The idea being that both of them being strong with the Force and never having met, would know about each other — that Leia would have been told about her beyond what we saw onscreen and Rey of course would have learned about Leia. And that reunion would be a meeting and a reunion all in one, and a sort of commiseration of their mutual loss.
It is a scene which seems very insensitive to Chewbacca, but potentially also shows some deeper connection between Rey and Leia, potentially exposing some clues to her strange powers and also potential bloodline. Only it seems that might not be the case, as that was not the angel Abrams was trying to explore at all within that scene:
Had Chewbacca not been where he was, you probably wouldn’t have thought of it. But because he was right there, passed by Leia, it felt almost like a slight, which was definitely not the intention.
So, if Abrams had filmed the sequence with Chewbacca clearly occupied with Finns safely, it might have made more sense and met his initial intentions. Although his comments may explain away some of the mystery which that scene created, it still appears that there is something going on between Leia and Rey and I think we will see more of this explored in the next film. There is no way they would choose someone like Rey to be the person to seek out Luke on a strange planet if there wasn’t some importance surrounding her character
I have no doubt that Abrams and Lucasfilm were being very deliberate about many of the clues they left open in the movie, but I’m glad at least that Abrams is willing to acknowledge that at least that one scene was just not well executed. It’s all fun speculation at the moment, but I’m pretty sure they will put all the pieces slowly together over the next few movies. Here’s hoping my faith in both is not misled.
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens will be on Blu-ray April 5, 2016; Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters on December 16th, 2016, Star Wars: Episode VIII on December 15th, 2017, and the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25th, 2018. Star Wars: Episode IX is expected to reach theaters in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.
Last Updated: March 11, 2016