Everyone and their monarch seems to have gotten a cameo in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but very few have been identified. Turns out, that’s because most folks just didn’t see the final cut of the film. But now that more and more deleted scenes are coming to the internet, fans get to see exactly why people like Tom Hardy (who plays a Stormtroomer in one of the aforementioned cut scenes) didn’t make it in.
It’s because they just didn’t work.
When John Boyega’s Finn and Kelly Marie Tran’s Rose are sneaking through Supreme Leader Snoke’s ship, accompanied by Benicio del Toro’s DJ, their mission already has a bit of humor built into the tension. They’re outfitted in officers’ uniforms purloined from the laundry room (the source of one of the film’s best visual gags), which creates the tension for Hardy’s scene.
Hardy, playing a trooper designated 926, recognizes Finn. “FN-2187?” asks the somehow Southern member of the First Order. That’s not good. But luckily, this strange grunt isn’t just from the American South, he’s sort of slow too. He’s quickly dropped all pretense of suspicion and is slapping Finn on the butt to congratulate his former co-worker on his promotion.
The balance between humor and drama caught some fans off-guard in The Last Jedi, but director Rian Johnson often went out of his way to deflate some of the deified franchise — and that also meant making Stormtroopers more human.
However, making them too hokey, weird, or gabby for the sake of a punchline diminshes the sheer number of First Order devotees that get blasted, sliced, or otherwise blown up over the course of the new trilogy. Perhaps it’s best 926 never saw the big screen.