‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Blu-Ray Deleted Scenes: It Still Doesn’t Have The Scenes We Really Need

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  • Science Fiction
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The First Order in Star Wars: Episode 7 The Force Awakens. Lucasfilm

Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits Blu-Ray on Tuesday, April 5, and the movie includes six deleted scenes (the digital download has a seventh). All of them are interesting and add some additional color and texture to the characters in the new Star Wars; for the dedicated fan, the mere prospect of deleted scenes makes the Blu-Ray a must-have. Unfortunately, the deleted scenes fail to rectify one of the movie’s biggest problems—the failure to explain what’s actually going on in the galaxy. Star Wars: The Force Awakens does a bad job of exposition, and the new scenes don’t help.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Needed More Exposition

It’s rare these days that movies need more exposition. Most have exposition out the wazoo, and tend to over-explain themselves. This trait was particularly prominent in the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy, which beats you over the head with everything that’s going on, so you never miss it. J. J. Abrams tacked the opposite direction. Star Wars: The Force Awakens spends very little time on galactic politics—even less than the original Star Wars did. It’s an admirable impulse, but Abrams went too far.

On its own, Star Wars: The Force Awakens does not make it clear what’s really going on with the First Order. If you watch the movie alone, you’d probably think the First Order was the dominant force in the galaxy, with a faltering Republic and a not-well-explained Resistance rounding out the mix. That’s not actually the case at all: The Republic holds most of the galaxy, despite appearances in the movie; the First Order is an intruder that’s only recently appeared from the Unknown Regions and is returning to restore the glory of the old Empire. The Resistance is a ragtag band that General Leia leads without Republic support because the Republic doesn’t see the First Order as a real threat. Of course, by the end of the movie, the First Order is winning.

None of this is made terribly clear in the movie—indeed, it’s not even obvious that the Empire was totally defeated at the Battle of Jakku, since it seems like the First Order holds most of the galaxy. Supposedly, Star Wars: The Force Awakens originally did have more exposition, but it’s unclear whether any of those scenes were actually filmed. Regardless, none of the deleted scenes in the home video version of The Force Awakens make the political situation any more clear. If you want to know what’s really going on, you either need to resort to the novels, comics and other ancillary material or to the Internet.

This should all have been in The Force Awakens—not to beat viewers over the head with it, but just so we can all follow along. It wouldn’t have made the movie too complicated; it would have added texture and excitement. Alas, it’s not there and it’s not in the deleted scenes on the Blu-Ray either. Understanding the political situation in The Force Awakens still requires outside research and that’s a shame.

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