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Finn Is Rescued By an Indigenous Tribe

After the TIE fighter crash-lands on Jakku, Poe Dameron originally abandoned Finn (then still named Sam) in the wreckage. But Sam is rescued by an indigenous alien tribe who take him back to their village and perform a healing ritual where “Sam is reborn a hero.” This might sound a bit hokey, but its also an idea based with the Heroes Journey structure that George Lucas followed for the original trilogy. And this is where he would have encountered Maz Kanata…

The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Maz Kanata Was Originally Going to Be a Puppet

Production wanted to have a Yoda-like mentor in the movie and played with many different concept designs, most of which looked like variations on Yoda — short and green, with big ears (you can see some of the art above). Maz Kanata’s character originally appeared as a more traditional shaman, and I’m guessing she was originally set to appear in the tribal situation that Finn (then Sam) finds himself in. Later Maz evolved into the owner of a bar in Crime City where seedy alien species would gather to drink and gamble and our heroes first meet Han Solo.

The design of Maz Kanata took longer than expected and they ran out of time to create the character as a puppet (just as they had done for Yoda in Empire) as they originally wanted. Maz was one of the last designed characters for the film, finalized in October 2015 just months before the film’s release.

DSTurbolasers

The Map Was Hidden Inside the Death Star, Now Submerged Under Water

One early idea had a piece of the second Death Star submerged underwater on this junk planet, with Rey going on an adventure to scavenge goods from the old space station. One piece of concept art shows her diving, swimming through the Death Star’s trench. She would find a hidden map inside the Emperor’s tower that would tell us where the Jedi are and where Luke is hiding. Later concept art shows Rey taking the Millennium Falcon underwater to find the Emperor’s chamber submerged deep underwater.

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Starkiller Base Was Built on Dantooine and Called the “Doom Star”

Starkiller Base originally began as an Imperial Snow Base with a super weapon. The super weapon was going to be built inside the planet of Dantooine. You may recall Princess Leia attempts to convince Grand Moff Tarkin to destroy Dantooine with the Death Star in A New Hope, in her attempt to save her home planet of Alderaan. The idea was that an old Rebel base on Dantooine was retrofitted by the Empire.

The supergun was originally set inside an old volcano, with X-wing fighters trying to dive-bomb into it. The idea came later that the base would steal the energy from the suns in a system, literally and metaphorically bringing more darkness to the galaxy. The name of the base was originally “Doom Star.”

Anakin Skywalker As A Force Ghost

Anakin Skywalker As a Force Ghost

The production considered bringing Anakin Skywalker back in Force Ghost form. One image showed Hayden Christensen as Anakin talking to an old, exiled Luke Skywalker. The idea evolved and at one point the Force Ghost would flow back and forth between Darth Vader and Anakin Skywalker, showing him as a character with both a dark side and a light side. For whatever reason, the idea of brining Anakin back as a force ghost was dropped completely.

Continue Reading Force Awakens Changes >>

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