Now that the Star Wars: The Last Jedi is coming out this month, we’re learning about the small pile of deleted scenes. Entertainment Weekly talked to director and writer Rian Johnson talked about three of the scenes we can expect to see.
After Luke says, “where’s Han Solo?” and learns of the death of his brother-in-law and friend, we get a chance to see him react to that. We see him go into his stone hut alone as tears form in his eyes and then we cut to Leia in a similar position on the Raddus. The cut is meant to suggest that the twins are sharing a moment of grief together.
“It’s both of them having the connection, and that also then led you to think that Leia was thinking about Han’s death,” Johnson says. “It was a really lovely moment.”
It shifted focus back to the Resistance, but Johnson decided, while editing, that it threw off the pacing of the movie.
“We realized just for pacing in that section we had to stick with Rey and Luke, and we wanted just to go straight from him slamming the door of the hut into the day-in-the-life montage, of him going around the island. Taking that bit out suddenly propelled us forward into that segment in a way that just felt much better for the film. … I was very sorry to lose it. I think it’s a beautiful performance from Mark Hamill,” Johnson says. “But I think that we get a similar beat with him, later when he’s in the Falcon with R2.”
Another of the scenes — one that we got a brief look at in a behind-the-scenes featurette — is Finn, Rose, DJ, and BB-8 making their way through the mega-destroyer undercover.
“Sneaking through the mega-destroyer, there’s some really fun stuff in there,” Johnson tells EW. “It just made me laugh every time I saw it. But you can see very obviously when you watch the movie as a whole, there’s no way you would want to slow down at that part of the film to play that whole section.”
At one point a stormtrooper recognizes Finn and begin to chat him up while they are in an elevator. However, the trooper can’t seem to place where he knows Finn from, and it reveals something about the First Order.
“The implication from the exchange is that this was obviously an embarrassment that this happened with Finn, and that First Order didn’t let the info get out, as much as they could,” Johnson says. “The tension is broken by the fact that he doesn’t really know the story of what happened with Finn.”
The trooper doesn’t ring an alarm because he doesn’t know Finn went rogue. The trooper even has a laugh that FN-2187 got promoted above him. The First Order could have found out about Finn, Rose, and DJ sooner if people were aware that Finn was an enemy. Instead they kept the information secret and they got much farther into the mega-destroyer because of it.
The final deleted scene was a different showdown with Captain Phasma. Instead of Finn gaining the upper hand on her, she actually defeats him. At one point she has him beaten and he’s surrounded. Finn then tells the troopers about Phasma giving up the codes to Starkiller to save her own life. The other troopers are obviously conflicted about this and don’t know how to react. Phasma, at this point, has already got a gash in her helmet and we see fear in her eyes.
However, before anyone can react, she guns down her own soldiers. She and Finn fight again and she is hit with a blast that sends her down into the inferno. Why was this scene altered in reshoots?
“Pacing. Entirely pacing,” Johnson says. “I really like the little moment of Phasma being caught and getting called out by John, and that little game of chess that they have,” he says. “But we needed a much more condensed version of that scene, where essentially it’s the same outcome.”
While it might have improved the pacing, we got so little of Phasma as a character in both of these movies that anything would have been better than nothing. That scene shows a human reaction of fear and also proves how ruthless she really is. According to EW, though, the original cut is much more definitive about her demise.
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.