Star Wars: Rian Johnson Explains Decisions Behind New Force Powers in 'The Last Jedi'

Writer/director of The Last Jedi Rian Johnson took the Star Wars saga to new levels with his movie, which most of the vast fan base appreciated and commended. Not all "fans" were as excited about the direction the film took, especially in regards to demonstrating new Force abilities for some of its characters. Johnson revealed to the Los Angeles Times how these abilities developed and how it connects to the original trilogy of films.

***WARNING: Spoilers below for The Last Jedi***

One of the biggest new demonstrations of Force abilities wasn't the extent of the ability, but rather who was using those abilities.

Early on in the film, General Leia is ejected into space after a massive explosion, forcing her to tap into her abilities to float through space to get back on her ship. Given the lack of gravity in space, this wouldn't have taken much effort, yet it still left some fans surprised by the sequence.

"That was something [Lucasfilm president] Kathy [Kennedy] was always asking: Why has this never manifested in Leia? She obviously made a choice, because in Return of the Jedi Luke tells her, 'You have that power too,'" Johnson pointed out. "I liked the idea that it's not Luke concentrating, reaching for the lightsaber; it's an instinctual survival thing, like when you hear stories of a parent whose toddler is caught under a car and they get superhuman strength, or a drowning person clawing their way to the surface. It's basically just her not being done with the fight yet. I wanted it to happen [for Carrie Fisher] and I knew it was going to be a stretch. It's a big moment, and I'm sure it will land different ways for different people, but for me it felt like a really emotionally satisfying thing to see."

Another new power came towards the end of the film where Luke Skywalker appears on Crait, only for audiences to discover this was merely a projection of his self as he meditated on Ahch-To. Fans had seen Force ghosts, but had not seen this projection come from someone still living.

"The truth is, because Star Wars until The Force Awakens has been set in amber and we hadn't had a new Star Wars movie in 10 years, you forget that they were introducing new Force stuff with each movie, based on the requirements of the story," Johnson noted. "Force-grabbing didn't come around until Empire, it wasn't in A New Hope. Same with Force ghosts. They'd introduce new ideas of what could happen with the Force each time."


Fans can see these new abilities in The Last Jedi, in theaters now.

[H/T Los Angeles Times]