If Harrison Ford hadn't broken his ankle on the set of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the production would have seen a very different final product. While many thought the film would struggle to reach the finish line after Ford's mishap, it would only improve the film according to its co-writer and director, J.J. Abrams.
"When I was on the set of the Millennium Falcon and we started to do work with Rey and Finn, the first time we did it, it didn't work at all," Abrams said at the Tribeca Film Festival. "It was much more contentious. I didn't direct it right. It was set up all wrong, and when Harrison Ford got injured—which was a very scary day—we ended up having a few weeks off, and it was during that time that I really got to look at what we had done and rewrite quite a bit of that relationship. So when we came back to work again, we actually just reshot from the ground up, those scenes. It was an amazingly helpful thing to get these two characters to where they needed to be."
It's hard to imagine Rey and Finn's relationship being any different from the way we saw it last year: peppered with respect, fun, and even a bit of admiration for one another.
Abrams also addressed the complaints from fans who are claiming that Episode VII is just a remake of Episode IV.
"The weird thing about that movie is that it had been so long since the last one," Abrams says. "Obviously the prequels had existed in between and we wanted to, sort of, reclaim the story," Abrams said. "So we very consciously—and I know it is derided for this—we very consciously tried to borrow familiar beats, so the rest of the movie could hang on something that we knew was Star Wars."
"This movie was a bridge and a kind of reminder," Abrams added. "The audience needed to be reminded what Star Wars is, but it needed to be established with something familiar, with a sense of where we are going to new lands, which is very much what 8 and 9 do."