Star Wars is more than a franchise at this point. It’s an empire of merchandise, it’s a marketing machine… Disney has basically become the kind of giant empire that its fictional heroes are typically trying to blow up. The latest franchise entry is Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and it’s a movie that has managed to divide its hardcore fans for several different reasons.
When it comes to a movie like this, it’s important for Disney to put out a unified front. Actors have to all be on the same page when promoting the movie, and marketing has to balance giving us a tantalizing glimpse of the film without giving everything away.
However, just as the Death Star had a hidden weakness, the marketing machine of Disney has some built-in flaws. Sometimes, actors spill the beans on how they think their character was handled horribly. Other times, actors admit they signed the dotted line and fully expected Disney to turn them into a bizarre racist stereotype. Overall, there’s a lot of dirty behind the scenes secrets about this latest movie that Disney would prefer you never discover.
You don’t need to find a hidden Jedi Master to learn these secrets. Just keep scrolling to read 15 Last Jedi Behind-The-Scenes Facts Disney Wants Hidden!
15. Porgs were created out of desperation
When audiences first saw the Porgs in trailers for The Last Jedi, they seemed like vintage Star Wars material. Cute, fuzzy creatures designed to sell zillions of toys? For better or for worse, these things looked like Ewoks 2.0. Because of this, Porgs seemed like a stroke of Disney marketing brilliance. However, they are actually a result of desperation!
The scenic island where Disney filmed Luke Skywalker’s hideout was Skellig Michael, a breathtaking beautiful Irish island. There was just one problem: the island was covered in little birds called puffins. And because the island is a wildlife preserve, removing those birds was not an option. It ended up being easier to just use CGI to turn them into porgs than to digitally remove them… and thus, a new Star Wars creature was born!
14. Rian Johnson knew some fans would be disappointed
When The Last Jedi finally came out, it ended up being the most divisive Star Wars movie in history. There was a major split between fans who thought the movie was revolutionary and those who thought it insulted the existing Star Wars mythology. Many thought this controversy meant Disney had made a mistake, but it turns out that director Rian Johnson knew the reaction he’d get.
When a fan asked Johnson on Twitter if he thought it was good or bad that the movie was “polarizing to many,” Johnson had a pretty direct answer. He claimed that while he never wanted to divide people, that “the conversations that are happening” about what Star Wars is meant to be are necessary if the franchise “is going to grow, move forward and stay vital.”
13. Mark Hamill’s Luke issues
Much of the controversy about The Last Jedi surrounded Luke Skywalker. Many fans expected a wise and heroic Jedi Master, but Luke ended up being a traumatized old man obsessed with the past. Most horrifyingly of all, he contemplated (however briefly) murdering a young Ben Solo in his sleep. As it turns out, someone else thought this was weird at first: Mark Hamill himself!
When he first read the script for the movie, Hamill recalled telling Rian Johnson that he had to “fundamentally disagree with every choice you’ve made” for Luke Skywalker. The internet ran with the idea that even Mark Hamill hated this new Luke Skywalker, and eventually, the actor had to calm fans down. He later clarified regret at “voicing… doubts and insecurities in public” and pointed out that “creative differences” are “common “ for most projects. He’s even said that The Last Jedi is a great film, which is all that matters.
12. Rian Johnson doesn’t care about Phasma
Obviously, for Star Wars to continue, we must get a new generation of heroes and villains. One villain from The Force Awakens became more popular than anyone anticipated: Captain Phasma, the silver Stormtrooper Commander who is also Finn’s worst nightmare. Fans were disappointed when The Last Jedi had nothing for Phasma but a brief duel and a quick death. Why’d this happen? Because Rian Johnson doesn’t really care about the character!
In an interview, Johnson admitted that Phasma’s only real function was in helping with Finn’s storyline, and the story that he had created (including a bunch of new characters) just didn’t leave room for “a big Phasma storyline.” Then again, since Johnson is both writer and director, it’s abundantly clear that Phasma was a neat character set up by J. J. Abrams in Force Awakens and almost completely dismissed by Johnson for the sequel.
11. Adam Driver is Faking It
The death of Carrie Fisher was absolutely devastating for Star Wars fans all over the world. She had impacted not only the lives of fans but of everyone’s favorite Star Wars actors as well. And for Kylo Ren actor Adam Driver, she had some very unconventional wisdom about dealing with fan conventions.
Before Driver and other cast members of The Force Awakens were revealed to the public at Comic Con, Fisher could sense Driver was a bit nervous. She told him to simply “pretend you’re down to earth. People love that s*&^.” Driver admitted after her death that he has always followed this advice, and that she was absolutely right: fans absolutely love it when Driver fakes modesty and humility
10. John Boyega Hates Porgs
The Porgs have almost been as divisive as The Last Jedi movie. Some people find them absolutely adorable and could not wait to grab every Porg plush and toy they could get their hands on. Others think they are nothing more than cheap cash grab by Disney. As it turns out, Finn actor John Boyega has a completely different reaction: he thinks Porgs are gross!
When Boyega first saw these digital creations, he described them as being an “infestation” on the Millennium Falcon. He also went on to describe how seeing a group of Porgs together made him think they looked like “bugs,” and this thought made him feel “itchy.”
Boyega’s reaction is very interesting considering that Disney clearly wants these things to look cute, but based on the film’s monstrous box office success, it seems Boyega was the only one grossed out by these new critters.
9. The “obvious” twist about Rey’s parents
The Last Jedi disappointed many fans because it either failed to answer questions set up by Force Awakens or at least didn’t provide the answers they wanted. And the most disappointing of these was the answer to “who are Rey’s parents?” Fans thought she had connections to characters like Obi-Wan Kenobi, but it turns out her parents were just nobodies.
In a weird revelation, Rey actor Daisy Ridley thought that the revelation about her parents was super obvious. In fact, she was perplexed that so many fans had elaborate theories about her origins after Force Awakens premiered. She admits that she had the advantage of already knowing the answer, but still felt confused that so many missed that the “twist” was the lack of a twist. If only we all had Jedi senses – or advance copies of scripts, at least.
8. Oscar Isaacs supports a Finn and Poe romance
This new generation of Star Wars movies has pushed the franchise in many exciting ways. Some fans were hoping this new direction for Star Wars would include a gay romance, particularly between Finn and Poe Dameron. These two characters seemed to hit it off immediately, and there’s at least one person who really supports this theory: Poe actor Oscar Isaac!
Oscar Isaac has mentioned in multiple interviews and multiple occasions that he supports a romance slowly blossoming between his character and Boyega’s Finn. Moreover, Isaac has this possible attraction in mind when he acts onscreen alongside Boyega.
7. Disney had to make Holdo more likable
One intentionally divisive new character in The Last Jedi was Vice Admiral Holdo. She takes over as Resistance leader when Leia is out of commission, and she clashes early— and often— with Poe Dameron before the flyboy figures out she’s bold and brilliant. As it turns out, though, Disney had to do reshoots to make sure that audiences didn’t completely hate her!
Basically, earlier versions of the film had her as much more condescending and mean to Poe Dameron. She was such a good antagonist to Poe that audiences couldn’t fully appreciate her dramatic self-sacrifice to destroy the Star Destroyer. Therefore, Disney order reshoots to smooth out her rougher edges and make audiences like her that much more. The final result is that her death provides an emotional climax for audiences and for Poe.
6. It had the worst Friday to Friday drop of any Star Wars
There are many different ways to measure a movie’s financial success. Sometimes, people look at the raw amount of money taken in, while others compare the revenue with the cost to make and market the movie and how well others in the franchise did. In this sense, The Last Jedi is one of the most successful Star Wars movies… and also one of the most disappointing.
The Last Jedi has already pulled in $1 billion worldwide, and this alone makes it a financial powerhouse. However, The Last Jedi also experienced the largest Friday-to-Friday drop of any Star Wars movie in history. While the movie’s overall revenue is still insane, it’s tough to shake the idea that bad word-of-mouth from the first weekend may have stunted possible ticket sales later on.
5. Outraged fan petitions
The single greatest thing about the internet is that it gives every single person a voice. And, fittingly, the single worst thing about the internet is that it gives every single person a voice. That’s the lesson Disney learned when an online petition to remove The Last Jedi from Star Wars canon went viral and received huge amounts of support.
A petition posted on Change.org had a rather bold proposition: to remove The Last Jedi from Star Wars canon and basically pretend that the movie had never happened. Sounds pretty crazy, right? What’s crazier is that nearly 80,000 fans signed the petition. It got so out of hand that the petition creator publicly expressed regret at creating it. Regardless, the huge support it got is further proof of the divisive nature of the film.
4. Toys Sales Are Down
As you may or may not know, George Lucas didn’t become wealthy because of directing Star Wars. Instead, he became wealthy from the merchandising of Star Wars toys, going back to an infamous deal where he retained full rights to all franchise merchandise. Disney was doubtlessly hoping to secure decades of returns like Lucas had seen, but it looks like that gamble may already be failing.
Recent research into Last Jedi toy sales show that there has been 46 percent fewer Last Jedi toys shipped than Rogue One toys. Even worse, there has been 56 percent fewer Last Jedi toys shipped now than by the same point for Force Awakens. While the divisive reputation of Last Jedi may have something to do with the drop in sales there are other factors: major toy retailer Toys R Us has filed for bankruptcy, which would remove a significant portion of the orders made by stores during Force Awakens, plus the narrower window between Star Wars films didn’t give toy demand time to grow.
3. Hamill Wanted Lando Back
We’re two movies into a new generation of Star Wars films, and fans have one big question: where’s Lando Calrissian? Considering what a prominent part young Lando plays in the upcoming Han Solo movie, many were hoping to see Billy Dee Williams reprise the role in Last Jedi. Mark Hamill apparently felt the same way!
Hamill didn’t just want to see Lando again. He went so far as to come up with several ideas for the character’s return. Hamill thought Lando would have been perfect as a “casino boss” on the planet Canto Bight. This would be a fun callback to Lando’s background as both a pragmatic player and as a savvy businessman. Moreover, it might grounded the frenetic Canto Bight scenes. Sadly, Johnson did not take Hamill’s advice when writing the script.
2. Targeted By Online Hate Group
We live in a time where Rotten Tomatoes scores carry a lot of weight with audiences. Whether a movie is “certified fresh” or not can be a major determining factor in whether or not some people ever buy that movie ticket. The Last Jedi ended up perplexing everyone, though: it had an overwhelmingly positive rating among critics, but a pretty low rating among fans posting on RottenTomatoes. As it turns out, there may have been some Dark Side influence.
An “alt-right” group with the hilariously on-the-nose name “Down With Disney” has claimed responsibility for the flood of negative fan comments and ratings about the movie. The group has claimed that they hate having additional female characters in Star Wars and that they are worried about their favorite male heroes being “turned gay.”
1. Kelly Marie Tran Thought Disney Would Be Racist
One new character Last Jedi introduces is Rose Tico, a Resistance Mechanic who goes on an important mission with Finn and ends up developing feelings for him. Much has been made of how she adds to the diversity of Star Wars (actor Kelly Marie Tran is of Vietnamese heritage), but it turns out the actor was initially worried she’d be playing a racist stereotype.
In an interview, Tran admitted “the weird side character who always talks about being Asian and brings kimchi to the party.” Obviously, that did not end up being the case, and her character is treated with both dignity and respect. However, any fan who has watched The Phantom Menace lately can understand why Tran thought she might be used as a racist stereotype!
Got a Star Wars: The Last Jedi secret we missed? Head over to our comments!
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