STAR WARS The Force Awakens has surpassed box office expectations, hauling in $1.5 Billion in just 19 days (as of Jan. 3, 2016), but these 10 scrapped concepts could have made it a seriously different film! For obvious reasons SPOILERS will follow. In order to get a look at what could have been, we’re showing you rumours, concept art (The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens) & other sources from the internet.
10 Concepts STAR WARS The Force Awakens Thankfully Scrapped:
1. Luke’s Hand Flying Through Space:
The first rumour (and fan-hope) after The Force Awakens was announced (in 2014) as a sequel to Return of The Jedi (Episode 6 in the original trilogy) but set 30 years later, was that after the iconic opening crawl of Episode 7, Luke’s hand with (or without) his lightsaber would be fly across the screen in space. If you haven’t seen the original STAR WARS trilogy, Luke’s hand *not really, but spoilers* is cut off by Darth Vader near the end of Empire Strikes Back. This would have been an incredibly unique way to tie in the original series into this movie, but for those that have seen The Force Awakens, this never happened & Maz Kanata had Luke’s lightsaber. The idea was considered but for reasons concerning plot continuity it was scrapped.
This would have completely changed the film as they kept everything about Luke & his whereabouts a mystery for the entirety of the film. But if the film had started off with a tease of Luke, fans would have felt almost pranked, having been given this treat right as the movie started & having to wait 2 more hours to see the rest of Luke…
Interesting note: Luke Skywalker lost his hand to Darth Vader in Empire Strikes Back, and Anakin Skywalker lost his hand to Darth Tyranus a.k.a Count Dooku in Attack Of The Clones – both of which were the second films in their respective trilogies. Which could very well mean Rey (Daisy Ridley) is bound to lose her hand in the unnamed Episode 8 of the Star Wars franchise!
2. Poe Dameron Was Meant To Die:
In the film Poe is apparently killed in a crash, only to show up later, without much of an explanation for his surprise survival. That’s probably because he originally wasn’t meant to survive… According to Oscar Isaac, he accepted the role knowing that his character wouldn’t survive (because who wouldn’t want a major role in STAR WARS), but was incredibly surprised & overjoyed when some re-writes occurred & his character survived to be in the rest of the film. Although, this makes sense as to why his character fell more into the background and wasn’t involved in some of the major scenes…
3. Chewbacca Had Lost His Arm:
In The Force Awakens it is C-3P0 that ends up with a red robot arm, however early concept ideas had Chewbacca having a “Bionic arm from war wound”. Obviously this idea was scrapped but it’s interesting to note that Chewie is shot in the arm during a battle, suggesting some really wanted him to have a hurt limb…
4. Stormtrooper Design:
Of course when J.J. Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan & Michael Arndt were forming their ideas for STAR WARS The Force Awakens, they must’ve gone through hundreds of concepts of how to create something new out of something so recognizable (Stormtroopers) without straying too far from the original. Well, one of the early concept ideas for the Stormtroopers in The Force Awakens were a little more angular that the end result in the film.
5. Kylo Ren Had Robot Parts Like Darth Vader:
In some very early leaked concept art of Kylo Ren, he was known as ‘The Grave Robber’ because he was seen holding Vader’s remains (mostly his helmet). From this early concept, he appears more synthetic, with a non-human face & cyborg hand.
6. Max Von Sydow’s Character was more Mechanical:
It seems much of the early concept art for The Force Awakens saw characters having mechanical & robotic components to their bodies, and Max Von Sydow’s brief character appearance in the opening scene was no different. Lor San Tekka (Von Sydow) was an ally of the Republic & a friend of General Leia’s (he refers to her as royalty), but he only appears in the opening scene speaking with Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and then is quickly struck down by Kylo Ren. Whereas concept art for his character depicted him to be a significant bad guy & have much more mechanical aspects.
7. Hayden Christensen as The Ghost Of Anakin
The Force Awakens originally had a plan to have Hayden Christensen return but as a Ghost figure, almost as a creepy Force ghost torn between light and darkness.
“‘When you light a candle, you also cast a shadow.’ That inspired me to propose, for the first time, that Anakin’s ghost could come back,” says concept artist Iain McCaig in The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. “If we see Anakin Skywalker, because he does flow back and forth between Darth Vader and Anakin, let’s see him as a character with a dark and light side. The reason Luke is this whole new entity is because he was the first to acknowledge his own dark side — that it was not separate from him.”
8. A Massive Resistance Super-Weapon
Much like The First Order had the Starbase Killer, there were early designs for The War-Hammer – a massive ship with a huge front, that was several times larger than a Star Destroyer. Below is an old Chris Foss illustration that’s been desaturated to give you an idea of what the Resistance Warhammer looks like in the book The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
9. The Races & Genders Of The Characters Were Reversed
The character Finn (John Boyega) was originally a white character named Sam, essentially Han Solo 2.0, described as “pure charisma” in the script. Meanwhile, Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) was originally black & called John Doe, but was more of a bounty hunter than a Resistance fighter pilot. As well, Rey (Daisy Ridley) used to be a Tank Girl-style ‘loner,hothead, gear-head badass’ called Kira who dreamt of leaving Jakku. Captain Phasma was originally scripted as a male character & Supreme Leader Snoke was intended to be female, looking like a beautiful statue!
10. Underwater Death Star!
There was an early concept that had the map to Luke Skywalker hidden in a sunk Death Star, with the Millennium Falcon having to travel underwater to retrieve it. As if J.J. Abrams didn’t realize the backlash from an underwater Enterprise in Star Trek Into Darkness… This plot idea would’ve been a complete mess it would have come to fruition & thankfully it didn’t!
In conclusion: These are 10 concepts that never made it into Star Wars: The Force Awakens & thank goodness for that!
What was your favourite? Any thoughts on how these changes would have altered the success of the movie? Which do you think they should have stuck with?
Comment below and let us know!
1/3/2016 – 5:48 pm