We come bearing news of Star Wars: The Last Jedi on this, the holiest of Star Wars days! Earlier today, Entertainment Weekly released a brief interview with Rian Johnson in which he shared an important last-minute request he gave The Force Awakens director JJ Abrams:
“Yes … The big [favor] was, I asked if R2 could come with Rey, and if BB-8 could stay behind with the Resistance,” Johnson says. “Originally it was BB-8 who went with Rey, which makes sense for the story in a way. But I asked, ‘Can you do me this solid and switch the droids?’”
Johnson doesn’t go into too much detail as to why he wanted the droids switched out, but the parallels to R2 being the only one to accompany Luke Skywalker to Dagobah in The Empire Strikes Back gives them a nice symmetry to play off of. If nothing else, it's nice Luke will get to spend time with an old pal.
The Last Jedi director also had some comforting words for those stressing out about Luke’s role in the film, after seeing so little of him in The Force Awakens:
“Figuring out where his head was at was the very first thing I had to do when writing the movie. I had to crack this. And it had to be something for me that first and foremost made sense. Why did Luke Skywalker go off to this island?” Johnson says. “That was the starting point, and that’s what the entire movie explores.”
It’s not much, but these snippets at least encourage a more involved Luke moving forward. Here’s hoping that R2 zaps him for running away and leaving him behind.