January 06, 2018 04:27 PM

Warning: SPOILERS ahead for those who have NOT yet seen Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Proceed with caution!

As Star Wars: The Last Jedi continues to reign supreme at the box office nearly a month into its release, one aspect that sparked specific interest from fans are the “Force connection” scenes between Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver).

In the film, the two adversarial characters forge a telepathic-like connection in which they can inexplicably see and speak to each other, despite being millions of miles away.

Fans of those captivating Force Connection moments between Rey and Kylo Ren will be happy to know that the actors went to great lengths to make those scenes as intriguing as possible — including flying to another country just to be off camera for each other. Director Rian Johnson recently revealed the secrets behind those successful scenes, his thoughts on launching the great romantic tragedy of Star Wars times, and what they might mean for the next installment of the franchise.

Charley Gallay/Getty Images

“For those force connections, I needed them to talk,” Johnson tells PEOPLE. “And I thought that the hardest thing that Rey could possibly be faced with is being forced to talk to this person that she completely despises. And also the audience, we hate him coming into it. She had to be our proxy and so that’s why in those first few conversations, she is just spitting in his face.”

Johnson says that the key to the actors’ chemistry in those scenes was that they were both physically present on set for each other.

“Every single time we shot one of their sides, the other person was off camera,” he explains. “Even to the point where Adam flew to Ireland just to be off camera for Daisy’s stuff, which was essential because they’re such intimate conversations. And that also meant we had to shoot each of those scenes twice basically, which meant the rehearsal time was really important. And my editor Bob Ducsay did an amazing job then of making it feel kind of seamless after the fact.”

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“Intimate conversations,” indeed. At this point Johnson is well aware that with the action that unfolds in The Last Jedi, he has stoked the flames of the “Reylo” fandom (fans who hope for a romantic relationship between Rey and Kylo Ren), so we asked him  how he feels about being the chief architect behind a potentially devastating romantic tragedy.

“Well I’ll say the two characters and how they [interact], like in The Force Awakens, the interrogation scene, that was one of the most intriguing scenes to me both on the page and when I saw the scene that J.J. [Abrams] created,” says Johnson. “So I think he set up this very interesting dynamic. And then to get to play with it in this movie and now, to get to hand it back to J.J. and see how it gets resolved, I’m really, really excited to see what happens.”

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is now playing.

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