Rian Johnson and Mark Hamill Discuss Spoilers About the Skywalker Twins in The Last Jedi - Star Wars News Net | Star Wars News Net
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Rian Johnson and Mark Hamill Discuss Spoilers About the Skywalker Twins in The Last Jedi

In a series of articles from Entertainment Weekly, Anthony Breznican talks spoilers with Rian Johnson and some of the cast. In this article, we take a look at what came from his discussion with Johnson and Mark Hamill concerning the Skywalker twins and their story arcs in The Last Jedi.

Warning: If you still haven’t seen the film and are avoiding spoilers, stop now. Otherwise, full steam ahead…


The focus of Breznican’s discussion with Johnson and Hamill primarily revolves around the two key moments in the movie concerning Luke and Leia – and if you’ve seen the movie (hopefully you have if you’re still with me – if not what are you thinking?) then you know which two moments in the film I’m talking about. First, let’s take a look at what the director and the last Jedi himself thought about Luke’s death in The Last Jedi


Luke Skywalker


(quotes from EW):


Johnson explains that the decision to have Luke die in the movie was not taken lightly:


“I had huge hesitance,” Johnson says of ending one of the most beloved characters in movie history. “I was terrified. It was a growing sense of dread when I realized this was going to make sense in that chapter.”


He also talked about how much involvement he had with the folks at Lucasfilm as he was bouncing around story ideas:


“It was not like I wrote the script and dropped it on their desk. It was very important to me that I was collaborating with the folks at Lucasfilm from the word go,” he said. “I moved to San Francisco for a few months and would go in a few times a week to keep them up to date, spewing my ideas out, especially the big ones.”



Mark Hamill expresses his initial concerns and present denial of his character’s demise:


 “Well, I’m still in denial,” Hamill joked. “I just think he transported somewhere else.”

“The first thing I said was, ‘Can’t you wait and do this in Episode IX?’”


But Johnson clarified that it was necessary for the final chapter in the trilogy to focus on the new characters:


“I think the hero’s journey of Luke Skywalker concluded in Return of the Jedi. This [trilogy] is the hero’s journey of Rey, and Finn, and Poe,” Johnson said. “The [ongoing] story of Luke is one that has to play in tandem with that of Rey.”


One of the most surprising moments in the movie may have been the third act arrival of Luke on Crait as he takes the First Order on single-handedly. After surviving a direct assault of inescapable fire from the entire First Order and emerging without so much as a singed robe, the bewilderment begins to hit the audience as they ask the question “just how powerful is Luke Skywalker?”. The answer to that question (along with some hindsight explanations) is given when viewers discover that Luke was never even really present on Crait to begin with, but that he was using the Force to project an image of himself on Crait as a distraction to allow the remaining Resistance forces to escape – an act that ultimately cost the Jedi his life in the process.



On second watch, viewers may notice that there are many hints early on that Luke was never physically present on Crait. For one, Luke never clashes sabers with his nephew, constantly ducking and evading Kylo Ren’s strikes. According to editor Bob Ducsay there are several of these subtle hints in the movie:


“Exactly, by design,” editor Bob Ducsay said. “There are many small things that would give you some clues as to what’s going on with Luke. He doesn’t make a sound. Nothing ever falls on him. Kylo’s lightsaber interacts with the salt, and Luke’s doesn’t.”


Leia Organa


(quotes from EW):


Another surprising moment in the film happened when Leia is blown out of her starship along with the other Resistance leaders, only to finally demonstrate just how strong the Force is in her family. In a tragic attack that saw others like Admiral Ackbar meet their end, the story wasn’t over for the General. Floating seemingly lifeless in space for several heartbeats, Leia’s fingers begin to twitch, her eyes open, and the ice built up on her face begins to melt as she reaches out with her innate Force abilities to draw herself back to safety.


As much as people love Leia, this seems to be one of the more divisive moments in the movie, with many people arguing the ridiculousness of the scene with others pointing out the beauty and wonder of the moment. Personally, I find myself somewhere in the middle in this debate, loving that Leia used the Force, yet not loving the execution on screen. That being said, love it or hate it, I do want to point out that there is precedence for her survival in the Star Wars canon.



In the Clone Wars series, there is an episode where Senator Amidala finds herself in a predicament during the battle of Mon Cala where her underwater life support system becomes damaged. Anakin and fellow Jedi Kit Fisto create a “Force orb” around the senator to keep her from drowning. While it could be argued that the two scenarios are very different given that one takes place in water while the other in the vacuum of space, there is another moment where a Force user survived being ejected into space.



In Star Wars: Rebels, Kanan Jarrus is ejected into the vacuum of space by Maul, but quickly and frantically uses the Force to pull himself back to safety. I read that a human could only survive in a vacuum for about 15 seconds before succumbing due to the lack of oxygen in the blood. My theory is that Leia instinctively created a Force orb around herself (evidenced by her continued survival past this point and the fact that the ice on her face had started to melt) and like Kanan, she began to pull herself toward the ship using the Force. I would have preferred she do so with a more frantic desperation on screen, but in the end, I understand Rian’s decision to have her exude a graceful elegance as she made her way to safety.


Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy


According to Johnson, it was Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy that pushed the hardest for Leia to tangibly use the Force in the movie:


 “She kept asking, ‘Leia’s a Skywalker, Luke gave her this speech in Jedi and told her basically, ‘You have this potential, too.’ It seemed to me it would be a really emotionally impactful thing to see her use it,” the filmmaker said.


“I liked the idea it would be an instinctual thing. This would be more like stories you hear about parents of toddlers who get caught under cars and they get Hulk strength and lift the car up,” he said.


“It would be something in these final moments to show that she’s not done with the fight. And like a drowning person pulling herself back, that’s how it manifests itself for the first time in her.”



Concerning Luke’s Force projection on Crait, Mark Hamill suggests that viewers watching the movie for the second time may pick up on a knowing look between Luke and Leia that betrays Leia’s realization that her brother isn’t really there. It was during the moment when Luke hands Leia the dice from the Falcon:


“That’s when she knows,” Hamill says.


It will be interesting to see how they handle Leia moving forward in the saga, but I think we can rest assured that unless J.J. Abrams (The Force Awakens, Episode IX) has something else in mind, the Jedi Master will be back in the sequel trilogy’s conclusion to offer some more advice to Rey much like Obi-Wan did with Luke in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Hamill seems to be open to return to the galaxy far far away, and I think I speak for most if not all fans when I say that his presence would be welcomed in Episode IX.


Click HERE and HERE to read the full articles from Entertainment Weekly.



Jordan Pate is Co-Lead Editor and Senior Writer for Star Wars News Net, of which he is also a member of the book and comic review team. He loves all things Star Wars, but when he’s not spending time in the galaxy far far away, he might be found in our own galaxy hanging out in Gotham City or at 1407 Graymalkin Lane, Salem Center, NY.


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