If we all agree on one thing, it’s that The Last Jedi is a much different kind of entry into the Star Wars saga, and director Rian Johnson was very aware of that. It’s normal for any director to be nervous about making a movie in the biggest franchise in the world, and Johnson was very interested to see how audiences would react to a few key moments in the movie.

The Hollywood Reporter posted bits from an interview with Johnson conducted before the film’s release that Lucasfilm had asked they hold until people had had a chance to see the movie. Johnson revealed that he was very excited for people to see that big lightsaber fight with Rey and Kylo Ren.

That was a big moment I was looking forward to. 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. 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. 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. It was the first time I was seeing it with the crowd.

That Holdo scene in particular was cause for some debate when theaters began screening the film — a chain of AMCs actually put up notices in front of some auditoriums assuring audiences that the sound was supposed to cut out for a few seconds. It’s a very striking moment, and the first of its kind that had ever been in a Star Wars movie before.

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