[SPOILERS ahead for those who haven't seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens.]
It's safe to say that Star Wars isn't going away anytime soon with a box office draw that's climbing higher and higher. While Episode VII - The Force Awakens has been in theaters for only a week now, fans are still picking apart all the small details the movie has to offer.
Star Wars fans are also pouring over character descriptions, old concept art, and trailers to see if they missed anything. And now that they've watched the new movie, they've noticed a few details that appeared in some of the trailers and TV spots, but didn't end up in the final cut of The Force Awakens.
In an interview with EW, Force Awakens co-writer/director J.J. Abrams admitted that there was a scene with Maz Kanata (Lupita Nyong’o) giving Luke Skywalker's (Mark Hamill) blue lightsaber to General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) at the Resistance base that was featured in one of the movie's trailers, but it was cut out of the final version of the film. Abrams explained:
"That was a scene actually filmed, but we took (it) out. At one point, Maz used to continue along with the characters back to the Resistance base, but we realized that she really had nothing to do there of value, except to be sitting around. ... Lupita did film scenes on set for that sequence, but it felt unnecessary. So we ended up leaving those things out."
It would have been cool to see Leia holding a lightsaber - which would have been the first time in the Star Wars Saga - but in the final cut of Force Awakens, Maz ends up giving the lightsaber to Finn (John Boyega) during the First Order's assault on her alien bar. The lightsaber hand-off scene was filmed and completed at the time of the trailer's release in April, but Abrams decided to cut it out of the film altogether.
This isn't the first time something was cut out of The Force Awakens. There was a new character named Constable Zuvio that didn't make the final cut. Zuvio was supposed to be featured on Jakku and described as a “vigilant law officer on a mostly lawless world [who] keeps order in a frontier trading post.” The character was also described as “tough and humorless.” It's unclear why the character was cut, but it's most likely for running time and pacing reasons.
Movies are shaped and re-shaped throughout all of post-production, so it's typical that scenes and storylines from trailers don't end up in the final cut. In fact, movies are often being re-cut and shaped just weeks before they're set for release. Just look at World War Z, where Matthew Fox had a bigger role in the zombie movie, but only ended up briefly in one scene after the film's entire original third act was abandoned and re-done.
And speaking of cut Star Wars scenes...
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens is now in theaters. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be released December 16th, 2016, Star Wars: Episode VIII on May 26th, 2017, and the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25th, 2018. Star Wars: Episode IX is expected to reach theaters in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.