For all of the incredible action featured in The Last Jedi, the latest installment in the Star Wars saga also delivered audiences incredibly powerful emotional moments, with a majority of those centering around Leia Organa. The moment where Luke watches the first message he ever saw from Leia was one of the more effective, a scene made all the more effective by writer/director Rian Johnson using archival footage of the 40-year-old scene to accurately recreate the moment.
"That's original, archival footage. They went back to the dailies and found all the coverage and they tried to recreate the video effect," Lucasfilm Story Group member Pablo Hidalgo recently shared during a The Last Jedi roundtable. "And added a little bit more distortion because it's so much older now, so it's a bad copy. It's a powerful moment and a nice surprise. R2 has all this stuff, he just never thinks to bring it up, because he's R2."
What makes this scene even more interesting is that filming for The Force Awakens almost prevented it from ever happening.
Considering the relationship that developed between Rey and BB-8 in the previous film, it seemed to make the most sense that she'd bring BB-8 along with her to Ahch-To. It could have been justified that BB-8 preferred to stay behind with previous partner Poe, or that Rey wanted to bring Luke a familiar face with R2-D2, but it was Johnson's foresight to include this hologram scene that caused him to ask a favor of Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams.
Fans had heard about Johnson asking Abrams for a favor, but the details of the favor weren't confirmed until early last year.
"Yes … The big [favor] was, I asked if R2 could come with Rey, and if BB-8 could stay behind with the Resistance," Johnson told Entertainment Weekly. "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?'"
Despite knowing the favor, we didn't learn until watching The Last Jedi how important this small favor would be and the emotional impact it would leave on not just the audience, but also Luke.
The Last Jedi is in theaters now.
[H/T YouTube, Star Wars]