We love this seemingly endless supply of trivia and details of deleted scenes that The Force Awakens keeps giving us. It seems like there’s a whole movie’s worth of extended or alternative scenes to be cut together. Now, it seems, that the film’s ending was planned differently, including a different final shot that would see out the epic return to the Star Wars saga.
The ending we did get saw the return of Luke Skywalker, after months of Internet rumours, in a much more minimal role than we were expecting. When he and Rey have their silent face-off, and the music builds, it’s a pretty grand finale as the camera sweeps by them.
As it turns out, this final shot almost didn’t make the final cut. When speaking to THR (via Squareeyed), co-producer Ben Rosenblatt mentioned that the chilling standoff was originally much simpler. Rather than ending on both of them, the original idea was to focus on Rey herself.
What it came down to was a choice of symbolism. The notion of The Force Awakens ending on Rey, who had The Force awakened in her. It would have tied it all together nicely, and proven that Rey was clearly the star of the movie, and meant as the lead protagonist of the new trilogy.
The choice for the change was actually driven heavily by John Williams’ score. Talking about it, Rosenblatt said it “left you with this sweeping emotional epic [feel], and you’re going to see a lot of that in Episode VIII.”
So it was a case of the score depicting the film editing itself, which is an interesting notion. Rosenblatt’s additional tease at Episode VIII is also nice, but come on, who is actually expecting it to not be an epic?