J.J. Abrams has a lot of questions that need answering.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been in theaters for a few days, and although the online realm has been flooded with comments from people about what happened in the movie, Polygon understands that not everyone has seen it. There are major spoilers in this story, so if you've managed to evade them until now, consider this your official spoiler warning and turn back before it's too late.
One of the most climactic events of the new movie comes toward the end, when Kylo Ren pierces Han Solo, his father, through the chest with his lightsaber, letting the revered character fall to his death.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Abrams spoke at a Writers Guild of America event this past weekend about why it was crucial to the film, and the development of the franchise, that Kylo Ren kill his father. The director said that unlike Darth Vader, who was introduced to audiences as this villain entrenched in evil, Kylo Ren is still on a journey to discovering who he really is. In order to make him as menacing as he needed to be, he had to commit the treacherous act.
"We knew we had to do something fucking bold," Abrams said. "The only reason why Kylo Ren has any hope of being a worthy successor is because we lose one of the most beloved characters."
It's a gut-wrenching scene, but unlike Kylo Ren's grandfather, Darth Vader, there's a sense of uneasiness surrounding the young Sith lord when he makes the decision to kill his father.
Abrams said a large part of the decision to kill Han Solo, and have his son be the character to do it, was to add "guts" to the movie, especially in the afterglow of Return of the Jedi. The director mentioned that it was difficult to bridge the two movies because Return of the Jedi ended on such a positive note, and the only way to combat that would be to come up with a vile villain fixated on finding Luke Skywalker and wiping out the supposed last remaining Jedi.
Still, Abrams said that it was incredibly hard to shoot that particular scene, and admitted that at times it felt pretty disturbing.
"To see Harrison reach out and touch Adam. I know this sounds stupid, but literally watching it, I forgot — I forgot that he wasn't his son. He did it so beautifully," Abrams said.
Still, the director confirmed there were no hard feelings from Harrison Ford, who Abrams said took the entire thing pretty nonchalantly.