A Creative Disagreement Saved A Major Star Wars Planet From Destruction

When "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" arrived in December 2015, both critics and general audiences tended to be pretty forgiving of its flaws. Sure, it rehashed the plot from "A New Hope" and used contrivances to bring characters like Han Solo back into the fray, but it was also an energizing, loving ode to the original trilogy that tried to make a galaxy far, far away more inclusive. At the same time, the movie's attempts to tap into "Star Wars" fans' nostalgia didn't always work, like when it tried to recapture the pathos of the scene in "A New Hope" in which Princess Leia is forced to watch as the Death Star destroys her home planet of Alderaan by having the First Order use its own super-weapon, Starkiller Base, to blow up the New Republic's capital on Hosnian Prime and the Hosnian system.

The reason this moment didn't land? Among other things, it left a lot of "Star Wars" fans confused, seeing as Coruscant had acted as the galactic capital of the Old Republic before the Galactic Empire rose to power, and continued to serve as the headquarters for the New Republic after the Empire's downfall in the old "Star Wars" Expand Universe (aka Star Wars Legends). So what, then, was the point of introducing a whole other planet that "Star Wars" fans had no attachment to (at the time) and immediately blowing it up, rather than destroying Coruscant, which would've been a real emotional gut-punch?

Hosnian Prime, We Hardly Knew Ye

According to a since-deleted tweet posted by Lucasfilm executive Pablo Hidalgo (via Comic Book), "The Force Awakens" director J.J. Abrams had, in fact, intended for the First Order to destroy Coruscant in the film, but he was overruled and came up with the idea of Hosnian Prime being targeted by Starkiller Base instead. "Basically [J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot] wanted it blown up; [Lucasfilm Ltd.] didn't. Hosnian Prime was the unsatisfying middle ground. It happens," Hidalgo explained, later adding, "(I should say 'some folks at' because it's not like companies have points of view)."

There are a handful of potential explanations for why "some folks" at Lucasfilm made that call. For one, it's plausible that certain people at the studio were already thinking about bringing the planet back in a future project, even when "The Force Awakens" was in pre-production. After all, we now know that Coruscant played a central role in Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly's original script draft for the third film in the "Star Wars" sequel trilogy, "Duel of the Fates," so it's possible a similar idea was in circulation at Lucasfilm before the pair came aboard. It could also be that someone decided that destroying Coruscant would go over badly with more nostalgic "Star Wars" fans, perhaps anticipating something like the response to "The Last Jedi" and its more controversial creative choices. Whatever the case, it seems this is one example of clunky storytelling from "The Force Awakens" that Abrams does not deserve the blame for.