The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson asked for a major change at the end of Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Johnson engineered an important reunion at the end of Episode VII

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It seems R2-D2 only ended up visiting Luke Skywalker on his island in the last scene of Star Wars: The Force Awakens after Rian Johnson told JJ Abrams that BB-8 wasn’t the droid he was looking for. 

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As he prepared to begin filming the next movie in the franchise, The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson intervened to make a special request.

Originally JJ Abrams’ movie The Force Awakens was meant to end with Rey and BB-8 standing across from Luke, but Johnson told Entertainment Weekly: “I asked if R2 could come with Rey, and if BB-8 could stay behind with the Resistance. Originally it was BB-8 who went with Rey, which makes sense for the story in a way.

“But I asked, ‘Can you do me this solid and switch the droids?”

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Abrams obliged, allowing Johnson to bring Luke together with his old buddy R2 instead of leaving him behind in perpetual sleep mode.

And leaving BB-8 with the Resistance also means he will have a key role to play in pilot Poe Dameron’s storyline – even if that means spending less time rolling along next to Rey. 

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Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi will be released in December 2017