Rian Johnson On How He Arrived At Luke’s Force Projection In Star Wars: The Last Jedi


Six weeks after The Last Jedi‘s release and still, the analysis of Rian Johnson’s Star Wars sequel continues unabated.

To his credit, the director has been pretty forthcoming about the pic. Whether it’s the so-called “Holdo Maneuver” to General Hux’s big moment, the mystery of Rey’s parentage to Luke Skywalker’s third and final lesson, Johnson hasn’t shied away from The Last Jedi‘s more contentious scenes, nor has he buckled in the face of online criticism – in fact, if you happen to follow Rian Johnson on Twitter, you’ll know that he tends to put Internet trolls in their place.

And now, thanks to his recent appearance on /Film’s podcast, Johnson has shared new details on how he arrived at Luke’s Force projection in The Last Jedi. Citing inspiration from Star Wars: The Jedi Path, a canonical book from Daniel Wallace, the director’s epiphany came at a time when he was trying to “crack” Luke’s final moments.

It’s arguably one of the most important scenes in the entire movie, and below, Johnson recalls the moment in which he broke through a mental block and, ultimately, completed Luke Skywalker’s arc.

I was in the middle of trying to crack this whole thing with Luke and the ending. I hadn’t quite got it yet, but I had this notion of what ended up being the projection thing that he does. But I wasn’t sure about it. I was like, is this okay? I swear to God, this happened, I was sitting in the lobby at Lucasfilm, waiting for [senior vice president] Kiri [Hart] to come out because I had forgotten my badge that day or something.

In closing, Johnson reaffirmed that he stumbled upon Daniel Wallace’s book at just the right time. Hell, you might even say it was written in the stars.

That book was sitting on the coffee table there in the lobby. I picked it up and started thumbing through it, and I said, ‘Ooh, advanced Force powers.’ I turned to it, and it described exactly what you saw. I landed on that and it was like a God ray came down or something.

Now simmering just below $1.3 billion, Star Wars: The Last Jedi has proven to be a massive success for Lucasfilm – even if it falls just short of expectations. You can blame the sequel’s dismal performance in China for that one, after it was pulled from nearly all theaters in its third week of release.