Wait, Did Star Wars Almost Have Kylo Ren Torture Chewbacca?
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Star Wars is a property that has been passed down across generations, with the iconography immersed into pop culture. Characters like Chewbacca have shown up throughout the franchise's timeline, including the recent sequel trilogy. And it turns out that The Rise of Skywalker had a deleted scene where Kylo Ren tortured the beloved Wookie.
Kylo Ren showed a penchant for torture throughout the last trilogy, particularly in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Chewbacca actor Joonas Suotamo wrote a book titled Roar, which goes into his experience working on the galaxy far, far away. In it he describes a deleted scene, where Adam Driver's character was meant to torture Chewie. And translation from the Finnish text indicates that Driver got extremely in character for the dark material.
This information comes to us from Twitter, originally from the book Roar written by Joonas Suotamo himself. Suotamo made his debut as the Wookie in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, working with the late Peter Mayhew before taking on the mantle of the role. And his time filming included a very intense experience with Adam Driver on a deleted scene.
Said sequence presumably would have occurred midway through The Rise of Skywalker, when Rey and company think she accidentally killed Chewbacca with Force Lightning. But he was actually captured, and J.J. Abrams and company shot a torture scene at the hands of Kylo Ren. Joonas Suotamo described how intense this deleted sequence was, with the translation reading:
Touche. Kylo Ren finally gets his redemption in the third act of The Rise of Skywalker, helping Rey fight Palpatine in the epic final sequence. The battle for Kylo's soul was one of the main narrative threads used throughout the sequel trilogy, so it was satisfying to finally see him throw away his red lightsaber and rejoin the Light Side. But torturing a beloved character like Chewbacca might have made him irredeemable in the eyes of the fandom.
Joonas Suotamo's time in Star Wars is currently streaming on Disney+. You can use this link to sign up for the streaming service.
In his same excerpt about this deleted scene, Joonas Suotamo praised Adam Driver's intense, visceral performance. The Girls alum was pushing himself to the limit when transforming into Kylo Ren, not speaking to his co-star between takes. Perhaps this dedicated performances was deemed too dark for The Rise of Skywalker, considering how Star Wars movies are usually family friendly.
The Star Wars franchise will continue growing with shows on Disney+, as well as Patty Jenkins' developing Rogue Squadron movie. In the meantime, check out our 2021 release list to plan your next movie experience.
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Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. 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.
By Nick Venable