Wednesday, April 6, 2016

'The Force Awakens' Deleted Scenes Guide

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is now available on DVD, Blu-ray, and Digital HD. The box set comes with a slew of behind-the-scenes footage, but the most anticipated feature was the seven deleted scenes. Here's your guide to each of the scenes and their overall value to the film:
(Note: all image credits go to Lucasfilm.) 

Finn And The Villager 
Length: 30 seconds
Summary: During the attack on the Jakku village, FN-2187 finds a female villager hiding behind one of the huts. He trains his blaster on her, but eventually lowers it and she wordlessly flees.
Value: We already saw Finn reluctantly refuse to shoot the villagers and demonstrate his goodheartedness so this scene would have been a little redundant. Plus, with all the stormtroopers patrolling around, it seems likely that the innocent woman would have been slaughtered anyway. 

Jakku Message
Length: 47 seconds
Summary: At the Resistance base, a technician receives an encoded transmission. He rushes to inform General Leia that the Jakku village was wiped out, Poe's X-Wing was destroyed, and BB-8 and the map to Luke are nowhere to be found. She replies that he should never underestimate a droid, and tells C-3PO to find BB-8 immediately. 
Value: This gives Leia an earlier – although less dramatic – re-introduction, and it provides a little background onto the Resistance's later entrance on Takodana. It also gives Greg Grunberg (successful television actor and JJ Abrams' friend since kindergarten) more screentime as pilot Snap Wexley. 

X-Wings Prepare For Lightspeed
Length: 20 seconds
Summary: X-Wing fighters depart the Resistance base for the Starkiller. Poe and BB-8 lead the squad, and the rest of the pilots check in before they jump to hyperspace. 
Value: Once again, we get a little more of Wexley and the Resistance, but this scene is ultimately unnecessary; it's not like there was any real doubt about how the X-Wings got to Starkiller Base, and the fighters get a healthy amount of screentime later in the film. 

Kylo Searches The Falcon
Length: 49 seconds
Summary: On the surface of Starkiller Base, Snowtroopers look through the Millennium Falcon and report to Kylo Ren that the ship is clear. He enters the ship and inspects the cockpit, muttering his father's name and appearing to be quite emotional underneath his helmet. He abruptly turns around and leaves, as if he's sensed a disturbance, sees Poe's X-Wing squadrons arrive. 
Value: This was definitely a nice moment that further developed Kylo's character, but since there were multiple other scenes that expressed his inner conflict (talking to Vader's helmet, his fateful encounter with Han), you could imagine why this was deleted from the final cut. However, this is (arguably) the most important and valuable of all the deleted scenes. 

Snow Speeder Chase
Length: 48 seconds
Summary: On the Starkiller's snowy tundra, Rey and Finn ride a snowspeeder and are blasted by snowtroopers in a identical vehicle. They switch positions so that Rey can pilot while Finn returns fire. He soon hits their pursuers, and the enemy speeder crashes and explodes.
Value: The CGI in the deleted scene is pretty bad and clearly unfinished, so one can only imagine how exciting this scene would have been in theaters. This mainly helps to strengthen Rey and Finn's friendship and mirror their escape from Jakku (she pilots while he shoots), and it explains why they made those snowspeeder toys. 

Finn Will Be Fine
Length: 23 seconds
Summary: At the Resistance base, several physicians tend to Finn following his wounds at the hands of Kylo. Dr. Kalonia (who we saw tending to Chewie earlier) assures Rey that Finn will be "just fine," and she looks relieved. 
Value: Mostly, this just tells the audience the severity of Finn's injuries; we never really saw how badly Kylo had slashed him, and there was some question as to whether he was just sleeping or in an irreversible coma when Rey said goodbye to his unconscious body. 

Tunnel Standoff
Length: 58 seconds
Summary: In the basement of Maz Kanata's castle, Han, Chewie, Finn, and Maz are confronted by a squad of stormtroopers. They say that they're being arrested by order of Supreme Leader Snoke, and Han pretends to not know who he is. The commander demands that they drop their weapons, and Han continues to stall as he reveals that he first identified Finn as an ex-stormtrooper from his boots. 
Value: The full extent of this scene would almost definitely show Maz dispatching the stormtroopers with her Force powers (explaining how these guys end up on the battlefield outside), but that part must have been cut permanently because the filmmakers opted out of identifying her as Force-sensitive. Still, it shows some more truly funny Han Solo moments, which is a real treasure given his later demise. 

Which scene(s) do you wish made it into the theatrical release? Tell me in the comments, and may the Force be with you all. 

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