When The Empire Strikes Back was released in 1980, no one had ever seen a Force Ghost. No one had ever seen the Force used to lift a ship. It was all new and it was fine. But, when director Rian Johnson introduced a seemingly new Force ability in The Last Jedi, people went crazy.
Turns out, though, what Johnson had Luke Skywalker do wasn’t exactly new.
Johnson took to Twitter today with a hilarious series of images that, well, it’s fun to experience them on your own.
????— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) January 19, 2018
So there it is. In The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force, a 2010 book by Daniel Wallace, the “doppelganger” technique used by Luke Skywalker at the end of The Last Jedi to trick Kylo Ren is established. It was part of Star Wars long before Rian Johnson got his hands on the franchise.
However, there are a few caveats here. By the loose rules of the new Star Wars canon, that book, which is written to kind of be one of the “sacred Jedi texts”, is now “Legends”. It isn’t part of what’s considered “real”. However, plenty of things from Legends have made their way into the canon, such as Grand Admiral Thrawn. It’s a very good place for Star Wars filmmakers to seek inspiration and, it seems, that may have been what Johnson did.
For more information on the book, its Wookieepedia entry is pretty solid.
Also, Johnson had already talked about some of this in interviews since the release of the film but never mentioned this book. It’s curious, but still incredibly interesting. You can read many of those quotes in the stories below.
The debate rages on.