Warning. This post contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Continue on at your own peril…
A long time ago in the pre-production stage on Star War: The Force Awakens, where the film looked far, far different than the final cut, a prominent character was originally supposed to die. Star Wars references aside, the main newcomers to the series, Daisy Ridley’s Rey, John Boyega’s Finn, Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren and Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron have all been welcomed to the Star Wars universe with open arms from fans and critics; however, according to a recent interview, one of those four characters originally wasn’t supposed to make it out of the movie alive.
While speaking with GQ, Isaac revealed that one of the first times he met director J.J. Abrams about playing Poe he learned that the character would quickly meet his demise. Obviously, Poe is a major character throughout the entirety of The Force Awakens and presumably the rest of the trilogy, but Isaac told the outlet about his following conversation with Abrams when he was first offered a role in Paris…
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“‘He’s amazing!’ said Abrams. ‘Sounds good!’ thought Isaac, whose first experience in a movie theater had been seeing The Empire Strikes Back. ‘He opens the whole movie!’ said Abrams. ‘Sounds great!’ thought Isaac. ‘And then,’ Abrams went on. ‘He dies.’ ‘Oh,’ thought Isaac. ‘I’d done that before,’ he told me later. ‘Set up the plot for the main guy and then die spectacularly.’ (He had played just such a role in The Bourne Legacy.)”
Despite being hesitant initially, Isaac decided that he wanted the role, even if he was only in the film for a short period of time, and wrote to Abrams about his decision when he got back to New York. Shortly after, Abrams wrote back, “Never mind. I’ve figured it out. You’re in the whole movie now.” Undoubtedly, both Isaac and Abrams made the right move.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is out now and sees J.J. Abrams directing returning stars Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Kenny Baker (R2-D2), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) and Tim Rose (Admiral Ackbar), in addition to Adam Driver (Girls), Oscar Isaac (A Most Violent Year), Andy Serkis (Avengers: Age of Ultron), Domhnall Gleeson (Ex Machina), John Boyega (Attack the Block), Daisy Ridley (Silent Witness), Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones), Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave), Ken Leung (Lost), Miltos Yerolemou (Game of Thrones), Max von Sydow (The Exorcist), Jessica Henwick (Spirit Warriors), Christina Chong (24: Live Another Day), Simon Pegg (Star Trek) and newcomers Crystal Clarke and Pip Andersen.