Though pretty much every big tentpole release undergoes some form of reshoots, whenever fans hear about them they assume the worst and begin to worry about the quality of the movie. Of course, in some cases they have every reason to be concerned (*cough* Suicide Squad *cough*), but a lot of the time it’s just par for the course – and sometimes they can even allow for improvement, as we can see from this new snippet from J.J. Abrams’ commentary track for the Star Wars: The Force Awakens special edition Blu-ray.
In the video, Abrams reveals that a couple of key moments from the climactic lightsaber dual between Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) were only added after his friend and fellow director Ava DuVernay (Selma) suggested that he needed a more intense-looking shot of Rey right before she defeats Kylo. Abrams also added the moment in which Rey closes her eyes and focuses her mind on letting the force in.
Here’s a transcript:
“I showed 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. But we always had this moment [Kylo and Rey close quarters] from when we shot it originally, and this used to be where she called him a monster and then pushed back. But instead we shot this and had her take this moment of hearing the Force and thinking about what Maz had told her about closing her eyes and letting it in. And so she has this incredibly internal moment that is extended in movie time where she basically feels it, accepts it, and is now ready to kick his ass. So here’s the shot we got from the reshoots, this one here [Rey kicks Kylo back] Boom! It was a little thing but it really connects you to her intensity.”
The 4-disc collector’s edition of Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be with us next month, but in the meantime, you can check out this deleted scene featuring Unkar Plutt very unwisely upsetting a wookie.