Following his ever so brief cameo at the end of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, moviegoers are expecting to see plenty more of Luke Skywalker in the upcoming eighth installment to the franchise, Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The first trailer for the film has proven that Luke Skywalker will indeed play a key part in the blockbuster, and now director Rian Johnson has given us our clearest indication yet about what The Last Jedi will focus on.
Rian Johnson has admitted that when he was hired to both write and direct Star Wars: The Last Jedi, he immediately decided that his first decision was to figure out exactly what’s been going through Luke Skywalker’s mind during the build up to The Force Awakens, especially what forced Luke Skywalker to trek all the way across the galaxy, without telling anyone, and then taking refuge in Ahch-To.
“Figuring out where his head was at was the very first thing I had to do when writing the movie. I had to crack this. And it had to be something for me that first and foremost made sense. Why did Luke Skywalker go off to this island? That was the starting point, and that’s what the entire movie explores.”
After Rian Johnson explained the above, it was then suggested to the filmmaker that the reason Luke Skywalker decided to leave behind the likes of Han Solo, Leia Organa, Chewbacca, R2-D2, and C3PO was because he was actually a coward. But the Looper and Brick director immediately dismissed this suggestion, insisting that Luke Skywalker’s reason for hiding has to be impressive enough to make sense to the character, as well as to the audience.
“I didn’t want it to. There has to be a good reason that makes sense to him — and to some degree makes sense to us.”
While Rian Johnson’s comments to Entertainment Weekly are certainly enlightening, and give audiences yet another reason to immediately start counting down the days until the film is with us, we already have enough information to understand exactly why Luke Skywalker decided to depart. The opening crawl for Star Wars: The Force Awakens was the first time that it was revealed to audiences that Luke Skywalker had vanished from sight.
“Luke Skywalker has vanished. In his absence, the sinister FIRST ORDER has risen from the ashes of the Empire and will not rest until Skywalker, the last Jedi, has been destroyed
“With the support of the REPUBLIC, General Leia Organa leads a brave RESISTANCE. She is desperate to find her brother Luke and gain his help in restoring peace and justice to the galaxy.
“Leia has sent her most daring pilot on a secret mission to Jakku, where an old ally has discovered a clue to Luke’s whereabouts…”
Over the course of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we then learned that Luke Skywalker had gone into hiding shortly after Ben Solo, the son of Han Solo and Leia Organa who is also Luke’s nephew, was seduced over to the dark side of the force by Supreme Leader Snoke while Luke was training him to be a Jedi. Ben Solo then took the name of Kylo Ren, and alongside Snoke they destroyed Skywalker’s Jedi Academy.
Because of this tragedy, Luke Skywalker felt so much responsibility that he immediately decided to go into hiding and disappeared. In The Force Awakens it was speculated that Luke had gone to find the first Jedi temple, while it was eventually revealed that he was on Ahch-To. The Force Awakens concluded with Daisy Ridley’s Rey handing Luke his old lightsaber, and we’ll get to see what unfolds immediately after when The Last Jedi is released on December 15.
[Featured Image by Lucasfilm]