Five deleted scenes from Star Wars: The Last Jedi have been revealed ahead of the film's home media release. After a successful box office run that earned $1.3 billion worldwide, the eighth chapter of the Skywalker saga blasts into living rooms later this month. Besides watching the movie again, fans are most excited for the collection of bonus features. In addition to the ubiquitous behind-the-scenes featurettes and feature commentary from director Rian Johnson, the Blu-ray includes 14 deleted scenes that viewers will eagerly want to check out.
Most times, sequences are left on the cutting room floor because they're filler, but certain Star Wars deleted scenes have a weight to them. For example, The Force Awakens had a noteworthy one where Kylo Ren stepped aboard the Millennium Falcon. Surely, some of the Last Jedi deleted scenes will play as fluff, but the first ones detailed flesh out some plot elements and depict emotional character moments.
EW had the rundown of a handful of Episode VIII deleted scenes, and the story behind each. There are still several left to be unveiled, so we'll be sure to update this post as the others are revealed.
UPDATE: Now that The Last Jedi is on digital, all deleted scenes are now available.
The Last Jedi begins with an action-packed sequence of Poe Dameron and the Resistance bombers' daring attack on the Dreadnaught. Combining all the classic Star Wars elements, it did a great job of establishing several key story aspects (the Resistance's vulnerability, the First Order threat, Poe's arc) while also being a blast to watch. However, the film originally started in a different way - one that (per Johnson) was clever, but didn't entirely work.
Instead of picking up right when the First Order arrives amidst the Resistance's escape from D'Qar, this scene begins with Finn awakening from his coma (the pan down after the crawl is his medical bed) and realizing he's aboard a ship. As Resistance members flee in transports, Lieutenant Connix tells Poe they need more time, which leads to his Dreadnaught gambit. In the commentary, Johnson said this was trimmed since it wasn't as direct, and the filmmakers decided in the editing room they wanted to jump right into it without the additional set-up.
Paige Tico's Gun Jams
One noteworthy addition to the Star Wars galaxy in Episode VIII was Rose Tico, but it's her sister Paige who plays a meaningful role in the opening sequence. Paige dies during the bombing run, giving up her life to save the rest of the fleet. In the finished film, she doesn't have much screen time, so it's nice to see her pop up in the deleted scenes. This is your standard Star Wars space battle beat, depicting Paige shooting down TIE fighters, dodging a bullet as she fixes her gun just in time.
Per Johnson, this loss was "collateral damage" after restructuring the opening sequence. As it stands in the film, the Resistance bombers aren't introduced until later in the attack, so in order to maintain a natural flow, the scene was cut. This bit does further illustrate the bond between Paige and Rose (the necklace symbolism), but it wasn't entirely necessary for the full story to work. Rose's love for her sister is made quite clear throughout, especially in her meeting with Finn.
Poe Dameron: Not Much of a Sewer
One of the many highlights of The Force Awakens was the instant bond between Poe and Finn. Though they had just met, their dynamic while escaping from the Star Destroyer immediately sold viewers on their friendship. Sadly, they didn't have much time together in Episode VII, so many were looking forward to seeing their relationship evolve in The Last Jedi. In this sweet character moment, it's revealed Poe stitched up Finn's jacket after Starkiller base, sewing up the gaping hole Kylo Ren's lightsaber left. Johnson was inspired by the Hoth scenes in Empire Strikes Back, as extras actually walk between Finn and Poe during their talk.
This scene was reinserted in the novelization, where its primary purpose is to make Finn feel a little guiltier about wanting to leave the Resistance during their time of need (Poe even tells him this is where he belongs). Johnson admits he loved this scene, but it was a fairly easy one to cut when they realized this wasn't a needed bit of set-up. Several fans would have appreciated this deepening of Poe and Finn's friendship, but it does stop the movie in its tracks as Poe recaps information the audience already knows. Going right to his demotion was a smarter move.
Rey's Goodbye to Finn
At the end of The Force Awakens, Rey left a comatose Finn behind to travel to Ahch-To and find Luke Skywalker, meaning the two friends spend nearly all of The Last Jedi separated. Finn was still recovering from his injuries when Rey left, so he didn't actually see the moment. Lucky for him, BB-8 recorded it all and in one deleted scene, plays it for him in hologram form. In what would have been one of the film's funnier lines, Finn tells his droid companion, "That's kind of creepy you recorded that."
The original purpose of this scene was to illustrate the relationship between Rey and Finn, but Johnson felt it was a little redundant. He told EW Finn's motivation for wanting to find Rey is made clear through conversations Finn has with Rose Tico. Johnson does have a point. After Rey and Finn spent The Force Awakens together, audiences didn't really need something like this to hammer home they are friends. Episode VII did all the legwork in establishing their dynamic, and all The Last Jedi had to do was give fans the catharsis of seeing to two reunited after an emotionally-draining journey.
The Caretaker Eyes Rey
To say Rey and the Caretakers had a tumultuous relationship would be an understatement. The Last Jedi found some comedy in the matrons of Ahch-To taking displeasure in Rey's antics, beginning with her blasting a hole through her hut. This deleted scene is just an extra bit of levity, as a Caretaker glares disapprovingly at Rey as she follows Luke for her first lesson. Luke has a brief conversation with one. The novelization reveals he told the Caretakers Rey is his niece.
Johnson stated in the commentary this was one of the last things to be deleted, and it's probably for the best it was. It's certainly worth a chuckle to see a Caretaker giving their disruptive visitor the stink eye, but it draws the sequence out and doesn't add much in terms of story. Viewers understood the Caretakers didn't like Rey very much as they bemoan having to clean up her mess. Additionally, the part where Rey accidentally destroys a Caretaker wagon is a funnier illustration of their dynamic.
Rey and the Caretaker Village
Perhaps the most famous deleted scene of the bunch so far, this sequence finds Rey spotting boats sailing towards the Caretaker village on Ahch-To. Luke Skywalker notes that they are raiders arriving to ransack the village, which causes Rey to want to fight and save the Caretakers. In a cruel teaching moment, Luke says that if Rey retaliates, the raiders will arrive with more reinforcements and attack again. A Jedi, Luke says, would let this all play out and not get involved. Viewers have already seen a portion of footage from this scene, where an upset Rey admonishes Luke for failing to live up to the myth she built up in her head.
The scene was designed to play up the divide between Luke and Rey, underlining why Rey would ultimately choose to side with Kylo Ren. However, Johnson felt Luke and Rey's falling out was more powerful without this bit. By removing the Caretaker village sequence, the director noted he left their dynamic in a more hopeful place following Luke's lesson at the Jedi Temple. "You get the sense the she and Luke were actually making progress, as opposed to, oh, things were messed up." Many had presumed this scene was Skywalker's third lesson to Rey, but Johnson said it actually is not. He won't reveal what the lesson was, of course, but teases the film has things open to interpretation.
Luke Mourns Han
What made the death of Han Solo even more tragic was that he never got an opportunity to reconcile with Luke after things went south. With Skywalker in isolation shut off from the Force, he didn't even know his best friend had been killed in the moment it happened. Instead, Luke makes the harrowing realization when he learns Rey and Chewbacca arrived on the Millennium Falcon. In the finished film, all Luke says is, "Where's Han?" before the audience moves on, but a deleted scene fleshes this moment out more. Skywalker sits alone in his hut and fights back grieving tears. The scene would have cut back to Leia on the Raddus having a similar moment.
Longtime fans definitely would have wanted this scene to stay in the movie, as it arguably would have given them more closure with Han. Johnson, who expressed sorrow in cutting it, explained pacing was the issue here, as he wanted to shift gears to Luke's "day in the life" montage depicting his daily routine on Ahch-To. This is also another section that might have played as redundant. Luke's scene in the Falcon (which symbolizes Han) makes it very clear he is filled with regret over what has happened, wishing he could see Han again. There's no denying this would have been very resonant, but it may not have added much to the overall story.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019