There was an unexpected moment in Star Wars: The Last Jedi that took many fans by surprise, but it turns out there was a very specific reason for what some thought was an arbitrary choice.
SPOILERS for Star Wars: The Last Jedi follow.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi establishes that there is a connection between Kylo Ren and Rey. Their minds are somehow connected by the force and as a result, they are able to communicate with each other across the galaxy. In one such scene Kylo Ren, played by Adam Driver, appears with his shirt off, and Rey comments on his toplessness.
Director Rian Johnson didn't just have Driver take his shirt off for no reason. According to those who worked with Johnson on the film, it was a decision specifically made so that Rey could comment on it, further illustrating how the Force connection between the two works.
"The way in which [director Rian Johnson] decided to create the Force connection by just simply doing vertical cuts without using any CG...it's pure simplicity in terms of filmmaking with visual cuts," Star Wars: The Last Jedi co-sound supervisor Ren Klyce tells The Huffington Post. "We cut to her side; we cut to Kylo Ren; we cut to her; and back and forth."
Having Kylo Ren be shirtless and having Rey react to that informs audiences about what exactly Rey is seeing during these Force communications.
"That was important to establish what she was actually seeing," Klyce says. "Was she hearing his voice or seeing his face or just his eyes? And so that [shirtless scene] is to inform the audience, 'Oh, she can see his body.' It's also good humor."
Star Wars: The Last Jedi editor Bob Ducsay confirms that Klyce's explanation is "exactly right," explaining that the Force connection scenes were meant to be shot "as if they were in the same room together, even though they're not."
"Over the course of those sequences, you come to understand all the rules of" that Force connection, Ducsay says. "Ultimately, it's just good storytelling if the audience is learning things the same time the characters they're following are, instead of ahead or behind."
Star Wars: The Last Jedi currently has an 84.53 ComicBook.com Composite Score. Star Wars: The Last Jedi also has a 4.06 out of 5 ComicBook.com User Rating. Let us know what you thought of Star Wars: The Last Jedi by giving the film your own personal ComicBook.com User Rating below.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is now playing in theaters. Its sequel and the final installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, Star Wars: Episode IX, will release in theaters on December 20, 2019. The next standalone Star Wars movie, Solo: A Star Wars Story, opens in theaters on May 25, 2018.