Posted on Tuesday, December 29th, 2015 by Peter Sciretta
Unkar Plutt vs. Rey
They reshot some of Maz’s castle scenes. Originally Unkar Plutt, the Jakku junk buyer played by Simon Pegg, showed up at Maz’s castle and confronted Rey about stealing his prized possession, the Millennium Falcon. The sequence happened right after Finn confessed that he was not with the Resistance. Here is an excerpt from the novelization:
He smiled. It did not improve his appearance. “The ship you stole. The Millennium Falcon. You can’t really track a ship while it’s in hyperspace — but when it emerges, and particularly after it sets down somewhere, there are ways. Expensive, but in the case of valuable property, often worth it. Definitely worth it in the case of the Falcon. It happens to be fitted with a covert Imperial homing device. Old technology, but still quite functional. To which my presence here can attest. “Didn’t take much to get the necessary relays working.” No one in the hall was paying them the least attention, she noticed worriedly. In a place where everyone minded their own business, she found herself wishing fervently for someone to butt in. She twisted defiantly in Plutt’s grasp. “I suggest. Kindly. That you let go of me. Now.” Despite her attempts to pull away, he drew her steadily closer. She could not avoid the fact that his breath was a suitably aromatic match for his visage. “I suggest, less kindly, that you come quietly with me. Otherwise we’ll begin right here, where you can provide some entertainment for this galactic rubbish.” Putting his face so close to hers that they were almost touching, he lowered his voice. “I’m gonna make you and that wearisome droid pay for what you’ve done.”
Rey attempted to defend herself with the new blaster that Han gave her, but Plutt was easily able to remove it from her hands. After Plutt issues Rey a threat, Chewbacca steps up and forcefully removes the gun out of his hands. Rey was glad to have someone to protect her. Unkar tells Chewie, “Half a Wookiee ain’t much to worry about, not against all of me,” and begins to poke Chewie in his injured arm. Of course, this made Chewbacca angry. Here is another excerpt from the book:
Grabbing the thrusting arm, a roaring Chewbacca twisted and ripped it off at the shoulder, throwing the dismembered limb clear across the room. Looking down at himself, Plutt let out a scream of agony as his underlings hurriedly fell back. The arm landed on a table where a group of four-armed, long-snouted Culisettos was gambling. With an annoyed huff, one of them picked up the amputated limb and absently tossed it aside, allowing the game to resume.
Its possible that this moment was cut for the PG-13 rating, although usually the MPAA doesn’t give the R-rating for alien blood and guts (I’m not even kidding). I wonder if if this scene were still in the film if people like screenwriter Max Landis would still think Rey is a “Mary Sue.”
Maz at the Resistance Base
After having her castle destroyed, Maz originally was rescued by the Resistance and taken back to their base on D’Qar. This is where she had a conversation with General Leia and this is where the shot from the trailer comes from, of Maz handing the General the lightsaber. J.J. Abrams decided that there was really no reason for Maz to come back to the Resistance base as she didn’t have much to do in the later story.
Rey Sees Visions of Empire Strikes Back
Rey’s original Force vision used to feature a shot where she sees Vader cutting off Luke’s hand on Bespin from a different angle than we’ve seen in The Empire Strikes Back. This is why Hasbro produced Empire Strike Back-era Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker action figures for The Force Awakens toy line. In the final film, we do see Rey stumble through a corridor on Bespin, and if you listen carefully in the background you can hear Luke yell “Noooooooo!!!!”
Also, there was a sequence in Rey’s vision that explained how the saber got from Bespin, landed on a planet, got discovered, and was passed along over the years. This sequence revealed that the lightsaber opening was actually a flashback and that the planet was not Jakku.
Snowtroopers and Kylo Ren on the Millennium Falcon
There was going to be a scene where snowtroopers board the Millennium Falcon. The image above left appears in the Visual Dictionary. I don’t know exactly what happened in this sequence, but I assume the snowtroopers do a quick search of the ship and find no one on board.
But the cooler scene involved Kylo Ren and the famous space ship. After sensing Han Solo may be near, Kylo Ren finds Solo’s ship, the Millennium Falcon, in the snow outside the base. Kylo actually boards the ship and enters the cockpit, where he begins to have an emotional moment. Maybe it’s that he remembers this place from his childhood. Maybe it’s because in an alternate life he would be in this seat right now next to his father. He lowers his head and says “Han Solo…” Now, that’s a scene I almost wish had remained in the film. Maybe it slowed down the story as it was reaching towards its climax, or perhaps it made Kylo Ren too sympathetic?
Leia and Rey’s Conversation
Leia and Rey originally had a longer discussion at the end before the General says “May the Force be with you.” Here is an excerpt from the novel which might echo what was filmed:
“I’m proud of what you’re about to do,” she told the girl. Rey replied in all seriousness. “But you’re also afraid. In sending me away, you’re—reminded.” Leia straightened. “You won’t share the fate of our son.” “I know what we’re doing is right. This is how it has to be. This is how it should be.” Leia smiled gently, reassuringly. “I know it, too. May the Force be with you.”