Warning: This story contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
After taking matters into their own hands, two AMC movie theaters have removed signs that tipped off moviegoers to one particular scene in Star Wars: The Last Jedi when the sound cuts out. According to an AMC spokesperson, they were removed even before media coverage of them.
“The sign was up at two of AMC’s 660 locations. It was removed last week before the media coverage began,” read a statement to EW.
The signs appeared as fan criticism mounted against director Rian Johnson and his choices for Episode VIII. (Even Mark Hamill had said some things that he now regrets.) They first came to the public’s attention when actor Paul Scheer posted an image of one to Facebook.
“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,” the sign read. “While the images continue to play on the screen you will hear nothing. This is intentionally done by the director for a creative effect.”
Indeed, it was intentional. This moment occurs when Holdo (Laura Dern) crashes her ship at light-speed into a First Order destroyer to save the Resistance and release the escape pods. The sound cuts out, creating a vacuum-like effect.
“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,” VFX supervisor Ben Morris told Collider. “We realized that it worked. That’s never really happened in Star Wars before.”
Because this is a Star Wars first, some viewers were confused. According to IndieWire, some even complained to the theaters — hence the signs.
Despite other complaints from some fans, Star Wars: The Last Jedi is maintaining its box office streak as one of the highest-grossing films of the year in North America. After a dip in ticket sales over its second weekend, the film surpassed $800 million at the worldwide box office on Tuesday.