J.J. Abrams Expresses Regret Over the Hug Drama From Star Wars: The Force Awakens


I know, I’ll have to be more specific as Star Wars: The Force Awakens actually featured a few hugs.

You’ve seen The Force Awakens by now, yes? If not, time to turn away.

Off the top of my head in the film there were a few embraces: Leia and Han, Finn and Poe, Finn and Rey, and Leia and Rey. That last one had a few feathers ruffled in the Star Wars fan community considering it came after the death of Han and Chewie was like, right there, you guys. It’s also been confirmed: Chewie loves a good hug.


/Film’s Peter Sciretta talked to director J.J. Abrams about specifically why Leia would hug Rey first (and only, as far as we see on screen) when they’ve never actually met. It’s something he actually calls a mistake.

My thinking at the time was that Chewbacca, despite the pain he was feeling, was focused on trying to save Finn and getting him taken care of. So I tried to have Chewbacca go off with him and focus on Rey, and then have Rey find Leia and Leia find Rey. The idea being that both of them being strong with the Force and never having met, would know about each other — that Leia would have been told about her beyond what we saw onscreen and Rey of course would have learned about Leia. And that reunion would be a meeting and a reunion all in one, and a sort of commiseration of their mutual loss.

He went on to tell Sciretta it definitely wasn’t meant to be a slight against the furball and in fact, probably wouldn’t have even been something to talk about had he framed the shot differently.

Personally, I’m ok with it and didn’t even consider the implications until others started discussing it online. But let’s be honest, we all know Leia and Chewie had a good cry together off screen. I mean, someone had to mourn the scoundrel.

5 Responses to “J.J. Abrams Expresses Regret Over the Hug Drama From Star Wars: The Force Awakens

  1. shadowmaat says:

    There was drama about this? Really? I just figured that the level of shared grief between Leia and Chewie was too great to show on film. They’ll do their crying behind closed doors and the sky itself will open up to deluge the land with their sorrow.

    • Not a ton but yes. Mostly people being like “WTF, she doesn’t even know Rey, Chewie is the one that needs the hug!”

      • I get that and I agree…I didn’t notice and I might not have noticed until third or fourth watch, but…it’s a bit disheartening if you think about it.

        Fortunately, we’re all a bunch of nerds. Nerds don’t DWELL on unimportant geek minutiae. PSH. PSSSH.

    • The Mad Eleventh says:

      It’s one of those situations where people hold it in until they have a moment address it. There was a lot going on, and they probably both knew that if they started, they wouldn’t be able to stop for a while. And there was a lot to do yet before they could just go to pieces.

      Rey makes a good alternate for Leia to give and get comfort in the moment without having to completely address her grief right away. Very human thing to do.

  2. infinitysharkv0 says:

    *wookie noises*