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‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’: How Ava DuVernay Helped J.J. Abrams Make a Critical Lightsaber Fight Epic

Abrams explains the crucial suggestion DuVernay made to a key scene in a new commentary track.

Ava DuVernay devotees were disappointed to learn that the “Selma” director wouldn’t be helming “Black Panther” for Marvel, but it seems she had a hand in another franchise owned by Disney. J.J. Abrams, in a new commentary track for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” says that DuVernay improved the film’s climactic lightsaber battle by making a number of small, important suggestions. Watch below.

READ MORE: ’13TH’ Review: Ava DuVernay’s Netflix Documentary Is the Most Relevant Movie of the Year — NYFF

“I also showed this film, an early cut, to my friend Ava DuVernay, and she had a bunch of great suggestions,” Abrams says in an excerpt from his commentary provided to Yahoo! Movies. “One of them was that she really wanted to see Daisy, in her attack on Ren, have one really cool moment:” close her eyes and feel the force as she does battle with the Sith lord. “It’s a little thing, but it really connects you to her intensity,” Abrams continues.

READ MORE: ‘Star Wars: Rogue One’ Final Trailer: Felicity Jones and Darth Vader Go to War in Most Thrilling Preview Yet

DuVernay recently released her documentary “13th” for Netflix and is at work directing “A Wrinkle in Time.” The next “Star Wars” film, “Rogue One,” will be released on December 16.

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