After almost four long months of waiting, Star Wars: The Force Awakens has finally hit the shelves on Blu-ray and DVD. Now you can enjoy one of the biggest movies of all time in the comfort of your own home. Not only will you be getting the film itself, but you’ll be able pig out on a buffet of deleted scenes, cast interviews, commentaries and other extra features as well. With the ability to rewatch the film as many times as your heart desires, you’ll also be able to thoroughly analyze the many fan theories that arose from its story. If you feel overwhelmed by these numerous fan theories, then fear not; J.J. Abrams himself recently cleared up one of the film’s biggest unanswered questions.
WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS
To celebrate the home media release of The Force Awakens, Entertainment Weekly recently started sharing exclusive behind-the-scenes stories from director J.J. Abrams. Earlier today, the news outlet reported that J.J. Abrams has en explanation to one scene from the film that caused a good amount of head-scratching in the Star Wars fanbase. The scene in question? Kylo Ren slamming his helmet on a pile of ashes.
Right before Ren interrogates Rey for information on the resistance, he removes his helmet so he can talk face-to-face with her. Right after he does so, he turns to his right and places his helmet on a seemingly random tray of ashes. The interrogation then begins and the ashes are never addressed. Rey doesn’t ask “whose ashes are those,” and Ren has no need to explain why they are there, so they just come and go without any explanation. Why did Kylo Ren have a giant ash tray? He doesn’t smoke, so what else…or who else… did the ashes belong to? For a moment that lasts less than a second, this scene certainly generated a good amount of theories.
Back in February, Lucasfilm story group member Pablo Hidalgo jokingly tweeted that the ash tray was actually a litterbox for General Hux’s cat Millicent. It was indeed a charming little joke, but certainly not the answer that fans were looking for. However, with today’s release of Episode VII on home media, Entertainment Weekly has finally revealed Abrams’ answer.
While discussing the film’s deleted scenes, Abrams said:
“Sometimes bits and pieces of one scene end up being something that you use in another scene that you didn’t expect. That’s always kind of fun, when you realize that something you’ve shot actually has a use you didn’t expect. …The backstory is, that that table has the ashes of the enemies he’s killed. That moment was actually shot for, and meant to be used in, the scene where he was talking to the Vader mask.”
So as it turns out, the ashes are the remains of Kylo Ren’s victims. It’s kind of like a dark, twisted, morbid trophy room fit for a Sith.
Abrams added that despite scrapping the initial scene with the ashes, he decided to use the tray in a later scene because it looked cool on screen. When discussing the interrogation scene, Abrams said:
“He originally had his mask off the first time we shot that scene. Then we reshot it with his mask on, but we had that shot which I loved and thought was so cool of the mask being slammed down into that ash. So that shot was stolen from the scene that we had changed and put into the scene with Rey.”
So there you have it: the ashes belong to Kylo Ren’s victims and the scene explaining that ended up on the cutting room floor. This just goes to show how such widespread fan theories can have such simple explanations. Who knows what theory will be answered next? Do you?