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Rian Johnson Clears up the Fan Confusion with ‘The Last Jedi’

Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Lucasfilm

The Last Jedi was a remarkable film, that brought a lot of new concepts into the Star Wars universe. If you haven’t seen the film yet, this is your chance to turn back now, because this interview is full of spoilers.

There is no doubting that The Last Jedi was a masterpiece and amazed audiences, but there are a few things that happened during the film that had audiences and fans scratching their heads. It was a film with its faults, but it was a great change for the Star Wars universe. Once you leave the theater, (which may feel uneasy) the new trilogy is well on its ways to severing the ties to old cast members.

Image: Lucasfilm

Johnson’s choices are questionable by some. He sympathizes with fans who may feel uneasy about the new direction of the franchise. In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, Johnson defends his decisions, although they may be difficult for some to swallow:

The truth is, because Star Wars until The Force Awakens has been set in amber and we hadn’t had a new Star Wars movie in 10 years, you forget that they were introducing new Force stuff with each movie, based on the requirements of the story. Force-grabbing didn’t come around until Empire, it wasn’t in A New Hope. Same with Force ghosts. They’d introduce new ideas of what could happen with the Force each time.

It is definitely a concept that Johnson embraces. So, what is up with Yoda’s Force ghost being able to interact with the real world?

The one point where we do introduce a bit of a twist in terms of Force ghosts is where Yoda calls down the lightning onto the tree. That, I think, is a tantalizing hint of the potential of someone who is a Force ghost interacting with the real world.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Lucasfilm
Image: Lucasfilm

Johnson also addresses Leia being able to escape the vacuum of space using the Force:

That was something Kathy [Kennedy] was always asking: Why has this never manifested in Leia? She obviously made a choice, because in “Return of the Jedi” Luke tells her, “You have that power too.” I liked the idea that it’s not Luke concentrating, reaching for the lightsaber; it’s an instinctual survival thing, like when you hear stories of a parent whose toddler is caught under a car and they get superhuman strength, or a drowning person clawing their way to the surface. It’s basically just her not being done with the fight yet.

I wanted it to happen [for Carrie] and I knew it was going to be a stretch. It’s a big moment, and I’m sure it will land different ways for different people, but for me it felt like a really emotionally satisfying thing to see.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Lucasfilm
Image: Lucasfilm

Then he talks about the “ForceTime” sessions between Rey and Kylo Ren. Johnson says the main reason for this was because necessity. If Kylo and Rey were in the same setting, wouldn’t they fight rather than getting to know each other? According to Johnson, The Force is how:

I knew I wanted them to talk, and to talk enough to where we could go from “I hate you,” to her being forced to actually engage with him. That’s where the idea of these “Force connections” came from, which is kind of new thing. It’s a little bit of a riff on what happens with Vader and Luke at the end of “The Empire Strikes Back,” but it’s entirely new in some regards.

Star Wars: the Last Jedi, Lucasfilm
Image: Lucasfilm

The final choice that Johnson touched on was Luke’s ability to Force Project himself across the Galaxy. Skywalker did this to distract the First Order long enough for the Resistance to escape. The comics have given Luke this ability before:

When Luke shows up he’s projecting, it’s like a hardcore variation of what Kylo and Rey have been doing the whole time and that’s why it takes so much out of him….We tried to play really, really fair. In terms of his footsteps – we removed all of his foley — there are no footstep sounds. They never touch. And if you look, the salt flakes that are falling are sparking off of Kylo’s saber and not off of Luke’s.

Although some things were surprises to us all, The Last Jedi was a delight. It tied up old stories and paved the way for a bold new generation of Force users. It was a brilliant ending for a Star Wars film, and a proper finale for Luke’s life. There is more to the interview at the link below.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Lucasfilm
Image: Lucasfilm

How do you feel about the bold choices that Rian Johnson chose to include in The Last Jedi? Let us know in the comments below.


[Los Angeles Times]
Brad Repka
I am an avid lover of all things Movies, TV, Games, and delicious other randomness. Thanks for reading, and feel free to leave comment!