When Rey confronted Luke Skywalker on Ahch-To, he was reluctant to help her become a Jedi or aid the Resistance, with his emotional reunion with R2-D2 on the Millennium Falcon helping him realize that he needed to come to the aid of his sister and former allies. The powerful scene in The Last Jedi had a big impact on audiences, but droid operator Lee Towersey revealed that during the emotional scene, he had to hide behind Mark Hamill's legs to help bring the astromech to life.
"When we shot that, and Luke is talking to Artoo, Jimmy Vee was inside," Towersey shared with StarWars.com. "That's the two-legged version; we did a quick switcheroo. Jimmy's in the droid the whole time, I'm doing the remote control on the head, and some of the shots are quite wide, so there's nowhere for me to hide except for at Mark's feet. So while that shot's being taken, I'm lying on the floor in between Mark and R2-D2."
Were audiences to have known there was a droid operator hiding just out of frame, the impact of the moment might have been lost, but Towersey knew the moment would go on to be one of the movie's most powerful while filming.
"I felt at the time that it's quite an iconic scene that we were filming," Towersey noted. "I've had a few people ask me questions about that scene since The Last Jedi's come out, and they felt that it was quite an up-there moment in the film. And when we shot it I felt it was quite special, as well. Mark was as professional as ever; he was in the moment. We did a few takes, and I remote-controlled R2-D2 across the floor space in the Falcon."
The scene features R2-D2 projecting the image of Leia Organa that sparked Luke's quest to join the Rebel Alliance in the original 1977 Star Wars, yet with Carrie Fisher's passing before this latest chapter premiered, the moment was even more powerful than when originally shot.
"Something else people ask, with the projection of Princess Leia, is, 'Was that an homage to Carrie Fisher?'" the operator revealed. "Because she'd sadly passed away. And no, the answer there is that we'd already shot that; that was always going to happen. But it means even more now — it's even more special because of that classic scene."
Fans can see the emotional scene in The Last Jedi, on Digital HD now and on Blu-ray March 27th.
Does this scene lose its meaning knowing this behind-the-scenes detail? Let us know in the comments below!