rey and finn Star Wars: the force awakens

It’s safe to presume most of you have seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens by now, based on its monstrous box-office haul and the fact that our “What Did You Think?” article got over fifteen-hundred comments. Since the film is out in the world, we can finally talk spoilers, including a Star Wars: The Force Awakens cut storyline.

After the jump, read about screenwriter Michael Arndt‘s original vision for Rey’s (Daisy Ridley) journey.

Arndt worked on the project for some time before co-writer/director J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan took the script into a new direction. At a Q & A, covered by Entertainment Weekly, Arndt discussed his draft of the script.

Early on I tried to write versions of the story where [Rey] is at home, her home is destroyed, and then she goes on the road and meets Luke. And then she goes and kicks the bad guy’s ass. It just never worked and I struggled with this. This was back in 2012. It just felt like every time Luke came in and entered the movie, he just took it over. Suddenly you didn’t care about your main character anymore because, ‘Oh f–k, Luke Skywalker’s here. I want to see what he’s going to do.’

Like he says, The Force Awakens is Rey’s movie, so if another character showed up, especially a presence as powerful as Luke’s, it could’ve potentially overshadowed the protagonist. Arndt also mentioned how pivotal introductions are for the film, and the reveal of Luke couldn’t have made for a more satisfying moment. After everything Rey’s been through, it’s a cathartic ending.

According to Entertainment Weekly, that wasn’t the only major storyline dropped. Another involved a “search for Darth Vader’s remains, or a quest to the underwater wreckage of the second Death Star to recover a key piece of history about sacred Jedi sites in the galaxy.”

It wouldn’t be surprising if we that last bit play out in future Star Wars films. In The Force Awakens, it’s briefly mentioned Skywalker is searching for the original Jedi temple. In director Rian Johnson‘s sequel, maybe we’ll see him and Rey continue the search for it. Although The Force Awakens sets up potential storylines for the future, J.J. Abrams told us that their focus remained on plotting out The Force Awakens, not the sequels:

At that point we were sitting down and talking about where this might go, even as early on as with Michael Arndt. We were sort of plotting out, because obviously if you know up front that you’re building the pacing inside a trilogy structure, we needed to have some sense of where this saga was going without locking in on things and leaving room for creative development. But we had to have some sense of where we were going. We don’t write a treatment but there are countless times we came up with something and said “oh, this would be so great for Episode VIII!” or “Thats what we could get to in IX!” It was just that kind of forward moving story. But we knew this had to neither be a backwards moving nostalgic trip only nor a beginning of a movie without a satisfying conclusion, and that was part of the balancing act — embracing what we have inherited and using that where and whenever possible to tell a story that hasn’t been seen yet. We also knew that certain things were inevitable in our minds but that didn’t mean it would be inevitable for whoever came in next.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is now in theaters.

 

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