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Star Wars: A budding romance between Finn and Rey had to be removed from 'The Force Awakens' novelization
It's no secret that John Boyega wasn't pleased with how Disney and Lucasfilm treated the character of Finn in the Star Wars sequel trilogy. However, it seems that his thiny-veiled connection to the Force was only the tip of the problematic iceberg. According to a recent interview with movie-to-book author Alan Dean Foster, there were even attempts to downplay Finn's personal connection to Rey in the novelization for The Force Awakens.
Chatting with Midnight's Edge, Foster (who has also penned novels based on Star Trek and Alien films) talked about one romantic plot point he was forced to omit while building out the story.
"I did my usual thing when I do these adaptations of trying to fix things that I think need fixing in the story and fixing in the science," he said. "Not so much with the characters, because the characters are fairly well-established in a screenplay. Some things they said to take out, and some things they left alone. Some of the things they said to take out I thought were silly and would really have improved the book if I had been able to leave them in the book, but I can't talk about those."
Later on, he relented, stating: "I'm going to tell you one thing they made me take out because enough time has passed, I don't think it matters. First thing was, there was obviously the beginnings of a relationship between John Boyega's character and Daisy Ridley's character [Rey]. I expected to see that developed further in Episode VIII [The Last Jedi]. And zero happened with it. And we all know why zero happened with it — and there's no need to go into it in-depth — but that's, sadly, just the way things are."
In addition, Foster was asked to remove an exchange between Rey and Han Solo that called back to A New Hope.
"There's a scene in the film and in the book where Rey has come aboard the Millennium Falcon, and Han Solo can't get things to work, and she fixes it ... Han Solo says something to the effect of, 'good work' or 'good job,' reluctantly, he says it. And then I had him say, 'Don't get cocky, kid.' Which, of course, is a throwback to what he says to Luke in the first film. I thought that was a wonderful way of connecting the character to the first film and the first story. I thought fans would love that, and they made me take it out."
Foster was not asked to return for the novelizations of The Last Jedi or The Rise of Skywalker. The book adaptations for Episodes 8 and 9 were penned by Jason Fry and Rae Carson respectively. Leaning into Foster's philosophy of fixing science and plot holes, Carson helped explain how the Emperor survived his death in Return of the Jedi by writing that the version of Palpatine on Exegol was actually a clone.
Boyega's public criticism of Disney did result in "a very honest, a very transparent conversation," the actor said in early November. "There was a lot of explaining on their end in terms of the way they saw things," he continued. "They gave me a chance also to explain what my experience was like. I'd hope that me being so open with my career, at this stage, would help the next man, the guy that wants to be the assistant DOP, the guy that wants to be a producer. I hope that the conversation is not such a taboo or elephant in the room now, because someone just came and said it."
Boyega wasn't the only Star Wars actor upset with the new trilogy's handling of the characters. For example, his co-star, Oscar Isaac ("Poe Dameron"), was pretty rankled that Disney wasn't open to a romantic relationship between Poe and Finn.