rey closeup lightsaber battle force awakens reshoots

Now that Star Wars: the Force Awakens is getting released on 3D Blu-ray, director JJ Abrams is being more open about the making of the film. Here we get two new clips from The Force Awakens audio commentary, both of which seem to suggest that reshooting Star Wars scenes might result in a better film (you hear that Rogue One cynics?).

In one of the clips, the writer/director reveals the two shots in the Rey/Kylo Ren lightsaber battle that were added after the fact — one of which was a suggestion of filmmaker Ava Duvernay (Selma) and the other is one of my favorite shots in the film. The second audio commentary clip features Abrams talking about how Rey and Finn’s relationship was dramatically changed after Harrison Ford’s on-set injury allowed him to go back and do Force Awakens reshoots.

The first clip comes via Yahoo:

First up is the Rey/Kylo Ren lightsaber fight sequence, where Abrams reveals that Selma director Ava DuVernay was responsible for him going back and adding a new shot to the action sequence.

“I showed an early cut to my friend Ava DuVernay, and she had a bunch of great suggestions. One of them was she really wanted to see Daisy, in her attack on Ren, have one really cool moment,” says Abrams before pointing out a closeup of Ridley about to deliver a decisive blow to her rival. “Boom! It’s a little thing but it really connects you to her intensity.”

You might recall that around the release of Force Awakens, Abrams was asked who would make a good Star Wars director, and here was his response: “One name that immediately comes to mind is Ava DuVernay, who I thought did just a mind-blowingly great job with Selma. And getting to know her a little since that movie… she is such a fan of genre films and storytelling.”

Also in the above clip, Abrams reveals that one of my favorite shots in the final film was actually a reshoot. Abrams explains that the original cut didn’t have the extended moment of Rey’s self-reflection during the lightsaber battle. He decided afterward that Rey should “take this moment of hearing the Force and thinking about what Maz had told her about closing her eyes and letting it in. And so she has this incredibly internal moment that is extended in movie time where she basically feels it, accepts it, and is now ready to kick his ass.”

We’ve written before about how Abrams has said that Harrison Ford’s injury was the “greatest gift” to The Force Awakens because the month break allowed him to go back and make the movie better. In the above clip (via: IGN) from the Star Wars: The Force Awakens audio commentary, Abrams explains how the break allowed him to reshoot some of the scenes between Daisy Ridley and John Boyega‘s characters, dramatically changing the dynamic and probably making a better movie.

I think it’s just a coincidence that these clips are being used to promote the Force Awakens collectors edition release, but I believe they serve as an excellent rebuttal to those of you who may be super nervous about the reports of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story going through extensive reshoots.

And if you missed it earlier in the week, we posted another clip from the audio commentary with Abrams explaining Kylo Ren’s intentions on that final catwalk scene with his father Han Solo. Watch that clp here. The http://www.slashfilm.com/star-wars-the-force-awakens-collectors-edition/Star Wars: The Force Awakens Collector’s Edition will be released on Blu-ray on November 15th, 2016.

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