Warning : This article contains important spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi . Turn now if you have not seen the movie. Seriously. The porg will scream
Luke Skywalker's journey in Star Wars: The Last Jedi ends when his saga begins: with a lonely look at a binary sunset, a seemingly endless extension of the rest of the galaxy.
Gone was the eager Tatooine farmer from 40 years ago, for whom the pinnacle of excitement was a walk to the Tosche station. And the broken shell, angry and regretful of a man who turned his back on the Force, his legacy and his loved ones, chose the self-imposed exile to face his own failures.
This Lucas is different. Exhausted, but in peace. He has faced his past, finally learning not to throw it over a cliff, as if it were his own lightsaber, or to let it rot on a sacred and dusty shelf like the Jedi texts. Find hope again, not in itself, but in a new generation of Force users without the burden of the same Jedi arrogance that allowed the Dark Side to rise again and again. It is the philosophy Last Jedi in a few words, one that is far from being valuable to cling to the rituals of the past. Like Luke, he performs feats never before seen in Star Wars . And, like the former Jedi Master, he leaves behind a hero's mantle that anyone can badume: Skywalker's blood or not.
In the hands of writer and director Rian Johnson, no feature of the Star Wars -see is too sacred to upset it. Things are broken. The beloved characters perish. Good guys lose Dazzling twists and turns challenge expectations to the service of gratifying pathos and nuances. It's irreverently funny to a point that no movie from Star Wars has been, and even badier, too. It is without a doubt, par excellence, lovingly Star Wars and yet he dares to take the franchise beyond his worn-out obsessions to a new, more challenging terrain.
& # 39; We can not be precious About this matter & # 39;
In a franchise imbued with such a revered mythology as Star Wars in the fact that even small deviations provoke screams of heresy (and of course, this one already has), Johnson's approach is, in a word, bold. Even so, listening to him tell the day of The Liberation of The Last Jedi ] everything is done out of affection.
"I did not go in thinking that the way forward Star Wars is to throw it away or throw it away," he says by telephone from the Disney parking lot in Los Angeles. "I started thinking we can not be precious about this, we have to take the toys out of the box and play with them, that means some of them are going to break, but we're still doing this because we love them and we love this and we love what we We have to build on the past, which is hopefully where everything lands. "
" I think it's something that's going to be necessary, that we're pushing it away from the idea that [the main Star Wars saga] is limited to this little club of Skywalkers. "
– Rian Johnson in the fatherhood of Rey
The Last Jedi is a film about characters who struggle with their stories, and the remorse and disappointment rooted in them. Kylo Ren, aka Ben Solo, is so tortured by his chosen path on the Dark Side that he can only manage it by burning everything: "It's time to let old things die," he tells Rey, a young woman consumed by questions about where
It's her search for answers that brings her to Ahch-To and the moment when the predecessor of this movie, JJ Abrams The Force Awakens pbaded his story to: King gives Luke his old lightsaber. Johnson picks up exactly where Abrams left off, and immediately turns to the left hilariously twisted: Luke glances at the thing, wrinkles his nose and throws it over his shoulder.
"I did not want to write out of fear," says Johnson. "At the same time, it's mostly Kylo and, ironically, Luke's perspective for much of [the film] that the way forward is getting rid of the old, and I do not think it's ultimately where the heart of the movie ends. King is the one who really is our representative to find the way forward, which is much more where I land, which is what Luke tells Kylo at the end, you know, "try and get rid of me by hitting me violently and I will always be with you. "That's the case in life, I think."
"I mean, for example, at that moment in the lightsaber [with Luke and Rey] I got the feeling that Luke would react in that moment," he laughs. "He has made this Herculean effort to get out of the fight and leave all this behind, and here comes this guy putting this on his face with this look in his eyes as if to say:" Here you go, let's go on an adventure! " # 39; and is a symbol of everything that had moved away. "
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Luke throwing his legendary lightsaber like expired milk gives him a crazy and unpredictable tone, an early sign of how rampant Lucasfilm Johnson was when writing his script. There were no specific turns in the story he inherited from Abrams. But no plot point of the last Jedi reflects the unprecedented shake of the base Star Wars ideas more powerful than the answer it offers to a hotly debated question: Who are the fathers? from Rey?
& # 39; You're nothing. But not for me: about Rey's parents
Rey's mysterious past and powerful Force abilities made her look like a natural Skywalker – or at least, adjacent to Skywalker – at the end of Force Awakens . Analyzing the possibilities became a favorite pastime of the nerds: she got to be Luke's secret daughter, some badumed, while others thought Han and / or Leia had something to do. Maybe she was Obi-Wan? Or hell, maybe a clone made with the DNA of Luke's severed hand? (I'm not making it up.)
Each seemed more likely, if not more appetizing, than the most ordinary response imaginable: that it does not relate to anyone. As we had always known, Star Wars was the saga of the Skywalker family, from the rise and fall of Anakin, to Luke and Leia saving the galaxy, to the threats of Kylo Ren to destroy it. That Johnson chose for the hero of this brilliant new trilogy to be a stranger – "They were nobody", Kylo forces King to admit his parents – he's not just bold, he's downright radical in Star Wars – land.
"They were dirty junk traders," he says, after looking in his mind and seeing the vision he had of himself in the Cave of the mirror below Ahch-To. "I sold you for drinking money, they are dead in the grave of a homeless man in the desert of Jakku, you come from nothing, you are nothing, but not for me."
While Abrams (who is writing the script for Episode IX with Argo by Chris Terrio) might consider Kylo's blunt revelation as a lie, since he now agrees with Johnson, it's true. All this King really is a hero that comes from nowhere, just like Finn and Rose and Poe. It is a populist rejection of the idea that the fate of the galaxy depends on the Skywalkers, people born special and considered elite by virtue of their surname.
That was the idea, says Johnson. "I thought so attractive, I mean, that really seemed like something really exciting," he says. "I think that really goes back to the roots of what makes Luke attractive, because when you're watching that first movie, A New Hope you have nothing in your head about him being the Chosen or his lineage What you see is a child who is in the middle of nowhere on a farm, who is nobody, who feels that he will never leave, just as when we are children at the peak of adolescence, we We feel as if we live in a really small world and, oh man, will I ever grow up? Will I ever have these adventures that I still listen to on television? "
" He's on the verge of that, "he says," and then he throws himself into an adventure and finds himself dragged to the center of it, that, to me, is his essential attraction, and for me, the notion that Rey is nobody and that and suddenly find the power itself same to be the center of these great adventures? That's exceptional Star Wars . "
" I like the idea, and I think it's something that's going to be necessary, that we're pushing away the idea that [themainstar Wars saga] is limited to this little club of Skywalkers, "he continues. . The great revelation also had dramatic implications. "Rey is our protagonist and the truth is that, in the story, the hardest thing he can hear is, you know, you will not get the easy answer that you are Fulano's daughter, this is your place. in this world, and you always want to throw your protagonist's hardest. "
Goodbye to Luke Skywalker and Carrie Fisher
The last Jedi of course, it's still the end of Luke's Skywalker story – and a redemption.
Through an amazing feat of Force ability at the climax of the film, Luke does what only the most enlightened Jedi can do and astrally projects his spirit to Crait, where a shattered Resistance is deviating from the First Order. There, Luke and Leia-Mark Hamill and the late Carrie Fisher-meet in their first (and now last) scene together since 1983 The Return of the Jedi .
"It's weird because, you know, obviously we did not know that it would have the weight it would finally have and that it was going to be a farewell scene," says Johnson. "And it's strange because I remember when we were filming Luke-Leia's scene, it felt like a church on set, it was usually a jovial ensemble, it was usually, you know, a really happy and happy ensemble. Everyone was calm and watching these two, it was like silence over the whole thing, it really felt like a church. "
" And now when I see it, of course it is … ", Johnson adds, finishing. "I mean, it's complicated, it's very complicated, I feel very, God, I feel lucky, you know, I feel fortunate to have this performance of her, I feel fortunate to have had those moments with her, I feel so fortunate to that his last moments in the film, which are at the end of the film, are words of hope for King, that they have given us Yes, God, I wish he was here to see him. " (For more information on Johnson's contributions to Fisher's film, including the emotional scenes he co-wrote with him, head over here.)
Luke seeks Leia's forgiveness for failing his son, Ben. They mourn the loss of Han Solo, the love for Leia's life. And then Luke does what is most difficult: he confronts the young man he hurt, stoking his anger by appearing as he did the night he almost killed him. In an astute feat of pacifist bafbadery, Luke distracts Kylo long enough to allow the Resistance to escape and, back into Ahch-To, simply disappears, becoming one with the Force. An appropriate ending for a Jedi Master.
Johnson admits to feeling "terrified" at the prospect of ending the life of a cinematographic icon loved universally in his script. "OK, are we really going to do this?", Remember thinking. "Yes, this really feels good for this moment to happen here." The sunset scene itself, interspersed with Rey telling Leia that he felt "peace and purpose" in Luke's final moments, took "a long time" to crack and "land" with as much emotion as possible. " However, it is the last scene in the film that makes Lucas' sacrifice the most effective home.A small child beggar in the stables of the casino planet Canto Bight recreates the story of Luke Skywalker with homemade toys. and sent out, he pulls a broom towards him with apparent Force powers, and stares at the stars.
"The purpose is about Luke's journey," Johnson explains. "It shows that his great act was more to save 20 people in the cave. "It was about the spark of hope that he is now enlightened in the galaxy and the lower clbad will take that and be inspired to retell his story, as I did when I was a child with my action figures, and get inspired to grow and fight the good fight themselves, you know? "
Still, it was difficult for Mark Hamill to reconcile himself to this new and gloomy vision of Luke." I had many reservations to come, "recalls Johnson." He has been very eloquent when talking about how when he first read the script, It was not Luke's version that he expected. And I'm sure it will not be Luke's version that many fans will expect. But it's Luke's version that, coming out of The Force Awakens had to be like that. "
Johnson recalls" a lot of discussion and a lot of arguments "with Hamill." I had doubts about Luke having a great seriousness and weight and reject the role of the hero Luke Skywalker. Mark wanted Luke to come in with lightsabers blazing, "Johnson laughs." What it would have been, you know, I totally understand it! I understand it. It would have been the satisfaction of desire. "
" But we're not here to fulfill our wishes, we're here to tell a story, "he says," and that means we have to be faithful to where Luke is in the story. We have to follow that path. Fortunately, in the end, it is the realization of wishes you did not want to wish for, which is to see the power of Luke Skywalker make the decision to come back and be a bastard of Luke Skywalker "
" Finally, he decided to trust me, I suppose , and play your version of that. I think he just threw himself at him and, really, I'm very proud of his work in this movie. "
Bringing Diversity to a Galaxy Far, Far Away
Luke may have lit the fire of I hope, but for the fans of the real world, Rose Tico of the newcomer Kelly Marie Tran is a spark.
Rose is a mechanic who spends "the whole day behind the pipes" while exciting Finn in his first encounter with More than any character in the new saga, Rose is closer to a genuine substitute for the audience. "Rose was conceived by me as what it would be, like a ten-year-old child, to feel as if I was on an adventure Star Wars and the truth is that I would feel like you had the wrong person, I do not really belong here, "laughs Johnson." A true nerd. "
" That was the idea behind Rose: her sister She is a great fighter pilot, while she worked behind the pipes all day. And she is the one who has been thrown and has to prove herself. "
Resourceful and inventive, not to mention the first new character in the saga to steal a kiss on the screen, Rose also stands as Star Wars & # 39; first colored heroine, a long-overdue addition to the increasingly diverse list of actors in the highest-profile franchise in the galaxy.
"We did a huge casting for her , "Johnson remembers." We observed many talented actresses, both white actresses and women of color. We look at a broad, wide range. I did not think specifically about that, I was looking for an Asian actress. But when Kelly auditioned and I saw her and the whole package of her, she felt so good and just knew that she would be perfect for the role, and it was not so much about specifically looking for an Asian actress as finding Kelly. " Tran's contagious enthusiasm, now well documented on social media is such that he even changed Johnson's vision of the role. "The character actually ended up really evolving after playing Kelly because it was originally written like a lot more guy like Eeyore, "he says laughing." Like, you know, a grumpy character. And when I started working with Kelly, I realized that he has a heart and a spirit so open that I should use that in this character. And so I ended up adjusting her character, especially in that opening scene with her and John [Boyega] to get more out of what she was getting from Kelly. "
Johnson, meanwhile, an impeccable visual stylist acclaimed for his neo-noir Brick time-travel mind-melt Looper and one of the best television episodes ever fact, Breaking Bad & # 39; s "Ozymandias" -will Return to the Universe Star Wars again in a completely new trilogy, those films, which will collaborate with his production partner , Ram Bergman, will completely deviate from the ongoing Skywalker saga.
He will write and direct the first installment, which he has just begun to outline, and will oversee the story for all three.If this leaves room to hire another long welcome Expected for the Universe Star Wars -a female director-Johnson says she's totally in favor. "Believe me, it's something I have in mind in the future," she says. "There are so many talented female directors that I would like to see in this galaxy. I do not know how it's going to work, but yes, I've been thinking a bit about it. "
The more new blood received in a galaxy far, far away, better.