While Star Wars: The Force Awakens was shrouded in secrecy all throughout production, we do know that the film underwent reshoots. How significant those reshoots were vary depending on who you’re speaking to, but every major blockbuster film undergoes additional filming nowadays, and Star Wars was no different. As it turns out, one of those reshoots actually came about from some notes that Selma filmmaker Ava DuVernay gave J.J. Abrams after watching an early cut of the movie.
On a new clip from the upcoming “Collector’s Edition” Blu-ray release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we hear a snippet from Abrams’ audio commentary where he reveals the moment that was altered after DuVernay’s suggestions. It’s actually a pretty big scene—the lightsaber fight between Rey and Kylo Ren—but DuVernay told Abrams that Rey needed “one really cool moment” before the tables turn and she kicks Kylo Ren’s ass.
The result is pretty seamless. There’s only one shot where it’s fairly obvious it was taken during reshoots, but the rest of the scene plays out incredibly well—probably due to the fact that this was shot on a soundstage in the first place. But it’s interesting to hear that DuVernay was one of the people Abrams showed the movie to during editing, and indeed in Collider’s own interview with DuVernay for her Netflix doc 13th, she revealed that Abrams is one of her filmmaker friends that she turns to for notes/advice on her own films.
While DuVernay is currently gearing up to shoot A Wrinkle in Time for Disney, I’d be surprised if she hasn’t already been approached by Lucasfilm about directing a Star Wars movie. We already know she was offered Black Panther by Marvel, so if after A Wrinkle in Time comes out we learn that DuVernay is directing a new Star Wars anthology movie, don’t be too surprised.
Listen to the snippet in the clip below (via Vulture). Abrams’ full audio commentary is exclusively available on the double-dip Blu-ray release of Force Awakens, which is available on November 15th.