J.J. Abrams Talks About Why [Redacted] Had to [Redacted] in The Force Awakens

COMaestro

Vae Victis!
May 24, 2010
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Han's death was pretty much certain for me as soon as I heard Harrison Ford was happy with the movie.

Other than that, it was foreshadowed thoughout the film so it was no surprise whatsoever when it happened. I would only have been shocked if he hadn't died. However, the scene was done very well and it was heartbreaking.

Regarding Ford's contract, I have no idea about multiple films, but I heard on the radio he was paid 16 million for TFA, with 0.5% of the gross as well.
 

Jack Action

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Deathlyphil said:
In a similar vein, I still don't understand why either side doesn't use relativistic weaponry. They have the ability to travel faster than light, so they have the ability to create truly terrifying weapons of mass destruction.

For example: take an X-wing, point it at a target, jump to light speed, disable whatever safeties return it to "safe" speeds when it drops out of light speed, and boom. Target (and probably planet) annihilated. Cost to the rebellion? One fighter ship.

In terms of explosive power, if we assume an X-Wing is 2 metric tons that's 2,000,000grams.

E=mc^2
E = 2,000,000 x (3x10^8)^2
E = 1.8 x 10^23 Joules or about 43021032 megatonnes of TNT...

To paraphrase Mass Effect, "and that is why Sir Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein are the baddest mother*****s in space."
Seems more likely the X-Wing would just explode as soon as it exits hyperspace if it doesn't slow down.
 

Fox12

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J.J., nothing about that film was fucking bold.

It's very telling that that's what he considers bold film making. That's to be expected from the man who made Lost. Every film he's made has been derivative of something else, after all.
 

Geo Da Sponge

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Spider RedNight said:
crimson5pheonix said:
Spider RedNight said:
As I tell everyone else, his death didn't bother me so much as when they cut to Leia and she almost just collapsed; THAT was the hard part for me.

But yeah no, it wasn't surprising. The set up just begged for something to go wrong. And Han didn't even get to be killed by a cool bad guy, just Anakin 2.0. Whiny ass. I hate Kylo Ren
This right here. The big surprise in that movie was that Kylo's a dweeb. I liked him until he took off his mask and I noticed he only spoke in angry shit fits.
Yeahhhh I noticed that, too. He was uber threatening and awesome.... and then we saw what he looked like. Doesn't help that he's a mumbler and I couldn't understand anything he said without the mask on. Though that one part where he was pitching a fit and those two Storm Troopers just turned around and left was funny but that's just about the only thing that justified all his annoying bitching.
Or as I thought at the time, "Wait, that's not a voice modifier? He's... He's actually just that nasal. Oh."

crimson5pheonix said:
The storm troopers were overall good I hope the ST leader/new Boba Fett comes back.
Yeah, I'm gonna be pissed if Captain Phasma is gone for good. "The new Boba Fett" summarises it perfectly. I imagine something like...

"Is there a garbage chute... Maybe a trash compactor?"
"Yeah! Well, actually, no. We're on a planet so we don't actually have trash compactors. We just have the bins out back. They get collected every Tuesday."
*Cut to Captain Phasma sitting in a dumpster and shaking her fist at them*
"You'll never get away with this!"

But to be honest the whole way they dealt with her character annoyed me. Mostly the fact that she turned off the shields for the heroes with no greater threat then death presented, when A) she's supposed to be fanatically devoted to the First Order, and B) her death, along with the deaths of millions of her comrades, would be caused by her actions. There's literally no reason for her to fold like she did in that scene.
 

RandV80

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I'll finally be seeing Star Wars tonight, so I skipped past the article and all the comments. Now I'm not really complaining, personally I don't get to worked up about spoilers, but when your article headline reads "why [redacted] had to [redacted]", I'd put at 95% that this is saying "why [character] had to die". Further more following the tradition of Star Wars I'll give it another 95% chance that [character] is Han or Luke. So now I'll be going to see it tonight (cheap night) expecting one of those two to die, s thanks?
 

RebornKusabi

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Han's death was predictable- the film even kept pointing out that this was it for him with some of the dialogue, set-ups and how he seemed to reconcile with everyone he could with the exception of Luke. That didn't make it any less sad for me.

With that said, reading some of the comments, I think people are missing the point with Kylo Ren. He wasn't supposed to be a new Darth Vader, he was supposed to be a new villain. I would even posit he's better than Vader in several ways because the prequels did everything they possibly could to make Vader a total broken ***** with a cool outfit. Anakin, Vader, was just a psychotic momma's boy with an unhealthy attachmenet to Padme that bordered on rapist. And he is a whiny complainer who threw temper tantrums and whined constantly without ever once accepting that some things like death and murder are out of his control. Even as Vader, he murdered children without a second thought and once in his armor STILL threw tantrums when he didn't get his way- does no one remember how he constantly murdered people who "failed him"? Why? That doesn't engender loyalty, that engenders fear and resentment, which are powerful tools for traitors and mutiny.

Meanwhile Kylo Ren, Ben Solo, was conflicted, he could barely control his anger and rage, but he was also powerful enough to accomplish tasks we never saw done in the films, like stop blaster bolts and disable people completely in their tracks, that's extended universe shit that we just now saw in the movies. His actions also had a purpose. His murder of Han had obvious reasoning (Harrison Ford infamously hates Star Wars), but within the movie Han's murder was exactly as Abrams said, a narrative device to show that there is no more going back for Ren. He has become a true Sith now and mark my words, he will die without redemption.

Also, during the fight with Ray and Finn, he was massively disabled. He was emotionally drained and he had been show by a bolt-caster which we've seen that just hitting the ground in front of you will send you flying... So imagine the wound that caused (without being able to show it even at PG-13) and imagine that that might be why he wasn't at 100%. We know Ray is a child prodigy at everything she does (and that doesn't make a Mary Sue as idiots keep saying- people like her, a "master of all trades" exist in real life and you wouldn't call THEM a Mary Sue) and it's clear by the title that Force is doing some EU style things, like turning a Storm Trooper to light side and accelerating Ray's force affinity. We also know NOTHING about Ray's origins beyond specific details- how did she survived on Jakku? Who was with her? How did she escape the Jedi Massacre? How has no one like Kylo Ren or his knights found her? Who was she waiting for? How did she learn to scavange and build and repair? Did someone teach her? Those are all questions we'll get answers for (the official Marvel Star Wars comic, which is now canon, explains that Obi-Wan and Luke knew each other quite a lot... Because Ben constantly saved Luke on Tatooine and kept the Empire off of his back and that while Ben failed Anakin, he didn't want to fail Luke and felt deep remourse and sadness for losing Anakin). I just feel people are being overly cynical to this movie. There are flaws in it- I feel it aligned far too close to beats of A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, and it left a ton of baggage for the next movie to fill out (or explain in the canonical comics) and that might make the next one pretty dense. But overall I felt it's the second best in the series after Empire, which had all of the right parts going for it.
 

WhiteTigerShiro

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Lizzy Finnegan said:
It was an emotionally charged scene that shocked every person sitting in the theater with me - and probably with you too.
Really? Everyone in the theater, including you, had never seen another movie before this one? That's one heck of a coincidence. I could'a told you what was gonna happen pretty much right as the scene started. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it was a bad scene; I'm just saying it shouldn't have surprised anyone who's seen more than half of any other movie.
 

Sniper Team 4

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I knew he was going to die the second he stepped out on that catwalk. Even before then, I had a bad feeling about it. So when it happened, it was sad for me, but it wasn't a gut punch or heart wrenching for me.

However, as someone else has already said, cutting to Leia as she senses it, that was brutal. And then the scene at the end, where Rey and Leia don't talk, they just hug, that made me cry a little.
 

Aiddon_v1legacy

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translation: it was the only way we could convince Ford to come back because he's been calling for the character's death since Empire. The second Ford was announced to come back I was fully prepared for him to be offed.
 

raankh

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That kind of nails why I didn't like TFA. Weak-ass emo-villain and every important plot point has happened off-screen a long time ago. It was so anticlimactic I kinda lost interest at that point. "Show don't tell" is the most basic thing in script writing, yet JJ and co really don't seem to get it.

Not sure I even call myself a Star Wars fan anymore, now there are more films I dislike than those I like in the franchise.
 

ArcaneGamer

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trunkage said:
ron1n said:
They just copy pasted the Obi-Wan death scene from the first film, like they did with nearly every other scene in the film.

Darth Vader kills his father-figure after he lets him. Luke loses it and they escape.

Kylo Ren kills his father after he lets him. Chewie loses it and they escape.


Was nothing clever, or surprising about it.
Wait, does that mean Chewie is the new Luke? cause that would be awesome
Uh...Trunkage? I went on Google real quick and found this:

https://johnjernigan.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/0-2-2.jpg
 

stormtrooper9091

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" It was an emotionally charged scene that shocked every person sitting in the theater with me - and probably with you too."

No it didn't. We all saw it coming a mile away. Just wanted to say that. I agree with everything else
 

Trunkage

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ArcaneGamer said:
trunkage said:
ron1n said:
They just copy pasted the Obi-Wan death scene from the first film, like they did with nearly every other scene in the film.

Darth Vader kills his father-figure after he lets him. Luke loses it and they escape.

Kylo Ren kills his father after he lets him. Chewie loses it and they escape.


Was nothing clever, or surprising about it.
Wait, does that mean Chewie is the new Luke? cause that would be awesome
Uh...Trunkage? I went on Google real quick and found this:

https://johnjernigan.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/0-2-2.jpg
Finally a reason to see star wars
 

Groxnax

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It was a shock to me.

But I thought something was up in the way they set the scene up.
 

Loonyyy

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Hahahahahaha.

That's a lot of words dedicated to the age old "Killing off a main character to establish a villain". As he pointed out, Vader didn't have to do that to be a powerful villain. He was a stand in leader for what amounted to a Nazi regime (And they doubled that in the new one), who throttled people, killed without a thought, and destroyed planets.

Ren follows this beat for beat. The openning is just like ANH (Half of the story is basically a retelling of the original), we've got a new Death Star, he tortures, personally, and he even steals Vader's look and presence. He's basically a Darth Vader cosplayer.

Han's death is basically in place of Kenobi's. It fits in a similar point, and comes late in the film. If the aim was to establish Ren as a villain, they utterly failed, the movie was near done by that point. It simply raises the stakes, and shows that they're willing to kill off loved characters from the prequels, which you kinda expected.

More ripping off of the originals, Rey leaves for a mystery planet to be trained. Luke is now halfway between Kenobi and Yoda, and has good reason to not want to train her, like Yoda did him.

And anyone who knows the history of Star Wars knows that Harrison Ford thought Solo had finished his arc, that there wasn't much to do with his character, and thought he should be killed off in Empire, which is one of the reasons he ended up in carbonite.

I loved the film, I sat there with a massive smile on my face the entire time, but it blatantly rips off Star Wars/A New Hope, beat for beat, with a few twists, a few bits stolen from Empire, and this is just another bit of that. Which is a shame, because there is some really nice homages and fanservice to the originals, which would be a lot more endearing in a new story. It's really well done, but it's not original at all, it's hardly written, the thing writes itself.

Still, I loved it to death, and they did do a good job at basically topping everything from the original, so I'd probably rather rewatch it than ANH.
 

Yuuki

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Lizzy Finnegan said:
It was an emotionally charged scene that shocked every person sitting in the theater with me - and probably with you too.
Not...really. Not even remotely. When he went on the bridge unarmed (and the whole tone surrounding that scene) it was pretty damn obvious what was going to happen.
 

Lilani

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I loved the film, I had a lot of fun in the theater, and the more I thought about it the more I liked it.

I didn't really "see it coming" until Han spotted Ren and got that "I'm going in" look on his face, and even then I thought it was very well set up. The light was fading, everything was going marginally well at that point, and that platform just screamed Empire Strikes Back/Return of the Jedi. I'm also very glad that it was an act of love that did him in, and not some big dramatic firefight, which would have been the easy and tempting way to give Han a big and glorious death. In spite of all of the smuggling and shenanigans he got up to, his love and loyalty were always his greatest weaknesses, and always got him into the most dangerous situations. It's what brought him back to the Death Star after parting ways with the rebels, and it's what drove him outside after dark on Hoth to find Luke. He was always driven by his love and loyalty, and it's what was bound to kill him in the end.

As for complaints about Kylo Ren, I think they're doing a good job with it. Vader was fully established in both his powers and position within the Empire, Ren is neither. His training isn't complete, and his position and respect among the leaders of the First Order is tenuous at best. They seem to be setting up a dual path of training and self-actualization between him and Rey--Kylo Ren pursuing the dark, Rey pursuing the light. I think the writers knew they weren't going to make a villain as perfect as Vader in one go, and to try would have been insulting, so they chose a different route--to establish him as a villain over time and show his fall to darkness.

Overall it did really feel like an apology for the prequels, and I can see why some would call what he did bold while others would call it not bold enough. Abrams definitely played it safe, but it was because it was bound to disappoint some either way, and it would seem he settled with disappointing those who were the most cynical about it in the first place. The things which are expected from Star Wars are simply too broad for everyone to have been satisfied. I have friends who have been hammering away at the "Bring back the EU" drum for months and months leading up to this, and their criticism of it seems to hint that they wanted to see more elements of the EU brought up. As well as a bit of saltiness regarding Abrams himself, many seem to not have forgiven him for what he did to Star Trek. While the praise I see is attributed to all of the elements of the film divorced from any specific person (writing, direction, effects, design, acting, plot, etc), the criticism seems to be leveled directly at Abrams.

The main goals of this film seemed to be to set the tone of quality for the future films, and sew the plot seeds for the next films. And I think he succeeded in that. I knew it wasn't going to live up to AAAALLL of the hype, but for me it lived up to far more than I expected, and I am genuinely excited to see the next installment.
 

Loonyyy

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Deathlyphil said:
In a similar vein, I still don't understand why either side doesn't use relativistic weaponry. They have the ability to travel faster than light, so they have the ability to create truly terrifying weapons of mass destruction.
Rule of cool I expect. There have been some sci fi things that mess with it, but it's more a hard sci fi thing.
For example: take an X-wing, point it at a target, jump to light speed, disable whatever safeties return it to "safe" speeds when it drops out of light speed, and boom. Target (and probably planet) annihilated. Cost to the rebellion? One fighter ship.

In terms of explosive power, if we assume an X-Wing is 2 metric tons that's 2,000,000grams.

E=mc^2
E = 2,000,000 x (3x10^8)^2
E = 1.8 x 10^23 Joules or about 43021032 megatonnes of TNT...

To paraphrase Mass Effect, "and that is why Sir Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein are the baddest mother*****s in space."
I'm fairly sure your physics there is wrong. What you have there is the energy contained in the mass, but the mass isn't being annihilated. Even after the collision we'd expect to see some mass. Even if it were a nuclear reaction, you'd have a resultant, with the difference between the two being the energy emitted (Like your basic fission and fusion equations). What you should want there is the kinetic energy, which is T=0.5*mv^2, which is half of that, i.e, still a metric fuckton of hurt, 9*10^22 Joules of unstoppable, unblockable, undodgeable hurt.
 

TallanKhan

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rayman 101 said:
Soviet Heavy said:
The trouble was that it felt so rushed, like we missed a movie showing us how things were between Ben and Han before this scene.
Yeah the scene itself was well done, but they needed to elaborate what happened between Han and Ren some more in order for it have had the maximum emotional impact.
I'm not so sure, I'd say be careful what you wish for. While the prequels had a raft of problems, one of the big problems (which was in itself the cause of a number of other problems) was that the whole thing was just an extended backstory for Darth Vader. Even if it had been well written, well acted and well paced, they might have been better movies, but fundamentally, all that back story didn't really add anything, if I watch A New Hope today, the Vader killing Obi-Wan scene doesn't pack a bigger punch.

In TFA by the time Han dies, we know Kylo is his son, we know Han and Leia want him back, we know he did something awful and we are as emotionally invested as we are ever going to be in the character who dies. I don't think more backstory could have improved it, but it could have made it much much less than it was. Personally, I think the scene would have been better (it was pretty awesome anyway) if they simply hadn't telegraphed it so obviously, maybe had them embrace or otherwise indicate Kylo was going to turn back to the light before the kill. As it was he pointed his lightsaber at Han and then the audience sat through the dialogue waiting for Han to die.