Rian Johnson Responds to Star Wars: The Last Jedi Luke Skywalker Criticisms
Rian Johnson, the writer and director of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, has defended his portrayal of Luke Skywalker in Episode VIII in response to a detailed critique of the character development in the film.Johnson vocalised his opinion of Luke's characterization on Twitter, as he directly replied to someone who had shared a detailed post from another user, critiquing how the hero's story arc differs in The Last Jedi compared to the original trilogy.The case study, from an account titled 'Not Rian's Luke', highlights key scenes from the franchise to illustrate the author's personal issues with Luke's attitude and behaviour at pivotal moments in The Last Jedi, which they argue "undermines the central conflict of the original trilogy AND the prequels", claiming Johnson "attempts to overwrite six films-worth of arcs of the main franchise characters (Anakin and Luke)."
Another user retweeted the write-up, tagging Johnson, as they supported the writer of the piece, saying, "This is the best written explanation I've seen of how Rian Johnson completely destroys the character of Luke Skywalker and almost derailed the franchise. Thank goodness for Bad Robot coming in and cleaning up Johnson's mess."In response, Johnson defended his choices for the sequel trilogy film, saying, "Gil, I understand that point of view but I completely disagree with it. In fact I think it disrespects the character of Luke by treating him not as a true mythic hero overcoming recurring wounds & flaws, but as a video game character who has achieved a binary, permanent power-up."
This isn't the first time that Luke's story arc in The Last Jedi has come under question, as J.J. Abrams' longtime editor Maryann Brandon recently cited the character's demise as "a problem.""All I can say about that is that The Last Jedi, I really enjoyed, but I will say it did present a lot of challenges in terms of where Episode IX had to go to finish the saga," Brandon explained, saying, "Luke died, which was a problem."She added, "I think Rian Johnson is an amazing filmmaker, and I just think that when you're doing a trilogy, you can't just abandon a story. So whatever he chose to put in that film, those things that are dangling have to be dealt with. And you have to deal with them honestly."Debates are likely to continue as more and more people watch The Rise of Skywalker, the final chapter of the Skywalker saga, which has received a mixed reaction so far.For more on Episode IX, read our full review of the saga-capper as well as IGN's staff reviews of the ninth film in the long-spanning series, which celebrated its World Premiere in Los Angeles on December 16, 2019.
Adele Ankers is a Freelance Entertainment Journalist. You can reach her on Twitter.