Rian Johnson: Why Luke Skywalker Decided To Reignite The Legend Of The Jedi

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The ending of Star Wars: The Last Jedi may have shown the death of Luke Skywalker, but his reappearance on Crait has somehow revived the story of him as a legend. Director Rian Johnson talks to Empire about Luke's decisions to stay on the island of Ach-To and why he decided to not let the Jedi "die with him" like he initially wanted in the movie.

Johnson explains:

"He's taken himself out of the fight, he's sitting on that island in exile. I know the Luke I grew up with is not a coward, he's not sitting out there hiding, so I had to come up with a reason he was there that was active and positive, and something I could genuinely believe I could think in his shoes… And the thing that came to me that seemed to make sense to me is this notion that he seems this hero worship of him and of the Jedi that is detrimental to the galaxy."


The universe has put its faith in its false god of the Jedi and they need to forget the religion so they can get back to god, that light can rise from a worthier source. And because he's the last Jedi and a symbol of that, it then becomes this self-sacrifice he has to do to take himself out of it when he knows his friends are dying, when he knows the thing he'd like to do is get back in the fight. He's taken the weight of the world on his shoulders by taking himself out of the equation so that the Jedi can die out."

The end of the movie is him embracing the part of the past that the present needs, which right now is the legend of Luke Skywalker, they need something to believe in, they need that action figure of Luke Skywalker to grab on to, that inspiration to stare up at the stars and believe that you can be a hero."

A lot of fans may be angered that the movie made Luke out to be a coward, but as per Johnson's explanation, he thought he was doing the brave thing by ridding the galaxy of the Jedi. In the end, Luke was able to help out the only way that he can, and his demise was something that I thought was well pulled off. Johnson continues:

"I wanted Luke's death to be peaceful, to be on his terms I wanted it to be a victory. I wanted it to be that he's done this huge grand act that has restored the spark of hope to the galaxy. I'm hesitant to put into words what he does in the end, but it is completed."

No matter how "divisive" the movie is according to some fans, I thought that the film was the perfect follow-up to The Force Awakens. Unlike being a total rehash, TLJ managed to pay respects to the original trilogy, but at the same time pave its way into something completely new.

I can't wait for Episode IX.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is still out in theaters.

See Also: Star Wars: The Last Jedi Rumored To Receive A March Release Date For Blu-Ray And DVD