Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson revealed to EW that he asked J.J. Abrams and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan to change the ending of the anticipated film. Johnson said “Yes … 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?’”
The reason being that R2-D2 had been relegated to the sidelines for much of the film, and Johnson wanted to use him more in The Last Jedi. Don't fret though BB-8 fans, as the adorable new droid will still play a big part in the new film, just as Poe Dameron's sidekick as opposed to Rey's. The advantage of being involved so early in the process shows here, as Johnson's request was addressed without a hitch in the production.
R2-D2's increased will be another way the new films intersect with the classic trilogy, but Last Jedi will differ from them in other ways, including how it begins. Johnson revealed at Star Wars Celebration Europe that "For the first time, we're breaking Star Wars tradition and starting our movie right where the last one left off. Skellig Michael is an incredibly mystical place. To be there and have that be the first thing we were shooting was an appropriately surreal way to start everything off."
Star Wars: The Last Jedi, from writer/director Rian Johnson, is in post-production now for a December 15, 2017, release. The film
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is slated for release on December 15, 2017. Han Solo: A Star Wars Story hits on May 25, 2018, while Star Wars: Episode IX has a release date of May 24, 2019.