Steven Spielberg and Star Wars? It sounds too good to be true… but the director’s commentary on the Collector’s Edition of Star Wars: The Force Awakens reveals that the ET director had a hand in two of the movie’s scenes.
Episode 7 director J.J. Abrams reveals (via Screencrush (opens in new tab)) that the master of modern film gave a few suggestions to Abrams – and when Spielberg talks, you’d better listen. The first alteration comes during the crash-landing of the TIE fighter which Poe (Oscar Isaac) and Finn (John Boyega) commandeered.
Having plummeted onto Jakku the wreckage sinks into the sand, before a brief pause and one hell of an explosion. As Abrams explains, the big bang was Spielberg’s doing, “[the] explosion was Steven Spielberg’s idea. He loved the idea that the thing get sucked into the sand and then... that!”
Even more impressive is the fact the entire blast was shot using practical effects and explosives. If Spielberg wants to blow a hole in the desert then, damn it, Spielberg gets to blow a hole in the desert!
The second Spielberg suggestion came in the form of, uhh, falling trees.
The climactic lightsaber battle between Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Finn was missing something according to Spielberg’s keen eye: “When I showed the first cut of this scene to Steven Spielberg ... he suggested ‘What if trees were falling while they were fighting?’" says Abrams. "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.”
So, there you have it. Steven Spielberg contributed to The Force Awakens. We wonder whether he has any other explosive ideas for future Star Wars movies.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Collector’s Edition will be available on Blu-Ray on November 15.