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]


    I'll buy it but in all honesty, he did look like an old man who had dyed his hair and beard.

    One would think it'd have a bigger effect on Kylo if Luke was holding the lightsaber he tried to murder him in his sleep with.

    RJ is putting about as much effort into his excuses as he put into writing the film.

    I mean, I'm willing to believe that Anakin's lightsaber this entire time has been a force vision considering that thing was lost in the gas clouds of Bespin.

    Absolute bullshit that it hasn't been explained yet.

      They blew it up, so it doesn't need to ever be explained.

      The weird thing is, they deliberately set it up to be mysterious. Maz could have easily said, "I got it from some Kotakian relic dealers" and while explaining nothing it answers the question.

      One has to assume it got stuck in a vent somewhere and didn't fall into the gas.

      However they set up, "it's a story for another day."

      I suspect the original intention was to delve more into the relic hunter's aspect. Like how Kylo had Vader's helmet.

        You see it falling into the clouds in the movie though, don't you?

          You just see it fall away from that structure Luke and Vader was fighting on. Luke's hands cut off, he clings to the thing and then he falls and is sucked into a vent. So presumably something similar happened. Also a misconception is that big hollow tube they are fighting in is the long stalk at the bottom of the city. It's actually in the large saucer section and so there probably isn't just a big whole at the bottom for things to fall into the clouds.

      it's not lost in the gas clouds for the same reason luke didn't fall down straight into the gas clouds. It got trapped somewhere in the jefferies tubes

        You see it falling into the clouds in the movie though, don't you?

        Luke managed to hold onto some sort of antenna, last I checked a lightsaber didn't have the same amount of dexterity.

          nah it just falls down into the reactor shaft, which has a bottom.

          Luke falls down the shaft and goes into an exhaust tube, he gets to the bottom of an S bend or something and then drops from there to the antenna.

          It's very plausible his hand and lightsaber didn't get sucked into an exhaust tube, or if they did it might have ended up stuck somewhere later for maintenance to find.

    Ugh. The movie didn't live up to expectations. Time to stop beating a dead horse and move on.

      It exceeded my expectations and I loved the film.
      I can understand that some people didn't, but it really worked for me on all levels, and there were no 'cheats', pretty much everything in the film had a proper grounding, like Luke at the end not leaving marks on the salt and his sabre not reacting with the falling salt particles.

      I enjoyed it, it felt more real, had great characters and felt more like 'Star Wars' to me than ROTJ, TFW or any of the prequels.

        I honestly dont understand this at all...I had the exact opposite view as you. Pretty much every character was poorly written, most of them making terrible decisions. The pacing of the film as way too slow and timelines didnt make sense. There were plot holes all over the place, and there were so many times when something major would happen out of nowhere with no explanation or buildup. Plus the casino scenes were completely pointless and lacked any sort of urgency. I dont understand how people find it to be even a good movie let alone a great one.

          In fiction, good character DO make bad decisions. Like, literally everything Hamlet ever does. Like every time on Game of Thrones you've yelled at the television screen because someone was making a terrible, terrible decision that was foreshadowed.

            Really depends on the scenario though. The whole point of a bad decision is to provide a learning experience for the character, and to make them grow, OR there needs to be no alternative, and the character knows it's a bad decision, but its something they need to do so there is justification for doing it. The characters in TLJ make bad decisions with no relevant justification for why they did it, with glaringly obvious alternatives that would have been better. They also do things with no urgency relative to the situation. It leads to scenes happening that are 100% pointless and are only there to fill time in a 2.5 hr movie...Correct me if I'm wrong but I dont think anything Hamlet did wasted the audience's time.

              > The whole point of a bad decision is to provide a learning experience for the character, and to make them grow, OR there needs to be no alternative, and the character knows it's a bad decision, but its something they need to do so there is justification for doing it.

              The seems to assume that characters ought to be rational. But humans are often irrational, and good characters are human (even the aliens).

              Were you annoyed that Harry Potter spent most of the Order of the Phoenix irrationally angry? I was. But it was also realistic, because I spent much of my adolescence as an angry teenage boy.

              Tragedy in Hamlet could have been avoided if: Hamlet had rationally considered his father as a human being and a woeful husband, instead of lionizing him; if Hamlet had had a sensible adult-to-adult conversation with his mother; if Hamlet had not been a jerk and toyed with Ophelia's affections; if he's looked before he stabbed a sword through a tapestry and killed Polonius; ad infinitum. He does dumb human stuff because humans are dumb, and tragedy is unavoidable.

              I sometimes want to have infantile tantrums like my 3-year-old; and I might if I was powerful enough could get away with it and no-one had ever disciplined me (see absent father figure)--just like Kylo Ren.

              I sometimes want to arrogantly make my mark, disregarding long-term benefit for the sake of short-term glory, just like Poe in the beginning.

              I often think those in authority are idiots and fail to think with either empathy or acknowledgement that other people have more information than they are disseminating--just like Poe disregarded orders of Leia and Holdo.

              And so forth.

              Perhaps the casino planet scenes could have been cut or shortened; no disagreement. But then would the most important line in the film have been in poignant if Rose and Finn had not shared significant screen time?

              "We don't win by fighting what we hate, but by saving what we love."

      I can't help but feel that there is, all over the net, a certain Asch Paradigm going on with positive reflections of the movie without acknowledging its issues. Enough persons/articles saying its good to trick opposing opinions to conform that the movie was good?
      I wonder if it could work?

      Last edited 15/01/18 12:37 am

    Ummm to sell more merchandise.
    Star Wars is nothing but a cynical cash grab stuffed full of condescending fan service. It’s ok to love a franchise but mindlessly lapping up anything they shit out makes a mockery out of consumers.

      So you didn't like the film then?

    Next they’ll plug holes in continuity with the “it’s all been a wonderful dream” device which grade schoolers use to finish their English assignments.

    His looks were the major tell he wasn't really there? Not the fact he suddenly appears in a base with no way in or out, or leaves no red footsteps in the salt? Then there's the whole not getting blasted to bits by a bombardment of walker blaster fire...

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