**Spoilers ahead** “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,” J.J. Abrams told Associated Press last week. And while the director has stated that his first cut (not assembly) of the film ran between 2 hours and 30 minutes and 2 hours and 40 minutes, and that there were roughly a dozen deleted scenes, don’t expect some kind of extended version. That said, it could be possible that deleted scenes are included on the eventual home-video release, so the question becomes: What will we see?
Slashfilm has put together compendium of sorts of the deleted scenes that were cut from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” As they explain, “We only know what we’ve heard from our various sources, mixed with reports from other websites, and cross-checked with the narrative presented in the novelization and other tie-in books.” So, it’s been checked out, but at some point, it’s safe to say they were part of the story. Head over to Slashfilm for the full breakdown, but these are the scenes that caught our eye:
That Rumored Lightsaber Opening: You might recall early rumors that said ‘Force Awakens’ would open with Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber-clutching hand floating through space (though it might’ve just been the lightsaber — either way, it was his) and landing on a desert planet, where it’s discovered by John Boyega and Daisy Ridley who decide to return the lightsaber to its rightful owner, starting a new adventure. Part of this is true. Apparently, there was a scene of the floating lightsaber, but it was cut out of the movie “late in the process.” That surely would’ve been a bit on the nose in a movie already rich with callbacks, and it adds more mystery to how Maz Kanata came across it.
Maz Kanata’s Force Powers: Apparently, in the original script, Maz Kanata had more of a role when the First Order attack, using her Force powers to stop stormtroopers from raiding the castle (with some help from Han Solo distracting them so she can concentrate).
Luke?: In an early version of the story, Rey asks “Who is Luke Skywalker?” with Finn telling her that BB-8 has the map to his location. This was changed to “I thought he was just a myth.” This was probably a smart move narratively, because since the audience already knows who he is, it’s probably an unnecessary story beat to establish why he’s so significant.
“The Empire Strikes Back”: Rey’s vision after first holding Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber is probably one of the most discussed sequences in the movie, and it appears there might’ve been more. Again, a long-ago rumor suggested that Darth Vader would make a cameo in ‘The Force Awakens,’ and while the details of that report were ultimately incorrect, they weren’t entirely off-base. Apparently, Rey’s vision would’ve including seeing the moment when Darth Vader cuts off Luke’s hand from ‘Empire Strikes Back,’ and then went on to explain the journey his lightsaber took in subsequent years, revealing that the aforementioned opening was actually a flashback, and Luke’s weapon didn’t land on Jakku.
Darth Vader’s Error: Perhaps one of the most intriguing scenes to get axed was Supreme Leader Snoke weighing in on Darth Vader’s change of heart in ‘Return Of The Jedi.’ Here’s how it’s described in the novelization of ‘The Force Awakens’:
“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.”
Fascinating stuff. Again, check out Slashfilm for more and share your thoughts on these scenes in the comments section.