New details have emerged about what changed in Star Wars: The Last Jedi during the project's reshoots. While these pickups weren't nearly as extensive as franchise spinoffs Rogue One and Solo (see: the lack of news headlines about them), additional photography is still common in the realm of tentpole filmmaking. They allow directors to fine-tune certain sequences before locking final picture. J.J. Abrams' reshoots on The Force Awakens resulted in some intense moments during Rey and Kylo Ren's lightsaber duel, for instance.
Much has been made about how smooth The Last Jedi process was, as Lucasfilm was so impressed with director Rian Johnson, they handed him his own all-new trilogy without so much as a story in place. While this is one of the few Star Wars movies to be finished without any substantial behind-the-scenes woes, some aspects needed to be altered before Episode VIII was released in theaters.
A new report by /Film has the rundown, beginning with the divisive Canto Bight detour. Most notably, the reshoots added the first appearance of the "broom boy" in the Fathier stables while Rose Tico tells Finn the story of her childhood and why she despises the casino city. Initially, the two Resistance heroes swapped backstories and learned they both had family members captured by the First Order, but this exchange was removed from Last Jedi. An argument can be made it would have been worth keeping in, as it strengthens the Finn/Rose dynamic, but it was perhaps more important to establish the broom kid in order to properly pay off the film's final shot. Finn and Rose had enough time onscreen together that the fact they have similar pasts doesn't add that much value to their overall relationship.
The other major adjustment made in Last Jedi reshoots was the characterization of Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo, who assumes command of the Resistance while General Leia Organa is recovering from her injuries. She has an antagonistic relationship with Poe Dameron, and originally Holdo was far more "condescending" towards the pilot than what's shown in the film, addressing him as "honey" and "flyboy." In the changes, Holdo's rougher edges were softened to make her a more likable character. Considering it's Holdo who pulls off the shocking maneuver of suicide bombing by light speed (flying the Raddus through Snoke's Star Destroyer), this reads as a necessary fix so the action has more emotional weight. /Film notes there's a giveaway present in The Last Jedi, as Laura Dern's lips do not always match ADR'd dialogue in some scenes.
Considering Rogue One's third act was completely redone and Ron Howard reshot nearly 80 percent of Solo to get that movie up to speed, this is small potatoes for Lucasfilm. From the sound of things, Johnson was quite efficient during production, knowing exactly what he wanted and kept things moving along. It's no surprise he'll be back in the galaxy far, far away in the near future, especially with the studio having numerous director issues this year.
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019