Warning: The following article is filled with SPOILERS for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. If you’ve not seen the blockbuster then you probably shouldn’t read ahead.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ final shot was one of the crowning achievements of J.J. Abrams’ hugely popular blockbuster.
The final sequence saw Daisy Ridley’s Rey and Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker stand on a secluded island, with the actress handing out Luke’s lightsaber to the seldom seen Jedi.
But Ben Rosenblatt, the co-producer of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, has now opened up about how the film was made, revealing that the final shot was almost completely different.
— Star Wars (@starwars) February 13, 2016
Rosenblatt made this admission during a Hollywood technical retreat, via the Hollywood Reporter, as he confessed that J.J. Abrams was undecided about the final shot, which was shot from a helicopter and looked down on both Rey and Luke.
Rosenblatt explained that Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ ending took a while, and was a point of contention, for J.J. Abrams and the entire creative team. That’s because the other option that J.J. Abrams was considering for the ending of Star Wars: The Force Awakens was simply a close-up of Rey.
However, J.J. Abrams finally decided to go with the helicopter shot because of John Williams’ epic score and music, with Rosenblatt explaining that it “left you with this sweeping emotional epic [feel] and you’re going to see a lot of that in Episode VIII.”
Ben Rosenblatt also spoke about what influenced J.J. Abrams as he considered the look and visual style of The Force Awakens, admitting that it was a combination of J.J. Abrams’ own approach and George Lucas.
“Both,” Rosenblatt admitted to the crowd at the Hollywood Professional Association Tech Retreat, which has been held in Palm Springs over the last few days. “It was J.J., but J.J. was honoring George’s original vision… But J.J. brought his own visual language to the film.”
While Star Wars: The Force Awakens was met with stunning reviews and has had a stupendous run at the box office, there were some fans who believed that it was a little bit too similar to the plot and story of George Lucas’ original trilogy.
Speaking to the Hollywood Reporter, via Entertainment Weekly, at the start of January, J.J. Abrams addressed these concerns, insisting that this was intentional, as he wanted The Force Awakens to acknowledge the past of the franchise, but at the same time still move forward towards its future.
— Star Wars (@starwars) February 6, 2016
“I can understand that someone might say, ‘Oh, it’s a complete rip-off!’ What was important for me was introducing brand new characters using relationships that were embracing the history that we know to tell a story that is new – to go backwards to go forwards,” J.J. Abrams, who co-wrote The Force Awakens with Lawrence Kasdan as well as direct it, explained.
Abrams continued, “I knew that, whatever we did, there would be a group of people – and I was just hoping and praying that it would be smaller than not – that would take issue with any number of things. But I knew we weren’t making the movie for any other reason than we believed that it could be something meaningful and special and entertaining and worthy of people’s time.”
[Image via Lucasfilm]