Director Rian Johnson Requested A Subtle Tweak To The Ending Of Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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Rian Johnson may not be involved in the screenplay for 2019’s Star Wars: Episode IX, but it turns out the writer-director put in a request for a change to The Force Awakens‘ finale two years ago.

Word comes to us by way of Entertainment Weekly, which unveiled the tidbit as part of its toast to all things Star Wars – May the 4th be with you, too! Upon reflecting on his early days on board The Last Jedi, Rian Johnson recalled the moment when he asked J.J. Abrams to make a relatively small, but no less significant alteration to the finale of The Force Awakens: BB-8 was to remain with the Resistance, lending R2-D2 the chance to reunite with his long-lost master, Luke Skywalker. Initially, Abrams and his creative team had nailed down a story arc that ensured BB-8 would accompany Rey to Ahch-To, but in order to lay the necessary foundations for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Rian Johnson requested that the droids be switched.

Per EW:

Yes … The big [favor] was, I asked if R2 could come with Rey, and if BB-8 could stay behind with the Resistance. Originally it was BB-8 who went with Rey, which makes sense for the story in a way. But I asked, ‘Can you do me this solid and switch the droids?’

In hindsight, it makes a lot of sense. Now that we’ve had time to mull over The Force Awakens and its cliffhanger-like finale, leaving BB-8 in the company of Poe Dameron and the remainder of the Resistance fleet helps bridge the gap between Episodes VII and VIII. Plus, it would almost be cruel to rob Artoo of the chance to met Luke Skywalker after all those years spent in hibernation.

Juggling droids wasn’t Rian Johnson’s only cause for concern when approaching The Last Jedi; as the filmmaker reveals to EW, approaching Luke – a character that slipped off the radar soon after Kylo Ren turned against him and his school of Jedi youngsters – left him facing a creative headache.

Figuring out where his head was at was the very first thing I had to do when writing the movie. I had to crack this. And it had to be something for me that first and foremost made sense. Why did Luke Skywalker go off to this island? That was the starting point, and that’s what the entire movie explores… There has to be a good reason that makes sense to him [to run away] — and to some degree makes sense to us.

The Last Jedi shoots into theaters on December 15th of 2017.

Source: EW