10 Fascinating Behind-The-Scenes Facts From Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Perhaps more so than most major studios, Lucasfilm is notorious for maintaining the secrecy of what goes on behind the scenes when a new Star Wars film is in production. Once said film has been released into the ether, though, the floodgates open and all of the juicy tidbits from the other side of the camera begin to emerge.

With that in mind, here are 10 fascinating behind-the-scenes facts from Star Wars: The Last Jedi:

  1. Double Skywalker

    Obviously, fans are well aware that in The Last Jedi, franchise veteran Mark Hamill reprised his role as Luke Skywalker. However, that wasn’t the actor’s only credit in the film. In addition to Luke, Hamill also did the motion-capture for the CG alien in Canto Bight who repeatedly placed coins inside BB-8, as if the small droid was a slot machine. The alien’s name, Dobbu Scay, is derived from “Double Skywalker,” as a reference to Hamill’s dual roles.

  2. Ahch-Too Many Stairs

    No longer the spry young man he was during the filming of the original trilogy, Mark Hamill had some difficulty completing the grueling 600-foot climb to the top of the mountain on Skellig Michael Island in Ireland, which served as the shooting location of The Last Jedi’s Ahch-To scenes. In an attempt to mitigate the toll the journey took on his body, Hamill suggested that he simply remain on the summit and sleep in a tent, thus eliminating the need for him to repeat the daunting task. Unfortunately, though, this seemingly harmless idea was quickly shot down by Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy since the location is a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  3. The Real Reason For The Porgs

    Much like the ewoks in Return of the Jedi, many fans believed that the porgs in The Last Jedi were nothing more than a cash-grab meant to appeal to younger audiences. In actuality, though, there’s a practical reason for their inclusion in the film. According to director Rian Johnson, the porgs are a result of puffins being native to Skellig Michael, the aforementioned island where the Ahch-To scenes were filmed. As a protected species, Johnson wasn’t permitted to remove them while shooting, and since digitally removing them would have been far too laborious, he opted to instead use CGI to transform them into the new, cuddly creatures we see in the film.

  4. Don’t Call Her A Mary Sue

    One of the common complaints of The Force Awakens was that Daisy Ridley’s Rey was a Mary Sue – an idealized and seemingly perfect character who was inexplicably adept at everything the plot required. However, it turns out that much like Rey, Ridley is just naturally gifted. According to stunt coordinator Liang Yang, the lightsaber choreography Ridley performs in The Last Jedi typically takes upwards of three days to master. For Ridley, it only took about 90 minutes.

  5. The Golden Dice Return

    The golden dice hanging in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon first appeared in A New Hope before mysteriously vanishing in the subsequent films of the original trilogy, which is the type of minor detail that only Star Wars fans would take issue with. And while the dice appeared briefly in The Force Awakens, they make their third and most prominent appearance in The Last Jedi – first when Luke takes them from the Falcon’s cockpit, then when he hands them to Leia on Crait, and finally when they disappear after being found by Kylo Ren.

  6. Can’t Stop This Feeling

    Having been said in every other Star Wars film to date, the phrase “I have a bad feeling about this” was conspicuous by its absence in The Last Jedi. Leave it to Rian Johnson to subvert expectations in this regard, as well, because according to the director, the line is in the film, even though we don’t technically hear it. When Poe Dameron is approaching the Dreadnaught in the opening sequence, BB-8 lets out some alarmed chirps, to which Poe replies “Happy beeps, buddy.” In an interview, Johnson confirmed that those chirps are, in fact, BB-8 “saying” the iconic line, which is actually a pretty clever creative decision.

  7. Say My Name

    Star Wars films aren’t known for having the actual title spoken in said film. In fact, it wasn’t until Rogue One that a character said the title in a line of dialogue. In The Last Jedi, we see this happen once again when Luke says to Kylo Ren, “I will not be the last Jedi.” True, it’s not exactly a behind-the-scenes fact, but it’s interesting, nonetheless.

  8. It’s A Long One

    Clocking in at 152 minutes, The Last Jedi is currently the longest movie in the Star Wars franchise, a record previously held by Attack of the Clones (142 min.). However, reports suggest that Rian Johnson’s original cut was over three hours. Apparently, Johnson cut between 45 and 60 min. of additional footage to give The Last Jedi a runtime more suitable for general audiences. 

  9. Hands Up

    The Last Jedi marks the first time in a Star Wars trilogy in which the main protagonist doesn’t lose a hand during a lightsaber battle in the second film (Luke loses his in The Empire Strikes Back and Anakin loses his in Attack of the Clones). Much like the “I have a bad feeling about this” line, though, Johnson still honors this franchise staple, albeit with more subtlety. When Kylo Ren betrays Supreme Leader Snoke and cuts him in half with Rey’s lightsaber, the blade clearly slices through Snoke’s torso. What’s less obvious is that the blade also slices through his arms, which is perhaps most noticeable when General Hux discovers Snoke’s dismembered body after the duel between Rey, Kylo, and the Elite Praetorian Guard.

  10. Those Skywalkers And Their Laser Swords

    When Rey is trying to convince Luke to come to the aid of the Resistance, he sarcastically asks if she expects him to single-handedly defeat the First Order with his “laser sword.” Luke referring to a lightsaber as a laser sword isn’t just him mocking Rey, though. In The Phantom Menace, young Anakin Skywalkers tells Qui-Gon Jinn that he knows he’s a Jedi because he saw his laser sword, and only Jedi carry that kind of weapon. And while Luke using that term is certainly an homage to his father, it has even deeper roots in Star Wars lore. Back when George Lucas was drafting the original script for Star Wars (now called A New Hope, but referred to as The Adventures of the Starkiller: Episode I — The Star Wars at the time), he also referred to the iconic Jedi weapons as laser swords, which makes Luke’s line a clever nod to the father of the franchise.

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