Thursday, April 2, 2015

Rumor: Details About Speeder Bikes in 'The Force Awakens'

By: Dominic Jones

Our friends over at have posted some very interesting details about sequences involving speeder bikes in Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens and how the sequence involving them has changed through various iterations of the script.  As usual there is a chance that this may turn out to be false, but if your are trying to avoid all The Force Awakens spoilers then stop reading now.  This is your official SPOILER ALERT!
In the earliest iterations of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, there was a speeder bike sequence that appeared to be in development. On a very green planet, there was giant tree cover and under it, huge monsters that looked like Wacky Wall Walkers used their giant tentacles to travel from brach to branch. During one sequence, the giant monsters chased two speeder bikes with heroes on them as they zoomed away hoping to not be eaten. This was clearly suggesting what the sequence could be rather than what it would be knowing what we know today.

There were some storyboards of other work connected to this part of the film taking place on a tree planet.  The storyboards depicted a sequence in which two Stormtroopers were taken by the monsters and eaten. The monsters sneak up on the Stormtrooper, take one without his partner even noticing. His partner then follows him to the belly of the beast. So the monsters and their capabilities were being explored by the art department.

What was shot in the Summer of 2014 doesn’t seem to rely on the monsters at all. That’s not to say they aren’t in the background or something, for all we know they very well may be. I personally doubt it though. We could see these monsters on Rose’s planet which sounds more like the jungle world, but it doesn’t really fit there either.

The crew shot a sequence for Star Wars: The Force Awakens in which Rey and Finn simply get on a speeder bike.  They steal a speeder bike and zoom away.  They are spotted by a snowtrooper. A chase ensues over the snowy terrain and the heroes “take him out.” (Note we will have more on the greater context of this sequence sometime soon).

As you can see the organizational changes in the film probably made it inappropriate to have a monster sequence breaking up the drama of their impending doom should they not prevail.

I believe the design of the snow trooper is the one Indie Revolver showed us sometime ago.

Snow Trooper
The concept above shows the trooper on the desert planet. We heard about the flame thrower troopers looking differently and in different iterations of the film, the designs served different purposes. The “flame thrower troopers” or “incendiary troopers” are definitely used in the opening sequences with the village. It appears the “Hot Troopers” are only used in this sequence in the film to the best of our knowledge. But we aren’t totally sure the designs are different than the average new Stormtrooper we saw in the first teaser or if they’re the design seen above, thanks to Jay at Indie Revolver.

This sounds like an exciting sequence from the film.  I am also curious to see what the context for the sequence is.  It doesn't sound like it will be, but I hope that this doesn't play out like a rip off of the classic sequence in Return of the Jedi done simply for nostalgic purposes.  That being said, I have faith in the crew behind The Force Awakens that they will pull something that is both nostalgia inducing and fresh feeling.

As always this is just a rumor until confirmed or denied by Lucasfilm or Disney.

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