Rian Johnson Defends Luke’s Character In Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Says It’s Consistent With Original Trilogy


It’s been almost a year since Star Wars: The Last Jedi hit cinemas and certain corners of the internet are still bent out of shape about the direction Rian Johnson has taken the franchise in.

One of the ongoing sticking points is the way he wrote Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker, with attacks on the movie frequently stating that the Luke in The Last Jedi doesn’t logically follow from the man they saw take down the Emperor and bring peace to the galaxy in Return of the Jedi.

Now, over on Twitter, Johnson has defended himself once again, saying the following:

I’m 100% with Johnson on this. Even within the Original Trilogy, Luke isn’t a knight in shining armor. Almost the first time we meet him he’s considering joining the Imperial Academy and training as a pilot (presumably being destined to be just another TIE Fighter casually blown out of the sky). Then, throughout the OT he consistently behaves impulsively, angrily and acts upon his emotions. Sure, he realizes that this is the path to the Dark Side and turns away from it at a key moment, but you can’t just discard elements of your character so easily.

Even leaving aside the textual stuff, logically, any Sequel Trilogy is probably going to have to show Luke as a failure on some level. After all, he ushered in an era of peace for the galaxy. That’s great for the people living in Star Wars, but calm, peace and prosperity doesn’t make for particularly dynamic storytelling. For a Star Wars to be a ‘Star War,’ you’re going to need an organization very much like the First Order, and their existence proves that the happy ending Luke fought for was bound to sour at some point.

On top of that, there’s the simple observation that people change over time. Luke’s 22 in Return of the Jedi and 53 in The Last Jedi. You’re simply not the same person after thirty years, and even if Luke miraculously was, it’d be boring storytelling.

With Mark Hamill making a (probably ghostly) comeback in Star Wars: Episode IX, I’m sure we’ll get some final thoughts from Luke on his long journey, and personally, I can’t wait to hear them.