It turns out director Ava DuVernay gave J.J. Abrams some advice that reshaped a pivotal scene in “The Force Awakens.”
In a commentary track from the special 3D collector’s edition Blu-ray that will be released next month month, “The Force Awakens” director reveals that he often shares early versions of his films with his friend DuVernay, director of “Selma” and the upcoming “A Wrinkle In Time.” After viewing a pivotal fight scene, she made a suggestion that led Abrams to reshoot the fight in a way that ultimately helped shape the character Rey, played by Daisy Ridley.
The scene in question takes place during the climactic lightsaber battle between Rey and Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren in the snowy forest. As the ground splits apart, Ren corners Rey until she’s teetering over the rift. In the original shoot, she calls him a monster before lunging forward and attacking him with her lightsaber. But, as Abrams explains, DuVernay thought Rey needed a moment to reflect on all she had learned before this moment. So, instead of saying anything to Kylo, she closes her eyes and recalls everything Maz Kanata told her and accepts the Force before returning to the present moment to take down Ren.
Abrams also mentions that during the reshoot he added a wholly new battle technique to Rey’s repertoire of fight skills. Though the change is small, he says it effectively shows Rey’s intensity.
The 3D collector’s edition of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” on Blu-ray will be available internationally on October 31 and in the United States on November 15. The next “Star Wars” film, “Rogue One,” arrives in theaters on December 16.
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