Star Wars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt Defends ‘The Last Jedi’

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is one of only two actors to say they've been in every Rian Johnson movie, [...]

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is one of only two actors to say they've been in every Rian Johnson movie, with the other being Noah Segan. This extends to The Last Jedi, in which Gordon-Levitt voices the character that alerts authorities to Finn and Rose's presence on Canto Bight. After having finally seen the movie, the actor penned a lengthy essay about the film's accomplishments, most notably with its handling of Luke Skywalker.

"I want to be really clear, this is just my own opinion, and in no way do I carry any special authority on this movie," Gordon-Levitt admitted. "I'm probably biased in its favor, but then again, we're all biased somehow, so there's that."

One of the biggest critiques from a certain subset of fans is that Luke is not the hero they remembered, the Jedi who would stop at nothing to ensure that good would prevail over evil. The Last Jedi offered us a coward who turned his back on the cause.

"For so many of us, Luke is the epitome of a hero. He is what we strive to be. He's also our access point into a world we love," Gordon-Levitt pointed out. "We got to know Star Wars through the eyes of this character. And now, after all this time, we finally get to see him again, and he sorta sucks as a person. He's disrespecting everything a Jedi is supposed to stand for. Ultimately it feels like he's disrespecting us. Or, as some fans concluded, this just isn't the real Luke Skywalker, but rather a bastardization perpetrated by bad storytelling or corporate interests."

The actor detailed how compelling of a film audiences witnessed due to this departure of the character.

"Leaving Luke unchanged would have been a huge missed opportunity," Gordon-Levitt claimed. "Think about how rare this is. A trilogy of movies is made with a young protagonist played by an actor in his 20s. Then, no fewer than 40 YEARS LATER (A New Hope came out in 1977) this actor gets to play the same character as an older man. I don't know how many times that has ever happened in the history of movies. Has it ever happened?"

Having previously seen this character at his most idealistic could have seemingly only showed audiences one part of his life, before he got more life experiences that made him more cynical, according to Gordon-Levitt.

"No one is a perfect hero or a perfect villain, we're more complicated than that, every one of us," the actor confessed. "Flawless characters feel thin. And forgive me if I blaspheme, but the young Luke Skywalker always did feel just a little light to me, which is why it was so cool this time around to see him fill out into a more imperfect human being."

The actor also expressed that seeing Luke at such a low point made for a more compelling character growth by the end of the film, as it would have been much easier for Luke to aid the Resistance were he to have been the same hero we saw in Return of the Jedi.

You can read Gordon-Levitt's full essay on his Medium page.

The Last Jedi is in theaters now.

[H/T Medium]