Since other outlets had been given exclusive clips from the upcoming the Star Wars: The Force Awakens four-disc 3D Collector”s Edition Blu-Ray release, it's only fair Lucasfilm themselves got one. The Star Wars Show revealed a new bit of J.J. Abrams commentary dealing with Rey's “Forceback' scene at Maz's castle.
We knew Ewan McGregor put in a small bit of voice work for the film and Abrams revealed just after The Force Awakens was released that a little magic helped Sir Alec Guinness have a voice as well. As reported by Entertainment Weekly:
As they worked on editing the dream sequence, Bryan Burk, a longtime Bad Robot collaborator and one of the producers of the film, surprised Abrams one day with the gift of a single word: Obi-Wan Kenobi”s voice saying the name “Rey …”
“I said, ‘That”s cool, is that the thing from Ewan McGregor?”” Abrams recalled. “He said ‘No, we took a line from Alec Guinness saying ‘Afraid.””
Not only that, but the lilt in his voice from that truncated word happened to fit exactly what Abrams had in mind. “They cut it, and you hear the performance – he”s saying it the way I would have begged Alec Guinness to have said it. It is so crazy perfect,” Abrams says. “So when you hear Obi-Wan talk to Rey it is both Alec Guinness and Ewan McGregor doing the voice.”
But there's was even more considered for that very brief bit of screentime. The commentary scene starts around 1:55 in this video.
“In this scene she is drawn to this place almost like Cinderella. And she goes to this box, which, when she opens, she discovers something that of course has no meaning to her. She”s never seen this before, doesn”t know what it is, but has meaning to the audience. Touching the lightsaber triggers what we called the 'Forceback.' There were many iterations of this. In one, from this Cloud City corridor, she looked down and saw Vader fighting Luke, which we ended up cutting. We want it to be a more personal story, something that she couldn”t comprehend, that was overwhelming to her, frightening to her, that was taking her through all of these elemental experiences, of fire, of rain, snow, wind. But also that she was being confronted with truths about the Force, about the past. The Knights of Ren here, the past for herself. She realizes that the cries she heard were actually her own cries as a young girl being taken away from her family. And then she hears a voice, 'Rey,' and that”s Obi-Wan Kenobi.”
I'm obviously excited to check out this commentary as a whole, but I love hearing how many ideas they played around with. We see Luke in Rey's Forceback in the final cut but not his face. Seeing him and Vader locked in battle would have been too big of a reference I think. Everything else is kept in shadow or otherwise very small, subtle truths, which makes a lot more sense. What did you think of that Forceback sequence when you first saw it?