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Abrams Explains Why Chewie Didn’t Hug Leia in ‘The Force Awakens’


When Leia chose to hug Rey at the end of “The Force Awakens,” and not Chewbacca — after that happened — many fans were left puzzled, considering the duo’s longer-lasting friendship. Well, according to director J.J. Abrams, that wasn’t necessarily a conscious decision, and was more so a result of oversight and specific blocking decisions.

Speaking to /Film while doing press for “10 Cloverfield Lane,” Abrams explained: “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.”

He added, “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.”

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is still in theaters.


  • Sonny Dominguez

    That’s a lame excuse from JJ. “an oversight and specific blocking decisions.” Makes me wonder where his focus is in terms of storytelling…..

  • Darkside Jimmy

    He must have been thinking about how he was going to meet your rather high expectations for an otherwise great film at that particular moment.
    I know, I know, that’s a lame excuse too!

  • Mikel John

    I always thought that seemed a strange shot. After previewing the movie they should have recut that scene and removed it.

  • Dan

    Who was supposed to tell Leia about Rey? Nobody knew she had all those force powers except Finn and Kylo Ren. And neither had any chance, or any motivation in any way to tell Leia one darn thing about anything. +++Please stop interviewing Abrams; it just makes everything so much WORSE!+++

  • Travis

    “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.”

    Except he wasn’t. He was dicking around with the celebrating resistance fighters ten feet away.

  • Hex08

    I thought that was the weakest and most puzzling part of the movie. To be honest, the explanation is a bit weak.

  • healed1337

    You could say that Rey and Leia, both knowing that they’re force sensitive, would realize they’re both sad about Han’s death, but that still doesn’t explain why Chewbacca didn’t join in on their hug.

  • Johnny b Goode

    I think the whole movie and Jj abrahms is poooo

  • Darkside Jimmy

    Learn how to create a fan edit and put it up on The Pirate Bay when it’s released on Blu-ray. Can’t wait for you to show up JJ with his own movie. You’re the one on the right in that picture?

  • NeonViolence666

    I understood that from the moment i saw rey hugging leia. fan boys should stfu lucky we got a SW movie THAT good.

  • shaunn

    Yeah, that’s really stupid. The first thing my friend said to me when that happened was “she (Leia) has never met Rey.” The idea that Leia would hug a complete stranger to commiserate over the death of her former husband, rather than the being who had been that husband’s companion and her friend for decades – no, that’s just unbelievably stupid and a spectacular oversight. Rey should have been focused on getting Finn help – she is his friend. Chewie should have hugged Leia. I cut “The Force Awakens” a lot of slack, despite Death Star-sized holes in its plot and logic – like many people, I was just grateful it wasn’t horrendously bad. But this is one of those mistakes for which I have a hard time making excuses or overlooking. Abrams should just admit it was an incredibly stupid error and apologize and then promise not to do something that obviously dumb and tin-eared again.

  • Doctor Fate

    So, just like the rest of the unexplained and glossed over, yet somewhat important, material in the film, JJ has to explain this to the audience through an interview. I feel like that is 80% of the interviews he has in regards to this movie.

  • Mikel John

    Considering the entire article was about this scene, I’m not the only one who found the scene weird. “Challenging” me to modify and “show up” Abrams to “prove” I’m right, makes you look like a troll. I was simply agreeing with the article.

  • demoncat_4

    an oversight doubtful when chewie would proably have been running towards her and wind up having leai take over his life debt with han . some one screwed up when filming. the scene.

  • geegeesus

    Han had an idea who Rey was. It’s why he offers her a spot on the MF. You also have no idea what Han tells Maz Kanata. Also, they could sense the force in each other and I don’t feel like Chewie was in a hugging mood.

  • Crimsonrain

    They will fix it 30 years from now in the special edition. This will become the “who shot first” for the Force Awakens

  • Krantzbucks

    Maybe Chewie still feels slighted about not getting a medal at the end of “A new Hope” and all those “I’d rather kiss a Wookie” Leia would make. She’s a specist

  • Pangea Blockhead

    You all are nitpicking on something stupid. This is how you determine who is too obsessed with Star Wars. Abrams didn’t think about giving Chewbacca and Leia screen time. His reasons why were sound, because the Rey moment was key, and Chewbacca would be elsewhere. That is the movie as it stands, you will have to get over it or whine about it for no real reason.

  • Mr. Knight

    That was just one piece of what I didn’t like about it. The whole film really wasn’t that great character-wise.

  • Jim
  • bashbash99

    chewie got his hug when leia was introduced in the movie, he didn’t need another one later

  • Darkside Jimmy

    Wookies don’t forget. Love your answer.

  • Darkside Jimmy

    But I’ll be dead in 30 years. Mikel John was our only hope. Maybe another there is. Hmmm yes. Maybe another there is.

  • Darkside Jimmy

    Thanks for the gif!

  • Darkside Jimmy

    Chewie is all about the hug
    But he don’t want no tears
    Leaving stains on that rug

  • Professor Y

    Being frozen in Carbonite just isn’t the same, I guess.

  • Professor Y

    JJ was making too much of a big deal about how he’s better than Lucas to think about such things as character development.