After 40 years of Star Wars films, there are some things we can rely on to happen, no matter what. There will always be a big lightsaber battle between good and evil characters. There will always be C-3P0 in the background with that look on his face. The Millennium Falcon will show up. But in The Last Jedi, one of those old faithfuls didn't happen... or did it? Because there was one Last Jedi BB-8 easter egg that almost all fans missed, because it wasn't in any language we on earth understand. WARNING: Spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi follow.
That "old faithful" that seemed to be missing was a phrase that's been a hallmark of the series since Mark Hamill said it in the original 1977 Star Wars film, now known as A New Hope. (Leia then said it in Empire Strikes Back and Harrison Ford followed suit in Return of the Jedi.) Someone will always say "I have a bad feeling about this."
But fans who were waiting for that moment when the film arrived this weekend walked away disappointed despite the many times when the line could have been uttered: Finn and Rose on Canto Bight, the First Order creeping up on the Resistance, or Rey exploring the Dark Side on Luke's planet of Ahch-To. Heck, no one said it even when the Death Star mini cannon showed up on Crait. Someone should have said it somewhere, right?
So, where was it? Fans were a little upset not to hear the iconic line spoken in the film, just another in the laundry list of complaints from fanboys about the new film's plot and characters.
But Johnson assured the audience it was in there. And it turns out someone *did* say it. They just didn't say it in English... or any other Earth-based language.
Trying to deduce where in heaven's name the line was, one interviewer from HuffPost took a wild guess and asked if it was at the very beginning of the film, the line spoken just before Poe tells his favorite little droid: "Happy beeps, buddy! Happy beeps!"
Turns out that yes, the line was given to everyone's favorite diva, BB-8, in that very first scene with Poe when they make the run on the dreadnought. Johnson was very pleased that it had been figured out.
Yes! Good catch!
In fact, all of BB-8's lines start out as actual dialogue that is then translated into a series of beeps and boops by sound supervisor Matthew Wood. Johnson thought this a fantastic way to have the line uttered, but not in a way that would be instantly obvious to the audience.
In fact, according to Johnson, Poe's original response to BB-8 would have made it obvious what the droid had said.
It seemed like a fun character to deliver that line. I think originally I had Poe respond, ‘Oh, I got a good feeling about it. Keep your chin up.’ And then I made it a little less explicit just to make it more fun.
This was just another moment in the film of pushing BB-8 to the forefront. Where R2-D2 and C-3P0 were basically cameo appearances in this film, BB-8 not only got some of the funniest moments, he also had more close ups than some of his human stars. Even Benicio del Toro complained about it to Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show:
BB-8 had, like, four close-up takes. I had two.
Proof, in case we needed it, that in the 21st century we should change the trope of "Never work with children or animals" to include droids as well.