OK, so by now most of you have probably seen the new Star Wars movie, maybe more than once. But what about the stuff we didn't see? Spoilers ahead!
According to Slashfilm, at least 20 scenes were either deleted, changed or shortened as Star Wars: The Force Awakens was shaped by director J.J. Abrams, his editors and the Lucasfilm production team. Abrams' first cut was two hours and 40 minutes, which was then pruned down to the two-hour-and-15-minute version that's now playing in theaters. So what was left behind? Please feel free to stop reading here if you have yet to see the movie and don't want to know any more.
Still with us? Allright them. Slashfilm compiled its list based on sources involved with the film, other web reports and material presented in the novelization of the movie as well as other tie-in books. Among the major deletions:
The long rumored opening shot of the Skywalker family's lightsaber floating in space -- either with or without Luke's hand still gripping it -- was apparently a real shot that was supposed to follow the opening text crawl. But it was excised from the movie very late in the game.
General Leia (Carrie Fisher) was supposed to appear earlier that she does in the final film, in a scene in which she converses with New Republic representative Korr Sella (Maisie Richardson-Sellers). The scene would have perhaps clarified the relationship between the Republic and the Resistance, with Leia making the case to Sella to try and persuade the Senate to take more extensive action against the First Order. The scene made it into the novelization, but in the movie, we only see Korr Sella on a balcony on Hosnian Prime just before the seat of the Republic is destroyed by the beam from Starkiller Base.
A character named Constable Zuvio -- who has actually shown up in some toy lines and books -- didn't make the final edit, although he was supposed to be the one who broke up the fight between Rey (Daisy Ridley) and the thugs who try to steal BB-8 from her on Jakku. Rey ends up beating off the thieves quite nicely by herself.
Unkar Plutt, the shady Jakku junk dealer played by Simon Pegg, was supposed to show up at Maz Kanata's castle in pursuit of Rey over her theft of the Millennium Falcon. A confrontation was reportedly scripted and might have even been shot that ended with Chewbacca ripping Plutt's arm off. The scene appears in the novelization.
That shot from the trailer of someone handing the Skywalker lightsaber to Leia? That was Maz doing that, as she originally returned to the Resistance base with Han, Chewie and Finn. But Abrams decided to leave all that out since Maz ended up having little to do in the rest of the film.
Rey's Force vision when she finds the lightsaber was supposed to include a shot of Darth Vader cutting off Luke's hand, as well as a series of flashbacks recounting how the saber got to Maz's castle.
There was also supposed to be a sequence in which Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and a squad of snowtroopers board the Falcon, and Ren enters the cockpit and has an emotional moment -- perhaps thinking about sitting there next to his father.
Slashfilm goes on to list a few more items that didn't make it -- a full scene here and a line or two of dialogue there -- but the question now is: Will we get to see any of this stuff if it was shot and in some phase of completion? Abrams is from the school that the "director's cut" is the one you see in theaters, so while we may not get any sort of extended version of the movie on Blu-ray it does seem likely that some of these scenes will show up as a bonus feature.
Would you like to see some of the deleted footage from The Force Awakens? Do you think it would improve or detract from the original film?