When Han Solo meets his fate in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, fans and characters alike screamed in grief.
Some people were more disturbed by a scene that comes shortly after, when Rey and company return to the Resistance Base. Rey has a moment with Leia, and they hug in mutual grief and silent understanding that Han Solo is gone.
This moment is ruined when Chewie simply breezes past Leia. What gives? Chewie was Leia and Han’s life long companion and brother-in-arms. He gets no poignant hug but the new girl does?
When asked about the moment by All the Fans, JJ Abrams had the magnanimity to say this:
That was probably one of the mistakes I made in that… Had Chewbacca not been where he was, you probably wouldn’t have thought of it. But because he was right there, passed by Leia, it felt almost like a slight, which was definitely not the intention.
He did elaborate further on the justification for that shot:
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.
There you have it. He admitted at least that the camera angle which included Chewbacca casually walking past Leia was a mistake.
What Rey’s relationship to Han Solo actually was we’ll have to find out in December when Episode VIII: The Last Jedi comes out.
Until then, we’re holding our arms out in suspense.