It’s been almost a year since Disney and Lucasfilm debuted Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens to a hoard of excited fans. The beloved sci-fi franchise made its much-awaited return to cinemas with the start of a new trilogy, leaving fans to wonder how the seventh film would live up to its predecessors. Episode VII managed to do the impossible by meeting many fans’ expectations, but it did so at great cost. And, now, J.J. Abrams has gone on camera to give commentary about the film’s most shocking scene.
So, seriously, spoilers ahead.
Having already seen Episode VII, you know that one of the franchise’s main characters meets their end in the film. Han Solo is killed by his son Kylo Ren during an emotional reunion wherein the former tries to save Ren from the Dark Side and the grasp of Supreme Leader Snoke. However, the Sith uses his father’s emotions and turns on them when he stabs Han Solo with his lightsaber.
In a new commentary for the film's 3D Blu-ray Collector’s Edition 3D, director Abrams says he thinks the scene between Han Solo and Kylo Ren starts out as a genuine one.
“People have asked me if I think Kylo Ren is just playing with [Han Solo] this whole time - whether he meant to kill him from the beginning. The truth is that I think Kylo Ren in this moment is actually being convinced to walk away from this,” Abrams confesses. “Snoke is - as Han says - using him. I think somewhere Ben knows this, but I think that he can’t accept this. Deep down, he has gone too far.”
Later, Abrams does make the keen observation that fans had to have known something terrible was going to happen to one of the men. “Obviously, anytime in Star Wars when two characters go out on an incredibly thin bridge ten miles above the ground with no railings, it’s not going to end well for one of them,” he said.
Of course, this isn’t the first time Abrams has talked about the intensely shocking scene. The director told Entertainment Weekly the death was necessary to make Episode VII about the “evolution of not just a hero, but a villain...who was in process.”
Abrams said, “Star Wars had the greatest villain in cinema history. So, how you bring a new villain into that world is a very tricky thing. We knew we needed to do something f—king bold. The only reason why Kylo Ren has any hope of being a worthy successor is because we lose one of the most beloved characters.”
The director has also revealed how Harrison Ford reacted to his character’s heart-wrenching end. Abrams said the actor was “very thoughtful” about Han Solo’s fate and “understood why it was so powerful.”
“Harrison's always said that he knew that Han needed to have clear utility, and that's what he wanted to do...In this case there was such a clear utility -- it's about bringing this new villain to the fore, and there's nothing I could think of that is more hideous than patricide, especially when it comes to Han Solo."
The Collector’s Edition of Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens on 3D Blu-ray will hit stores on November 15.
[H/T] USA Today