Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is looming on the theatrical release horizon, so it's a good time to take another look at Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The smash hit will arrive on home video next week in a new 3D Blu-ray edition, featuring an audio commentary by director J.J. Abrams.
As detailed by io9, Abrams reveals a host of tidbits in the commentary that we haven't heard before. For example, director Steven Spielberg suggested an explosion be added after the TIE fighter piloted by Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) sank into the sand on the planet Jakku, and also suggested that a fight scene in a forest late in the movie be enhanced with trees crashing around the participants.
In a scene when Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Finn (John Boyega) are running for their lives (below), producer Bryan Burk suggested a reference to the Millennium Falcon as "garbage" when the new team is desperately searching for an escape vehicle.
Toy Story director John Lasseter suggested that BB-8 should have more physical comedy in the movie, which resulted in the robotic character giving a "thumbs up" gesture. Selma director Ava Duvernay suggested that Rey could use one more "big, badass moment," prompting Abrams to insert a shot of Rey bringing her saber down in the direction of Kylo Ren (Adam Driver).
While we're on the subject of Kylo Ren, Academy Award-winning actor Eddie Redmayne (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, above) says that he auditioned to play the villainous role, but things didn't go well. He told Uproxx: "With films that top secret, they don’t give you the actual lines. So they give you a scene from Pride and Prejudice, but then they tell you you’re auditioning for the baddie. If you’re me, you then put some ridiculous voice on.
"That was really a hilarious moment. Because it was [casting director] Nina Gold, who I have to thank a lot because she’s cast me in several films. And she was just sitting there and I was trying again and again with different versions of my kind of 'koohh paaaah' [Darth Vader breathing sound] voice. And after like 10 shots she’s like, 'You got anything else?' I was like, 'No.'”