Ava DuVernay Consulted on a Very Important ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Scene
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.
In the commentary track from a Collector’s Edition release of The Force Awakens, Abrams reveals that that awesome lightsaber battle benefited from a lot of the reshoots the film went through, and it was DuVernay’s suggestions that gave that scene a bit more nuance than it had. When Kylo Ren pushes Rey right up against the edge of the crevasse that opens up in the snowy woods, Rey has a moment where she remembers what Maz Kanata told her and lets the Force in. DuVernay told Abrams that he needed that moment to make the scene work. According to the commentary, Rey originally simply called Ren a monster and continued with the fight, but that just doesn’t seem like something Rey would say. DuVernay’s suggestion is way better.
At the end of the clip, Abrams reveals another small shot that they got during the reshoots. It lasts for about a second, and it’s of Rey’s face as she brings her lightsaber down to connect with Ren’s. It’s a teeny shot, but it makes all the difference. So, next time you hear about reshoots and get a little worried, remember this commentary and trust in the Force.
The next Star Wars movie, Rogue One, opens in theaters December 16.