Why Chewbacca Ignored Leia After Han's Death
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, for the most part, was an awesome film! Sure, it may have borrowed a few too many elements from the original trilogy, but it still managed to continue the Star Wars saga in an interesting and explosive manner. And who can possibly forget about the mixture of old and new characters? There certainly was a passing of the torch, so to speak, from Han, Luke and Leia, to Rey, Finn and Poe Dameron. Unfortunately, this very element made for some rather glaring loopholes in logic. The primary example of such has to be the heroes' return from Starkiller Base, where Chewbacca completely bypasses Leia despite their shared grief over Han's death. This very scene still boggles the minds of Star Wars fans across the globe. I mean, it really didn't make sense for Rey to be first in line for a heartfelt embrace, given everything that Chewie and Leia had been through. But is there a specific reason why he chose to ignore his long-time friend, or was it merely an oversight on the part of Episode VII's creators? Well, let's find out!
Wookiees are perhaps the most intriguing species in the entire Star Wars universe. After all, there aren't too many beings out there that could go from ripping off your arm one minute, to then hugging you the next. So perhaps Chewbacca's rage in the aftermath of Solo's death made him somewhat inconsolable, or – at the very least – unapproachable. However, J.J. Abrams has since debunked such a theory with a rather startling admission. As revealed in an interview with Slash Film in 2016, Episode VII's director was simply too focussed on Finn's recovery and the Force connection between Leia and Rey to even notice the glaring mishap:
“That was probably one of the mistakes I made in that. 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. 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.”
Abrams then went onto admit that merely including Chewbacca in the scene was a mistake in and of itself:
“Had Chewbacca not been where he was, you probably wouldn’t have thought of it. But because he was right there, passed by Leia, it felt almost like a slight, which was definitely not the intention."
So, there we have it: Chewbacca merely dismissed Leia thanks to an oversight on the part of J.J. Abrams. But now I want to hear from you! Were you even aware of this flaw whilst watching Episode VII? And if so, do you feel it somewhat ruined the heartfelt scene? Let us know in the comments below.