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AV CLUB – Some of the most enjoyable character beats in Star Wars: The Force Awakens come when Finn (John Boyega) and Rey (Daisy Ridley) team up to flee Jakku and wind up—in true Step Brothers fashion—instantly becoming best friends. But it turns out that almost wasn’t the case. During his panel with Chris Rock at the Tribeca Film Festival, director J.J. Abrams revealed Finn and Rey originally had a less friendly partnership that he could tell wasn’t quite working. So when Harrison Ford broke his leg on the Millennium Falcon set, Abrams took advantage of the production delay to rework the film’s central relationship. According to IGN, Abrams explained:

 

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. 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.”

 

Abrams previously said something similar to Entertainment Weekly before the film’s release, calling Ford’s accident the “greatest gift to the movie.” (We can only assume Ford has a different take on the matter.)

 

Abrams revealed all sorts of tidbits in his conversation with Rock, including initially quashing a whole bunch of fan theories by claiming Rey’s parents weren’t in The Force Awakens before later walking back that comment to explain she merely doesn’t know who her parents are yet. Vulture has a partial transcript of the 75-minute chat, in which Abrams reveals that Mark Hamill was initially reluctant to appear in such a small Force Awakens cameo for fear it would seem silly. He also apologizes for those Star Trek lens flares and tries to justify why The Force Awakens feels so similar to A New Hope, telling Rock “[w]e very consciously tried to borrow familiar beats so that the rest of the movie could hang on something we knew felt like Star Wars.” And because no discussion of filmmaking can be had without referencing Zack Snyder, at one point Rock just asks what we’re all thinking: “Did anybody see this Superman/Batman shit? What the fuck was that?”




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