‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Scribes Talk R2-D2’s Critical Role & Script Evolution
Monday, December 21st, 2015 at 3:45 pm
If you haven’t seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens yet, then I suggest you turn back now, because this new report about how the script changed from its inception to now will reveal a critical SPOILER.
One of the major criticisms of the film was how convenient it was for the characters at the right place at the right time. The Force Awakens blends the old generation with the new, and what J.J. Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan, and Michael Arndt did was they had the characters from the old trilogy reprise their respective roles. Even the droids came back. But given that there is so much mystery wrapped around this film, we didn’t know how much of a role C-3PO or R2-D2 had. We hadn’t seen much of the droids except in the trailers, but now the writers are revealing R2-D2’s mystery role, as well as a few others.
Again, SPOILERS ahead, so now is your chance to turn back.
Check out what they had to say here below.
EW was at a screening at the Writers Guild of America, where Abrams, Kasdan, and Arndt were on site to talk about R2-D2’s role. In the film, we learn that the droid has been in low-power mode since Luke Skywalker’s self-imposed exile. But the astromech droid also holds portions of the map that, once completed, will help locate the missing Jedi Master. Eventually, R2 conveniently wakes up from his “coma,” and completes the map with the help of the piece that fellow droid BB-8 was holding.
But there has to be more to it than that.
Arndt helped explain why the film happened to be based on a series of convenient events.
“The whole movie is a series of character introductions. You want all your character introductions to be A-plus. You want to give each person their moment. Even the Millennium Falcon. That was [producer] Bryan Burk’s idea. They’re running to get a ship, it blows up, and you turn and there’s the back-up – the Millennium Falcon.”
Arndt then went on to talk about how they would present Luke Skywalker in the film,
“Early on I tried to write versions of the story where [Rey] is at home, her home is destroyed, and then she goes on the road and meets Luke. And then she goes and kicks the bad guy’s ass,” Arndt said. “It just never worked and I struggled with this. This was back in 2012.”
“It just felt like every time Luke came in and entered the movie, he just took it over,” Arndt said. “Suddenly you didn’t care about your main character anymore because, “˜Oh f–k, Luke Skywalker’s here. I want to see what he’s going to do.'”
During the post Q&A portion, it was revealed that there were quite a few MacGuffins in the film before the writers settled on Luke Skywalker. The site says that those MacGuffins were “searching for Darth Vader’s remains, and a quest to the underwater wreckage of the second Death Star to recover a key piece of history about sacred Jedi sites in the galaxy.”
Abrams explained how those unused macguffins didn’t fit the overall narrative, and how elements of them were kept,
“But the idea was that in that scene where R2 plugged in, he downloaded the archives of the Empire, which was referenced by Kylo Ren,” Abrams said. Thirty-eight years later, in both our own and galactic time, that data becomes useful in The Force Awakens when a new droid approaches the dormant R2.
“BB-8 comes up and says something to him, which is basically, “˜I’ve got this piece of a map, do you happen to have the rest?'” Abrams said. “The idea was, R2 who has been all over the galaxy, is still in his coma, but he hears this. And it triggers something that would ultimately wake him up.”