Mark Hamill told Rian Johnson after reading the script for the film, "I pretty much fundamentally disagree with every choice you've made for this character [Luke Skywalker]. Now, having said that, I have gotten it off my chest, and my job now is to take what you've created and do my best to realize your vision."
Carrie Fisher was also a well-known writer, whose services were often called upon to act as script doctor for other films. She later began declining such assignments when producers would solicit her story ideas, then hire someone else to actually change the script, and use her ideas without paying her. However, Rian Johnson revealed that Fisher helped with the writing of the script for this film.
The original release date was May 26, 2017. However, in January of 2016, the film's release was rescheduled for December 15, 2017, based on how successful Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) was releasing in December.
Lawrence Kasdan initially wrote a story outline for the film, but was called away to work on Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) when problems arose with that film's initial script. When Rian Johnson signed on as director he requested to be allowed to scrap Kasdan's story and write his own script from scratch, which the producers consented to, as Kasdan's outline no longer matched up with the finished storyline of the previous film.
Kelly Marie Tran didn't tell anyone that she was doing the movie and lied that she was doing an indie movie in Canada. At one point, she actually got some maple syrup to bring back to her parents, so they actually thought she was in Canada.
Early filming took place with Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley on Skellig Michael off the coast of County Kerry, Ireland, in late September 2015. On February 15, 2016, LucasFilm posted a short production-announcement video, which included some footage and behind-the-scenes shots, and which picks up immediately after the final scene of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015). Main photography was scheduled to begin in early January 2016, but was delayed a month reportedly due to script revisions, and began on February 15.
On December 2015 the production team of this film and Rogue One (2016) went to Mexico City looking for filming locations, specifically at Iztapalapa and Tlahuac boroughs. It was later confirmed that some scenes for both films would be filmed in Mexico City, but due to some trouble with the local government the filming was cancelled.
Director Rian Johnson admits that he moved Kylo Ren's facial injury. In Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), Rey slices his face with her light saber, giving him a laceration that goes across the bridge of his nose. In this film, the injury has scabbed over, but is now over his right eye. Johnson says a scab over his nose didn't look right. Ironically, the placement of the scar matches a similar injury on Ren's grandfather, Anakin Skywalker, in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (2005).
Carrie Fisher credited Miguel Ferrer for preparing her for her original audition for the role of Leia. Ferrer later became known for playing Agent Albert Rosenfeld in Twin Peaks (1990). Like Fisher, Ferrer ended up returning to that role decades later in Twin Peaks (2017), but also died before its premiere. Laura Dern appears in both Twin Peaks and The Last Jedi.
The title of this film, "The Last Jedi," was revealed on January 23, 2017. The phrase appears in the opening crawl of "The Force Awakens", making this the first time the title of a Star Wars film appeared in an opening crawl.
The Aurebesh lettering on Rose Tico's Resistance coveralls reads "GLD" and "landing officer." The same words were printed on the background alien Vober Dand's clothing in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), and according to the Visual Guide published for that movie, "GLD" stands for "Ground Logistics Division."
The first middle installment of a Star Wars trilogy to include a proper space battle. Episode V only has a few scenes of a Star Destroyer chasing the Millennium Falcon, and Episode II only has a dogfight between Jango Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Luke Skywalker bears a strong resemblance to Obi-Wan Kenobi's appearance in the original trilogy. In fact, Mark Hamill reprised his role in 2015 at the age of 64 while Alec Guinness was 63 when he was first cast as Obi-Wan Kenobi.
In the original trilogy, Mark Hamill received top billing in all three films. In "Star Wars: The Force Awakens", Harrison Ford had received top billing while Hamill was second to be billed. Hamill will receive top billing once more in "Star Wars: The Last Jedi."
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
The previous films in the series all took place at least a year after the previous film. This film takes up right where Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) left off, including a re-creation of the final scene and a funeral for Han Solo.
It has been speculated by fans that Rey is actually the long lost daughter of Luke Skywalker. Being the prankster that he is, Mark Hamill made a comment during Star Wars celebration 2017, accidentally referring to Daisy Ridley as "my dau... I mean my colleague."
The first Star Wars film which does not take place a few years after the previous film. The film is a direct continuation of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) and takes place shortly after Rey arrives on the island on the oceanic planet and finds Luke Skywalker and presents to him his old lightsaber.