WARNING: Spoilers for 'Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens' lie ahead
Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens has now been in cinemas for almost a week and for the most part it has been well-received by fans and critics alike. Whether you watched the movie for pleasure or as a critic, you'll undoubtedly have your own strong opinion on the major plot points of the movie.
But what if Star Wars: The Force Awakens had been crafted with an extremely different plot -- would it still have been such a success?
During a post-screening Q&A for the movie on Saturday, writer Michael Arndt expressed his opinion on the story he helped craft:
“The whole movie is a series of character introductions. You want all your character introductions to be A-plus. You want to give each person their moment. Even the Millennium Falcon. That was [producer] Bryan Burk’s idea. They’re running to get a ship, it blows up, and you turn and there’s the back-up – the Millennium Falcon.”
Arndt further revealed that he originally planned to have the iconic droids R2-D2 and C-3P0 appearing together, before deciding to create a sense of deferred gratification with the astromech droid.
Moreover, you'll also remember that the appearance of Luke Skywalker, played by Mark Hamill, was also delayed. This was another decision the movie's creators struggled with, as for a time Skywalker played a much larger role in The Force Awakens.
So why was Luke forced out of the story?
For the answer we have to go back to Arndt's Q&A:
“It just felt like every time Luke came in and entered the movie, he just took it over. Suddenly you didn’t care about your main character anymore because, ‘Oh f–k, Luke Skywalker’s here. I want to see what he’s going to do.’”
“Early on I tried to write versions of the story where [Rey] is at home, her home is destroyed, and then she goes on the road and meets Luke. And then she goes and kicks the bad guy’s ass. It just never worked and I struggled with this. This was back in 2012.”
So Luke could have played a much larger role in the movie, before being replaced by new cast members.
EW reports that some plots considered for the seventh Star Wars movie included a search for the remains of Darth Vader and even a quest to discover the underwater remains of the second Death Star in an attempt to find sacred Jedi sites. We could have gone back to the forest moon of Endor!
Ultimately the writers decided that the search for Luke was itself a strong enough plot on its own, leading to a resulting limitation of R2-D2's role in the movie.
Arndt Finishes by clarifying a prominent Star Wars VII plot point:
“We had the idea about R2 plugging into the information base of the Death Star, and that’s how he was able to get the full map and find where the Jedi temples are.
“BB-8 comes up and says something to him, which is basically, ‘I’ve got this piece of a map, do you happen to have the rest?’” Abrams said. “The idea was, R2 who has been all over the galaxy, is still in his coma, but he hears this. And it triggers something that would ultimately wake him up.”
So rather than having Luke feature as prominently as Han Solo in a quest to discover the second Death Star and ultimately -- lost Jedi temples, we got a search for Luke Skywalker. What do you think: did we get the best of the potential Star Wars VII plots?
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