Why Star Wars: The Last Jedi Cut So Many Finn Scenes, According To Rian Johnson

John Boyega as Finn in Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Finn was one of the many new protagonists introduced in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and going into Star Wars: The Last Jedi, he continued to be an important player in the story revolving around the conflict between The First Order and The Resistance. However, if you look through The Last Jedi's deleted scenes, you'll notice that a lot of them include Finn. Lest some of you might think that means that Rian Johnson doesn't care for John Boyega's character, the director/writer set the record straight and explained that many of the cut Finn scenes were removed because they simply helped with transitioning from one moment to another. As Johnson put it:

A lot of the Finn scenes that were cut are connective material. For instance, there's a scene where he's on the ship, and BB-8 comes in and shows him... basically, BB-8 shows him a recording he made of Rey saying goodbye to him. That's when he decides, 'Oh my God, I'm going to go save Rey'. In a scene like that, it was totally lovely. But once we realised that we could take it out and the audience would know he's holding Rey's beacon, and 'oh, he's going to save her', and they would make that leap -- suddenly, you can't justify that scene being there.

Putting a movie together is difficult, and sometimes even if a director likes a scene, it becomes necessary to remove it for the betterment of the final product. In the case of these deleted Finn scenes in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, it sounds like while they were certainly well shot, in the end they were redundant, and there were other moments that helped move the story along at a more efficient pace. As Rian Johnson noted to Digital Spy, these quick Finn moments contrasted with the extended moments featuring Daisy Ridley's Rey. Johnson continued:

I think as opposed to Rey, where somebody like Rey had longer sequences on the island that were with Luke -- with Finn, because his was a little more plotty in terms of it, there were more little scenes like that where we were like, 'Oh, we can do without this, we can do without that', and have his character arc still hold up.

Among the notable Finn scenes that didn't make Star Wars: The Last Jedi's final version was the extended sequence of him infiltrating Supreme Leader Snoke's ship with Rose Tico and DJ, as well as the alternate fight between him and Captain Phasma. However, even with so many of his scenes cut out, Finn still had a strong presence during the movie, and Rian Johnson made sure to compliment John Boyega for his work on the movie, saying that the actor "at his worst is better than most people at their best." Besides, it's not like Finn was the only character in The Last Jedi who had one or more of their scenes cut out due to redundancy. As an example, Johnson removed an emotional moment between Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa because he felt the same beat was being hit in the scene between Luke and R2-D2 aboard the Millennium Falcon.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is now available one Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD. Finn, Rey, Poe Dameron and the rest of the current trilogy gang will return when Episode IX is released on December 20, 2019. But before that, you can travel back to a galaxy far, far away when Solo: A Star Wars Story hits theaters on May 25.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.