J.J. Abrams was faced with the monumental task of updating the iconic movie franchise, but keeping true to the legend of the previous life-changing Star Wars films. And most would agree that he did an exceptional job with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, a film that has made over $2 billion in the worldwide box office.
Abrams, who wrote and directed The Force Awakens, does admit that it isn’t a perfect movie and he did make some mistakes. SlashFilm.com writer, Peter Sciretta, got to interview Abrams and he wanted to know what was up with Princess Leia dissing Chewbacca.
Near the end of the movie, after Starkiller Base has been destroyed and Han Solo has also just been killed by his son Kylo Ren, the Resistance fighters return to their base. One scene shows Leia, Kylo Ren’s mother and Han Solo’s estranged wife, walk right past Chewbacca, Han Solo’s best friend forever. Instead of Chewie and Leia comforting each other in their time of need, Leia hugs Rey, someone she’s never met.
Abrams explains that he fucked up:
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.
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.
I think we can all excuse J.J. for this one minor and inconsequential faux pas, and attempting to highlight the Skywalker connection between Leia and Rey, which will be a major plot in the coming films.