Star Wars: The Last Jedi arrives in theaters next weekend and, in case you didn't already know, it's going to be the longest movie in the franchise to date. The cut of the movie that fans are going to see is a whopping 153 minutes, or just over two and a half hours. That's a whole lot of Star Wars to take in at once. However, as director Rian Johnson has revealed in a new interview, the original cut of the movie was more than three hours. Here's what he had to say about it.
"We had a long movie from the start. It was well over three hours, the first cut... It's much better at two and a half [hours] than it was at over three, but it was a cut I had put together, is where we started. And it was over three hours."
Not that a lot of Star Wars fans would have an issue sitting through a three-hour long version of The Last Jedi, but Rian Johnson feels the movie is better this way. Ultimately, less is more sometimes. As for what was cut out? Even though he feels the version of the movie we're getting is the better version, some of his favorite stuff wound up on the cutting room floor.
"A lot of really good stuff came out in the edit. I actually just reviewed the deleted scenes we're gonna have on the Blu-ray. There's a bunch of, some of my favorite scenes ended up having to come out just structurally... There's a lot of really substantial, really good scenes. There's a couple whole sequences actually that we lifted out. It's weirdly, and this always happens, it's like your babies you have to kill. It's some of my favorite stuff from the movie."
Luckily, the eventual Blu-ray release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi next year will allow fans to see some of this cherished footage. But what about a Rian Johnson director's cut of the latest chapter of the Skywalker saga? Don't get your hopes up, as Johnson says the cut of the movie being released is his director's cut.
"I'm really not into [releasing an extended cut]. I feel like the cut is what it is because I feel like it's the best version of the movie, so the 'director's cut' is the movie that's going out in theaters. All the deleted scenes, no matter how much I love them, they came out for a reason and it's all for the greater good of the movie itself. You can watch the deleted scenes on their own, I think that's the way to watch them, but the movie is definitely the best version of the movie I think."
Disney and Lucasfilm gave Rian Johnson a lot of freedom with Star Wars: The Last Jedi and it apparently worked out very well. Word on the movie has been only positive thus far and the studio is trusting him with a brand new trilogy of Star Wars movies totally unconnected to the current movies. This interview with Collider only further serves to encourage. Star Wars: The Last Jedi could be something special. Or, at the very least, it probably won't suck.