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The Last Jedi Almost Had A Different Ending

Contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Director Rian Johnson decided to end The Last Jedi with a shot that points to a broader future in the Star Wars galaxy, but he was this close to going with something more traditional.

In the final scene, after Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) sacrifices himself and Rey (Daisy Ridley) saves all of the Resistance survivors, we're taken back to Canto Bight to see the little kids who helped Finn (John Boyega) and Rose (Kelly Marie Tran). One of them walks off and uses the Force to grab a broom, which he then holds like a lightsaber. Although the Resistance is in retreat, the ending hints that there's another generation of Force-sensitive kids on the horizon.

However, Johnson told Empire that he considered ending the movie with the remaining Resistance fighters on the Millennium Falcon. 

"That was something I really stuck to, and believe me, we went back and forth in the editing room," Johnson said. "In the script, when I wrote that scene in the Falcon, I wrote the words, 'This seems like the perfect image to end on.' To me, it was really important to have that final scene, because it turns what Luke did from an act that saves 20 people into an act that inspires the galaxy. The notion that what we're setting up here is something big in the next chapter. And when Leia says, 'We have everything we need,' she's talking about everyone on the Falcon, but also about what we see next, which is we now have a galaxy that has seen this beacon of hope and is getting inspired to fight the good fight."

Johnson also said he thought about changing up the storyline for Leia Organa after Carrie Fisher died in late 2016, but he decided to keep everything as it is.

"Nothing changed," he said. "We discussed it briefly, and I spoke with Kathy (Kennedy, producer and Lucasfilm head) when we came back after New Year's. We watched through [Fisher's] scenes and there was briefly talk of, 'God, do we adjust something so that we give her some kind of end in this movie?' I felt strongly that we shouldn't do that for a couple of reasons. We have a beautiful, complete performance from her, and that final moment is so powerful for her, and for us saying goodbye to her. And also, I can't imagine anything that we would be able to manufacture without having Carrie that would've been emotionally satisfying. I definitely I have no idea what would maintain that scene between her and Luke, or the scene in the Falcon. So we just decided to let it lie. I know J.J. [Abrams is] going to come up with a way to resolve her in the next movie."

Although many fans were split on The Last Jedi, it did end up as the top domestic release of 2017.