Of all the many deleted scenes to be included in Star Wars: The Last Jedi‘s Blu-ray on March 27th, writer-director Rian Johnson has cherry-picked a total of five to explain their relevance and, ultimately, why they didn’t make the final cut.
It’s a fascinating, frame-by-frame analysis of The Last Jedi‘s deleted content, beginning with BB-8’s surprise message to Finn. Turns out that spherical droid actually recorded Rey’s last moments with the comatose Finn in The Force Awakens, though Johnson decided to nix said scene on the belief that John Boyega’s turncoat had already explained his motivations to Rose Tico, thereby rendering BB-8’s projection of Rey superfluous.
The filmmaker also spoke at length about the moment when Luke Skywalker fooled Rey into thinking that the Caretakers were under attack from raiders. It’s not related to that third lesson, per se, which leads us to believe that J.J. Abrams will be the one to reveal Luke’s final shred of wisdom via Episode IX in 2019.
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Also included in the gallery above is a shot of Luke in mourning. In this particular deleted scene, he’s just been informed that Han Solo, his old friend, was killed at the corrupt hands of Kylo Ren. Sadly, it was also thrown out, with Johnson telling EW that:
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. But I think that we get a similar beat with him, later when he’s in the Falcon with R2.
The director also alluded to the moment in which Finn crossed paths with a fellow Stormtrooper, which presumably aligns with those reports of a celebrity cameo (Tom Hardy/Prince Harry or William) being edited out entirely.
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. The tension is broken by the fact that he doesn’t really know the story of what happened with Finn.
And finally, The Last Jedi almost included an extended fight scene involving Captain Phasma and the man formerly known as FN-2187. But again, it was culled in the name of pacing.
Pacing. Entirely pacing. 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. But we needed a much more condensed version of that scene, where essentially it’s the same outcome.
That’s a little disheartening when you consider that Captain Phasma has been nudged onto the back-burner not once, but twice, as the elite Stormtrooper was arguably shunned during The Force Awakens, too.
Perhaps she’ll defy all odds and return in time for Star Wars: Episode IX? All will be revealed on December 20th, 2019.