It's been a year now since Star Wars: The Last Jedi came out, but fans are still buzzing about the movie. Most Star Wars fans loved The Last Jedi, while a smaller, more vocal group truly, deeply hated it. Without a doubt, there have been countless videos and articles dissecting the reasons why it's great and why it isn't, so that's not what we'll be doing here. Instead, we'll take you behind the scenes and show you some amazing photos that may change your perception of the film and of movie-making in general.
Director/writer Rian Johnson gathered old favorites (Luke and Leia), the sequel stars (Rey, Finn, Poe, and Kylo), and introduced some new heroes (Rose and Holdo) in his sequel to J.J. Abrams' The Force Awakens. His bold take on the galaxy far, far away had an undeniable impact on the Star Wars universe, left a big footprint at the box office, and was met with raves from critics. Abrams is returning to direct and co-write the third film in the sequel trilogy, which will roar into theaters on December 20, 2019, but in the meantime, let's take a look back.
For this article, we are going to travel to a studio-lot not so far, far away to see how The Last Jedi was made. Hopefully, we can have some appreciation for the great artistry that's been put into the film, and maybe even learn a little about how Episode IX is being made.
Here are 25 Behind-The-Scenes Photos That Completely Change The Last Jedi.
25 The Last Walk of Luke Skywalker
The thing that we should all take from this image is that it's far less dramatic to take on a green screen as it is to take on the entire First Order. Props to Mark Hamill for selling this incredibly monumental movie moment. With this being Luke Skywalker's last Star Wars film-- as far as we know-- we must acknowledge the immense performance he has given over the years.
Even with the smoke and fire surrounding him, it takes a real thespian to sell a climactic moment such as this one with nothing but a green screen in front of him.
24 Practical Spaceships
Even though there was still a lot of green screen use on the set of The Last Jedi, Rain Johnson still upheld the tradition of using practical props and sets. This tradition was first honored by J.J. Abrams who wanted to bring Star Wars back to its roots after George Lucas' used mostly green screens for his prequel series.
Creating physical spaceships must have been a really fun job for the craftspeople on the film. Although their work would mostly be seen in the background, it helped to create a level of realism for the actors. Additionally, audiences have become well trained in deciphering what is real and what is CGI. Even if you didn't like the movie, you can't deny that it looked pretty realistic. This ship is part of the reason why.
23 Carrie Fisher Leads
This photo proves that Carrie Fisher was the true leader of the Star Wars films. Sure, Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford had more to do in both the sequel series and the original films, but Fisher held them together. She kept the boys in line with a level of fierce grace that we seldom see elsewhere. On top of this, she added heart and contributed heavily to the soul of a franchise that we all cherish so deeply.
Whether they've been interviewed on television or in print, almost every single cast member and director has spoken about how Fisher was the real force behind this incredible story. We can see that here with the body language that Rain Johnson is using. He clearly knows that she holds the power.
22 Getting Personal With An Explosion
It's highly unlikely that Poe Dameron's portrayer Oscar Isaac would have been allowed to do this stunt himself. He's just too big of a star to have been permitted to be up close and personal with this explosion. If anything went wrong, Lucas Film and Disney would have a major lawsuit on their hands. This is because agencies make sure they protect their highest earners very well.
Still, it's very cool that a Poe Dameron lookalike was able to get so close to this rigged explosion. It added to the realism of the moment. If this had been entirely CGI, there's a chance that audiences would have known that it was completely fake.
21 Creating The Porgs
Porgs were created to look a bit like a puffin due to the heavy presence of the real-life bird on the Islands of Skellig, where Luke's hide-out was filmed, as depicted in this shot. It would have been a hassle to remove them digitally since there are thousands on the island. Creating an animal that looked like them was an easier way to hide the real-life bird.
It's cool to see the Porgs as a practical effect too. As we can see in this shot, they are physically interacting with their space, making them appear far more realistic.
20 Chewie's Hairdo
Star Wars fans may be surprised to see that there's far more to Chewbacca's look than meets the eye. It's not as simple as slipping on a big hairy suit every morning before filming. Wardrobe stylists have to make sure that there are no tangles in the hair so it looks just how Star Wars fan have expected it to look. Additionally, filming can get pretty rough. This means that pieces can fall off and need to be replaced.
In short, looking after Chewie is a fulltime job. But he must love it. There's nothing like being pampered. That's what happens when you're a Star Wars icon like Chewie.
19 Stormtroopers Stand Guard
Since The Empire Strikes Back, filmmakers have been creating subtle differences in the suits that the Stormtroopers wear. In every single Star Wars film, we have seen a number of variations that depend on the precise job each soldier has to do.
These soldiers, seen on the set of The Last Jedi, were tasked with capturing and ultimately taking out Finn and Rose near the end of the film. This is why they've been given the tools that they're holding. Additionally, they have blackened soldier pads, meaning that they rank somewhere higher on the chain of command than a regular Stormtrooper.
18 Mark Hamill's laser focus
There has been a lot of discussion about the changing of Luke Skywalker's legacy in The Last Jedi. It may just be the biggest bone of contention that those who disliked the film have. Luke Skywalker's Mark Hamill has expressed a variety of opinions about the storytelling choices, but without a doubt he pulled off Luke's arc in The Last Jedi perfectly.
Shown here looking laser-focused on his performance, Hamill and director Rian Johnson seem to have been filming scenes on Ahch-To.
17 Finn And Rose Have More Fun Between Takes
The sequel trilogy has expanded the Star Wars universe in many ways, with one of the most obvious being the increased diversity in the cast. This was first established with the casting of John Boyega and Oscar Isaac in The Force Awakens, and continued with Kelly Marie Tran taking on the prominent role of Rose Tico in The Last Jedi.
Unfortunately, Tran had to endure an inordinate amount of online hate from angry fans, who even drove her to quit Instagram. Luckily, Tran still has the support of many fans, as well as the crew and obviously her castmates. In this behind-the-scenes image, looks like Tran and Boyega are having a wonderful time-- and they should be. They've been given an opportunity of a lifetime.
16 Checking Out BB-8
It's really hard not to love BB-8. He's just so adorable. Even Rain Johnson seems infatuated with the character in this image. We should be thankful to him that he decided to continue using this character practically as opposed to a purely CGI creation.
In truth, BB-8 was brought to life via both practical and digital effects. As we can see here, a physical version of the character was made. He was fully functioning but didn't always move in the way the filmmakers wanted. Therefore, he was puppeted by people in green-suits, who were then edited out of the film.
15 General Hux gets serious
Domnhell Gleeson is a very serious actor. If you've seen his work in Goodbye Christopher Robin, Ex Machina, or About Time, you'd agree. but it's hard to take his character of General Hux very seriously. In part, this is due to the more comical direction that Rain Johnson took him in The Last Jedi, but even with the change in tone, Gleeson looks utterly focused in this behind-the-scenes photo.
Instead of treating it all like a joke, Gleeson really seems to be embodying this high-ranking member of The First Order. He seems to know that the entire Star Wars community expects him not to wink at the camera.
14 Working With The Green Screen
It should be expected that a set as large as Supreme Leader Snoke's ship would be mostly green-screen. After all, it would have been all-encompassing for the crew to make it. Therefore, actor John Boyega had to imagine his surroundings when shooting the scene depicted in this behind-the-scenes photo.
Although we can't see his full surroundings, the reality is that it was probably pretty barren. In the film, he is surrounded by Stormtroopers. In fact, there's an entire army of them there. We can really only make out four or five of them here. That's probably because they'd be digitally quadrupled for the final product.
13 The Full Throne Room
Unlike the scene with Finn, the entirety of this set was physically created for The Last Jedi. Given how many pivotal scenes took place in this location, it made sense to have made it practically. This allowed the camera to follow the actors everywhere. That must have been particularly helpful during the lightsaber fight which used the entire room.
More than likely, the crew present are from the lighting and stunt teams. The stunt people can be seen as the Pretorian Guards on the sidelines. Their choreographer is somewhere amongst them, but lighting crew have the floor as the director is helping them figure out which lights will be needed in the scene.
12 Commanding Attention
How does one hire Gwendoline Christie as a character who's completely covered up and has nothing of substance to do? Well, both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi did just that. Even still, she commanded a lot of attention on the screen.
In this shot, the attention she's getting is likely due to the fact that she's in a rehearsal. This means that everyone is trying to work out the logistics of the scene. It's unlikely that they'd allow photography this close while actual filming was happening. Not to mention, people wouldn't be casually talking in the background during filming.
11 For The Love Of Carrie
When you watch any of the behind-the-scenes videos of the latest Star Wars films or look at a photo like this one, it's hard not to notice the love the cast and crew had for Carrie Fisher. She just seemed to have the kind of energy that brought others to life.
Even though she and Oscar Isaac's Poe Dameron had some words throughout The Last Jedi, their tension clearly didn't transfer between takes, or during rehearsals when this photo appears to have been taken. The way Isaacs is embracing her seems incredibly authentic and utterly warm. The cast and crew clearly valued Fisher as much as we fans do.
10 Riding To Remote Locations
It's quite common for actors and crew members to be flown to remote locations when shooting movies like this one. By the looks of the background of this behind-the-scenes photo, Daisy Ridley appears to be on one of the Skellig Michaels Islands in Ireland. This is where the filmmakers shot the majority of Luke and Rey's scenes on Acho-To.
Ridley seems to have enjoyed her helicopter trip as it was sure to have been outstandingly beautiful. The area is abundant in natural beauty that could easily make one feel like they're on a faraway planet. It was a perfect location for Luke's hidden lair.
9 The Interior Of Ren's Starfighter
Instead of completely creating the interior of Kylo Ren's starfighter in post-production, the filmmakers decided to give Adam Driver something physical to react to. Given the fact that he was staring at nothing but the crew and the equipment in front of him, it probably helped his performance to have something maneuverable to interact with.
Even though his feet weren't in the shot, we can see that he was given foot-pedals that his TIE silencer would have had if it were real. They could have easily saved money and not given him those. This is dedicated filmmaking and something that Star Wars fans truly appreciate.
8 Reaching For The Lightsaber
This behind-the-scenes image shows the making of one of the best scenes in The Last Jedi. Both Daisy Ridley and Rian Johnson seem to know that fans would be going crazy for this moment as they appear to be completely focused. Even Ridley has decided to spend less time with her orange juice and more on figuring out how she'll Force-call Kylo Ren's lightsaber to her hand.
Once again, we see how effective a physical set can be to an actor. Very little in this image ended up being manipulated by CGI. This allowed Ridley to be in the moment as she didn't have to use much of her imagination to create her surroundings.
7 Racing To The Rescue
The scene that Daisy Ridley is shooting here ended up being left on the cutting room floor. However, it does appear on the DVD and Blu-Ray for The Last Jedi. In the trailer, this clip was featured and was made out to be a part of a major scene. Little did we know then that the moment wasn't even important enough to keep in the final cut of the movie.
By the look on Ridley's face, she's giving this mad fash all she has. That's a real testament to the level of dedication she has to Rey and Star Wars.
6 Creating The Crystal Foxes
This crystal fox isn't entirely finished, but it likely wasn't ever meant to be on screen. It was probably used to give the filmmakers an idea of what they'd be creating in post-production. It was also probably 3D scanned into the computer for the effects team to replicate it digitally.
This behind-the-scenes image shows us the level of detail that the filmmakers put into these creatures. They clearly wanted to create a mammal that could exist on another planet, even if its fur was made out of crystals.
5 Inside The Millenium Falcon
One of the greatest joys the cast and crew of The Last Jedi must have been working with a practical Millenium Falcon. It's just one of the most iconic vehicles in cinema history. This behind-the-scenes image gives us a bit of insight on how they shot the interior of the cockpit.
Realistically, they had a front that could be added on if the shot included the control panel, or if they were filming through the windows. By being able to stick a camera right into the interior, they were able to easily capture the moments within. Working inside the Falcon must have been a total blast!
4 From Gollum To Snoke
By now, Andy Serkis is a pro at motion capture work. Given his demanding performances as Gollum in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit and as Caesar from Planet of the Apes, Snoke must have been a walk in the park. It's cool to see how into he seems.
All of the dots on Serkis' face are control points. They help the visual effects team track all of Serkis' facial movements and transfer them onto the digital double of Supreme Leader Snoke. This ensures a performance that is highly detailed, closer to reality, and honors the work of the actor.
3 Living In Close Quarters
In a previous behind-the-scenes image, we saw just how confined the cockpit of the Millenium Falcon was. This shot emphasizes that point even further. It seems like the movements of the main Porg had to be puppeted by people in green suits who were digitally removed later on. This means that the real-life actors, like the one playing Chewbacca, were in tight quarters. The set also must have gotten quite hot with all of those bodies and the lights glaring down on them.
Chewie appears to be a bit crowded in this shot. Just imagine what it would have been like for him if even more cast members were stuck in there!
2 Battle Preparations
Some of the scenes on Crait were shot on location, while others were in a climate-controlled studio. Realistically, this moment was done in the studio as the filmmakers had to create these trenches that the Resistance fighters were firing from. Moments like this could then be spliced into the real-life shots and then improved upon in post-production.
This behind-the-scenes image appears to be taken between shots, as crew members are spraying the ground with more salt. Additionally, the Resistance fighters in the background are receiving some sort of direction.
1 1 The Return Of The Legends
It was undeniably rad to see Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill share the screen after over thirty years. Behind-the-scenes photos such as this one make it even more special for fans, because we can get a glimpse into the personalities of the people who portrayed our favorite characters.
The photo also depicts Kathleen Kennedy and Rain Johnson hanging out with the Star Wars icons between takes. They could easily have been discussing the future of this iconic series. What fan wouldn't want to be a part of this hangout?
Which behind-the-scenes photo changes things for you? Let us know in the comments below!