Star Wars: The Force Awakens novelization author Alan Dean Foster says there was "obviously the beginnings of a relationship" between Finn (John Boyega) and Rey (Daisy Ridley) that failed to materialize over the Star Wars sequel trilogy — and a hint at that relationship was removed from his novel. The author of the original Star Wars novelization and sequel novel Splinter of the Mind's Eye, Foster agreed to write the novel adaptation of filmmaker J.J. Abrams' franchise revival The Force Awakens. When he attempted to water seeds that were planted for an eventual Finn-Rey romance, Foster says he was forced to remove a scene relating to the blossoming relationship:
"I did my usual thing when I do these adaptations of trying to fix things that I think need fixing in the story and fixing in the science. Not so much with the characters, because the characters are fairly well-established in a screenplay," Foster told Midnight's Edge. "Some things they said to take out, and some things they left alone. Some of the things they said to take out I thought were silly and would really have improved the book if I had been able to leave them in the book, but I can't talk about those."
"There were a couple of things in there, and a couple of things that happened subsequently that bothered me. I'm going to tell you one thing they made me take out because enough time has passed, I don't think it matters," Foster said, adding only that there was "obviously the beginnings of a relationship" between Finn and Rey.
"I expected to see that developed further in Episode VIII [The Last Jedi]," Foster said. "And zero happened with it. And we all know why zero happened with it — and there's no need to go into it in-depth — but that's, sadly, just the way things are."
But Finn and Rey spend much of The Last Jedi separated, and Finn is linked romantically to franchise newcomer Rose (Kelly Marie Tran). Foster reveals he attempted to retcon the Rian Johnson-directed middle chapter with an unused treatment for Episode IX, calling The Last Jedi a "terrible film" and "a terrible Star Wars movie."
Along with the removed scene relating to Finn and Rey, the novelization excised a piece of Han Solo's (Harrison Ford) dialogue that would have called back to a famous one-liner said to Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) in George Lucas' original Star Wars.
"There's a scene in the film and in the book where Rey has come aboard the Millennium Falcon, and Han Solo can't get things to work, and she fixes it. Han says something to the effect of, 'good work' or 'good job,' reluctantly, he says it. And then I had him say, 'Don't get cocky, kid.' Which, of course, is a throwback to what he says to Luke in the first film," Foster said. "I thought that was a wonderful way of connecting the character to the first film and the first story. I thought fans would love that, and they made me take it out."