The Force Awakens Bits: A Closer Look At Snoke, The Existence Of More Deleted Scenes, And The Generosity Of J.J. Abrams

Eventually, we'll have to discontinue The Force Awakens Bits, especially since everyone's focus is shifting to Rogue One as of late. But not yet! In the meantime, here's all of the recent news regarding Star Wars: The Force Awakens:

  • Our closest look yet at Supreme Leader Snoke.
  • More deleted scenes may surface...at some point.
  • An interview with the writer behind a new book of Star Wars short stories.
  • A brief look at the creation of BB-8.
  • J.J. Abrams reveals that he screened The Force Awakens for many terminally ill fans.
  • Harrison Ford's Han Solo jacket was just sold for a whole bunch of money.
  • More dialogue has been discovered in Rey's flashback scene.
  • And more!

Reddit user Kevin Moore combed through the special features on the Blu-ray of The Force Awakens and came away with some very interesting screen shots of Andy Serkis' Supreme Leader Snoke. First up are a few pieces of concept art that showcase Snoke's early looks, including one where he wore white hooded robe, and a handful of alternate takes on the chamber where his hologram addresses Kylo Ren and General Hux. There are also a few images of the character in various stages of his creation (including a real-life cast model), which offer a much less hazy look at the mysterious leader of the First Order. From this angle, that wound on the side of this face is starting to look more and more like the work the work of a lightsaber. Maybe. Perhaps. I'm just saying...

The folks from Collider had a chance to speak with J.J. Abrams and and Simon Pegg at CinemaCon and the duo revealed that there are more delated scenes from The Force Awakens that didn't make it on to the Blu-ray and DVD. But of course, nobody knows when they'll see the light of day:

J.J. ABRAMS: I think there are going to be some more that are going to be available online, but I don't know when that's going to happen. But there are some others.

SIMON PEGG: Most of them feature me, funnily enough. There's a whole story featuring Unkar. Like him opening his shop—

ABRAMS: There is, actually.

Significant scenes from The Force Awakens were reshot and reshaped, but we'll probably have to wait a long time before we can see the full extent of them. After all, Lucasfilm is still early in the process of getting the annual Star Wars machine up and running – they probably don't want fans talking about the excised material that would have led to a very different movie. Not yet.

Star Wars The Force Awakens constable zuvio

StarWars.com has posted an interview with Landry Q. Walker, author the new book Star Wars: The Force Awakens: Tales from a Galaxy Far, Far Away: ALIENS Volume IPartially published in ebook form last year, this collection of short stories sheds light on various background and supporting characters seen in The Force Awakens (including the infamously cut-from-the-film Constable Zuvio). Here's an excerpt from the interview, where Walker talks about selecting characters for the collection and how much information he was given about the unknown corners of the Star Wars universe:

Well, that's a deeply layered question. I went into the office for a day and the Story [Group] set out a series of images of these various aliens. I was kind of directed to three different characters, but the other three I selected because they interested me: Sidon Ithano (a.k.a. The Crimson Corsair), Constable Zuvio, and the cryptosurgeons. Those all jumped right out at me. There were very basic backgrounds in place — the kind of stuff you might read off a toy package. I knew that Quiggold was basically the mouthpiece for the relatively famous pirate, and I knew that Zuvio struggled to impose some kind of order on the chaos of his surroundings. In cases like Quiggold or Unkar Plutt, I knew what their races were called but I was left to decide what that might mean. Same with Thromba and Laparo. I knew they were cryptosurgeons with removable arm attachments, but I came up with a lot of other aspects of their physiology and their background — including their home planet. Going back to Unkar, I got to make a fairly major determination about his biology, so that was fun.

If you want to know more, make sure you hit the link above.

If you haven't had a chance to pick up The Force Awakens on Blu-ray and DVD, don't fret – the official Star Wars YouTube channel is starting to share special features here and there, like this look at the design and creation of BB-8.

The Force Awakens - J.J. Abrams

Last year, J.J. Abrams made headlines when he allowed Daniel Fleetwood, a terminally ill Star Wars fan, to see The Force Awakens early. Fleetwood died only a few days after his screening. While Abrams and Lucasfilm didn't advertise what they did, Fleetwood's friends and family spread the word. Now, it's been revealed that Abrams' generosity goes beyond a single fan. Entertainment Weekly spoke with Abrams and learned that there were many other early screenings for fans who did not live long enough to see the film in theaters:

You know, there are a lot of examples of passionate and excitable people but the most, I think, profound experience was that in the time before the movie came out — about a month before — we had a couple people go around to those fans who were not going to survive because of terminal illness until the movie came out. The movie was screened probably two dozen or so times to various people who, tragically, were struck with illness that would prevent them from seeing the movie otherwise.

Abrams would also introduce each screening by phone and speak with the fans afterward:

I would speak with these people before and after. Sometimes they were adults and other times they were children and it was always... it was the most profound thing to be reminded in such a clear and wonderful and heartbreaking way how important this world was that George Lucas created, what it meant to these people.

Don't let anyone ever say that Abrams isn't a straight-up gentleman and scholar.

jacket auction

Speaking of people in Star Wars doing good things for good causes, Harrison Ford recently auctioned the jacket he wore in The Force Awakens to raise money for FACES (Finding a Cure for Epilepsy and Seizures). Bidding began at $15,000, but the jacket ultimately sold for a cool $191,000.

onAnother day, another person seemingly discovering additional dialogue hidden in the sound mix during Rey's big flashback scene! We were already aware of vocal cameos from Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi, but according to this new deep dive, we can hear Obi-Wan Kenobi saying "You will be tempted, but you can not control it" as Kylo Ren executes an unnamed character, a line that was originally used in The Empire Strikes Back. Even more interesting is an apparent Emperor Palpatine snippet from Revenge of the Sith, where the big bad of the original and prequel trilogies can be heard saying "Any Jedi" as the film cuts back to Rey. Make of all of this what you will.

One of the most weirdly human moments in The Force Awakens comes during the climactic lightsaber duel, where the wounded Kylo Ren repeatedly punches his own blaster wound. Although the scene is an easy read – Ben Solo is dealing with extreme pain and is trying to psych himself up – the always valuable Star Wars Minute took a deeper dive. As you can see in the video above, the "legends" stories of the former expanded universe feature several examples of Dark Side followers using pain to increase their strength and connection to their powers. So there you go.