With the pending release of the 3D Collector’s Edition of Star Wars: The Force Awakens we’ve already had one revelation and it was about Kylo Ren’s character defining scene in the film thanks to a preview of the commentary by director J.J. Abrams. Now, in a new preview, Abrams is offering a glimpse behind the scenes of a key moment for Ren’s equal and opposite, the heroic Rey played by Daisy Ridley. You’ll of course recall the moment in the film where Rey’s finds an important artifact from the past, which led to a little self-discovery for the Jakku scavenger, but as Abrams explains, there was an art to getting that “Forceback” just right.
In this excerpt from the commentary, Abrams explained that there was bit more detail to his original cut of the flashback sequence:
“In this scene she is drawn to this place, almost like Cinderella. And she goes to this box, which, when she opens, she discovers something that of course has no meaning to her — she’s never seen this before, doesn’t know what it is — but has meaning to the audience. Touching the lightsaber triggers what we called “The Forceback.” There were many iterations of this. In one, from this Cloud City corridor, she looked down and saw Vader fighting Luke, which we ended up cutting. We wanted [this scene] to be a more personal story. Something that she couldn’t comprehend that was overwhelming to her, frightening to her. That was taking her through all of these elemental experiences. Of fire. Of rain, snow, wind. But also that she was being confronted with truths about The Force, about the past, the Knights of Ren here, the past for herself. She realizes the cries that she heard were actually her own cries as a young girl being taken away from her family. And then she hears a voice. ‘Rey.’ And that’s Obi-wan Kenobi.”
That wasn’t the only work that Abrams did on Rey in the editing room. The other section involves the final confrontation between Rey and Kylo Ren, a scene where she follows Maz Kanata’s advice and quiets her mind to let the Force in, a move that gives her the strength she needed to defeat Ren. Apparently, Abrams has a scene where Rey calls him a “monster” and just pushes back, but the director of Selma had a different idea.
“I also showed this film, an early cut, to my friend Ava DuVernay, and she had a bunch of great suggestions. One of them was, that she really wanted to see Daisy, in her attack on Ren coming up, to have one really cool moment. I’ll show you the shot we ended up getting per her suggestion.”
What other insights will the Abrams commentary have? You can find out when the Blu-ray hits store shelves on November 15.