The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens shows us the film that almost was

Star Wars The Force Awakens
There are a million moving parts on a blockbuster like Star Wars: The Force Awakens and with so many people working on such a sprawling project, the original vision for the film was bound to evolve quite a bit.

Fortunately, a new book entitled The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens gives us an inside look at that evolution and tracks the record-breaking film from its early concept art to its finishing touches. As you might imagine, this was almost a very different movie from the one we ended up with and Slash Film broke down some of the ideas that were changed or scrapped entirely before everything was finalized. Here are some of the most interesting takeaways:

WARNING: Spoilers Ahead

Supreme Leader Snoke Was Almost a Woman

Along with Maz Kanata, Supreme Leader Snoke was one of the last characters finalized for the film and both were still being tinkered with until a couple of months before its release. Before we ended up with the ancient, creepy-looking male character we saw in The Force Awakens, JJ Abrams & Co. considered making the character a female and also tinkered with the idea of making him younger.

Rey Was Named Kira and Desperately Wanted Out of Jakku

Apparently, Daisy Ridley’s Rey was once a temperamental bad-a** named Kira. While Rey is reluctant to leave Jakku in the film, Kira desperately wanted to get away from her home planet.

Finn Originally Had Han Solo-Style Charisma

Finn, John Boyega’s AWOL stormtrooper, was originally named Sam and was going to be a young white man. Instead, the producers went with a more nuanced take and created a character who had to build up the courage to stand and fight.

Poe Dameron Was Almost a Jedi or Bounty Hunter

Early concept art depicted the character that became ace pilot Poe Dameron as a middle-aged black man and the character was almost written as a Jedi or a bounty hunter before producers settled on a charismatic Rebel pilot.

We Were Almost Visited by the Ghost of Anakin Skywalker

For a time, the plan was for Luke Skywalker to be visited by his father’s ghost, who would have vacillated between the light (Anakin) and the dark (Vader). Franchise superfans will remember that Anakin Skywalker’s ghost appeared at the end of Return of the Jedi, but Vader’s mangled mask was the closest The Force Awakens got to a cameo from the character.

The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens is currently in stores and contains plenty of interesting insights into the film-making process. Prices vary but most outlets seem to be offering the book for $25-$40.

Movies & TV

Pedro Pascal officially cast as 'The Mandalorian' as Disney show fills out cast

The Mandalorian, Jon Favreau's live-action Star Wars series planned for Disney's streaming video service, will be one of the most expensive television shows ever made. Here's everything we know about it so far.
Movies & TV

Celebrate the 25th anniversary of ‘The X-Files’ with the show’s 10 best episodes

The X-Files premiered 25 years ago, so here are the 10 best episodes of the award-winning sci-fi series. From alien-abduction drama to hilarious satires, these are the best episodes from all 11 seasons of the hit series.
Movies & TV

‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ trailer unleashes a bevy of beasts

Legendary Pictures has released the first full-length trailer for Godzilla: King of the Monsters, the sequel to 2014's Godzilla, which pits the giant lizard against a host of new monstrous threats.

‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ wins one of the worst box-office weekends of 2018

Wreck-It Ralph sequel Ralph Breaks the Internet stayed on top of the weekend box office for the third week, winning what was one of the worst weekends for ticket sales in the US so far this year.
Movies & TV

A ‘Venom’ sequel is on its way, and Spider-Man could play a role

'Venom' screenwriter Jeff Pinker confirms that a follow-up to Sony's Spider-Man spin-off is in the works. Could a certain friendly neighborhood webslinger join the action? Pinker says that it's "not impossible."
Home Theater

‘Star Trek: Discovery’ season 2 gets a new, Spock-heavy trailer

CBS has released a new trailer for Star Trek: Discovery season 2, which premieres January 17 on CBS All Access. The new trailer features series newcomers Spock and Christopher Pike prominently.
Movies & TV

'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' is one of the hero's best movies ever

One of Spider-Man's most memorable big-screen adventures, animated feature Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse simultaneously feels like nothing we've ever seen before and a tale that feels familiar in all the best ways.
Movies & TV

Netflix is testing an instant scene-replay feature, but would you use it?

Ever felt like Netflix was missing a scene-replay button? The company is currently trialing a feature that lets you skip back to the start of the scene you just watched, though early tests appear to be annoying some viewers.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Movies & TV

Can't get enough lightsaber action? Here's how to get your Star Wars fix online

Few of us want to deal with DVDs or Blu-ray discs anymore. Unfortunately, the Star Wars movies are few and far between when it comes to streaming. If you want to watch Star Wars online, check out our guide on where to find the films online.

Psychedelic 'Spider-Man,' Superman goes evil, 'Star Trek: Discovery' trailer

This week on Between the Streams, we'll talk about the wondrous, psychedelic adventure that is Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. We'll also discuss Dr. Strange 2, the freaky trailer for Brightburn (Superman goes evil?), and more.
Home Theater

Streaming services blast past networks for the most scripted TV shows in 2018

For the first time in history, streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, produced more original scripted series than broadcast or cable channels, setting a new record for the number of TV shows on the air.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater sound as good as they look

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in every genre for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.
Movies & TV

Do you have questions about Hulu? We’ve got answers

Not sure which Hulu subscription is right for you? We're here to help. This is your complete guide to Hulu and Hulu with Live TV, including content offerings for each service, pricing, internet requirements, and more.