Star Wars Original Trilogy References Were Cut From The Force Awakens

Ryan Leston
·UK Movies Writer

It looks as though ‘Star Wars VII’ was almost crammed full of references to the original trilogy… but J.J. Abrams has already cut some of them out.

During an interview with Vanity Fair (via The Playlist) the ‘Star Wars VII’ director opened up about some of those references to the original trilogy… and explained that (thankfully) it isn’t all about providing nods and winks to the fans.

“We’ve obviously had a lot of time [during the development process] to talk about what’s happened outside of the borders of the story that you’re seeing,” he said. “So there are, of course, references to things, and some are very oblique so that hopefully the audience can infer what the characters are referring to.”

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Obviously, this doesn’t mean that ‘Star Wars VII’ will be completely devoid of original trilogy references… and you only have to watch that impressive second teaser trailer to see a whole slew of them.

Darth Vader’s helmet is perhaps the most obvious, but there’s also that fallen Star Destroyer – something which might even give us a hint towards events that have happened in between the original trilogy and the new movies.

But it seems a lot of references were removed.

“We used to have more references to things that we pulled out because they almost felt like they were trying too hard to allude to something,” he added. “I think that the key is—and whether we’ve accomplished that or not is, of course, up to the audience—but the key is that references be essential so that you don’t reference a lot of things that feel like, oh, we’re laying pipe for, you know, an animated series or further movies. It should feel like things are being referenced for a reason.”

Of course, this also means that ‘The Force Awakens’ is presumably going to avoid laying the ground work for ‘Episode VIII’ – the upcoming sequel which is currently being developed by director Rian Johnson.

Considering that the original ‘Star Wars’ movie also did little work to set up its sequels, that seems like a very good idea. And I can’t help thinking that J.J. Abrams has approached this in exactly the right way.

Obviously, being a ‘Star Wars’ fanboy himself, there were no doubt plenty of times when he could have included a little nod here and a wink there… but I like to think that such a superb filmmaker is aware enough to avoid the pitfalls.

And it sounds as though he’s done just that.

Of course, it will be interesting to see what has been left in there - with the fallen Star Destroyer, we’ll no doubt get some references to the Battle of Jakku, which seems to have taken place in the 30 years since ‘Return of the Jedi’ and will be playable in the upcoming ‘Star Wars Battlefront’.

And I can’t help wondering what Han Solo has been up to all these years… and why he hasn’t been able to go home. But for now, we’ll have to wait and see.

‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ heads to cinemas on 18 December 2015.

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Picture Credit: Lucasfilm