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Movies / Spoilers PopWrapped | Movies

J.J. Abrams Explains Why Leia Hugged Rey But Not Chewbacca

Lisa Marsella | PopWrapped Author

Lisa Marsella

03/29/2016 4:08 pm
PopWrapped | Movies
J.J. Abrams Explains Why Leia Hugged Rey But Not Chewbacca | Leia
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Warning: The Force Awakens spoilers ahead!

We are merely two weeks away from the much anticipated home release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Fans, like myself, will get to binge the film on repeat (assuming we haven’t all seen it nearly a dozen times already) and re-spark conversations about the latest Star Wars installment. The biggest wake to be made lately is one scene in particular toward the end of the film.

After the death of Han Solo, our heroes return to the Resistance Base to deliver the news. Chewbacca, well-known for being the emotional type, seems a bit cold shouldered as we see him walk past Leia. Instead of these two embracing, the Princess-turned-Senator exchanges a hug with our force strong heroine, Rey. But why?

Chewy and Leia have a strong history and it would seem after a loss like that they would try to comfort each other just a little bit. Fans have expressed quite the frustration with this scene and it has become a rather large topic of conversation. To many, it seems rather out of character for the Wookiee not to let out a cry and embrace Leia. The subject has grown to such a debate that J.J. Abrams himself was asked to explain it.

During an interview with Slashfilm, Abrams talks about his thought process while directing the scene. His mind was more focused on the idea that Chewbacca would be concerned with caring for Finn, our other newest hero, who had fallen badly injured.  He said, “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 on-screen 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.”

So this leads us to yet another question: Why do Leia and Rey hug at all? Clearly the director felt it important to express that these two have a connection that is much deeper than maybe even they know. Rey and Solo were instant friends, and the idea of being his protégé was definitely an opportunity she was going to miss. Perhaps these two leading ladies felt each other’s pain through the Force and it was clear that a huge sadness impacted them both.

Thinking back on the staging for the scene, Abrams mentioned that he could have done the blocking differently and perhaps not had Chewbacca walk past Leia at all.

Does this all seem out of character for these three or do you like how it played out? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below and watch for Star Wars: The Force Awakens to be available April 5th, 2016.  



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