Rian Johnson Perfectly Explains Luke's Appearance At The End Of The Last Jedi

Almost a month after its release, fans are still vigorously debating many aspects of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Much of that centres around the treatment of Luke Skywalker, including his moments near the end of the film.

Image: YouTube

If somehow you haven't seen the movie yet, we're about to get into some huge spoilers.

Near the end of the film, Luke projects a vision of himself across the galaxy in order to distract his nephew, Kylo Ren, so the Resistance can escape. It's Luke's final heroic act before his death, creating a legend to inspire the galaxy. But, of course, Luke's projection doesn't look the way he does in the rest of the movie.

He's younger, with a shorter haircut, new outfit and, most surprisingly, his father's old lightsaber, last seen in the possession of Rey. A lightsaber that was destroyed just a few scenes earlier.

Speaking to IGN, Last Jedi writer and director Rian Johnson talked about the scene, including the question of Kylo not noticing that a lightsaber which was destroyed mere minutes earlier was in the hands of his uncle. Shouldn't that have been a glaring red flag for Kylo that this wasn't Luke?

"We as an audience saw that," Johnson explained. "The truth is, we see the lightsaber split in half [but] Kylo sees a blinding flash of light and is knocked unconscious, and then Rey takes the lightsaber away before he wakes up. So if you really want to dig into it and get an explanation, you can say that he doesn't 100 per cent know what happened to the lightsaber."

That... makes a lot of sense actually. But what about the rest of it? The haircut, the new duds? Johnson continues:

"[Luke] is basically tailoring this projection to have maximum effect on Kylo. He knows that Kylo's Achilles heel is his rage, and so that's why he kind of makes himself look younger, the way Kylo would have last seen him in their confrontation at the temple, and that's why he decided to bring Kylo's grandfather's lightsaber down there -- the lightsaber that Kylo screamed at Rey, 'That's mine, that belongs to me.'"

That, again, makes a lot of sense and is a conclusion many filmgoers came to on their own. But hearing Johnson explain it gives it a bit more authority.

[IGN via JediNews]

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    what a crock! poorly written. no understanding of narrative flow. characters saddled with abysmal dialogue. puerile, ham fisted attempts at humour. cloyingly cute creatures who have zero contribution other than to amuse the kiddies and fuel merchandising. no amount of post release justification will explain how this clown was allowed to wreak havoc on the star wars franchise.

      While you have no understanding of grammar.
      Well done cyber warrior!!

      Yeah i know your comment was but what about the movie?

    It's funny how many of these stories are ow coming out. Disney is on the backfoot, pumping out heaps of stories & interviews trying desperately to explain all the holes in the story and why they did it.
    We should not be publishing these SW apologist stories

      It's also possible that Disney put a social media ban on the production for the first month and heavily censured people who weren't being managed by PR. This goes some way to explain Hamill's "fundamentally disagree" to his glorious backflip worthy of an Olympic Gymnast. Now that China has flopped, pressure will be on the merchandise and PR for Han Solo to bring people around in Feb-March back to the franchise, to see if there's fallout from TLJ. Expect more of these stories as Disney PR paves the ground with stories every few weeks to bring people back with nostalgia and correcting the record "this is what people think" puff pieces.

      So I'm guessing you didn't like the film.
      I really liked it, thought it was the best written of the SW films since Empire, and considerably better than Return of the Jedi.

      Nearly everything that Disney has put out since the film's release has closely echoed discussions we have been having. Honestly I feel like way more effort and care went into this than almost any other film in the franchise.

      I feel like people now want everything explained within the movie, leaving nothing to talk about/debate about with your friends afterwards. It has been a bane of current films, you walk out of the cinema and have almost nothing to talk about, everything has so much exposition and so little room left for speculation or debate.

      The gaps in the explanation is a big part of the reason Star Wars was so popular in the first place, it allowed the fanbase room to speculate and argue and fill in the story themselves.

      I loved the film, and feel it got better on subsequent viewings *because* of the attention to detail, you see the answers to some head-scratching moments the second or third time around because you notice some details you missed before (like Luke not leaving a mark on the salt, his lightsaber not reacting to the falling salt flakes, Yoda's comment signalling that Rey had already taken the books).

      A lot of people didn't like the movie, a lot of people loved it, either way a lot of work and care and attention to detail went into the movie, and a lot of it drew from the comics and other sources as well. It was a risk, and I'm glad they took it, they needed to move away from recycling the 'Three young folks blow up the giant planet' formula and expand the universe out, and I feel they got it right.

      It was a great way for Luke to go out, he felt very true to character all the way through, and it really did feel like they were moving on, without crapping on the past.

      I wish Rian was directing the last film of the new trilogy.

      If you honestly thought this was a plot hole, or similar, you really need to think about things more. There were many, many ways to explain any issues that might have arisen from this scene, in particular, if you just stopped to think about it for more than 3.2 microseconds. They don't need to, nor have the time to, explain every little detail you may not understand in the film, if you can't comprehend this, perhaps films a little bit less mature would be more suitable for you.

    It's kind of sad the RJ is trying to explain away the lack of care and thought he put into his film. Just give it up man, you sucked as a writer.

    I saw one thing where he was saying Kylo probably didn't know the lightsaber was destroyed when it happened in front of him moments before in the film.

    Or him scrambling to explain that he made force ghosts something live Jedi can do as something that's fine because in the OT it introduced new powers. Ignoring the entire trilogy of Jedi's at the top of their game power wise.

    With this, once again it's a weak excuse of him trying to justify his lack of care or thought or respect for the material. It doesn't even make sense, Luke is using Anakin's lightsaber to taunt Kylo? Due to something Kylo said to Rey when Luke wasn't around and so does not know about?

    I don't think RJ realises characters in his films aren't actually watching the movie. It's like his "inspiring hope" moment that sparks the rebellion is something no one saw but some First Order people who from a distance would have seen Kylo kill Luke. Yet in the film the kids telling the story are from the perspective of the viewer having just watched the scene. Not that it even made any sense except Poe tells the audience it'll spark the rebellion before anything happened. Bad writing.

    Surely the Green lightsaber Luke tried to murder Kylo in his sleep with would be more of a taunt and rage inducing?

      You spent SO long writing this comment. How do you care this much about a movie.

        Good point, RJ was correct in making stupid decisions when making the film. Well said.

        Star Wars is more than just this one movie.

    OMG... It's like Rian Johnson is channelling the thoughts of everyone watching... The guy is a genius... I think we are up to 147000 hours of supporting canon for this film... And I am loving every second of it... I think I found some extra peripheral supporting material in a flea market in Tajikistan, just this weekend past... As soon as Disney forks out a couple of mill for it... I will share it with everyone! For free!

    Ugh... sorry. I know the Skywalker saga can’t go on forever, but he literally destroyed what made the original characters so entertaining and memorable in this film. Just to create new sagas not around the old characters?

    I was excited when Disney got the franchise, and I was one of the few who loved Episode 7 and was excited and is brought so much potential. Sadly, episode 8 makes it feel like a 100% money grab and they have no idea or vision for this saga/series now.

    Isn't it possible that either he didn't even focus on the lightsaber due to his rage or even better, luke could've constructed his own. People just looking for things to complain about. Best SW film since Empire IMO

    I don't know about you lot, but I look forward to all the SJW-infused Adventures of MaRey Sue... when it appears on Netflix.

    Luke's appearance didn't bother me at all. What did is the stupid idea that some jet aircraft need to have a skid running along the ground just to justify a visual effect of pretty Red dust. Also why not fly any of the snake ships at light speed into the dreadnaught way earlier and save all the rebels...

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