Star Wars: The Last Jedi comes out on home release this month, and with that comes bonus features. So it’s time to look at some of the deleted scenes. Entertainment Weekly got ahold of some of the deleted scenes and spoke to director and writer Rian Johnson about them.
“I love each one of the scenes individually. I mean, every single one of them was not cut because it didn’t work. It was cut because the movie as a whole was better without it,” Johnson tells us. “So with each one of them, it’s that strange combination where it feels awful to cut it, but it feels good to cut it, because suddenly the pacing of a section of the movie feels much better, or suddenly the film is cleaner, or clearer, in many different ways.”
One of the scenes sees Finn grappling with the idea of abandoning the Resistance. As he is trying to decide if he wants to run, BB-8 comes out and shows him a recording of Rey saying goodbye from the end of The Force Awakens.
“I was looking for any opportunity I could to emotionally connect those two,” the director says. “I thought it was a really sweet little scene. I loved John Boyega’s performance in it. Ultimately it was meant to explain his motivation for going [to find Rey and quit the Resistance], but we realized that you understood his motivation, because he tells it to Rose. Once we realized we could get away without it, it was something that just naturally fell away.”
Ultimately Johnson decided the scene was repetitious considering what happens later on, but he was a little sad that he lost a great line from John Boyega.
“Little sneak,” Johnson says. “You’ve got to watch what you’re saying around BB-8. It’s all on the record.” The big loss was leaving out a good joke. “I miss John’s line, ‘That’s kind of creepy you recorded that.’”
One of the other scenes took place on Ahch-To. After recieving some guidance at the temple with Luke, Rey looks out and sees lights approaching the village where the Caretakers are. Luke tells her that lights are from a warring tribe coming to raid the village. Rey wants to go help, but Luke tells her that even if she stopped them now, they would keep coming back, and Rey wouldn’t always be there to stop it. The Jedi would let the raid happen; did Rey really want to be a Jedi? Rey scrambles down the mountain and races across the shoreline — a shot we see in the trailers — and Luke calls out to her, but she doesn’t listen.
“Originally it was just a breaking point for her. Okay, he’s gone too far,” Johnson says. “This is the point where she finally says, ‘Okay, if you’re not gonna help, then I’ve wasted too much time here.”
Johnson originally thought the scene was necessary to push Rey toward trusting Kylo Ren in their Force visions, but that didn’t end up being the case.
“In her next-to-last Force connection she has with Kylo, which is the very intense one, the context for that was her coming off this rejection and angry moment with Luke,” Johnson says. “When we take that segment out, suddenly she’s coming into that Force connection after leaving things in a hopeful place with Luke, at the end of the temple lesson. … It’s much more of a crushing reversal when Luke finds her in the hut [talking to Kylo,]” Johnson says. “You get the sense that she and Luke were actually making progress, as opposed to, oh, things were screwed up.”
If fans are wondering if this was the missing lesson that Luke never taught her, Johnson says that isn’t the case. As for whether or not that third lesson will be clarified later on, perhaps in Episode IX, Johnson didn’t want to say it’s J.J. Abrams‘s problem now.
“Not problem, but possibility,” Johnson clarifies. “There are no problems, there’s only potential.”
There is a very good chance we’re going to see Luke again in Episode IX in some form now that Carrie Fisher has passed away. That third lesson might mean everything, or it could mean nothing. We’ll just have to see where the third movie takes us.
Summary: Rey develops her newly discovered abilities with the guidance of Luke Skywalker, who is unsettled by the strength of her powers. Meanwhile, the Resistance prepares to do battle with the First Order.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi, directed by Rian Johnson, stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Mark Hamill, Oscar Isaac, Carrie Fisher, and Adam Driver.