J.J. Abrams Reveals How the Director of “Selma” Influenced the Lightsaber Fight Scene in The Force Awakens

In a Yahoo Movies article, J.J. Abrams reveals what influenced the final cut in the climactic end to the lightsaber fight between Rey and Kylo Ren in The Force Awakens.

Abrams had shown the scene to his friend and director, Ava DuVernay, who suggested that the scene needed a “cool moment”. Abrams took the advice of DuVernay and added the shot where we see Rey and Kylo face to face with lightsabers tied up and Rey has that moment of clarity.

“…hearing the Force and thinking about what Maz had told her about closing her eyes and letting it in. And so she has this incredibly internal moment that is extended in movie time where she basically feels it, accepts it, and is now ready to kick his ass,” said Abrams.


This was a great moment in the film but my favorite moment of the fight came just after, which I thought was more intense and “cool”. The part of the fight that gave me chills was after Rey had knocked Kylo to the ground. The camera then pans in slow motion as Rey “stalks” around the panicked and scrambling Kylo. Much like the final fight with Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi, this scene with Rey’s slow walk around the downed Kylo was that moment where Rey’s next decision was going to affect her future in the Force. The anger in Rey was evident and who could blame her? She had just witnessed the death of Han Solo and for all she new, her new found friend, Finn. Would she finish the fight in anger or by using the side of light?

Luckily the fight was interrupted by the instability and collapse of Star Killer Base taking away Rey’s opportunity to make that important decision. We can now only speculate as to what her decision might have been. (UPDATE: I realize that in the novelization of The Force Awakens, Rey hears a voice telling her to kill Kylo which she ultimately ignores. This article is only using the film for reference.)

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is property of Disney/Lucasfilm
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is property of Disney/Lucasfilm

I am excited for their next encounter and have a feeling that it will be a much more intense and darker meeting.

Star Wars: Episode VIII is set to release in theaters December 2017.

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About Wookiee Steve 710 Articles
From the moment Steve first watched Star Wars: A New Hope in the theater when he was a child, he wanted to be Luke Skywalker when he “grew up” (and STILL does!). He now shares this passion with his wife, two daughters, friends and fans. Steve is the Founder of Star Wars Reporter.