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Star Wars The Force Awakens: J.J. Abrams explains Leia-Rey hug in film

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Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images

[Warning: This post contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.]

It’s no surprise that Star Wars fans might be critical when it comes to their favorite franchise, but they have a valid reason for asking this question: Why did General Leia choose to hug Rey at the end of The Force Awakens after Han Solo’s death and not Chewbacca, who obviously carries more weight when it comes to having a history with the character?

SlashFilm brought up the question with J.J. Abrams when they spoke to the director about his upcoming film, 10 Cloverfield Lane. According to Abrams, he sees the shot as both an oversight and a blocking mistake. 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,” Abrams told Slashfilm. “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.”

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With Chewbacca standing by, the scene left some fans wondering why Leia embraced Rey. On its own, the hug between the two characters has initiated countless fan theories, including theories about Rey’s still mysterious parentage. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until at least next December to get a possible answer about that.

Star Wars Episode VIII arrives in theaters on Dec. 15, 2017.