Snowspeeder Chase

The biggest action sequence that ended up on the cutting room floor is perhaps a snowspeeder chase that happened outside Starkiller Base. Finn and Rey stole the speeder to escape First Order stormtroopers. Here is an excerpt from the scene from the novelization:

Careening over a snowdrift as Rey struggled to maintain control of the unfamiliar machine, they scattered small local creatures in front of them as they sped toward the containment center. …  “Snow is cold!” Rey squeezed the speeder between a phalanx of willowy alien trees. “It’s the complete opposite of Jakku!” “Try living here,” Finn told her. “There are only two seasons: winter, and dead of winter!” A sudden boom and the speeder’s course wobbled. They’d been hit! Switching systems around like a card sharp dealing on a busy night, Rey succeeded  in maintaining speed. A second shot barely missed them. A glance back showed a second snow speeder in pursuit and closing. Finn realized that the way its driver was shooting, if he got any closer, he could take them out with his next burst. They had to do something, and fast. Rey was skilled at driving, and he was skilled at… “Switch!” he yelled. They made the difficult change only because they had to, with Rey still in control of their vehicle but Finn now in position to accurately return fire. Multiple blasts hit nothing, as Rey slalomed around and between trees while Finn fought to take out their pursuer. Damn driver knew what he was doing, Finn thought with grudging admiration. The man might even have been a former squadron mate. He tried not to think of that as he aimed and got off another burst.  This time his shot struck home, sending the trooper flying. Whether he’d killed him or not Finn didn’t know, but the pursuer’s speeder slammed into the trees and burst into flame. “Got him!”

This is why a new snowspeeder was featured in the cross section book, as well as featured in the toy line. This is also why the Vanity Fair piece included photos of Kylo with snowtroopers.


Darth Vader’s Redemption Is Dismissed

One scene we mentioned in our round-up of moments from the official novelization was originally in the film. The dramatic and moving redemption of Anakin Skywalker at the conclusion of Return of the Jedi is dismissed by Snoke, who sees his heroic turn as a moment of weakness for an amazing man:

“Kylo Ren, I watched the Galactic Empire rise, and then fall. The gullible prattle on about the triumph of truth and justice, of individualism and free will. As if such things were solid and real instead of simple subjective judgments. The historians have it all wrong. It was neither poor strategy nor arrogance that brought down the Empire. You know too well what did.” Ren nodded once. “Sentiment.” “Yes. Such a simple thing. Such a foolish error of judgment. A momentary lapse in an otherwise exemplary life. Had Lord Vader not succumbed to emotion at the crucial moment—had the father killed the son—the Empire would have prevailed. And there would be no threat of Skywalker’s return today.”

the resistance

Some other bits were lost including:

  • Leia originally gave a speech to the Resistance in the war room after the destruction of Starkiller Base.
  • C-3PO’s appearance in the war room was cut slightly.
  • The moment when Kylo Ren ignites his lightsaber in the first teaser trailer.
  • Lots of bits of dialogue from the trailers don’t appear in the film, including: Maz: “Who are you?” Rey: “I’m no one.” Maz: “Just let it in.” Finn: “I’ve got nothing to fight for.”
  • You’ll notice that Finn gives Rey his jacket as they approach the Main Oscillator building in the third act, as the jacket switches from one character to another with no explanation.
  • The reaction shot of Rey from the trailer was from a larger moment which was in many of the evolutions of the story — Rey is cleaning the parts she scavenged from the Star Destroyer piece while looking at the old wrinkly woman. She looks over at a mother next to her daughter, both dressed in fancy clothes. They are about to board a spaceship. And thats where the smile reaction shot came from.

There are probably many more moments and scenes that got cut from the film, but those are the only ones I have knowledge of. You can hear some of the stars talk or hint about some of the deleted scenes we mentioned above in the video above. And you can watch my friend Steve from Collider talk to J.J. Abrams about the deleted scenes from the film below:

Could We See an Extended Cut?

I love the fast pace of The Force Awakens, but I’d love to see an extended cut of the film with some of these sequences put back in. While there is nothing here that is absolutely necessary, it seems like some of the excised scenes could have cleared up some of the questions some viewers had (especially in relation to the Resistance’s relationship with the New Republic).

From the sound of it, a lot of the visual effects were far along in the process or completed, so it would probably be possible for Disney to release a longer cut on home video, or maybe pull an Avatar and bring the movie back to theaters with new sequences later on. But Abrams has gone on record saying not to expect a director’s cut:

I’m not a huge fan of directors’ cuts and modifications to a movie. I feel the movie that comes out is the movie that should be the intended final product.

That said, we should probably expect 15-20 minutes of deleted scenes on the eventual home video release.

If you enjoyed this feature on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, you may want to check out some of the following articles:

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