Funny Things That Happened On The Set Of The Last Jedi

If you haven't seen The Last Jedi yet, well, you should totally not be clicking on things that have "The Last Jedi" in the title. No huge spoilers will be found below, but there are a few little ones. You have been warned. Oh, and Captain Kirk is Kylo Ren's father.

Laura Dern got really into her character

Laura Dern is a classy actress — she's been nominated for two Academy awards and she earned an Emmy for her work on HBO's Little Big Lies. Also, she made "Pew! Pew! Pew!" sounds with her blaster on the set of The Last Jedi. Director Rian Johnson caught her in the act when he was in the editing room working on the film for an action sequence. "On camera you hear me going, 'pew, pew pew,'" she said during an appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Now, it's not the first time a Star Wars actor has been caught making their own sound effects during a scene — according to CinemaBlend, Hayden Christensen was known to make lightsaber noises while filming his big battle scenes for the prequels. You may laugh, but really, if you were on one of these sets and someone gave you a blaster and told you to start shooting up some stormtroopers, you'd start pew-pewing without even thinking. It would take some pretty serious Jedi self-mind control not to.

Accidental comedy

Despite all the very serious good vs. evil stuff, the epic battles, and the deep thinking, Star Wars is a very different experience when you're behind the scenes. "Shooting it, it's a straight comedy," Adam Driver told Rolling Stone. "Stormtroopers trying to find a bathroom. People dressed as trolls, like, running into doorways. It's hilarious."

It's not hard to imagine what all of that must look like on set. After all, people in costumes are sweaty, claustrophobic, half-blind, and probably also stinky. And unless you're lucky enough to get cast as a human, if you're an extra on the set of Star Wars, you're probably wearing a costume that makes you sweaty, claustrophobic, half-blind, and also stinky.

He didn't explicitly say so, but it wouldn't be at all surprising to hear that Driver was relieved to give up that otherwise super-cool helmet for The Last Jedi because he admitted that the whole super-cool thing is kind of hard to maintain when you can't see where you're going. "You're supposed to be very stealth," he said, "and a tree root takes you down." That's okay for the average stormtrooper, maybe, but for the Lord of Darkness, not so much.

Carrie Fisher helped John Boyega cheat on his diet

When you're an actor, you're sort of expected to eat a lot of kale, especially gluten-free kale. Sometimes your gluten-free kale diet is mandated by the people who have employed you — break it down and it's pretty obvious why this is necessary. You can't have your Jedi outgrowing his robes, and it takes some serious nutritional maintenance along with a pretty rigorous training schedule to be that agile with a lightsaber.

John Boyega didn't play a Jedi, but that doesn't mean he was excused from the whole strict diet thing. Finn had to be pretty lean and agile, too, so he could ride fathiers and fight Captain Phasma. According to Esquire, most of the cast was following a marathon runner diet — lots of vegetables and probiotics, which sounds pretty hideously boring, so hideously boring that it's kind of shocking it was just the bad guys who were super cranky all the time.

Not everyone was a believer in the power of the gluten-free-vegetable-probiotic-kale diet — most notably Carrie Fisher, who kept a stash of chocolate in her personal fridge. Boyega told People that when he got tired of the strict diet he'd go see Carrie Fisher, and she'd say, "Kid, get into that fridge and get some chocolate bars." "I failed my diet because Carrie Fisher told me to," he later said. At least it's the best reason anyone's ever had for failing their diet.

Carrie Fisher slapped Oscar Isaac 27 times

Oscar Isaac's first scene with Carrie Fisher featured a hard slap across the face, which was pretty awesome as a stand-alone — but it becomes so much more awesome when you know that that particular scene took 27 takes to get right. Or did it? It's not impossible to imagine that everyone on set was just enjoying the spectacle so much that they kind of just wanted it to go on ... and on ... and on.

Isaac told Stephen Colbert that for each take Fisher would hit a different part of his face, which at least helped the poor handsome thing avoid an angry red complexion in the final cut. It could have been a whole lot worse, though. In Star Wars, you never really know who or what is going to be on the business end of a slap across the face — at least it was Princess Leia and not a Wookie. Or Jar Jar Binks.

The porgs were played by puffins

It's probably safe to say that half the viewing audience thought the porgs were the most adorable things ever, and the other half thought they were Tribbles crossed with Ewoks crossed with some really annoying thing that got stuck to the bottom of your shoe. But the porgs didn't exist just because Rian Johnson thought they would be super cute and kids would love them — they mostly existed because of the logistical and ethical problems associated with booting puffins out of their nests.

Luke Skywalker's scenes were shot on the Irish island of Skellig Michael, a World Heritage site where thousands of puffins raise their chicks every year. The puffins are only in residence during the summer, which just so happened to coincide with the production schedule for The Last Jedi. And even though all forces must bend to the will of the Star Wars production schedule, for ethical reasons producers thought maybe it would be best to leave the birds alone and just CGI them all into porgs. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the reason why half the viewing audience is annoyed for most of the first half of The Last Jedi. The other half is just horribly traumatized by that thing that happens when Luke feels having himself like a little milk.

The great Pokemon Go prank

The Pokemon Go fad was just starting to get its legs while The Last Jedi was being filmed, and because mostly nerdy people play Pokemon Go and anyone who has anything to do with Star Wars is likely by nature a nerdy person, pretty much all the cast and crew were playing it, even director Rian Johnson. Now you might picture Johnson the way you'd picture any Hollywood director — all business, very seriously serious about his work, and not easily lured astray from the artist's path. Except when there's a Pikachu outside.

So when actress Kelly Marie Tran told Johnson she'd found a Pikachu, he walked off set in search of it. "And he goes outside and I had drawn in chalk a Pikachu on the sidewalk," she told The Star Wars Show. "That was one of my proudest moments." Just let that sink in for a moment — one of Tran's proudest moments was not getting to play a badass Resistance fighter on The Last Jedi, it was pranking the director. It turns out that the Force is not the most seductive power in the universe — that honor goes to the awesome power of the nerdy practical joke.

Daisy Ridley's dad

Everyone knows who Luke Skywalker is, right? Everyone. Except Daisy Ridley's dad.

Ridley told Good Morning America that her dad came to visit her on set in Ireland, and when she introduced him to Mark Hamill he said, "Who do you play then?"

"I don't know if he was joking or not," Ridley said. "Because it was only us in Ireland, and I was like, 'Who is here, Dad? Who is in this shot? It's Rey and Luke Skywalker!'"

To be fair, Ridley also said her dad was really more of a Star Trek fan than a Star Wars fan, but it's still pretty hard to imagine that a person could get all the way through life without at least a basic understanding of the fundamentals of the Star Wars periodic table: Mark Hamill – Luke Skywalker, Harrison Ford – Han Solo, Carrie Fisher – Princess Leia. Don't they actually teach that stuff in the second grade now? Or is it just born into everyone's genetic code?

Adam Driver kept trying to steal the clapper guy's shoe

Kylo Ren, master of the dark side, wearer of the helmet that makes his voice sound cool, and commander of the juvenile temper tantrum — this is not a guy you'd associate with stupid on-set pranks. Even his castmates described him as "moody and intense," so much so that John Boyega often tried to cheer him up with random hugs, which went over about as well as you'd expect random hugs to go over with the Lord of Darkness. "He just stands there," Boyega told Vanity Fair. "He just waits for me to be done."

But Driver actually does have a playful side. According to director Rian Johnson, during a "really serious, intense physical scene ... he started this game of trying to steal the clapper guy's shoe." Yes, Adam Driver, in costume, would go for the clapper guy's shoe while the cameras were rolling. He'd grab the shoe, throw it across the room, and then become Kylo Ren for the rest of the scene. Maybe this small-scale evil was the only way he could get into character.

Dogs don't look good in crystal suits

The crystal foxes, called "vulptices," were a CGI and animatronic marvel — one that made every kid in America temporarily forget all about porgs. According to Entertainment Weekly, creature designers got their inspiration from crystal chandeliers, but these are crystal chandeliers that move gracefully like foxes.

So how could special effects artists bring these bizarre and beautiful creatures to life? Well, dogs are usually relatively graceful, as long as they aren't dragging their butts across the carpet or rolling around in garbage. Why not try putting a crystal suit on a dog?

"That just did not work at all," Johnson told Star Wars. "It was a noble attempt and it was kind of cool, but ... it just kind of looked like a suit on a dog." They ended up with a mix of animatronic puppets and digitally animated ones.

Carrie Fisher's dog got a cameo

Carrie Fisher's French bulldog was called "Gary Fisher," which is adorable. He accompanied his best friend everywhere, even on the set of The Last Jedi, where every day is "Take Your Dog to Work Day" as long as you're an uber mega star. Actually Gary served as a therapy dog, helping Fisher manage her bipolar disorder and acting as that much-needed quiet listener every human being really ought to have at the office.

According to Vulture, the dog was such a constant presence on set that Rian Johnson decided to give him a cameo. Hint: He appears in the Canto Bight Casino just behind Rose and Finn, and he looks a bit more like a miniature walrus than like a French bulldog. Though to be fair, French bulldogs do kind of already look like miniature walruses, so the CGI people really didn't have to do a whole lot.

Mark Hamill's arch nemesis: stairs

Who knew that Luke Skywalker and Po from Kung Fu Panda would have so much in common? They're both members of the "chosen one" elite, they both wear pants, and neither one of them particularly likes the stairs. According to Irish Times, Hamill was so intimidated by the 618 steps leading to the top of Skellig Michael that he was ready to pitch a tent and stay there as long as it took to complete all his scenes.

"If you ever go to Skellig Michael," he said while on a global press tour, "you'll realize it never ends ... it's step after step after step. It goes on and on. It requires unbelievable physical exertion to get to the top."

And it was all a very cruel trick, it seems, because after Hamill had to climb those stairs for that one scene in The Force Awakens where he had to take off his hood, he congratulated himself on completing a challenge he'd never have to undertake again, and then: "I pick up the script for Episode 8. And, oh no!"

Hamill tried to convince the producers he wanted to camp out at the top of Skellig Michael because of method acting, but because the island is a UNESCO World Heritage site it wasn't allowed.