Ava DuVernay Helped J.J. Abrams Make The Force Awakens' Rey Vs. Ren Fight Even More Badass

Illustration for article titled Ava DuVernay Helped J.J. Abrams Make The Force Awakens' Rey Vs. Ren Fight Even More Badass

The Force Awakens is getting the 3D Blu-ray collector’s edition treatment on November 15, and we’ve already started to get peeks at extras that will be included with the release. Today, we learned how one of J.J. Abrams’ filmmaking peers made a key suggestion, making an important scene even more impactful.


This nugget comes courtesy of Abrams’ commentary track, in which he explains how “my friend Ava DuVernay” (director of Selma and the upcoming A Wrinkle in Time) watched the snowy battle between Rey and Kylo Ren, and shared her thoughts on how to make it even better. Abrams listened, and the final film proves she was right. Here’s a moment that he points out in particular:

Today’s episode of the weekly Star Wars Show on YouTube had another clip to share. Skip ahead to 1:55 to hear Abrams discussing the scene in which Rey experiences what he calls the “Force-back”—when she discovers Luke’s light saber stashed beneath Maz Kanata’s bar, and has a series of frightening visions as a result.


Brian Burns

I don’t know, maybe I’m in the minority here, but I didn’t find that fight especially “bad ass.” Kylo was injured but even so, his fighting style looks to me like someone who has not really had much training with a saber (likely this is intentional) and Rey clearly has no idea what she’s doing, so they are both sort of just flailing around. Narratively, this makes perfect sense and appropriate for the scene, but is not especially thrilling to watch. It also doesn’t help that the outcome was predicable and obvious before the fight even started. Obviously neither character was in real danger; we’ve got a whole trilogy to fill with these two! It would be amazing if in part 8, they kill Kylo within the first act and introduce a real villain who isn’t a bargain bin Vader cosplayer. It won’t happen of course.