While The Last Jedi is already the longest Star Wars film at around two and a half hours it was once even longer, with director Rian Johnson’s first cut coming in at a whopping three hours and ten minutes before he and his editing team considerably cut it down to size.
But happily, fans will still get to see some of the material that ended up on the cutting room floor, with around 20 minutes of deleted scenes from Episode VIII set to be included on the DVD/Blu-Ray release when it comes out next year.
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And now, /Film has some great detail of what we can expect in the new footage, which we’ve broken down for you below.
One last Jedi lesson
Apparently, one removed scene takes place on Luke’s (Mark Hamill) island home of Ach-To, where Rey (Daisy Ridley) is still attempting to have the craggy old Jedi train her. In the deleted footage, the pair see a large fire burning on the other side of the island, which Luke tells Rey is a result of regular bandit raiders who attack the village.
Rey wants to help, but Luke says they’ll only come back stronger, and that true Jedi would let the Fish-like Caretakers and Porgs who live there die to maintain balance. Instead, Ridley’s Rey uses a force-assisted run to sprint her way towards the commotion and burst in, lightsaber drawn – only to find it’s actually just the Caretakers, Porgs, Chewie and R2-D2 (wearing a “festive necklace”) having a party with a big campfire.
As it turns out, Luke was just trying to show Rey that the inaction of the original Jedi was not something to aspire to, but after upsetting her so much realises he went too far. Rey cries, telling him that her real friends are dying and “that old legend of Luke Skywalker that you hate so much, I believed in it.”
Apparently, the scene was cut because it made Luke look too unsympathetic, but a legacy of it remains – you can still see that footage of Rey running with the lightsaber in some of the trailers, despite it not making the finished film.
“It’s basically like the third lesson where Rey has a big scene with the Caretakers, which are those sort of Nun like fish characters, the people who take care of the island,” editor Bob Duscay said of the sequence.
“And that’s a very elaborate, involved scene. And it’s very funny and it’s very good. And we cut it, I mean, it had actually progressed quite a bit. And it’s very, very good.”
More deleted material on the DVD will come from the Canto Bight casino sequence, with all sorts of outer-space high-rollers (including one thrown into the air by the Fathier stampede) not having made it into the final cut of The Last Jedi and dialogue between Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) and Finn (John Boyega) where she accuses him of “pining for Rey” in a more overt display of a love triangle than was in the finished film.
Finn’s lines from the trailers that he was “raised to fight” and “finally found something to fight for” with Rey also apparently comes from this sequence.
Fun with stormtroopers
More scenes from Rose and Finn’s storyline were also cut down, with the pair’s attempted infiltration of Supreme Leader Snoke’s ship (along with Benicio del Toro’s DJ) featuring more material of the gang desperately squeezing into the First Order uniforms, dodging real officers and dealing with a group of stormtroopers in the elevator.
It was this last scene that reportedly saw Tom Hardy’s cameo in the film, with the Taboo and Inception star playing a stormtrooper who recognises Finn from his own First Order days and said (with a thick southern accent) “I know who you are…. FN 2187! Damn boy, I never took you for officer material!”
Later on, DJ’s betrayal gets a little extra gag where Rose yells “How could you?” and DJ replies “I’m sorry I turned out to be exactly what I said I was.”
Captain Phasma’s big exit
After Gwendoline Christie’s chrome-plated trooper Captain Phasma is defeated by Finn in single combat, the ex-stormtrooper originally pleads with some of his former fellow soldiers to join him in the Resistance, revealing that Phasma is no-one worth following considering how easily she sold out in The Force Awakens (when she shut down the shield generator for him and Harrison Ford’s Han Solo).
However, before the troopers can decide whether to join him or not Phasma ruthlessly guns them down.
Keep Holdo-ing on
Apparently, Laura Dern’s character Admiral Holdo was originally even more ambiguous, with the newly-appointed Resistance leader being quite condescending to Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron in scenes that Johnson later decided made her too unlikable.
Some of this dialogue was changed simply by redubbing, which apparently can be spotted in certain scenes.
Finn and Poe, together again
And finally, the last main deleted scene came from early in the film, when a newly-awakened Finn is brought up to speed on events by Poe.
“There’s a scene where Poe first meets up with Finn after he’s sort of recovered,” Duscay said. “And this, it goes right before Leia slaps Poe. After they come out of hyperspace. And it’s really just a buddy scene. And he basically is bringing him up to speed. And it’s a really, really good character scene.
“And the only reason it’s not in the movie is just because of time. I really love that scene. But it’s the sort of thing you can just put in, you go ah that’s good. But there’s nothing we took out of the movie that shouldn’t be taken out of the movie.
“Because the thing is ultimately you put this thing together and it’s the screenplay of the movie and then you go yeah, okay, so now we’re on this new stage, which is now we have to tell the best story, which isn’t everything that’s in the screenplay or everything that was thought of.”
Not to worry – in this age of online media and Blu-Ray extras, no scene remains on the cutting floor forever.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is in cinemas now