Last Jedi director Rian Johnson explains what inspired Adam Driver’s shirtless scene
Warning: SPOILERS ahead for those who have NOT yet seen Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Proceed with caution!
After 40 years of Star Wars films, the franchise’s loyal fanbase have come to expect and rely on seeing certain elements in each new film. Things like: lightsaber battles, The Force, cute creatures, Droids, etc.
One of the scenes that fans did not expect to see in Star Wars: The Last Jedi is what writer/director Rian Johnson calls its “beefcake” moment. i.e. when, during one of their surprisingly intimate, Force-enhanced, mind-over-matter-time-and-space conversations, Adam Driver‘s Kylo Ren surprises Daisy Ridley‘s Rey by appearing shirtless.
Rey’s startled reaction — a request that he cover himself with a towel or something — is as appropriate as it is hilarious, for the characters and the audience. But how did we get here, exactly? PEOPLE recently caught up with Johnson to ask him how that scene came to be and whether or not Driver was shy about that “beefcake” moment.
“It’s all about those Force connection scenes,” Johnson says. “The keyword being intimacy. And the idea that this was a way to just, why not step that up? The idea that, what’s even more uncomfortable having a conversation face to face with a person you don’t want to, is if they’re half-naked during it, while you’re having to do it. And so it was just another way of kind of disrobing Kylo literally and figuratively a little bit more, and pushing that sense of these conversations becoming increasingly more intimate.”
Not to mention the fact that by this point during filming, Driver’s physique was particularly photogenic.
“Adam looks so damn good because he’d been training hardcore for the past six months for those fight scenes. I’m like, ‘Eh. He looks so good. We should put him up there.’ “
And how did Driver feel about his beefcake moment? Was he shy about it?
“No, no, he’s good. He’s great,” assures Johnson. “He knew he looked good.”
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is now playing in theaters everywhere.