Since Rey stood on the cliffs of Ahch-To to hand Luke Skywalker his infamous lightsaber in The Force Awakens, Star Wars fans have been waiting in agonizing anticipation to see the franchise’s next chapter. Star Wars: The Last Jedi is one of the most polarizing installments among die-hard fans in years, which, in our opinion, makes it well-worth discussing. Let’s take a look at 23 fascinating facts about the newest entry in this timeless intergalactic tale. Need we say spoilers ahead?
Star Wars: The Last Jedi Facts
24. Cues from Rogue One
There were a lot of plot points and storylines that took place in The Last Jedi. However, the main point of conflict is the Empire’s method of hyperspace tracking, something that put much of the film’s events in motion. While this seemed like a random component to add to the story, an eagle-eyed viewer of Rogue One discovered that it was not all that out of place. As Jyn Erso searches for the Death Star plans in Rogue One, she comes across preliminary information that reveals that the Empire was planning to develop this technology.
23. Bet You Missed This
Star Wars: The Force Awakens caught fans off guard by having Daniel Craig don a Stormtrooper mask. The Last Jedi followed up nicely with some cameos of its own. A frequent Rian Johnson collaborator, actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt voiced the alien that informed the police that Finn and Rose were illegally parked outside.
22. Space Jewelry?
There was a lot of emphasis on jewelry in the galaxy far far away in this go around. Fans may have wondered where all of these trinkets came from, but they can look no further than the late and great Carrie Fisher. She approached director Johnson during filming and told him that the movie needed “space jewelry.”
21. Twice Cast
Benicio del Toro’s casting as DJ the Codebreaker may look like a surprise to some, but this is not his first rodeo with the Star Wars franchise. Back in the late 90s, the actor was cast as Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace, but dropped out because Maul’s character was cut down.
20. Old School Inspirations
Johnson had a lot of homework to do when preparing to direct The Last Jedi. He used three movies in particular to inspire the direction he took for the film: Twelve O’Clock High for the aerial combat scenes, Three Outlaw Samurai for the sword fighting, and To Catch A Thief for the scale and grandeur. Some fans feel that a few Star Wars films should have been on that list.
19. In the Trenches
Star Wars is becoming known for its start-studded cameos as much as the plot itself. During the battle on the Rebel base planet (Crait), two Resistance soldiers can be seen in the trenches. One of the soldiers is Gareth Edwards, the director of Rogue One.
18. A Movie of Firsts
The Last Jedi included a lot of powerful moments that fans (new and old) may not have realized happened for the first time. Yoda’s appearance is the first time a force ghost has interacted with physical matter, and Luke’s astral force projection is the first of its kind in the canon universe.
17. Another Nod to Rogue One
In The Last Jedi, General Organa’s ship is named Raddus, a direct reference to the Mon Calamari admiral who helped Jyn Erso and her team steal the Death Star plans in Rogue One.
16. Royal Stormtroopers
Prince William and Prince Harry make cameos as Stormtroopers in The Last Jedi.
15. A Preliminary Disagreement
Mark Hamill, Luke Skywalker himself, was initially unhappy with the direction of Luke’s character in the film. He has since walked back these comments, stating that creative disagreements are a natural part of film making, and that he was eventually very happy with the final product.
14. A Game of Thrones Connection
What is a major film epic without some Game of Thrones connection? If you watch Game of Thrones and some of the stunts looked a little familiar to you, then it might be because most of The Last Jedi stunt doubles also did work for the HBO series.
13. Box Office Smash
The Last Jedi has smashed preview night records with a $45 million showing, beating out Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. The only movie that has done better is The Force Awakens.
12. A Little Influence from George
When Disney purchased the Star Wars franchise from George Lucas, many of his ideas for the next set of movies after the prequels were disregarded. However, one essential plot was kept. The story that Luke decided to train a young female apprentice was lifted from Lucas’ original idea for the movies.
11. The Canadian Ruse
Kelly Marie Tran plays the part of Rose in The Last Jedi. Tran didn’t want anyone to know about her role in the movie before filming had wrapped, so she told her family she was filming an indie film in Canada. She even went as far as to bring her family maple syrup to convince them of this.
10. The New Star Wars?
Tran had not watched any of the Star Wars films before trying for the part of Rose. When asked why she hadn’t watched them, she replied by saying she “was too busy reading Harry Potter books.” Ouch!
9. Addressing Leia
Fans all over the world were shocked in 2016 when Carrie Fisher passed away, and many wondered how her role as General Organa in The Last Jedi would change as a result. Filmmakers have confirmed that none of Fisher’s dialogue or scenes were altered in any way in relation to her passing.
8. Her Resounding Influence
Fisher worked as an uncredited script doctor throughout her career (with directors unfortunately often soliciting her advice before hiring someone else to write script), and also helped with the writing on The Last Jedi.
7. Goodbye Kenny
Kenny Baker, the man who portrayed R2D2, unfortunately passed away before The Last Jedi.
6. The Longest Tale
The Last Jedi now holds the title of the longest Star Wars movie, with a runtime of 155 minutes. This title was previously owned by Attack of the Clones.
5. Let’s Play “Who Turned It Down.”
Joaquin Phoenix was reportedly initially offered the role of DJ the Codebreaker, but he turned it down, and it eventually went to del Toro.
4. Space What?
Every Star Was film (as well as many big budget films) has a codename to help prevent leaks. The Last Jedi‘s codename was “Space Bear” behind the scenes.
3. Saved the Best for Last
One final cameo: Fisher’s beloved french bulldog Gary has an appearance in The Last Jedi; he shows up at the casino on Canto Bight.
2. Rian’s Big Payday
It’s safe to say that Star Wars will recoup its (massive) budget—and then some. Although The Last Jedi is not Johnson’s first rodeo—for one, he directed Looper—Star Wars made more than all of the his movies combined in its opening weekend.
1. We All Want to Know
Ever since he first appeared, fans have speculated about the identity of Supreme Leader Snoke, but most people don’t realize that he’s very likely no one that any fan has seen before. It is known that he is old enough to have seen the entire rise and fall of the Galactic Empire, and it is believed that Emperor Palpatine once sensed his dark power out at the farthest reaches of the galaxy, meaning it is highly unlikely that he’s secretly an established character from the franchise.