It's been almost a full year since Star Wars: The Force Awakens hit theaters, and we're still reeling from the film's powerful impact on the Star Wars mythos. Not only did J.J. Abrams provide the perfect amount of fan service to jolt the saga back to life, but he also introduced plenty of new material to drive the franchise into the future. One scene that perfectly encapsulates that idea is Rey's Force vision at Maz Kanata's cantina. It was a fantastic scene, but what exactly happened? Now it seems that J.J. Abrams has some answers. In the commentary, he said:
In this scene she is drawn to this place, almost like Cinderella. And she goes to this box, which, when she opens, she discovers something that of course has no meaning to her -- she's never seen this before, doesn't know what it is -- but has meaning to the audience. ... We wanted [this scene] to be a more personal story. Something that she couldn't comprehend that was overwhelming to her, frightening to her. That was taking her through all of these elemental experiences. Of fire. Of rain, snow [and] wind. But also that she was being confronted with truths about The Force, about the past, the Knights of Ren here, the past for herself. She realizes the cries that she heard were actually her own cries as a young girl being taken away from her family. And then she hears a voice. 'Rey.' And that's Obi-wan Kenobi.
On a brand new commentary track for The Force Awakens (via The Star Wars Show) J.J. Abrams addressed Rey's bizarre visions during her brief time at Maz' cantina towards the end of the second act of the film. He explained that the vision acts as a sort of indoctrination process to compel the young girl to face the realities of the galaxy and The Force. She has no idea what she's experiencing when she's confronted with this sights and sounds, but these moments mean everything to members of the audience that have grown up with the Star Wars saga.
Aside from the vision's nostalgic relevance, it also serves as a vital piece of exposition for the future of the franchise. While we see plenty of familiar imagery during the brief sequence, J.J. Abrams also uses it to lay groundwork that will be explored in later films. From the mysteries of Rey's parentage, to the atrocities committee by the Knights of Ren, the sequence forces the viewer to confront plot threads that future Star Wars films will inevitably explore. The Force is an elemental mystery, and Rey is just beginning to understand it.
With Rey now in the process of becoming a fully-fledged Jedi Knight, we have a very distinct feeling that her Force visions will only continue to occur into the future. The significance of these events will likely become even clearer when Star Wars: Episode VIII hits theaters on December 15, 2017.