Despite grossing almost $100 million in 4 days, Star Wars: The Last Jedi is arguably the most polarizing film of the franchise to date. Many fans are pissed, but it’s impossible to ascribe their (let’s face it: unjustified) anger to any one specific cause; they are mad because the film is “too progressive” (too many minorities and strong female characters!), the jokes too on the nose, the main characters’ journeys too ambiguous.
Certainly, director Rian Johnson took many risks. But of all the unconventional decisions present in The Last Jedi, the most wonderful one of all is responsible for the intervention of movie theaters around the country.
CAUTION! SPOILERS AHEAD!
(No, not the porgs.)
The scene in question sees Holdo (played by Laura Dern) making the decision to sacrifice herself in order to give the Resistance time to escape. She does this by going light-speed in to a First Order Destroyer. It was a beautiful (DON’T @ ME) scene in the film, the effect of which was amplified by Johnson’s decision to cut all sound for a full 10 seconds in order to mimic the vacuum of space during the crash.
VFX supervisor Ben Morris explained the decision to Collider, saying “We had always hoped that would resonate, both as a story beat and as a striking visual, and when I heard all of the cries and gasps in the silence, it was just fantastic. We realized that it worked. That’s never really happened in Star Wars before.”
Apparently, this creative choice was lost on many moviegoers, who attributed the considerable length of silence to a technical glitch. So many complaints came in that some AMC theaters were forced to put up a notice stating this was an intentional choice:
“Please note: The Last Jedi contains a sequence at approximately 1 hour and 52 minutes into the movie in which ALL sound stops for about 10 full seconds,” reads an AMC note to moviegoers that was posted on Facebook by Paul Scheer, among others. “While the images continue to play on the screen you will hear nothing. This is intentionally done by the director for a creative effect.”