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- Harrison FordHarrison Ford admitted that he fought for Han Solo not to survive the events of Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi. He wanted Han to sacrifice himself in order to give him a little bottom, as he does in this film. Lawrence KasdanLawrence Kasdan, screenwriter for Episode VI and now The Force Awakens, supported the idea, but George LucasGeorge Lucas objected because he didn't want any of the main cast to die.
- Continuing the tradition of the previous six films, there is no dialogue spoken in the final scene.
- According to Lucasfilm president Kathleen KennedyKathleen Kennedy, when Harrison FordHarrison Ford and Peter MayhewPeter Mayhew set foot in the Millennium Falcon set, every person on set was stunned. Kennedy claims that there must have been 200 people who were completely quiet, due to the iconic presence of Ford and Mayhew back on Han Solo's ship.
- The lightsaber battles are choreographed to be distinctly different from the ones in the first and second trilogies. Rather than the flashy, Force-assisted moves in the prequels or the formalized, kendo-like movements of the original trilogy, the fights are staged to appear less rehearsed, and more brutal and realistic. According to John BoyegaJohn Boyega and others, this was a deliberate choice to reflect the characters' inexperience with lightsabers as a weapon. Kylo appears to have had little experience in formal dueling and both Finn and Rey pick up lightsabers and use them with no training at all.
- Daniel CraigDaniel Craig: The Stormtrooper on whom Rey performs a Jedi Mind-Trick. Fans have given him the unofficial Stormtrooper number JBH007, referring to the character James Bond 007, a role he has played four times.
- [?] Jesse Plemons, Ed SpeleersEd Speleers, John BoyegaJohn Boyega, [?] Matthew James Thomas and Ray FisherRay Fisher were the final candidates for one of the lead roles. The role eventually went to John BoyegaJohn Boyega. Dayo OkeniyiDayo Okeniyi was considered for the role of Finn. He backed out to star in Terminator Genisys as Danny Dyson.
- Captain Phasma was originally going to be a man, and J.J. AbramsJ.J. Abrams was allegedly looking at Benedict CumberbatchBenedict Cumberbatch (whom he had worked with on Star Trek Into Darkness) for the role. However, after the film drew some complaints about the lack of women in the cast, the decision was made to make Phasma into a woman.
- Lee PaceLee Pace auditioned for the role of Kylo Ren that went to Adam DriverAdam Driver.
- British actor Denis LawsonDenis Lawson, who portrayed X-wing pilot Wedge Antilles in the original [Star Wars] trilogy, has confirmed that he turned down an invite from Disney to reprise his role in the new installments. Lawson told British press, "I'm not going to do that. They asked me but it just would have bored me."
- Both J.J. AbramsJ.J. Abrams and Harrison FordHarrison Ford started their acting careers with roles as delivery/messenger boys. Abrams' first appearance was 25 years after Ford's, but it was in Regarding Henry, making a delivery to Harrison FordHarrison Ford's character.
- Joel EdgertonJoel Edgerton was considered for the role of Poe Dameron, even though he had already appeared in the franchise as Luke's adoptive uncle, Owen Lars, in Episodes II and III.
- Elizabeth OlsenElizabeth Olsen, Jennifer LawrenceJennifer Lawrence and [?] Shailene Woodley were considered for the role of Rey. Olsen refused the audition for the role because she already had a contract with "Marvel Studios" for the role of Scarlet Witch in the Avengers' franchise, and because the shoot dates for "The Force Awakens" overlapped with Age of Ultron. In April 2014, J.J. AbramsJ.J. Abrams chose Daisy RidleyDaisy Ridley as Rey, to mimic the same type of selections made by George LucasGeorge Lucas, with little known actors for the leading roles. In 1976, Lucas chose Carrie FisherCarrie Fisher, Harrison FordHarrison Ford and Mark HamillMark Hamill for their respective roles of Princess Leia, Han Solo and Luke Skywalker.
- Daisy RidleyDaisy Ridley and John BoyegaJohn Boyega were not allowed to tell anyone about being cast until about three months later. Boyega did, however, tell a taxi driver.
- ChloŽ Grace MoretzChloŽ Grace Moretz, Saoirse RonanSaoirse Ronan, Zac EfronZac Efron, Miles TellerMiles Teller, Michael B. JordanMichael B. Jordan, [?] Alex Pettyfer, [?] Sullivan Stapleton and [?] Jack O'Connell were rumored to have auditioned for a role, while Chiwetel EjioforChiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict CumberbatchBenedict Cumberbatch and Gary OldmanGary Oldman were rumored for different roles. Oldman auditioned for the role that went to Max von SydowMax von Sydow. This is the second time he was considered for a part in a [Star Wars] film, as he was approached to voice General Grievous in Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith.
- Before Adam DriverAdam Driver was cast as the villain, Michael FassbenderMichael Fassbender and Hugo WeavingHugo Weaving were considered for the role.
- In summer 2013, it was revealed both Carrie FisherCarrie Fisher and Mark HamillMark Hamill had begun a vigorous regimen of diet, exercise and stunt training to prepare for their roles of Leia and Luke, respectively.
- John BoyegaJohn Boyega originally played Finn in his natural English accent. But both he and J.J. AbramsJ.J. Abrams felt it didn't feel right for the character. So Boyega changed to an American accent for the role.
- Only time Harrison FordHarrison Ford has received top billing in a [Star Wars] film, making him the first non-Jedi character to be credited first.
- X-Wing Blue Squadron makes its debut in The Force Awakens. In the original [Star Wars]: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977), Luke Skywalker was originally supposed to fly with Blue Squadron, but the blue markings on the star fighters proved difficult to film against blue screens, so it was changed to Red Squadron.
- Both Brad BirdBrad Bird and Matthew VaughnMatthew Vaughn allegedly turned down the chance to direct. Bird had already committed to Tomorrowland, forcing him to decline. Vaughn entered negotiations, even vacating the director's role on X-Men: Days of Future Past in order to helm Episode VII, but eventually declined over "creative differences," reportedly disputes over the level of violence in the film and the casting of the female lead.
- Kevin SmithKevin Smith and Benedict CumberbatchBenedict Cumberbatch visited the set. Smith, infamous for his open and talkative nature, was forced to sign a non-disclosure agreement, and J.J. AbramsJ.J. Abrams had World War 2 style propaganda posters titled "Loose Lips Sink Starships" hung up around the set as a reminder to Smith not to reveal spoilers for the film to the public. True to his word, the only tidbit Smith revealed about his visit was that he cried when he stood on the Millennium Falcon set, as it reminded him of how much he loved [Star Wars] as a child.
- John BoyegaJohn Boyega was so nervous and frightened at the prospect of not getting the role that he didn't tell his parents that he had been cast until after a cast photo was posted online by the official [Star Wars] twitter page.
- While filming in summer 2014, Harrison FordHarrison Ford broke his ankle on the door of the Millennium Falcon. About a year later, J.J. AbramsJ.J. Abrams revealed that he hurt his back while trying to help get Ford out from under the door.
- Mark HamillMark Hamill claimed George LucasGeorge Lucas nonchalantly told him over lunch a new [Star Wars] trilogy was going to be made by Disney, and if he did not want to be involved, Luke Skywalker would simply be written out of the script. However, Hamill immediately agreed to reprise the role. Hamill admitted, however, that he pretended to also be nonchalant about it so it didn't seem like he was excited for the role.
- The first J.J. AbramsJ.J. Abrams film not to have a musical score by Michael GiacchinoMichael Giacchino. Aptly enough, Giacchino stated in an interview that he would rather hear the music of John WilliamsJohn Williams in a new [Star Wars] film than his own. Giacchino's name shows up in episode VII's credits as a stormtrooper.
- In a real-life parallel to the film Fanboys, Mark HamillMark Hamill and John BoyegaJohn Boyega successfully lobbied director J.J. AbramsJ.J. Abrams to allow [Star Wars] fan [?] Daniel Fleetwood to see the film before official release, as Fleetwood had been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and was not expected to live to see the film's actual release date. Fleetwood was shown the film at a screening in his home, after Disney agreed. Fleetwood died 10 November, 2015.