The director of The Last Jedi (Rian Johnson) apparently asked the director of The Force Awakens (JJ Abrams) to change the end of his film. Johnson revealed this information this week alongside tiny details about how involved he was during the creation of the first film. At this point we’ve got to warn you that you’ll want to turn back if you’re not all about spoilers – though the spoilers are mainly for The Force Awakens, not so much The Last Jedi. Though if you want to be entirely vegan about the next film, now’s the time to click out.
Speaking with EW this week, Johnson made note that he had a big request of Abrams. He had to speak with Abrams during final production time for The Force Awakens. Both Abrams and co-screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan would have had to have agreed on the point.
The request was centered on the very last set of scenes in The Force Awakens, involving the droids both at the Resistance base and coming along to see Luke. Or to see if they could find Luke – whichever we prefer. It wasn’t R2-D2 who came along with Rey and Chewbacca in the original ending.
“I asked if R2 could come with Rey, and if BB-8 could stay behind with the Resistance,” said Johnson. “Originally it was BB-8 who went with Rey, which makes sense for the story in a way.” Almost like Luke bringing R2-D2 with him as his closest companion to meet with an old Jedi Master to train to be a Jedi.
But therein came the request. “But I asked, ‘Can you do me this solid and switch the droids?’” Johnson made clear that the switch didn’t mean that BB-8 was out or that R2-D2 would have been out, either way. It just made the start of the story in The Last Jedi work out in a slightly more concise way.
Johnson said that we’ll see BB-8 spending time with Poe Dameron during the film – which makes a lot of sense since BB-8 is, in reality, Dameron’s droid. R2-D2 will then stick close to Luke and Rey as they go through their adventure on Arch-To and elsewhere. While BB-8 and the fam will be playing a significant role in the film, the “main” adventure will focus on Luke, (and Rey, we presume).
“Figuring out where [Luke’s] head was at was the very first thing I had to do when writing the movie,” said Johnson. “I had to crack this. And it had to be something for me that first and foremost made sense. Why did Luke Skywalker go off to this island?”
“That was the starting point,” said Johnson, “and that’s what the entire movie explores.” While you’re here, have another peek at the teaser trailer to see if you can pick out any new tidbits now that we’ve got this new information. And stick around SlashGear’s Star Wars Twitter portal for more information as it unfolds!