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The Last Jedi Director Explains Why So Many Finn Scenes Were Cut

Star Wars: The Last Jedi will soon be available to snatch up on Blu-ray and DVD, a release that Lucasfilm has teased with sprinklings of scenes that were snipped from writer-director Rian Johnson's hefty two-and-a-half-hour theatrical cut. As many Star Wars fans have noticed, a lot of these deleted moments have one thing in common: they feature John Boyega's defected Stormtrooper-turned-Rebel supporter Finn. So what gives? Why were so many Finn scenes clipped out of The Last Jedi?

Digital Spy asked Johnson these questions in a recent interview. Thankfully, the creative wasn't shy about getting down to brass tacks to explain why we've seen an alternate opening featuring Finn... and Finn's extended fight scene with Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie)... and multiple scenes in which Finn sports a First Order uniform and infiltrates Supreme Leader Snoke's (Andy Serkis) flagship. The reason these moments didn't make the cut? According to Johnson, they were "connective material."

"A lot of the Finn scenes that were cut are connective material," he explained. "For instance, there's a scene where he's on the ship, and BB-8 comes in and shows him ... a recording he made of Rey [Daisy Ridley] 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 realized that we could take it out and the audience would know he's holding Rey's beacon and [would think] 'oh, he's going to save her,' and they would make that leap, suddenly, you can't justify that scene being there."

Johnson then noted that some Finn scenes were scrapped to maintain a consistent momentum, and that The Last Jedi would still make sense from all narrative perspectives without them. "I think as opposed to Rey, where somebody like Rey had longer sequences on the island that were with Luke [Skywalker, played by Mark Hamill] ... 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,'" Johnson said.

The filmmaker was quick to assure that the decision to delete as many Finn scenes as he and the editors did had nothing to do with Boyega's performance, so anyone hoping for some Star Wars director-versus-Star Wars actor drama will have to look elsewhere. "You can see it in the deleted scenes, he's freaking fantastic," stated Johnson. "John Boyega at his worst is better than most people at their best."

A number of other Last Jedi sequences were left on the editing room, like the last portion of Rey's training with Luke, an explanation as to why Rey left Ahch-To, and a moment where Luke mourns the loss of his dear friend Han Solo (Harrison Ford), a moment actor Mark Hamill recently admitted he wished would have made it into the final cut of the film.