One month after the release of Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, screenwriter Michael Arndt sat down with Entertainment Weekly and discussed the origins of new characters Finn and Rey. Scroll below for all the details.
As the Star Wars buzz finally starts to die down (mind you, not in my household), we can finally sit back and take in the behemoth that is The Force Awakens. When the record-breaking sequel was first announced, many fans remained cautious about any new characters and how they would fit alongside the franchise favorites. However, the reaction to the likes of Finn, Rey and Poe has been overwhelming positive – so much that the next script is supposedly being rewritten to accommodate them all.
Now director J.J. Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt have dished the dirt on how two of these characters were brought into the world and the thinking behind them. Apparently Arndt was on board as soon as he heard there were plans for a female Jedi. He told Entertainment Weekly:
It was I think May 2012, and I was in New York, trying to figure out what I was going to do next. I had just finished working on The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and I was like, ‘OK, no more big Hollywood franchises.’ I’m going to go back and do my own original stuff. And then Kathy called me up, and the initial thing is she wanted me to write 7, 8 and 9 together. I said there’s no way I could do that, because it’s just too crazy and daunting. Then, the story she pitched me was it’s an origin story about a female Jedi. I said I’m in. I couldn’t say no to that. I had to do it. I went to the ranch and I talked with George Lucas, and we spent a lot of time talking about samurai movies. I sort of passed that test.
I think we can all agree that the decision to have a female protagonist was an inspired one, and to see Rey come into her own by the end of the movie was something new and fresh we hadn’t yet seen in the saga. In fact, Arndt mentions her journey was always the main focus right from the off:
“From the very beginning we sort of settled on very quickly that we wanted the girl, Rey, to be a scavenger. We always wanted her to be the ultimate outsider and the ultimate disenfranchised person, because that person has the longest journey. And then we were struggling to figure out who the male lead was going to be. I remember we talked about pirates and merchant marines and all this stuff, and finally Larry [Kasdan] got pissed at all of us and he’s just like, ‘You guys, you’re not thinking big. What if he’s a stormtrooper that ran away?’ And we were all like, ‘Oh my god!'”
So there you have it, straight from the horses mouth. Do you think they made the right choice going with the Rey character being the hero of the tale? Is Finn’s origin the best they could come up with, or would you have preferred something different?
Sound off in the comments section below!
Source: Movie Web