The juggernaut blockbuster is available for digital download and will arrive on DVD on April 5, bringing with it a Death Star-size bounty of nuggets, tidbits, factoids and revelations to indulge geekdom’s inner Jedi.
We put on our very own Maz Kanata-esque mega-goggles to give the DVD extras some close scrutiny. Here are five fun facts that left us wide-eyed:
Poe Dameron was supposed to die
Oscar Isaac plays a key role as rebel pilot Poe Dameron, laying the groundwork for a new generation of heroes who’ll take the mantle from Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess-turned-General Leia. But his character almost never made it past the first film: According to director J.J. Abrams, Poe was killed off in an early draft of the script. “That was the script that Oscar saw,” Abrams says on the DVD’s behind-the-scenes documentary. “And one of his issues, in wanting to do this movie, is that he had made, like, four movies in which he had died early on. And he was sick of dying early on.” Thankfully, Poe’s storyline was revised, Isaac signed on, and fans can look forward to more of the hero in future installments.
A very nervous Carrie Fisher bungled her first day of shooting
As General Leia, Fisher projected steely calm and authoritative conviction during the rebels’ darkest hour. But off-camera, the Star Wars vet was such a jangle of nerves, she messed up on her first day of shooting. “It’s my whole life, so I was very nervous,” she says of the saga’s legacy on the DVD featurette. “I was scared that I would make mistakes, and I made mistakes It was basically the worst day I had ever had on a film set in my life.” Adds Abrams: “Once we started to do it, she seemed to have fallen into it very easily Bringing a character to life that you hadn’t played in 30-something years, I understand that for all of them how daunting that could be.”
Captain Phasma’s costume was an early concept idea for Kylo Ren
Captain Kylo? Phasma Ren? Apparently, Phasma’s costume sprang from a preliminary design idea for Kylo Ren, whose final all-black look was initially rendered in silver. It was Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy who championed the silver sheen for one the film’s characters, after seeing a concept sketch at a story meeting. Actress Gwendoline Christie, who plays the stormtrooper captain, says she was happy the final costume – which retains a stormtrooper’s general aesthetic – wasn’t “feminized,” but adds: “I thought it’s good to know there’s a woman in there, so maybe subtly I can let that come across in way that she stands, in a way that she holds her body.”
Han Solo wasn’t the only bigwig to set foot on the Millennium Falcon
The famous Corellian freighter saw some serious action in The Force Awakens as it whisked Han Solo, Chewbacca, Rey, Finn and BB-8 away from certain danger. But they weren’t the only famous passengers on the cruiser. During filming, a slew of celebs and luminaries visited the movie set and popped into the Falcon, including Lord of the Rings helmer Peter Jackson, Star Trek star Karl Urban and Nobel Peace Prize winner (and, apparently, Star Wars aficionado) Malala Yousafzai.
Simon Pegg wanted to go incognito for his cameo in the film
Frequent J.J. Abrams collaborator Simon Pegg was itching for a part – any part – on his pal’s new film. And he didn’t care if he ended up buried under mountains of prosthetics. In fact, he preferred it: Pegg was unrecognizable as dubious junk dealer Unkar Plutt, who has it out for Rey and BB-8 on the desert planet Jakku. And, Pegg says, he was thrilled to be hidden under all that makeup and prosthetics “so I could have my space cake and eat it.”