Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson has explained why so many scenes featuring Finn were taken out. While the Star Wars series is no stranger to dividing reaction (think George Lucas’ prequel trilogy), The Last Jedi has proven to be arguably the most divisive of all. The movie scored high with critics upon release, but it didn’t take long for a vocal fan backlash to hit the film.
A number of fans took issue with how the movie dealt with mysteries set up in The Force Awakens, such as the identity of Supreme Leader Snoke and Rey’s parents. Most of their anger was directed at how the story depicted Luke Skywalker as a bitter, disillusioned old man who only takes action in the final act. It wasn’t the heroic return many wished for, and while many found the film’s subversion of expectations refreshing, it seems the movie is likely to inspire lively debate for some time to come.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi also made the decision to split the storylines of Rey and Finn, whose budding friendship was a big part of what made The Force Awakens work. While Rey is being trained by Luke, Finn teams up with newcomer Rose for a casino subplot that some critics felt extraneous. Finn was also the focus of a number of deleted scenes, including an alternate fight scene with Captain Phasma and an awkward encounter with a stormtrooper played by Tom Hardy. In a new interview with Digital Spy, Johnson explained why a number of Finn’s scenes had to go:
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.
The director was quick to point out that while some Finn scenes had to go to keep the momentum, it was nothing to do with Boyega’s performance:
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. You can see it in the deleted scenes, he’s freaking fantastic. John Boyega at his worst is better than most people at their best.
The Last Jedi had to cut out a number of sequences, including the final part of Rey’s training and Luke reflecting on Han Solo’s death – a scene Mark Hamill recently said he wished had made the movie. Still, the film doesn’t ultimately miss the deleted Finn scenes because the story works just as well without them, as Johnson noted.
Fans disappointed by Star Wars: The Last Jedi won’t have to wait long for the next movie, with Solo: A Star Wars Story arriving in theaters in May. That movie has suffered some high-profile setbacks along the way, but after being kept under wraps for a long time, a recent trailer seemed to ease fears surrounding the film.
Source: Digital Spy