12 secrets we learned from Star Wars: The Force Awakens' special features

Ever since Star Wars: The Force Awakens hit theaters, movie fans and Star Wars lore hunters have been combing the film, pulling out every bit of information they could. With the release of the digital home edition, we get an even closer look at the latest entry in the Star Wars series.

Even if there aren't any clues as to what might happen in the future episodes and movies to follow, the digital edition's special features surfaced plenty of interesting facts about the production of the movie and the new Star Wars universe. We've gathered some of the most interesting bits we learned from watching the special features and deleted scenes below, but beware, there are SPOILERS to The Force Awakens in this article.

Finn Refuses to kill an innocent villager on Jakku

Finn's personal conflict with killing the locals in the stormtrooper assault of the Jakku village gets a bit more screentime in a deleted scene. The hero comes across a female villager alone, paralyzed by fear, but Finn, still traumatized by the death of his buddy (the bloody handprint can be seen on his helmet), refuses to capture or kill her and eventually lets the villager go.

Captain Phasma isn't the only female stormtrooper

For being an army of soulless, oppressive killers, the stormtroopers sure are a diverse, equal opportunity group. You might not know it, but several of the stormtroopers are women. It isn't immediately apparent because the female armor is exactly the same as the male armor. It isn't feminised. But that fact also sends a powerful message: that no matter who the person is underneath, the stormtrooper armor wipes away everything about that person's individuality.

There were multiple versions of BB-8 on set

BB-8 was probably one of the more complex characters to put in the movie because, well, it's a tiny, rolling robot. You can't exactly stick a person inside of it to control and act for it. In order to have it function on camera, the production crew created multiple versions of the little droid ball for the many different environments and situations BB-8 would be involved in. Everything from a fully controllable puppet and fully remote controlled droid, to a lightweight plastic version that the actors could carry.

Poe was set to die in the original script

The new trio of heroes: Rey, Finn and Poe might have been a duo if it wasn't for a script change. Poe was going to die early on in the story, but it didn't happen because actor Oscar Isaac wasn't too happy about it. Director JJ Abrams said that Isaac was tired of his characters dying off in his more recent movies and asked that they keep him alive. So, the script was changed.

The holochess hasn't been turned on since A New Hope

It seems that the Millennium Falcon's holochess board that Finn accidentally switched on hadn't be used in over three decades. The pieces are all left in the same places where R2-D2 and Chewie left them just before the crew discovered a destroyed Alderaan in A New Hope.

Rey and Finn had a speeder chase scene

Finn gets to show off his stormtrooper-trained blaster rifle skills in a deleted scene on the snowy surface of Starkiller base. Without any explanation, Rey and Finn are shown driving a speeder being chased by stormtroopers in a similar vehicle. Finn tells Rey to take over the wheel, then takes his blaster rifle, and shoots a stormtrooper causing the speeder to crash and explode.

The lightsaber props glow like real lightsabers

The lightsaber combat props used in the previous movies just had metal rods coming out of the lightsaber hilts, to which the glowing blades were added later. In the Force Awakens, the lightsaber props have glowing blades and flash white at particular moments, like when the lightsabers clash together. It looks as if the actors are fighting with the Force FX lightsabers you can find in the toy aisle at a department store.

Maz Kanata was supposed to be at the Resistance base

In the behind-the-scenes clips, Lupita Nyong'o, the actress who plays Maz, is shown kneeling near the other actors as they view the map to Luke Skywalker. But it seems she was cut from the scene in the final version as we never get to see Maz at the Resistance base at all in the movie.

Han still has his dice

You might never have noticed this little piece of the scenery, but throughout the original trilogy, a pair of dice hung in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon. Seriously, go look. Well, a reference to this little detail was cut from The Force Awakens. The cut scene showed Han pulling the dice from his pocket and hanging them up in the cockpit as the smuggler and his furry friend made their long-awaited return to the Falcon.

Kylo Ren knows Han Solo is on Starkiller Base before the bridge scene

As Han, Chewie, and Finn shut down Starkiller Base's defensive shield, Kylo Ren and a group of Snowtroopers find the Millennium Falcon crashed in the snow, learning that Han is nearby. The villains board the ship, only to find it abandoned. As the dark jedi exits the ship he discovers that the Resistance is attacking Starkiller Base. The scene doesn't add much to the story, but it's a cool callback to Vader investigating the Falcon on the Death Star.

The snowy forest scene had a painted backdrop

If you thought that the lightsaber fight between Kylo, Finn, and Rey took place in a real, snowy forest, you got tricked by an amazing, but old school-style movie set. The crew brought in real trees and fake snow to build the set, and a painted backdrop was hung in the background to make it look like the forest went on forever.

Luke is conflicted when he sees Rey

Luke may not have said a word in The Force Awakens, but his face was meant to say a lot. Mark Hamill says that at Rey and Luke's meeting at the end of the movie, Luke is conflicted about training the new force-sensitive hero holding his father's lightsaber. And he probably should be. The last time he took on pupils, they were all murdered by Kylo Ren, leaving him to live with those deaths on his conscience.

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