Phasma Madness, Rey Rage & More: Here are the First Details on Star Wars: The Last Jedi‘s Deleted Scenes
The home release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi is like manna from heaven for Star Wars fans. It’s when we not only get to own the film so we can watch it, again and again, parsing for the small details we missed in the theater, but also when we get to see those delicious deleted scenes. Delicious because the scenes that didn’t make the final cut can offer a ton of context and a deeper understanding of what writer/director Rian Johnson was going for in his ambitious, gorgeous and occasionally misunderstood film.
Entertainment Weekly has the first look at the deleted scenes, detailing five specific sequences that were cut. Considering there will be 14 deleted scenes in total, this is but a portion of what we’ll be learning from the home release, yet these deleted scenes offer a wealth of fresh insight into Johnson’s beguiling, bold vision. Character motivations, intriguing “what ifs” and curiosities abound!
“I love each one of the scenes individually,” Johnson told EW. “I mean, every single one of them was not cut because it didn’t work. It was cut because the movie as a whole was better without it. So with each one of them, it’s that strange combination where it feels awful to cut it, but it feels good to cut it, because suddenly the pacing of a section of the movie feels much better, or suddenly the film is cleaner, or clearer, in many different ways.”
Let’s take a brief look at what these five scenes are:
Rey and the Goons Who Raid the Caretaker village
While Last Jedi suggested that Luke was essentially alone on Ahch-To, save for the Caretakers, porgs and Thala Sirens, one deleted scene showed that Ahch-To was semi-regularly raided by a warring tribe.
The scene shows Rey spotting lights out on the sea approaching the Ahch-To shoreline. When Luke tells her they’re members of a tribe come to raid the Caretaker village, Rey is ready to unleash her lightsaber, but Luke stays her hand. He tells her that if she gets involved, the tribe will simply send more fighters, and her intrusion will perpetuate the problem. This is in keeping with his worldview after the tragedy with Ben Solo/Kylo Ren: the more good a Jedi (or potential Jedi) tries to do, the more problems it creates.
Rey’s not having it, however. She races down to the beach with her lightsaber out. This is the moment she’s decided Luke has lost whatever valor he once had. This scene was to fall right before the first time Rey has the force connection with Kylo Ren. So instead of first connecting with her nemesis after a bad moment with Luke, she’s coming into it after a more hopeful exchange. This means that when Luke finds her talking to Kylo, he’s especially hurt because he had thought they were making progress. Had they already had their issues with the raiders, it might have had less impact.
BB-8 Delivers Finn a Key Message
There’s a long-standing history of droids delivering crucial holographic messages in Star Wars, with R2-D2’s carry Leia’s message to Obi-Wan in the first film being the most iconic. It turns out that The Last Jedi contained a similarly important holographic message, carried by BB-8, only it wasn’t intended to be shared.
Finn is considering whether to abandon the Resistance in order to find Rey, and in this deleted scene, BB-8 rolls up and shows him Rey’s emotional farewell to him while he was unconscious and recovering from his Kylo Ren inflicted wounds.
“I was looking for any opportunity I could to emotionally connect those two,” Johnson told EW. “I thought it was a really sweet little scene. I loved John Boyega’s performance in it. Ultimately it was meant to explain his motivation for going [to find Rey and quit the Resistance], but we realized that you understood his motivation, because he tells it to Rose. Once we realized we could get away without it, it was something that just naturally fell away.”
BB-8 is a willful little droid, and while the scene was cut, we now know that BB-8 is apparently always watching, and, possibly recording what’s going on around him.
One of the most heartbreaking moments in The Last Jedi is when Luke finds out his old friend Han Solo is dead. In this deleted scene, we see Luke dealing with this momentous news.
Luke retires to his stone hut to think about Han, and then the scene cuts to Leia, sitting in a window on her Resistance ship Raddus, having a similar moment of reflection and grief.
Ultimately Johnson decided they didn’t need to leave Luke’s remote island and what was happening there between him and Rey. It would have been nice to see both Luke and Leia honoring one of the most beloved Star Wars characters ever, but Johnson said that he felt they got a similar beat later on with Luke in Falcon with R2.
Infiltrating Snoke’s Star Destroyer
One of the major plotlines in The Last Jedi was Finn and Rose’s mission to shut down the tracking device on Snoke’s star destroyer, The Supremacy. In the deleted scene, we watch them steal First Order uniforms and penetrate deeper into the star destroyer, only to have their plans ruined by a talkative Stormtrooper in an elevator who’s sure he recognizes Finn. The Stormtrooper eventually does recognize him, and Finn then learns that the First Order has been lying about his defection and role in the Resistance. This Stormtrooper wrongly believes that Finn’s been promoted to an officer, and that’s where he’s been.
It would have been funny to see that, like corporations the world over, even the villainous First Order understands they want to mitigate bad PR, and losing Finn to the Resistance is certainly that.
A Different Showdown Between Finn vs. Phasma
The showdown we saw between Finn and Phasma in The Last Jedi was the product of re-shoots. It turns out that, originally, Johnson had a different demise in mind for the coolest looking Stormtrooper of all time.
In this deleted scene, Phasma has the upper hand on Finn, beating him in their duel and having him surrounded by Stormtroopers. Yet Finn starts telling the assembled First Order troops about how Phasma gave him the Starkiller Base shield codes in The Force Awakens in order to save her own life.
Before her fellow Stormtroopers can react to this information, Phasma cus them down. Then she and Finn go at again for round down, where she’s eventually sent into the inferno below.
Johnson ultimately went with the duel we all saw because of pacing reasons. The longer battle, with the Force Awakens callback, was taking too long to play out.
“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,” Johnson told EW. “But we needed a much more condensed version of that scene, where essentially it’s the same outcome.”
Yet we never see her actually die. Might Phasma return from the dead—again—for Episode IX?
Featured image: Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Courtesy Lucasfilm/Walt Disney Studios.