J.J. Abrams Explains Why Rey and Leia Hug in STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS
After fans' tears of joy began to dry during their first viewing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, some people began looking at the movie through a more analytical lens and pointing out some of its flaws or sequences that just didn’t really make sense. One of the loudest complaints I heard from fans was about the interaction between Leia and Rey at the end of the movie, and in a new interview with /Film, director J.J. Abrams addressed that head on and admitted that the moment was “probably one of the mistakes I made.”
Spoilers for The Force Awakens ahead.
After Han Solo's death, Chewie, Rey, and an injured Finn return to the Resistance and General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) passes right by Chewbacca — Solo's long-time friend and partner — and goes straight to Rey (Daisy Ridley) to give her a hug, even though they'd never met before. Here's what Abrams said when he was asked why this happened:
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.
He went elaborated about the blocking being a factor. "Had Chewbacca not been where he was, you probably wouldn’t have thought of it," he said. "But because he was right there, passed by Leia, it felt almost like a slight, which was definitely not the intention."
So there you have it. Though it may or may not be a satisfying explanation for you, the question has been answered. Maybe Rian Johnson will do something to deepen (or build) the Chewie/Leia relationship in next year's Episode VIII.