Caution: Spoilers ahead.
Director Rian Johnson knows that some of the decisions he made in Star Wars: The Last Jedi have polarized fans. An opinionated Star Wars fan himself, Johnson has mostly acknowledged the haters with Yoda-like zen. But apparently, he’s grown weary of one particular critique: that Luke’s use of his Force powers in the climactic scene falls outside of a Jedi’s established abilities. On Friday, the writer-director clapped back with a Twitter thread of photos, using a Star Wars reference from his own bookshelf to prove that he did his Jedi homework.
In one of the final scenes of The Last Jedi, Luke Skywalker shows up on the isolated planet Crait to engage in battle with his estranged nephew, First Order leader Kylo Ren. Unbeknownst at first to Kylo Ren (and the audience), Luke is not actually present; he’s deep in meditation on the island of Ahch-To, and is projecting his image using the Force. His gambit provides a necessary diversion for the Resistance to make a getaway. It also uses the last of Luke’s strength; once his projected image vanishes from Crait, he fades out of existence on Ahch-To.
Earlier on, the film introduced the idea that Jedi could project themselves by establishing a Force connection between Rey and Kylo Ren, who could see and feel one another’s presence from separate locations. Still, countless internet debates have raged about whether Johnson was overstepping the bounds of Force mythology. Here, in tweets, is Johnson’s response.
To sum up: The ability for a Jedi to “create a short-lived duplicate of himself or herself” is clearly outlined in the Advanced Force Techniques section of the ancient Jedi manual The Jedi Path. Granted, The Jedi Path was actually written and published in fall 2010 — but that still means that Luke’s astral projection was established, in canon, years before Johnson began working on The Last Jedi.
Naturally, Johnson closed the conversation with the classic “Homer retreating into the bushes” GIF.
The director has also recently used Twitter to mock the men’s-rights activists who made a cut of the film that removed all of the female characters. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (the version with female characters)has made $1.3 billion worldwide so far.
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