While J.J. Abrams was the director of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, he was far from the only filmmaker that was directly involved in the movie's production. It turns out Steven Spielberg had some direct influence on the film as well. The director, who had a lot to do with getting J.J. Abrams the job directing The Force Awakens, also suggested a couple of minor tweaks to a pair of scenes in order to give them a little more punch. The first was an early scene where a TIE Fighter gets swallowed by the desert sands. On the new audio commentary for _Star Wars: The Force Awakens _3D Collector's Edition, Abrams explains:
While this is a CG effect of the swallowing, this explosion was Steven Spielberg's idea. He loved the idea that the thing get sucked into the sand and then... that!
By "that" J.J. Abrams is referring to the explosion of sand that takes place once the craft is completely enveloped by the desert. Abrams talked about how the famous director influenced Star Wars: The Force Awakens as part of the new commentary on the Special Edition Box Set for the film. Apparently, this idea came during filming, because while the ship being swallowed is a CGI effect, the explosion is practical. The sand had been packed with explosives.
However, that wasn't the only scene that Steven Spielberg got changed. Click over to page two for details on the other.
The second scene from Star Wars: The Force Awakens that Steven Spielberg influenced was near the end of the film and took place during the editing phase of the movie. J.J. Abrams was going over the lightsaber battle between Rey and Kylo Ren when the director behind War of the Worlds had another suggestion...
When I showed the first cut of this scene to Steven Spielberg ... he suggested 'What if trees were falling while they were fighting?' And I said 'That's cool, but we've shot the scene already.' And then I said to [visual effects supervisor] Roger Guyett, 'Is there any way we could have trees falling?' And he said, 'If you want to pay for it.' So we did.
The beauty of digital technology is that at this point there's very little that you can't make happen on a movie screen. If you have the money, you can make it all happen. Star Wars: The Force Awakens was not exactly a budget film, so apparently they had the money to burn to add falling trees in the background during the battle, as Starkiller Base begins to collapse around them. We're not sure the scene would have been that much worse without it, but now we'll never know.
What did you think of Steven Spielberg's additions to Star Wars: The Force Awakens? Let us know in the comments below.