At 2 hours and 32 minutes, The Last Jedi was the longest entry in the Star Wars saga – but it could have been even longer if Rian Johnson’s original cut of the film had been left unedited. As it was, the writer/director went through his movie with a fine tooth comb, even removing sizeable, important sequences, in order to get it as tight as possible.
Thankfully, the upcoming Blu-Ray release will give us a chance to see a whole 20 minutes of this deleted material. While chatting with Collider, Johnson was on hand to discuss two of the most significant scenes and apparently, one will feature Daisy Ridley’s Rey on Ahch-To.
“There are two big sequences that are really the kind of hero pieces of it. One is a whole other big thing between Rey and Luke on the island that involves the Caretaker creatures. You see this village where the Caretakers–the Nun Fish creatures–live, and it’s a sequence that I always really loved.
It’s a really beautiful sequence. It’s one of those things where … and this always happens in the edit, it’s like suddenly you can see through the Matrix and you’re like, “Oh my God, that big sequence that I love so much and I can’t imagine the movie without, if we lift it out and put these two things together, it plays in a slightly different way but it plays better.”
And you just kind of have that, “::sigh:: Shit,” and you hit delete. You don’t think about all the stuff we built on set to get the shots, you don’t think about all the work the actors and the crew did, you just hit one button and it’s gone and the movie’s better … It’s three, four minutes.”
The second major deleted scene involves Rose (Kelly Marie Tran), Finn (John Boyega) and DJ (Benicio Del Toro) on their mission to infiltrate the Supremacy, and Johnson reveals that much of Finn’s motivations were unfortunately chiseled out of the theatrical cut.
“There’s another sequence where Rose, and Finn, and DJ are sneaking through the Mega Destroyer, which is just another really fun, funny sequence, I think. That’s another four minutes, or something. But then there’s a lot of really substantial little scenes. There are scenes with Finn that ended up getting stripped away, kind of his motivation for going out to look for Rey. There’s a lot of stuff that I really love that I was really happy we were able to get back in there.”
While we’re interested to see those 20 minutes of deleted scenes, fans might wonder why we haven’t got the full half hour that was stripped from Johnson’s original 3-hour version of The Last Jedi. As the director explained to Collider, he only included those sequences that he thought would be interesting to the viewer on the Blu-Ray.
“We basically chose what went on the Deleted Scenes reel and what didn’t, and that was entirely based on, with each of them, “Is this scene interesting enough? Is it good enough for people’s time?” … There’s nothing that we purposefully held back. If we didn’t include it in the Deleted Scenes, it’s because we really didn’t need it in there. There’s nothing where it’s like, “Oh, this is good, let’s hold on to this.”
So, given that there are certain significant scenes that were removed from the theatrical edition, would Rian Johnson be interested in compiling a director’s cut of The Last Jedi, which reinserts all of these excised sequences? Apparently not, as he believes he wouldn’t be able to top the final version of the movie that he spent so long perfecting. In fact, he doesn’t think he’ll ever do an extended edition for any of his films.
“No. Nope, nope, nope. The final cut of the movie is the best cut of the movie that we could come up with. Everything that was taken out, even the stuff that I love so much, was taken out for a reason at the end of the day. For me personally, I’ve enjoyed extended cuts of other stuff, but I don’t think I would ever do one.”
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is expected to arrive on Blu-Ray and DVD on March 27th. Early reports claim it’ll feature 2 hours of bonus material and may even get a 4K release, which The Force Awakens has still yet to receive. As such, you’ll definitely want to pick it up.
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