And There Came Hidden Gems in The Force Awakens and Beyond Part I SPOILERS

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Three times in five days. That’s how many times I’ve seen The Force Awakens – as of now.

Each time I’ve gone, I’ve noted a few more things about the movie. Additionally, I am reading the novelization of the film by none other than Alan Dean Foster who wrote the novelization of Star Wars that was attributed to George Lucas and, of course, wrote Splinter of the Mind’s Eye which Lucas commissioned to be the sequel to Star Wars when he figured the movie would flop and he wouldn’t be able to make a cinematic one. He also thought Harrison Ford might not return as Han Solo regardless which is why Solo isn’t in the book. The back story of Splinter of the Mind’s Eye is far better than the novel itself (and doesn’t the title sound more like an episode of the original  Star Trek than it does a Star Wars title?). I am not done with the book, but a few items have already popped up that were clearly part of some versions of the script.

As I watched the movie the second and third times, I was able to be a little more… calm is the right word … and appreciate a few more things.

Here are some tidbits I noted watching the movie again and reading the adaptation which I’ve not finished yet (Foster clearly was working off a draft of the script):

  • There are many subtle A New Hope homages I noted this time:
    • Finn picks up the training sphere that Luke was fighting in A New Hope when Finn is trying to help Chewbacca after the wookie has been shot.
    • Of course Han says “I have a bad feeling about this.”
    • Finn decides to deposit Captain Phasma in a garbage chute leading to a trash compactor.
    • We get the still inexplicable 12 … er, 14 parsecs Kessel Run talk (as if parsecs are a unit of time, not distance).
    • Many, many creatures in Maz Kanata’s bar are based on original Ralph McQuarrie designs.
    • The gate that Rey demolishes when she and Finn steal the Millennium Falcon is based on another McQuarrie design.
    • When Han, Rey, Finn and Chewie are running around Starkiller Base, a storm trooper is on his com saying “We think they may be splitting up” which is exactly what a storm trooper says in A New Hope when Han, Luke, Leia and Chewie are running around the Death Star (“we think they may be splitting up – they may be on levels 5 and 6 now, sir.”
    • Finn’s trooper number FN2187 is very similar to Leia’s cell number in A New Hope – Han: “Here it is. 2187. You go and get her. I’ll hold them here.” That’s just a fun throwaway, I would guess. It’s certainly not done accidentally.
  • There is a very long and lingering shot of a woman on a planet in the Hosnian system. This is right before that planet and the Republic Senate, which is on that planet, is destroyed. It’s such a long shot that it’s kind of odd and the woman is framed almost in the center. Why? Well, in the novel there is an entire scene between someone named Sella and General Organa. Leia orders Sella to go to the Senate to convince the Senate to deal to deal with the emerging threat of the First Order. Leia doesn’t go herself for fear of being assassinated. Surely that’s Sella who is framed in that scene before the destruction of that planet in the Hosnian system. Surely there is a more extensive scene that may show up later on a blu ray release of the film.
  • In the scene where Leia talks to Sella in the novel, she also tasks C-3PO with finding BB-8. C-3PO talks to the dorman R2-D2 and confides in him that he, C-3PO, forgot to activate BB-8’s long range tracker before he left with Poe. “You had ONE job!”
  • “I can do this!” Both Finn and Rey yell this when they steal the Millennium Falcon. It’s A LOT like Chekov yelling this in the 2009 Star Trek. Is this a new JJ Abrams signature? Probably not.
  • If you haven’t read these Entertainment Weekly interviews with JJ Abrams, you should!

I had one further idea that is likely not going to be true, but … who knows? Lor San Tekka, the Max Von Sydow character, was clearly a big deal for the Rebellion and he knew Ben Solo when he was a boy. Yet we don’t see him at all in the original trilogy. Might his character show up in Rogue One next year as a major player in the stealing of the plans for the original Death Star?

I cannot believe how good this movie is. Really. It was just as good yesterday on my third viewing in five days.

There remains A LOT to unpack.



Filed under Episode VII, Star Wars, Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens, The Force Awakens

4 responses to “And There Came Hidden Gems in The Force Awakens and Beyond Part I SPOILERS

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