Rian Johnson, the director of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, has revealed why he cut Rey’s third lesson from the film.
In The Last Jedi we got to see Rey participate in Jedi training with Luke Skywalker, bringing us right back to Luke’s own training with Master Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back.
Luke told Rey that there would be three lessons but in the theatrical cut, we only get to see two before Rey shoots off to go after Ben. The film’s home release reveals this third lesson but why didn’t it make the film? Director Rian Johnson reveals why when responding to a fan on Twitter:
“Mostly pace, and something about it always felt a little repetitive. Coming at a point in the movie where we want to hit the gas and start escalating towards the finale. I love the scene, it was a tough (but ultimately good) cut.”
Mostly pace, and something about it always felt a little repetitive, coming at a point in the movie where we want to hit the gas and start escalating towards the finale. I love the scene, it was a tough (but ultimately good) cut.
— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) April 15, 2020
Johnson provides an even more detailed explanation on his Disney+ commentary:
“Taken on its own I love everything in here but pacing wise there was always something about it that kind of stuck, and it just felt like at this point in the movie, you watch the whole thing in context and you felt like you just wanted to move past it. Once we lifted it out and realized if we ended on that beat of her saying ‘Kylo failed you, I won’t,’ it worked just as well. In a different way, but just as well. It’s another one of those things where when you take something out, stick the two things together and realize it works. It’s really, really hard to come up with an argument for keeping it in, especially if it helps the pacing and especially if you have a movie that’s as big and long as this one. And especially if you know in the back of your head ‘well, at least they’ll be able to watch it in the deleted scenes.'”
The scene certainly adds a little something extra to Rey’s training but perhaps it was the right call to benefit the film’s pacing and excitement factor. At least it wasn’t lost forever and we still get to see it.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi stars Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Carrie Fisher (Leia Organa), Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), Daisy Ridley (Rey), John Boyega (Finn), Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron), Lupita Nyong’o (Maz Kanata), Domhnall Gleeson (General Hux), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Gwendoline Christie (Captain Phasma), Kelly Marie Tran (Rose Tico), Laura Dern (Vice Admiral Holdo), Billie Lourd (Lieutenant Connix), Andy Serkis (Supreme Leader Snoke), Benicio Del Toro (DJ), Peter Mayhew and Joonas Suotamo (Chewbacca), Tim Rose (Admiral Ackbar), Mike Quinn (Nien Nunb) and Jimmy Vee (R2-D2).