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Years after its release, Star Wars: The Last Jedi continues to be the subject of much conversation within the community. Rian Johnson crafted a subversive sequel that was originally the subject of backlash, while being applauded by other parts of the fandom. One of the most discussed aspects of Episode VIII was the handling of Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker, who was jaded and isolated from The Force. And now Johnson has explained why he cut one key scene with Luke and Rey.
Rey travels to Ach-To to recruit Luke, and briefly trains with him on the island planet during The Last Jedi. One of his lessons to his final apprentice involve the planet's adorable villagers, but was ultimately taken out of the movie's theatrical cut. A fan recently asked Rian Johnson why that sequence got the axe, to with the Knives Out filmmaker responding with,
Well, that's pretty cut and dry. Star Wars movies shoot a ton of footage, and there's always plenty of scenes that end up deleted. The Last Jedi had three very distinct stories being told, so Rian Johnson had to be methodical about what made up the blockbuster's 152-minute runtime. And that included Rey and Luke's brief training.
Rian Johnson answered the fan question about Star Wars: The Last Jedi over on his personal Twitter account. Johnson regularly uses the social media platform to directly communicate with the fans, especially regarding his work on Star Wars. Since his blockbuster subverted so many expectations, the conversation has now lasted years. But he's still happy to engage, and peel back the curtain on the galaxy far, far away.
Star Wars fans can re-watch The Last Jedi on Disney+. You can use this link for a free 7-day trial to the streaming service.
In The Last Jedi's theatrical cut, we're only shown two of Luke's three lessons for Rey. The third one involved the villagers who live on Ach-To, as he baited her into rushing into a situation saber first. As a reminder, you can check out the sequence in question below.
While the above sequence completed Luke's three-lesson plan for Rey, it didn't exactly move the story forward. Instead, it was a moment of levity, one that probably could have gotten a laugh in theaters. But it ended up on the cutting room floor, with Rey leaving Luke and heading to Crait to help out her friends.
Luke and Rey's relationship got more fleshed out in The Rise of Skywalker, with Mark Hamill's signature character returning as a Force Ghost. After being trained in the ways of the Jedi by Leia, Rey was able to gain a deeper understanding of the past thanks to Luke. Plus, his powers got her off of Ach-To and gifted her with Leia's hidden lightsaber.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is currently available on DVD and Blu-ray. Be sure to check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.