‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’: 28 Things We Learned from J.J. Abrams’ New Commentary

     November 14, 2016

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When Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released on home video, folks flocked to the Blu-ray to find a fair amount of bonus features, including a somewhat interesting (if limited) documentary on how the film was made. One major aspect missing was an audio commentary by co-writer/director J.J. Abrams. To watch one of the biggest films of the 21st century with filmmaker insight was something many fans were looking forward to, and unfortunately it was absent from that initial home video release.

However, this being Star Wars and all, Disney Home Entertainment continued Lucasfilm’s tradition of the double-dip and this fall released a “Collector’s Edition” Blu-ray of Star Wars: The Force Awakens that does include an audio commentary from Abrams—and it’s a good one to boot! Abrams is funny, insightful, and surprisingly candid given all the secrecy that surrounded the film during its production.

So for those of you interested in what kind of insights are gleaned from the commentary, I listened along and pulled out some of the more fascinating insights. What struck me most was how much of the finished film came from reshoots. We know that Abrams and Co. went back for extensive reshoots throughout 2015, but Abrams points out a number of key scenes and shots that were either altered or crafted entirely during post-production—many times right inside (or outside) the Bad Robot production offices. This is nothing new for Abrams—he employed the same technique on Star Trek and 10 Cloverfield Lane—and it’s pretty neat to know that despite the project being as massive as Star Wars, the “kid with a camera” spirit of filmmaking permeated throughout.

So below, separated into categories, are some of the more interesting Star Wars: The Force Awakens trivia bits gleaned from the audio commentary.

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