While Star Wars: The Force Awakens was an international smash hit, it wasn’t devoid of criticism. Some people felt that the film veered a little close to the storyline of the original Star Wars film; others felt that the family friendly action didn’t quite line up with the darker tone they expected from movies like The Empire Strikes Back and Revenge of the Sith. So to those fans, I offer you the above deleted scene (via i09) where Chewbacca rips out the arm of Unkar Plutt. It may be another throwback to the original movies, but at least it’s one with a little bit of bite.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
When is a superhero movie like Game of Thrones? When it’s the most pirated movie of the year, of course. On a new list of all the movies downloaded from popular torrenting site BitTorrent, the merc with a mouth tops the chart over Batman v. Superman, Captain America: Civil War, and The Force Awakens.
Star Wars is a coveted dream franchise for many actors, and with so much material out there it’s almost a surprise we haven’t had all of our favorite stars popping up at least once in each movie. Even back in the ’70s a ton of actors were considered for Han, Luke, and Leia before George Lucas settled on his two leads. Forty years later, nothing has changed, and there’s a slew of actors who were so close to getting a part in the new trilogy before scheduling conflicts got in the way. As it turns out, we can now add Michael Fassbender to that list.
One of the biggest questions we were left with at the end of The Force Awakens, aside from “Do you think Luke makes his own organic soap out there on that space island?” was “Who the heck are Rey’s parents?” It’s a question that won’t be answered in the Star Wars universe until Episode VIII hits theaters late next year…unless you’re a real smarty-pants like Daisy Ridley.
The big emotional climax of Star Wars: The Force Awakens isn’t a lightsaber battle or a dogfight in space or even two characters talking. The last scene of 2015’s Star Wars saga revival follows Rey, a young woman from a desert planet, as she finally locates Luke Skywalker, the reclusive former hero of the galactic Rebellion. Without saying a word, Rey approaches Luke, reaches into her bag, and offers the Jedi master his old lightsaber.
It’s pretty well known that Steven Spielberg was a major force (h’yuck) in getting J.J. Abrams the assignment directing Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Lucasfilm wanted a director. Spielberg wanted Abrams to get the gig. “I brought J.J.’s name up,” he said in a roundtable interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “I thought J.J. would be the best person to direct Episode VII and I called J.J. and said ‘Would you do it if it was offered to you?’” Abrams was initially reluctant (he thought his wife wouldn’t want him to take any more time-consuming franchise gigs), so Spielberg actually took Abrams and his wife Katie out to dinner on Lucasfilm’s behalf, asked Katie if it was cool if J.J. directed Star Wars, and basically made a Love Connection of the whole thing. The rest was history.
Eddie Redmayne‘s currently hot on the press trail for Warner Bros.’ hopeful blockbuster Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, forced-smiling his way through the interview circuit to drum up buzz for the Harry Potter spinoff. But Uproxx’s Mike Ryan was more curious about following up on a comment the actor had made around this time last year, when he claimed on the Happy Sad Confused podcast that he had flubbed an audition for an unspecified character in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Ryan was intent on getting to the bottom of the situation, and previewed the following tidbit from his upcoming interview.
Back when The Force Awakens was just about to come out, the inevitable Star Wars merch hit toy shelves all over the country. But while Kylo Ren and ex-Storm Trooper Finn figures were out in full force, Daisy Ridley’s character Rey, the main character of the movie, was absent. Disney blamed concerns that a “girl toy” wouldn’t sell as well with boy audiences, but after backlash, the company decided to include Rey in their second wave of merchandising. And, lo and behold, Rey toys sold even better than any other (with the exception, maybe, of BB-8). This controversy didn’t escape Ridley’s attention, and she’s going to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens underwent a bunch of reshoots, as is the norm for blockbusters these days, and while, at the time, those reshoots were mostly kept a mystery, now some news has come out about one key scene in particular. Apparently J.J. Abrams and Ava DuVernay are good friends (who knew??) and frequently trade footage and screeners back and forth to one another to get some notes and suggestions. And one very important scene in The Force Awakens probably would not have been as cool without DuVernay’s guiding hand.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens was, for most people, a deeply satisfying experience. Director J.J. Abrams and his cast and crew returned the franchise to its former glory, reuniting beloved old characters with exciting new ones. It was the best Star Wars movie in at least 30 years.