the force awakens commentary

Like any movie with the words “star” and “wars” in the title, Star Wars: The Force Awakens ignited all kinds of conversations when it was released last year. Fans picked apart every scene in the movie, but no moment was more throughly dissected than Rey’s “Forceback,” where Daisy Ridley‘s Jedi-to-be touches Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber and finds herself propelled into a wild flashback involving Cloud City, the Knights of Ren, and her own abandonment on Jakku. And thanks to the upcoming collector’s edition Blu-ray of the film, someone else is finally able to weigh in on this scene: director J.J. Abrams.

The Star Wars Show debuted a new clip from the upcoming home release’s audio commentary, which features Mr. Abrams talking over his movie, and you can watch it for yourself at the 1:54 mark in the video below.

If you can’t listen (or just want a transcription), here’s what Abrams says during Rey’s flashback:

In this scene, she is drawn to this place, almost like Cinderella. And she goes to this box, which, when she opens, she discovers something that has no meaning to her. She’s never seen this before and doesn’t know what it is, but has meaning to the audience. Touching the lightsaber triggers what we call the “Forceback.” There were many iterations of this. In one, from the Cloud City Corridor, she looked down and saw Vader fighting Luke, which we ended up cutting. We wanted it to be a more personal story, something that she couldn’t comprehend, that was overwhelming to her, frightening to her, that was taking her through all of these elemental experiences, of fire, of rain, snow, wind. But also that she was being confronted with truths about the Force, about the past. The Knights of Ren here, the past for herself. She realizes that the cries she heard were actually her own cries as a young girl being taken away from her family. And then she hears a voice, “Rey,” and that’s Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Interestingly, Rey glimpsing Luke and Darth Vader’s duel from The Empire Strikes Back actually made it into the novelization of the film (and if we’re going to be honest, I kind of wish it had stuck around in the final cut).

This clip is actually the second preview of Abrams’ commentary that has made its way online recently. Just a few days ago, we were able to listen to him talk over Kylo Ren murdering Han Solo. We were also given a tease of a deleted scene, featuring an encounter between Chewbacca and Simon Pegg’s Unkar Plutt, that will be included on the disc.

The Star Wars: The Force Awakens 3D Collector’s Edition will hit shelves on November 15, 2016. Here’s the complete list of special features:

  • Audio Commentary with J.J. Abrams – Enter the mind of visionary director J.J. Abrams as he reveals the creative and complex choices made while developing the first film in the new Star Wars trilogy.
  • Foley: A Sonic Tale – Foley artists, consisting of old pros and new talent, unite to bring the world of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” alive through the matching of sound to action.
  • Sounds of the Resistance – Hear how the epic sound design of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” moves the Star Wars legacy forward.
  • Deleted Scenes – View never-before-shared scenes that didn’t make the film’s final cut.
  • Dressing the Galaxy – Costume Designer Michael Kaplan reveals how the costumes of the original Star Wars movies were re-envisioned for a new generation.
  • The Scavenger and the Stormtrooper: A Conversation with Daisy Ridley and John Boyega – The two new stars share the thrill of working together on the adventure of a lifetime and becoming part of the Star Wars legacy.
  • Inside the Armory – Take a fascinating tour through the design and creation of the weaponry in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
  • Classic Bonus Features – These offerings from the April release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” include the complete story behind the making of the film, an unforgettable cast table read, insights from legendary composer John Williams and deleted scenes, as well as features that dig deeper into the creation of new characters such as BB-8, the design of the climactic lightsaber battle between Rey and Kylo Ren, the film’s remarkable digital artistry and the Star Wars: Force for Change global aid initiative.
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