J.J. Abrams Explains the Chewie-Leia Hug Snub

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It's Leia and Chewbacca!

So, before I even get going, the discussion of the Chewie-Leia hug snub drops us right in the middle of SPOILER territory. If you haven’t seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens yet, I implore you to reconsider before reading any further. If you choose to ignore this very considerate warning? Well, I’m not the boss of you, so push forward at your own risk.

Did you love The Force Awakens? Of course you did. Almost everyone did, as Episode VII cranked out over $2 billion worldwide and is still playing in theaters DESPITE COMING OUT IN DECEMBER!!! The movie is a tour de force and kicked off the new “Disney-ified” Star Wars universe perfectly.

Still, the movie was not without its faults. Thankfully, one of the biggest issues some fans had with the film has finally been resolved thanks to director J.J. Abrams. The problem in question: why did Chewie and General Leia (she’ll always be royalty to me) snub each other during the Resistance’s celebration?

Leia and Chewbacca!
We’re friends, right? RIGHT??

In the odd chance that you don’t have any idea what I’m talking about, here’s a quick refresher. After The Resistance destroys Starkiller base, most of the survivors are celebrating like it’s a Yub Nub Ewok Party. Not in the mood for cheer is Chewbacca who, incidentally, watched his best friend Han Solo get gutted by Solo’s own son. The Wookie is assisting a crew moving a critically injured Finn to a med-bay when, uncharacteristically, he just walks right past Leia instead of comforting his best bud’s former love. We’re calling this, “SNUB #1!”

In talking with /Film, Abrams says Chewie’s priorities are what caused the missed embrace.

“Had Chewbacca not been where he was, you probably wouldn’t have thought of it. But because he was right there, passed by Leia, it felt almost like a slight, which was definitely not the intention.”

Instead, Leia turned her attention to Rey, someone she never met before. The two looked at each other for a moment, before Leia delivered a big ol’ hug. So why did Leia offer to console a stranger instead of a longtime Wookie friend (“SNUB #2!”)? Once again, here’s Abrams with the explanation.

“That was probably one of the mistakes I made in that. My thinking at the time was that Chewbacca, despite the pain he was feeling, was focused on trying to save Finn and getting him taken care of. So I tried to have Chewbacca go off with him and focus on Rey, and then have Rey find Leia and Leia find Rey. The idea being that both of them being strong with the Force and never having met, would know about each other — that Leia would have been told about her beyond what we saw onscreen and Rey of course would have learned about Leia. And that reunion would be a meeting and a reunion all in one, and a sort of commiseration of their mutual loss.”

There you have it. If you ever have doubts… blame the Force.

So another Force Awakens mystery solved courtesy of J.J. Abrams. Chewie and Leia didn’t turn up their noses at each other, they just had other items on their agendas at that particular moment. As for Rey and Leia? Well, like always… it’s the Force. It’s always the Force.