'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Director Reveals Why Luke Cut Himself Off From the Force

Now that the home release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi is upon us, writer and director Rian Johnson is back at addressing the many fan questions about the divisive movie and his storytelling choices.

While answering queries for an event hosted by Amazon Prime Video, Johnson revealed his decision to have Luke Skywalker cutting himself off from the Force when fans see him on Ahch-To.

"For me, the reason that Luke had to turn off the Force was because of Leia," said Johnson. "Because if he didn't, if he had a connection to Leia, if he could see his sister suffering, if he could hear her calls for help, there’s no way he’d be able to do what he thinks in his head is what he has to do – which is to stay on that island (Ach-to) for the greater good of the galaxy."

Johnson has previously spoken about how Luke feels the Jedi have failed the galaxy, and with him being the titular last Jedi he feels he must isolate himself for the greater good.

"In this way he’s able to finally do the thing he couldn’t do in Empire, which is cut off the emotional, isolate himself into what he’s convinced himself is the right thing."

This makes sense in the grand scheme of the saga, where Luke's actions were dominated by his own emotions. It also builds off of the events of the prequel trilogy, which were largely unexplored on the original Star Wars saga.

Luke Skywalker reacting to the failure of the Jedi Order and the rise of Emperor Palpatine is a recognition that was impossible until these sequel films, and seeing the Jedi take shame in the actions of his predecessor was an interesting and unexpected direction for the new film to explore.

Of course, Johnson has spoken about how all of this was predicated on what J.J. Abrams did in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, in which Luke was removed from the table. Johnson might not have made the same decisions if given the blank canvas that Abrams had, but he took what he had and made a compelling and complex entry in the Star Wars saga.

It will be interesting to see how the sequel trilogy wraps up, but it will be even more exciting to see what direction Johnson takes the franchise in when his unconnected movies finally begin to take shape.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is now available on Digital HD, and will be available for 4k Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD on March 27th.



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