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Check out these 20 scenes that were cut from Star Wars: The Force Awakens

January 2nd, 2016 by Matt Gault Comments

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While we were all very pleased with the final theatrical cut of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we couldn’t help but notice that quite a bit of footage from the trailers and TV spots failed to make the final product. J.J. Abrams is notoriously adverse to director’s cuts and special extended editions, so these following batch of deleted scenes, unearthed by Slash Film, via Squareeyed, may never be seen.

Apparently, Abrams’ first cut of the film was 2 hours 40 minutes, with it ultimately being whittled down to 2 hours 20. Before we get stuck into some of the interesting footage that was left out, here’s Abrams explaining the editing process to Entertainment Weekly.

“So we ended up leaving those things out. Sometimes you discover that things you would have cut off a limb to shoot on the day are absolutely inconsequential, and in fact less impactful than if you were to remove it… As much as you try to kick the tires and write and shoot only what is necessary — no one wants to waste anyone’s time — when you’re in the editing room you realize, for instance, that introducing the character there actually diminishes their power. Or, giving that information actually distracts you from what you should be concentrating on. Or, having that moment happen concurrent with that moment actually gets in the way of both — things like that.”

And here are your 20 Star Wars: The Force Awakens deleted scenes!

Lightsaber Falling Through Space

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This is arguably the most famous of all the scenes that were left out, as it was reported almost a year back by just about everybody that this would be the opening sequence to The Force Awakens. The lightsaber is the one that belonged to Anakin Skywalker and was lost when Luke Skywalker had his hand chopped off by Darth Vader. The saber was supposed to be seen flying through space, heading towards a mysterious planet, but was eventually cut. Damn, that would have been cool.

General Leia and the New Republic

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We don’t get to see General Leia in the film until fairly late, compared to Han and Chewie at least. Originally, she appeared much earlier in the film and her first appearance was intended to be setting up the Galactic Senate with the young envoy Korr Sella, who can be seen briefly in the film on the balcony when the Starkiller Base blows up the Hosinian Prime. Here’s how the scene was described in the novelisation:

As usual, Leia did not waste time on small talk: “You need to go to the Senate right away. Tell them I insist that they take action against the First Order. The longer they bicker and delay, the stronger the Order becomes.” She leaned toward the other woman. “If they fail to take action soon, the Order will have grown so strong the Senate will be unable to do anything. It won’t matter what they think.” Sella indicated her understanding. “With all respect: Do you think the senators will listen?” “I don’t know.”

Leia bit down on her lower lip. “So much time has passed. There was a time when they were at least willing to listen. And of course, the Senate’s makeup has changed. Some of those who were always willing to pay attention to me have retired. Some of those who have replaced them have their own agendas.” She smiled ruefully. “Not all senators think I’m crazy. Or maybe they do. I don’t care what they think about me as long as they take action.” The emissary nodded. “I’ll do all I can to ensure the Resistance gets the hearing we deserve. But why don’t you go yourself, General? An appeal of this nature is always more effective when delivered firsthand.” Leia’s smile thinned.

“I might make it to the Senate, yes. I might even be able to deliver my speech. But I would never, never get out of the Hosnian system alive. I would have a terrible ‘accident,’ or become the victim of some ‘deranged’ radical. Or I would eat something that didn’t agree with me. Or encounter someone who didn’t agree with me.” She composed herself. “I have total confidence in you, Sella. I know you will deliver our message to the full extent of your considerable abilities.” The emissary smiled back, grateful for the confidence the general was expressing.”

Finn Tries To Hitch A Ride To Nima Outpost

Star Wars

Whenever Finn crash-lands on Jakku, Abrams decided to cut a scene where it shows him attempting to hitch a ride to the Nima Outpost. The above piece of concept art is featured in The Art of The Force Awakens book while the official novelization also features this scene. It wasn’t hugely significant to the plot, but it sounds like it would have been light-hearted.

Here is an excerpt:

The speeder was large, battered, and packed with an assortment of scoundrels representing several different species — none of them noted for their compassion. Yelling down at him and making rude gestures, they rocketed on past without so much as slowing down, leaving in their wake only dry dust and derisive laughter. “Thank you!” To the vocal sarcasm he added a mock bow. “Oh, yes, kind fellow travelers, thank you so very much! Thanks a lot!” He continued muttering under his breath, utilizing words and phrases from a half dozen worlds that would have seen him busted in rank had he employed them in the presence of an officer. No need to concern himself with anything like that anymore, he knew. He was no longer a trooper in the service of the First Order. Should he ever again find himself among its adherents, the last thing he would have to worry about was censure for the use of bad language.

Constable Zuvio Makes Peace

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Zuvio has featured prominently in various toy lines and books associated with the movie but his appearance in the film was supposedly cut very late on in the process. Apparently, Zuvio steps in to break up the tussle between Rey and the thugs that attack her and attempt to steal BB-8.

We’ve already talked a bit elsewhere on the site about Constable Zuvio’s deleted scene. Many fans have wondered where the character was to appear since he has been featured in various toy lines and books. His appearance in the film must have been cut very late in the process. His scene in the film would have taken place right after the thugs attack Rey in an attempt to abduct BB-8.

Who Is Luke Skywalker?

Abrams has stated on a number of occasions that the main reason he wanted to make this film was the question of “Where is Luke Skywalker?” However, originally in the script, when Finn tells Rey that BB-8 has a map leading directly to the mysterious Jedi Master, she responds with “Who is Luke Skywalker?” However, Abrams felt it was nonsensical to have Rey not know who he is so he replaced it with “I thought he was just a myth.”

Han Solo Uses Dice To Enter Falcon

Han Solo

In the film, Han Solo and Chewbacca recapture the Millennium Falcon (“Chewie, we’re home”), and Solo smirks as he steps back inside the ship’s cockpit. In the first cut of the film, Han used to hang the golden set of dice back inside the cockpit. The dice are from the “Cornelian Spike” game of sabacc in which he won the Falcon from Lando Calrissian. A photo of the dice is featured in the Visual Dictionary book. That would have been cool to see as well, but it’s definitely something we can wait for on the DVD.

Maz Uses Force Powers Against Some Stormtroopers After The First Order Attack Her Castle

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We already know from the film that Maz Kanata is extremely wise about the Force. She has run that castle bar for a 1000 years and has seen it take many forms, both good and bad. However, in the original script, Kanata used Force Powers herself to stop a bunch of stormtroopers from the First Order after they attacked her castle.

Unkar Plutt vs. Rey

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We only got to see a tiny bit of Simon Pegg’s Unkar Plutt, the Jakku junk buyer at odds with Rey. Originally, he showed up at Maz’s castle and confronted Rey for stealing the Millennium Falcon. Here is an excerpt from the novelization:

He smiled. It did not improve his appearance. “The ship you stole. The Millennium Falcon. You can’t really track a ship while it’s in hyperspace — but when it emerges, and particularly after it sets down somewhere, there are ways. Expensive, but in the case of valuable property, often worth it. Definitely worth it in the case of the Falcon. It happens to be fitted with a covert Imperial homing device. Old technology, but still quite functional. To which my presence here can attest. 

“Didn’t take much to get the necessary relays working.” No one in the hall was paying them the least attention, she noticed worriedly. In a place where everyone minded their own business, she found herself wishing fervently for someone to butt in. She twisted defiantly in Plutt’s grasp. “I suggest. Kindly. That you let go of me. Now.” Despite her attempts to pull away, he drew her steadily closer. She could not avoid the fact that his breath was a suitably aromatic match for his visage. 

“I suggest, less kindly, that you come quietly with me. Otherwise we’ll begin right here, where you can provide some entertainment for this galactic rubbish.” Putting his face so close to hers that they were almost touching, he lowered his voice. “I’m gonna make you and that wearisome droid pay for what you’ve done.”

Of course, Chewie stepped in to save the day (not for the only time in the film)…

“Grabbing the thrusting arm, a roaring Chewbacca twisted and ripped it off at the shoulder, throwing the dismembered limb clear across the room. Looking down at himself, Plutt let out a scream of agony as his underlings hurriedly fell back. The arm landed on a table where a group of four-armed, long-snouted Culisettos was gambling. With an annoyed huff, one of them picked up the amputated limb and absently tossed it aside, allowing the game to resume.

Maz at the Resistance Base

Maz had her castle destroyed but was rescued by the Resistance. They took her back to their base on D’Qar where she had a conversation with Leia, where she handed her the lightsaber. However, Abrams decided to cut this because Maz didn’t feature much in the story afterwards.

Rey Has Luke and Vader Visions From Empire Strikes Back

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Rey’s Force Vision was one of the most memorable sequences in the film, but it was originally supposed to be a vision of Vader cutting off Luke’s hand on Bespin in The Empire Strikes Back.Her original vision also explained how the lightsaber got from Bespin and was passed along for years and years until it eventually reached Maz.

Snowtroopers and Kylo Ren board the Millennium Falcon

One of the most striking promotional images we saw in the months leading up to the film was Adam Driver’s unmasked Kylo Ren walking through the snow with a couple of Snowtroopers. It turns out that they were going to board the Millennium Falcon, where they search the empty ship and leave after finding nothing. Additionally, Kylo Ren has an emotional moment in the cockpit, perhaps remembering Han taking him aboard when he was a child. Out of all these scenes, this is definitely one we wish had remained in the film.

Leia and Rey’s Conversation

Leia and Rey originally had a more extended conversation at the end before the General says “May the Force be with you.” Here is an excerpt from the novel:

“I’m proud of what you’re about to do,” she told the girl. Rey replied in all seriousness. “But you’re also afraid. In sending me away, you’re—reminded.” Leia straightened. “You won’t share the fate of our son.” “I know what we’re doing is right. This is how it has to be. This is how it should be.” Leia smiled gently, reassuringly. “I know it, too. May the Force be with you.”

Snowspeeder Chase

This is probably the most action-packed scene to be left out of the film, when Rey and Finn steal a snowspeeder to escape First Order stormtroopers. Here is an excerpt from the novelisation:

“Careening over a snowdrift as Rey struggled to maintain control of the unfamiliar machine, they scattered small local creatures in front of them as they sped toward the containment center. …  “Snow is cold!” Rey squeezed the speeder between a phalanx of willowy alien trees. “It’s the complete opposite of Jakku!” “Try living here,” Finn told her. “There are only two seasons: winter, and dead of winter!” 

“A sudden boom and the speeder’s course wobbled. They’d been hit! Switching systems around like a card sharp dealing on a busy night, Rey succeeded  in maintaining speed. A second shot barely missed them. A glance back showed a second snow speeder in pursuit and closing. Finn realized that the way its driver was shooting, if he got any closer, he could take them out with his next burst. They had to do something, and fast. Rey was skilled at driving, and he was skilled at… “Switch!” he yelled. 

“They made the difficult change only because they had to, with Rey still in control of their vehicle but Finn now in position to accurately return fire. Multiple blasts hit nothing, as Rey slalomed around and between trees while Finn fought to take out their pursuer. Damn driver knew what he was doing, Finn thought with grudging admiration. The man might even have been a former squadron mate. He tried not to think of that as he aimed and got off another burst.  This time his shot struck home, sending the trooper flying. Whether he’d killed him or not Finn didn’t know, but the pursuer’s speeder slammed into the trees and burst into flame. “Got him!”

Darth Vader’s Redemption Is Dismissed

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Snoke dismisses Darth Vader’s redemption as a moment of weakness…

“Kylo Ren, I watched the Galactic Empire rise, and then fall. The gullible prattle on about the triumph of truth and justice, of individualism and free will. As if such things were solid and real instead of simple subjective judgments. The historians have it all wrong. It was neither poor strategy nor arrogance that brought down the Empire. You know too well what did.” Ren nodded once. “Sentiment.” “Yes. Such a simple thing. Such a foolish error of judgment. A momentary lapse in an otherwise exemplary life. Had Lord Vader not succumbed to emotion at the crucial moment—had the father killed the son—the Empire would have prevailed. And there would be no threat of Skywalker’s return today.”

Here are six other bits that were lost, making up the 20 deleted scenes in total:

Leia originally gave a speech to the Resistance in the war room after the destruction of Starkiller Base.
C-3PO’s appearance in the war room was cut slightly.
The moment when Kylo Ren ignites his lightsaber in the first teaser trailer.
Lots of bits of dialogue from the trailers don’t appear in the film, including: Maz: “Who are you?” Rey: “I’m no one.” Maz: “Just let it in.” Finn: “I’ve got nothing to fight for.”
You’ll notice that Finn gives Rey his jacket as they approach the Main Oscillator building in the third act, as the jacket switches from one character to another with no explanation.
The reaction shot of Rey from the trailer was from a larger moment which was in many of the evolutions of the story — Rey is cleaning the parts she scavenged from the Star Destroyer piece while looking at the old wrinkly woman. She looks over at a mother next to her daughter, both dressed in fancy clothes. They are about to board a spaceship. And thats where the smile reaction shot came from.

We’d love to see a re-released version of the movie in the cinemas with the additional 15-20 minutes footage. However, just to reiterate Abrams’ desires, here’s his quote saying how he doesn’t particularly go in for directors’ cuts.

I’m not a huge fan of directors’ cuts and modifications to a movie. I feel the movie that comes out is the movie that should be the intended final product.

What was your favourite deleted scene from all of these? Let us know!

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Matt Gault is a sports writer and film fanatic. He is a fully-qualified journalist and has worked for BBCNI, Sunday Life and has been published on The Guardian's website. He interns at REDNI, sub-editing for the Belfast Telegraph. He studied at Queen's University pretending to like history and literature and then University of Ulster Coleraine, where he slacked off enormously for a year and somehow got away with it. He also enjoys Captain Morgans, The Sopranos, Led Zeppelin and Hunter S. Thompson which makes him a remarkably uninteresting person.

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