While screenplays might be no more than a blueprint for a film, they do often include some important detail that is eventually left unsaid in the movie.
This is certainly true for The Force Awakens’, a copy of which fell into the hands of Slashfilm via the Writers Guild of America this week.
*BIG SPOILERS AHEAD*
Here are the main things we can glean from it:
When Rey tracks down Luke, he looks at her with a “kindness in his eyes, but there’s something tortured, too.”
More interestingly, he “doesn’t need to ask her who she is, or what she is doing here.” This could just mean he has sensed her presence before using the Force, or it could add weight to the theory that she is a former pupil or even the daughter of Luke.
As for Rey’s outstretched lightsaber, this is apparently “an offer. A plea. The galaxy’s only hope.”
The script ends: “HOLD ON LUKE SKYWALKER’S INCREDIBLE FACE, amazed and conflicted at what he sees, as our MUSIC BUILDS, the promise of an adventure, just beginning…”
It’s interesting how heavily this conflicted nature is stressed. I also enjoy the idea of Luke having an INCREDIBLE FACE.
Who Rey was left with on Jakku
“A little girl. Rey as a child. She is sobbing, hysterical. Unkar Plutt’s meaty hand holds her thin arm. She is on Jakku, watching a starship fly into the sky, abandoning her.” Rey yells, “No, come back!” and Unkar Plutt responds, “Quiet, girl!” as the “ship flies towards the desert sun, which is strangely eclipsed, as if being eaten by darkness.”
This is hugely elucidating, revealing that Rey was left with none other than the grotesque alien she was seen bartering with for rations. He was played by Simon Pegg, and could potentially be back in Star Wars 8 or 9.
The screenplay confirms that the first image Rey sees when she picks up Luke's lightsaber takes place in “a hallway from deep inside Cloud City”. There is a “mechanical breathing sound” and “disembodied voices fill the air.”
In the rainy scene, Kylo Ren is surrounded by, as expected, the six Knights of Ren. It is confirmed that the shot of Luke and R2-D2 is from Ren's attack on the Jedi school, as apparently a "burning temple at night" is visible in the background.
Luke's planet at the end
It is named "AHCH-TO” in the script, a name we've not heard in the Star Wars saga before. The planet is described as having a “pristine and mighty OCEAN” with “endless BLUE, dotted with random, beautiful, mountainous BLACK ROCK ISLANDS, dotted with countless GREEN TREES.”
Slashfilm speculated that given "Ahch" means 'brother' in Hebrew, it could be a reference to some sort of sibling relationship between the pair, or simply a placeholder name given that it sounds a lot like "Act Two".
Call me cynical, but I wonder if this was thrown in as a red herring given the likelihood of the script leaking.
After killing his father, “Kylo Ren is somehow WEAKENED by this wicked act,” and it is noted that he is “horrified” and his “SHOCK is broken only when” Chewie howls.
Rey feels the lure of the Dark Side
When she finally has the better of Ren in the lightsaber duel, the screenplay describes her thoughts thus: “And she could kill him — right now, with ONE VICIOUS STRIKE! But she stops. Realizing she stands on a greater edge than even the cliff — the edge of the dark side. The earth SHAKES. The earth splits. A gully forms.”