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Charming Proof Laura Dern Kept Saying “Pew” While Shooting Her Last Jedi Blaster

Laura Dern wasn’t lying when she revealed last summer that she simply couldn’t stop saying “pew” every time she fired her laser gun in The Last Jedi. That’s right: the powerful and wise Vice Admiral Holdo was reduced to a gleeful, childlike state whenever she actually participated in a star war.

Now that some Star Wars: The Last Jedi bonus features have slipped into our galaxy, that detail and a slew of others are quickly being revealed. In his commentary track for the film, helmer Rian Johnson confirms this particular bit of Dern trivia: “You can see Laura Dern say ‘pew’ when she fires the gun, which she could never not do every time she shot it,” he reportedly says. Eagle-eyed fans have also already found a prime example of one of those “pew” moments.

Dern first revealed this adorable tidbit about herself back in August, telling Stephen Colbert that at first, she didn’t even realize she was doing it.


“I was back in my bedroom at eight years old,” she said, describing the experience of shooting the film. “Doing the scene, I went, ‘Pew-pew!’ They’ve taken the sound out, I don’t think you’ll hear that in the movie. I was so excited! I mean, it’s Star Wars!”

Dern wasn’t the only actor in the Star Wars universe to embrace their inner child while wielding a space weapon. During a Star Wars anniversary panel last year, Hayden Christensen revealed that when he used a lightsaber as Anakin Skywalker, he made his own lightsaber sounds—so much so that director George Lucas had to tell him to stop between takes.

“‘Hayden, that looks really great,’” he recalled Lucas saying, “‘but I can see your mouth moving. You don’t have to do that. We add the sound effects in afterward.’ I was just so focused I wasn’t even aware I was doing it.”

Ewan McGregor has also confessed that while filming the prequels, he couldn’t resist making lightsaber sounds either. “It was quite difficult not to make the sound,” he said in a Graham Norton interview. Can you blame him? Can you?

The pew-pew of it all isn’t the only tidbit to arise from The Last Jedi’s digital release, thankfully. On Tuesday, Johnson revealed that his favorite feature is an until-now secret, silent version of the film set entirely to John Williams’s score.

Which means that now, we get to see every Vice Admiral Holdo and Poe Dameron scene without all the mansplaining. Rejoice! Pew-pew!

See Annie Leibovitz’s Exclusive Cast Portraits of Star Wars: The Last Jedi for Vanity Fair

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New Hope
Daisy Ridley’s Rey hones her lightsaber skills—and channels her inner Force.
Photograph by Annie Leibovitz.
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Driver’s Seat
Daisy Ridley as Rey, at the helm of the Millennium Falcon, with Joonas Suotamo as co-pilot Chewbacca.
Photograph by Annie Leibovitz.
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Freedom Fighters
Carrie Fisher, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, and Kelly Marie Tran as the rebels General Leia Organa, Poe Dameron, Finn, and Rose Tico, with droid BB-8.
Photograph by Annie Leibovitz.
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Night Creatures
Neal Scanlan (seated), creative supervisor of the Star Wars creature shop, and guests at the Canto Bight casino.
Photograph by Annie Leibovitz.
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Costume designer Michael Kaplan (seated), surrounded by some of his creations.
Photograph by Annie Leibovitz.
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Off Duty
Anthony Daniels as C-3PO, with droids R2-D2 and BB-8 and the Droid Department’s Brian Herring, Dave Chapman, Matthew Denton, Lee Towersey, and Joshua Lee.
Photograph by Annie Leibovitz.
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Off Duty
Carrie Fisher (General Leia Organa), writer-director Rian Johnson, Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), and producer Kathleen Kennedy with Fisher’s dog, Gary, and Hamill’s daughter’s dog, Millie.
Photograph by Annie Leibovitz.
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Fisher, who died in December, with daughter Billie Lourd (Lieutenant Kaydel Connix).
Photograph by Annie Leibovitz.
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Fisher and Hamill, with whom she first worked four decades ago.
Photograph by Annie Leibovitz.
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Laura Dern, as Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo, a newcomer to the saga.
Photograph by Annie Leibovitz.
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Benicio Del Toro, as the shifty “DJ,” a newcomer to the saga.
Photograph by Annie Leibovitz.
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Adam Driver, in character as Kylo Ren, Han Solo’s son and slayer, wields a crossguard lightsaber.
Photograph by Annie Leibovitz.
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The Dark Side
First Order leaders General Hux, Kylo Ren, and Captain Phasma, played by Domhnall Gleeson, Adam Driver, and Gwendoline Christie.
Photograph by Annie Leibovitz.