The Force Awakens Almost Had A Very Different Final Shot

Star Wars: The Force Awakens has now been out for a few months, and the world is still reeling from the epicness of the latest episode of the space opera. While The Force Awakens was pretty universally beloved among fans, the film wasn’t without its issues or flaws. One of the most controversial aspects of The Force Awakens was the role of Luke Skywalker, or lack thereof. After years of waiting for Luke to return to the franchise, we were given just one closeup of the Jedi, before a sweeping image of he and Rey on his island closed the film.

Well, it turns out that this final shot almost wasn’t included at all. Ben Rosenblatt, who was a co-producer on The Force Awakens, recently opened up regarding that last image of the two heroes. When speaking to THR, Rosenblatt shared that the large sweeping shot was almost much simpler. Rather than ending on Rey and Luke’s standoff, the final shot was nearly just a close-up on Rey herself. The reasoning for this original idea was that the Force had awakened within Rey, so the final shot should be of that awakening. Additionally, Rey was the undisputed star of the film.

While the focus on Rey’s perspective is surely something I would have enjoyed in The Force Awakens, I’m glad that Ben Rosenblatt, J.J. Abrams, and the editing team decided to go with the shot of Luke and Rey. Since Luke was so absent throughout the film, we needed the precious few moments with the Jedi- every second counted.

The expectations for Luke appearing more heavily in The Force Awakens was partly because the original trailer featured his voice. While we knew that he was absent from all of the marketing materials for the film, fans figured they just wanted to make Luke’s reveal more exciting. Of course, it turns out that he wasn’t on the poster because the film was overall Luke-less. Although the beard was cool.

Ben Rosenblatt also opens up regarding how the score helped influence which final shot The Force Awakens would ultimately utilize. And he gave us a hint about what to expect in the upcoming Episode VIII.

[The music] left you with this sweeping emotional epic [feel], and you’re going to see a lot of that in Episode VIII.

While we know very little about the upcoming Star Wars sequel, this does bode well for the newest movie. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait another year and half until Episode VIII comes to theaters. Luckily, we have Rogue One to look forward to in the meantime.

Here’s hoping that not only does the Episode VIII contain a sweeping score, but a ton of Luke Skywalker scenes as well. And a lightsaber fight between him and Kylo Ren.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.