Contact Us

Steven Spielberg Gave J.J. Abrams Two Ideas to Use in ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’

Lucasfilm
Lucasfilm

It’s pretty well known that Steven Spielberg was a major force (h’yuck) in getting J.J. Abrams the assignment directing Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Lucasfilm wanted a director. Spielberg wanted Abrams to get the gig. “I brought J.J.’s name up,” he said in a roundtable interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “I thought J.J. would be the best person to direct Episode VII and I called J.J. and said ‘Would you do it if it was offered to you?’”

Abrams was initially reluctant (he thought his wife wouldn’t want him to take any more time-consuming franchise gigs), so Spielberg actually took Abrams and his wife Katie out to dinner on Lucasfilm’s behalf. There he asked Katie if it was cool if J.J. directed Star Wars, and basically made a Love Connection of the whole thing. The rest was history.

What is not well-known, at least not yet, are Spielberg’s specific contributions to The Force Awakens after Abrams got the job. But on the new director’s commentary for the film (available on the big Collector’s Edition box set that comes out next Tuesday), Abrams cites two specific moments in the film that were given to him by Spielberg. The first comes in the desert of Jakku, right after Finn (John Boyega) and Poe (Oscar Isaac) crash land their TIE fighter. Finn wakes in the wreckage, which promptly sinks into the sand. And then…

Subscribe to Banana 101.5 on

According to Abrams, that pause followed by the enormous explosion was a Spielberg suggestion:

While this is a CG effect of the swallowing, this explosion was Steven Spielberg’s idea. He loved the idea that the thing get sucked into the sand and then… that!

(“That” being the explosion at the end.) Like a surprising number of special effects in The Force Awakens, the explosion was a practical one; they packed the ground with a bunch of explosives and blew the crap out of the sand.

The second Spielberg idea Abrams cites comes in the climactic lightsaber battle between Finn, Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver):

Subscribe to Banana 101.5 on

As Abrams tells it:

When I showed the first cut of this scene to Steven Spielberg … he suggested ‘What if trees were falling while they were fighting?’ And I said ‘That’s cool, but we’ve shot the scene already.’ And then I said to [visual effects supervisor] Roger Guyett, ‘Is there any way we could have trees falling?’ And he said, ‘If you want to pay for it.’ So we did.

When Steven Spielberg suggests something, you pay for it. The new Star Wars: The Force Awakens Collector’s Edition (in 3D) will be available on Blu-ray on November 15.

Subscribe to Banana 101.5 on

Subscribe to Banana 101.5 on

Trending on Banana1015.com

Recommended for You

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://banana1015.com using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Please solve this simple math problem to prove that you are a real person.

Sign up for Friends With Benefits quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive Friends With Benefits contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.