"There are so many things that end up getting cut because of the greater good, because of the rhythm of the sequence or the need to get on with it, a sense of redundancy," director J.J. Abrams tells EW. "You don't know any of these things when you're making the movie, of course. It was sometimes after months of working on something that you realize finally — you just don't need it."
Here's a brief description of the deleted scenes:
- During the film's opening scene, Finn, still First Order Stormtrooper FN-2187, must make a difficult decision when he encounters a frightened woman in the burning village.
- Han Solo talks his way out of a confrontation with a group of Stormtroopers in Maz Kanata's basement.
- Kylo Ren discovers the Millennium Falcon on Starkiller base, bringing old memories to the forefront of his mind.
- In a scene that would have introduced General Leia earlier in the film, the Resistance receives a distress signal from BB-8 and debate what to do about the First Order's actions on Jakku.
- Poe Dameron leads a group of resistance X-Wing pilots into battle above Starkiller base.
- Rey watches over Finn after he was badly wounded in their encounter with Kylo Ren.
- Finn and Rey steal a pair of snowspeeders to escape Starkiller Base and are pursued by Stormtroopers. This scene connects Finn and Rey's departure from the base to their encounter with Kylo Ren in the woods.
Check out a handful of images from these scenes in the gallery below.
"You never go into a day of shooting and say, 'This is probably going to be on the cutting room floor,'" says Abrams. "Every day feels as essential as anything else. It's always annoying to realize that you wasted anyone's time on shooting something that wasn't necessary."
Star Wars: The Force Awakens arrive on Digital HD on April 1, and Blu-ray and DVD on April 6.