May 5 (UPI) -- Star Wars: The Last Jedi writer and director Rian Johnson has detailed how he asked J.J. Abrams to change the ending to The Force Awakens in order to help out his upcoming sequel.
Johnson, while speaking with Entertainment Weekly, revealed that the original ending to The Force Awakens had Rey (Daisy Ridley) traveling with droid BB-8 instead of R2-D2 to meet Luke Skywalker at the end of the film.
This ending would have complicated matters in The Last Jedi as Johnson had planned on keeping BB-8 behind to help the Resistance while R2-D2 could share a reunion with Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), as he relunctly begins to train Rey, as seen in the first teaser trailer for the film.
"Yes ... The big [favor] was, I asked if R2 could come with Rey, and if BB-8 could stay behind with the Resistance," Johnson says. "Originally it was BB-8 who went with Rey, which makes sense for the story in a way. But I asked, 'Can you do me this solid and switch the droids?'"
Star Wars: The Last Jedi arrives in theaters Dec. 15. Johnson will continue to work on Star Wars following the film's release as he pens Star Wars: Episode IX, which is set to be directed by Colin Trevorrow.