One of the most talked-about sequences in last year’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens was the Force vision Rey had during her time on Takodana. Discovering Luke Skywalker’s old lightsaber in Maz Kanata’s basement, the young scavenger is overwhelmed by a series of images after she touches the weapon. Everything from the Cloud City corridors (where Luke fought Vader in The Empire Strikes Back) to Rey as a child crying for her family to come back was shown, giving fans plenty to dissect. It appeared to vaguely fill in some of the gaps between Return of the Jedi and Episode VII, and the rumor mill suggests we’ll see more of it play out in Star Wars: Episode VIII.
Given the high amount of interest in the scene, fans would obviously like to hear what Star Wars 7 director J.J. Abrams had to say about. Fortunately, they will get that opportunity soon, as The Force Awakens 3D Blu-ray hits stores on November 15, 2016. Among the many new bonus features available on the 4-disc set is a feature length commentary from Abrams, which has been heavily featured in Lucasfilm’s promotion for the release. Now, another clip has made its way online, debuting on this week’s episode of The Star Wars Show. Above, you can listen to Abrams discuss the Force vision.
In the snippet, Abrams specifically details the evolution of the sequence, revealing that originally Rey was going to see part of the famous Luke vs. Vader duel from The Empire Strikes Back:
“Touching the lightsaber triggers what we call the ‘Forceback.’ There were many iterations of this. In one, from the Cloud City Corridor, she looked down and saw Vader fighting Luke, which we ended up cutting. We wanted it to be a more personal story, something that she couldn’t comprehend, that was overwhelming to her, frightening to her, that was taking her through all of these elemental experiences, of fire, of rain, snow, wind. But also that she was being confronted with truths about the Force, about the past. The Knights of Ren here, the past for herself. She realizes that the cries she heard were actually her own cries as a young girl being taken away from her family. And then she hears a voice, ‘Rey,’ and that’s Obi-Wan Kenobi.”
It shouldn’t come as any surprise that the “Forceback” went through several iterations before the film was completed, as it was a crucial moment for both the narrative and Rey. The notion of having the Empire duel in there is intriguing, and it would be fascinating to know what else was considered during development. Abrams obviously had a very clear objective in mind and needed to find the best way to accomplish it. Placing the focus more on Rey was arguably the wisest decision, since Episode VII was her story. It’s true that some of the things she saw and heard were most likely Luke’s memories (Yoda’s teachings, the hand on R2-D2), but the sequence as a whole was Rey’s introduction to the Force and the larger world she had now entered.
Another reason why there were so many versions of the Force vision is probably due to the fact that The Force Awakens was the first installment of a trilogy. While it told its own story, it was still tasked with planting the seeds for future installments, and the Episode VII team had to determine how much they wanted to show now, and what should be saved for later. Since Luke is going to have a much bigger role in Star Wars 8, fans should expect any discussions or visions about the Force to be more detailed, hopefully answering many of the questions that still remain.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is now available on digital and Blu-ray. The 3D Blu-ray hits stores November 15, 2016.