Whether or not you’ve seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens yet, by now you’re probably aware that, in many ways, it’s simply a retelling of A New Hope. In order to reacquaint us with this world, J.J. Abrams and Disney have repurposed and rearranged many elements of the original trilogy, but there were plenty of interesting ideas left on the cutting room floor.
[SPOILER WARNING: If you care about any plot details begin spoiled, see the movie before reading on.]
On Monday, io9 took a deep dive into a new book called The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and found over a dozen story threads that didn’t make it into the theatrical cut of the sequel.
Here are five ideas we wish had made it to the screen:
1) Darth Vader’s Castle
It’s hard to imagine Darth Vader doing anything other than pacing angrily around the hallways of a ship or attempting to strike down a Jedi in a lightsaber battle, but apparently the Dark Lord of the Sith had a private residence of his own to relax at in between genocidal romps through the galaxy.
After missing a chance to explore the castle in the original trilogy, it appears that the location was once again cut from The Force Awakens at some point in the storyboarding process.
2) The Resistance Warhammer
One thing that bugged me about The Force Awakens was how unprepared the Resistance seemed to be for any kind of aggression from the First Order. From what I understand, there are several explanations for this laid out in the novels and comic books, but it’s hard to fathom that after 30 years of scientific advancement and a new foothold in the galaxy, the good guys haven’t come up with anything to combat a potential threat from the remains of the Empire.
As it turns out, concept art from the book shows a massive Resistance ship called the Warhammer that was capable of penetrating a planet’s shields and sending a fleet of fighters through the breach. It’s a shame that the Warhammer didn’t make it into The Force Awakens, but maybe we’ll see something like it in Episode VIII.
3) More Luke Skywalker
Although I personally appreciated the restraint that Abrams and crew showed by saving Luke Skywalker for the final scene of the movie, I couldn’t help but wonder if he played a bigger role in an earlier version of the script.
As shown in the art book, Lucasfilm CEO Kathleen Kennedy had an idea for a scene involving Luke where the Jedi hero would have been shown laying on the ground while sand is poured over him. As he was almost completely buried, his eyes suddenly shot open, which sounds absolutely terrifying… but potentially intriguing.
4) Starkiller Base
No one really wanted to see a third Death Star in the Star Wars saga, but that’s what we got in The Force Awakens. One thing that might have softened the blow (and happens to be illustrated in the art book) would have been if the planet-sized weapon was actually Dantooine — former home of the rebel base.
At least then we’d have a connection to the nonsensical destruction machine.
5) Supreme Leader Snoke… as a woman?
The mastermind behind the First Order appears to be yet another evil, ancient Sith lord, warped both mentally and physically by the dark side of the Force, but what if Snoke had been a woman instead? It’s something that the team apparently toyed with, along with Snoke being a statuesque, alluring figure, before settling on what we see in the movie.
If you want to read more about storylines that were cut from The Force Awakens, check io9’s piece.
This article was originally published on BGR.com