Most people remember Star Wars: The Force Awakens ending with Rey discovering Luke Skywalker, extending her lightsaber-holding arm toward him. It’s one of the more memorable moments, but Rian Johnson, director of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, said there was an important part of the scene in question that he asked director J.J. Abrams to change.
Rey wasn’t alone, though; she was accompanied by R2-D2, Luke’s right-hand droid. Johnson told Entertainment Weekly that Abrams originally had BB-8 accompany Rey to go find Luke. When Johnson found the information out, he personally asked Abrams to switch the droids around.
“The big [favor] was, I asked if R2 could come with Rey, and if BB-8 could stay behind with the Resistance,” Johnson says. “Originally it was BB-8 who went with Rey, which makes sense for the story in a way. But I asked, ‘Can you do me this solid and switch the droids?’”
As a result, BB-8 remained by Finn’s side while he lay comatose at the Resistance’s base while R2-D2 was reunited with his closest friend. Johnson added that when he sat down to start planning The Last Jedi, his primary concern was always Luke. Having the character reunited with R2-D2 helped to create the setting.
“Why did Luke Skywalker go off to this island?” Johnson said. “That was the starting point, and that’s what the entire movie explores … There has to be a good reason that makes sense to him [to run away] — and to some degree makes sense to us.”
Johnson and the cast of The Last Jedi debuted the first trailer for the movie at Star Wars Celebration last month. The film will be released on Dec. 15.