Finn may have made good on his boast that he’s “a big deal in the Resistance” by the end of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but it turns out he was almost a much bigger part of the film. Deleted scenes and commentary from director Rian Johnson on the new digital release reveal how The Last Jedi was originally much more Finn-centric, starting with the opening scene.
In the unused opening scene, which can be seen under special features in Tuesday’s digital release, we see what looks like a classic Star Wars opening shot. You know the one — the opening crawl recedes into the stars, and we slowly pan down to view some strange alien planet from space. Maybe there’s a Star Destroyer. It’s a familiar shot, but the Last Jedi almost went with something that Johnson ultimately decided was “too clever.” What looks like stars and the hazy atmosphere of a planet turns out to actually be a medical pod with Finn inside, still healing from his Force Awakens wounds.
Johnson ended up going with a more traditional opening, as the film begins with a slow pan to D’Qar, where the Resistance is evacuating their base, rather than Finn’s dome. But, there were several additional scenes involving Finn that also ended up on the cutting room floor. One scene, his extended, somewhat more badass final confrontation with Captain Phasma, was uploaded to the web prior to the digital release, but there’s also a much longer three-minute scene where Finn and Rose infiltrate Snoke’s Star Dreadnought.
Earlier in the film, though, there was another deleted scene that put more focus on Finn’s relationship with Rey, a pairing that was essential to The Force Awakens. When Finn’s losing his resolve and thinking about bailing on the Resistance, BB-8 shows him a video of a moment from the end of The Force Awakens, when Rey kissed the comatose Finn’s forehead before heading off to find Luke Skywalker. Finn tells BB-8 that it was “weird that you recorded that,” but thanks the droid, because showing him the recording makes him realize he needs to do the right thing. This weirdly parallels the moment in the theatrical cut where R2-D2 shows Luke a holographic recording of Leia, to remind him to stop being such an asshole.
Ultimately, The Last Jedi is about Rey and Kylo Ren as well as the titular last Jedi, Luke Skywalker. Finn, who lacks Force abilities despite some nifty lightsaber skills, isn’t as essential to the core storyline, which might be why some criticism of The Last Jedi focused on his seemingly ancillary mission to Canto Bight. The cut scenes wouldn’t have suddenly made Star Wars into “The Finn Funtime Adventure Hour,” but he would have been a bigger deal, at least.
The Last Jedi is out on digital download now and will be released on a physical Blu-ray and DVD on March 27.