“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” was one of the most successful films of 2015 which not only broke some box office records but also managed to reinvigorate the iconic “Star Wars” franchise and satisfy fans of the original Star Wars trilogy who had been disappointed with the prequels. Not only were some of the old favourites back, but the new characters, especially Rey (Daisy Ridley), stole the hearts of millions. Now, it has been revealed that the original ending shot of “The Force Awakens” was different than what actually appears in the finished picture.
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” co-producer Ben Rosenblatt, who has produced such movies like “Star Trek: Into Darkness” and “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol,” has told The Hollywood Reporter (THR) that the very last shot as envisioned by director J.J. Abrams was different.
Speaking during a standing room only session at the Hollywood Professional Association (HPA) Tech Retreat at the Hyatt Indian Wells in Palm Springs, Rosenblatt said that J.J. Abrams had considered closing the film with a close-up of Rey instead of the grand helicopter shot of the camera looking down at Rey and Luke. The director was said to be conflicted about which to use.
Rosenblatt adds that ultimately, it was the very familiar but emotionally powerful music by John Williams, who has scored all the “Star Wars” movies to date that convinced Abrams to go with the shot that remains in the finished film. Rosenblatt also said that we’re “going to see a lot of that [epic quality] in Episode VIII.”
The original ending would no doubt have subtly impacted both Episode VII and Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII. Closing the film with a close-up of Rey, the main Force user in the story, would make her the main character in the film and would have impacted the plot of Episode VIII.
In fact, Episode VIII was going to deal with some new characters in addition to dealing with Rey, Finn (John Boyega) and Poe Dameron’s (Oscar Isaac) story. But, it was reported that due to fans responding so warmly to Rey, Finn, and Poe, the filmmakers at Lucasfilm decided to do some re-writes by shortening the roles of the new characters and enlarging the roles of the trio. This resulted in a delay in production.
Rosenblatt also said that the look of “The Force Awakens” was influenced both by J.J. Abrams and George Lucas. “It was J.J., but J.J. was honoring George’s original vision. … But J.J. brought his own visual language to the film,” Rosenblatt said.