When making a movie, it's natural for directors to have their favorite scenes, or ones they're excited for audiences to react to. And when it comes to Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the experience is no different.
Writer and director Rian Johnson spoke with the Hollywood Reporter about watching the movie for the first time with a large audience, revealing his most anticipated moments for viewers at the film's world premiere.
He started by talking about the big Rey and Kylo Ren team up in Snoke's throne room.
"That was a big moment I was looking forward to," said Johnson. "But that was also a moment where the deck is pretty stacked. I wasn't holding my breath, 'Is this going to play?' I felt like, 'I can't wait to see an audience reaction to this.' I was pretty confident in that moment."
Johnson revealed that he was more worried about Admiral Holdo's epic moment, in which she sends the Resistance ship at the First Order fleet at hyperspeed, among others.
"The [sacrifice] moment with Holdo was something I was holding my breath to see how the audience reacted, and I could not have been more thrilled with how the theater reacted to that big moment," Johnson said. "And honestly, Kelly's final little moment with John, and then she passes out. There were so many moments I was holding my breath to see how the audience was going to react to it. Because this was the first time I was seeing it with an audience. I can't wait for opening night with a big crowd."
Johnson elaborated on working with Holdo actor Laura Dern, who made her first (and last) Star Wars appearance in this film.
"Laura, just YouTube search any interview with Laura. What you see is what you get: She is the most bright, lovely, open person. It's not like she's that way for the cameras and different in real life. That's her," Johnson said. "She's one of my favorite people. I feel like just getting to become friends with her during this process is one of the true joys of it. She was so open to it. Especially she and Oscar [Isaac], who had the majority of their scenes together. They worked together so well they immediately got on.
"Laura was very excited about the arc of that character in terms of the audience's perception of the character. That's something we talked about a lot, that she had no vanity about. She was just really excited about the overall effect the character was going to have on the audience. That was really exciting."
Holdo certainly had a major impact on the film's trajectory, with some thinking she was a villain before she made a heroic sacrifice. While it might be her only appearance in the saga, it was definitely a memorable one.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is now playing in theaters.