The best deleted scene from Star Wars: The Last Jedi is also the one that feels the most like an Ewok jamboree from Return of the Jedi. When Rey accidentally crashes a party at the Caretaker village on the planet Ahch-to, you suddenly feel like you’re watching an old Star Wars movie, and you’ll get super bummed this was cut.
On Tuesday, the digital download of The Last Jedi was released on multiple platforms, including iTunes and Amazon Video. And the stand-out deleted scene from the special features is easily the “Caretaker Village Sequence.” Now, after nearly a year of speculation, fans will finally understand what that scene in which Rey runs on the beach is all about.
Basically, Luke lies to her. He says there’s a crazy raiding party showing up from a neighboring village that is coming to “plunder” the Caretakers. He also advises her not to intervene, mostly because she can’t commit to helping them forever. Rey freaks out and runs on the beach, ignites her lightsaber, and busts into a full-on party in progress. A bunch of the aquatic Caretakers are twirling little glowing vines around their heads and encourage Rey to do the same with her lightsaber. Begrudgingly, she waves her lightsaber around a little bit, like someone who has been forced to twirl a glowstick at a rave she’s been dragged to. It’s hilarious.
Then, we cut to Chewbacca and R2-D2 jamming with the Caretakers who are playing all sorts of crazy alien musical instruments, and you get a warm and fuzzy feeling that will remind you of the Ewok parties in Return of the Jedi. Luke is laughing at Rey and gives her the equivalent of “I was just fucking with you! HA!”
It’s a pretty great scene. It’s tragic it was cut from the final theatrical cut of the movie. In the commentary track, Rian Johnson says this was “the biggest scene we cut out.” Johnson worried that “pacing-wise” the scene didn’t quite work in the context. “Taken on its own I love everything about this scene,” he says. But he then said once the cut was made, it was “really hard to come up with an argument for keeping it in.”
Despite being a fan of Rian Johnson’s rowdy and dangerous writing decisions on The Last Jedi, I must protest. There is one reason this scene should have been kept. Alien jam sessions are the heart and soul of Star Wars movies. Hearing R2-D2 beep and Chewie roar while the Caretakers are getting down would have been worth the entire film.
The Last Jedi is out on digital download now and will be released on physical Blu-ray and DVD on March 27.