J.J. Abrams Says Leia Hugging Rey Was Probably a “Mistake” in ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’

By March 9, 2016

Warning: Spoilers for The Force Awakens to follow.

Out of the many nitpicks and complaints that viewers threw at Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, perhaps one of the most understandable came near the end of the film, when Rey returns from Starkiller Base with Chewie and an injured Finn, and is welcomed with a comforting hug from Leia. The reason so many fans were upset by the scene was because following the death of Han Solo, Leia and Chewie barely acknowledged each other or the devastating loss they both had experienced.

It’s one of the few complaints about the film that doesn’t have a really logical rebuttal, but it looks like director J.J. Abrams noticed the issue after the film’s release as well, and he agrees the scene may be a bit problematic.

While recently speaking with /Film, Abrams explained the process behind the scene and his reasoning as to why Leia chose to hug Rey instead of Chewie:

“That was probably one of the mistakes I made in that. My thinking at the time was that Chewbacca, despite the pain he was feeling, was focused on trying to save Finn and getting him taken care of. So I tried to have Chewbacca go off with him and focus on Rey, and then have Rey find Leia and Leia find Rey. The idea being that both of them being strong with the Force and never having met, would know about each other — that Leia would have been told about her beyond what we saw onscreen and Rey of course would have learned about Leia. And that reunion would be a meeting and a reunion all in one, and a sort of commiseration of their mutual loss.”

In Abrams’ mind, the scene probably wouldn’t have garnered all that much attention, if it had been shot just a little bit differently:

“Had Chewbacca not been where he was, you probably wouldn’t have thought of it. But because he was right there, passed by Leia, it felt almost like a slight, which was definitely not the intention.”

Personally, I didn’t mind the scene all that much. Yeah, it would have been nice to see the two characters have a shared moment of grief together, but at the same time, the focus of the scene was on Rey, and I could see Chewie wanting to be left alone for a few moments. At least, that was my thinking behind the scene.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens will arrive on blu ray and DVD on April 5th.

Make sure to keep checking back for more updates — right here on GeekNation.

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Alex Welch

Alex Welch

Alex dreams of meeting a girl with a yellow umbrella, and spends too much time* staring at a movie screen. His vocabulary consists mostly of movie quotes and 80s song lyrics. *Debatable
  • Cait Dhubhgaill

    However, it could not be a mistake. If Han was her father and Leia her mother, it makes sense that the daughter would hug her mother for comfort after seeing her father fall to his death.