Poe Was Supposed To Die?! And 13 Other Things We Learned From J.J. Abrams’ Force Awakens Commentary

Fans of Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens patiently waited almost a year to own the film on 3D Blu-ray. Now that this version is finally in stores, many anxious 3D buffs are breathing a sigh of relief, but Disney has done more than simply meet expectations. In addition to the extras released on the film’s earlier Blu-ray, the studio has added three more deleted scenes, three new featurettes, and the highlight of this release: a feature-length audio commentary by director J.J. Abrams. While parts of this commentary cover familiar ground, Abrams also reveals all kinds of secrets and surprises that should add to your understanding of The Force Awakens. Here are 14 of the highlights.


1. BB-8 may appear to be a CG creation, but the real special effect behind this character was a group of puppeteers that were carefully painted out of every shot.



2. Captain Phasma’s mask is one of the unused designs for Kylo Ren’s mask.



3. The goggles Rey wears when we first meet her were built around the eyepiece from an old Stormtrooper helmet.



4. The idea for Rey’s wall of etchings—marking the days that have passed—came from Katie McGrath, Abrams’ wife.



5. Casting Adam Driver was producer Kathleen Kennedy’s idea. Although the actor was busy with Girls, Judd Apatow and Lena Dunham went out of their way to make him available for the film.



6. Poe Dameron died early in the original script, but when Oscar Isaac was reluctant to accept this small role, Abrams let the character live.



7. Pixar’s John Lasseter suggested that Abrams give BB-8 some physical comedy, inspiring that fiery thumbs up.



8. Abrams says rathtars were designed to be “family scary,” and he compares them to “dog toys.”



9. Unable to see out of his mask, Adam Driver had no trouble accessing Kylo Ren’s rage while wandering the forest.



10. In the vicinity of the Force Awakens production while shooting Spectre, Daniel Craig stopped by to play a Stormtrooper known as FN-007, even delivering several lines



11. Snap Wexley is played by Abrams regular Greg Grunberg, the director’s best friend since childhood.



12. Ever wonder why Chewy delivers a winter coat to Han Solo? This was a spontaneous continuity fix made when Abrams realized that Han’s coat appeared out of nowhere.



13. Abrams wanted the lightsaber duel between Finn and Kylo Ren to feel rough and unprofessional.



14. Steven Spielberg was instrumental in landing Abrams the job directing The Force Awakens. He also offered the director valuable suggestions throughout production.

(Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)


The new four-disc edition of Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens is in stores now. Get in the mood for 3D with the promo clip below.