The ending of Star Wars: The Force Awakens is already one of the most famous scenes in the 40-year history of the franchise. Luke Skywalker, finally found after an entire movie of searching, standing alone in his Jedi mountain convent, with new hero Rey extending his old lightsaber, asking him to resume his mantle of leadership in the Rebellion. But in an interview (via Digital Spy) Mark Hamill revealed that Luke’s appearance in that crucial final scene of The Force Awakens was originally a little different. The change was technically pretty small, but it would have had a huge impact on Star Wars: The Last Jedi if it hadn’t been changed:

When we were doing [The Force Awakens], Rian said, ‘We might have boulders floating to show your Force emanating,’ so I was led to believe that I still had the Force and it was really strong in me. When I read [The Last Jedi] before [The Force Awakens] came out, I said ‘What?’ and called JJ [Abrams] or Rian [Johnson] to say, ‘Are you guys aware of this? Have you seen a cut? Is there floating boulders?’ And they said, ‘No, we caught that and we worked it all out.’

This is a big deal because in The Last Jedi we learn that Luke has cut off his connection to the Force. (That’s also why Luke didn’t come to help in The Force Awakens when Han and Leia were in trouble; he didn’t know because he didn’t sense it.) If Rey had shown up on Jedi Planet Island and Luke had been levitating rocks for kicks, it not only would have meant he still had Force powers, it would have also meant Luke knew his pals needed his help and didn’t come to their rescue anyway. Rian Johnson could have come up with a different explanation why he stayed put, I suppose, but the one he provided in The Last Jedi is much more elegant and effective, and plays well into the character’s arc over the course of the film, as he reconnects with his roots and reconsiders what it means to be a hero. So it’s a good thing they ixnayed all those boulders.

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