It’s no secret that Rian Johnson and his editing team nixed a fair amount of content while trimming Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
As a matter of fact, prior to the sequel’s release in December, we learned that Johnson’s first cut ballooned past the three-hour mark, and it was only when the filmmaker began nipping and tucking that The Last Jedi was brought down to a much more manageable running time: two hours and 32 minutes.
But what about that footage that was sentenced to the editing room floor? Thankfully, The Last Jedi‘s Blu-ray release is almost upon us (March 27th; March 13th for Digital HD) and Entertainment Weekly has now served up an early preview of five deleted scenes, including Luke Skywalker and his fabled third lesson, and the moment when John Boyega’s Finn gets to lay eyes on Rey’s farewell courtesy of BB-8.
Here’s what Rian Johnson had to say about the latter:
I was looking for any opportunity I could to emotionally connect those two. 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.
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Meanwhile, there’s also a nod at Luke’s third lesson – but only a nod. According to Rian Johnson, that sequence of Rey running along a beach toward the Caretakers (see below) served a different purpose altogether, which only raises yet more questions as we approach Star Wars: Episode IX.
And while it’s not his third lesson, Johnson still believes that Skywalker’s trickery would have been the final straw for Rey:
Originally it was just a breaking point for her. Okay, he’s gone too far. This is the point where she finally says, ‘Okay, if you’re not gonna help, then I’ve wasted too much time here.’
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. 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.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi premieres via Digital HD and Disney’s Movies Anywhere app on March 13th, before reaching Blu-ray and DVD two weeks later.