Director Rian Johnson explains why he chose to bring a key character back in Star Wars: The Last Jedi


With Star Wars: The Last Jedi dividing fans in perhaps the most polarising fashion we have seen in the history of the now 40 year old franchise, director Rian Johnson has certainly created his own unique take on the beloved series.

The director recently spoke about his decision to include Yoda as a returning Force-Ghost, rather than Obi-Wan Kenobi. Many fans were hoping that Old Ben would return in some form or another after J.J. Abrams appeared to lay the foundations when a line of dialogue split between both Sir Alec Guinness and Ewan McGregor was used during the scene when Rey first came into contact with Luke’s lightsaber in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and many were shocked that it was Yoda who came to offer Luke some sage words of wisdom in his hour of need.

Johnson admitted that he had contemplated using the character but ultimately decided not too;

“Believe me man. I would have loved to have had Ewan McGregor in the movie but it was just a matter of storytelling. The original relationship with Obi-Wan — obviously if Alec Guinness were still with us that would have made sense. But we never saw Luke ever interact with the Ewan version of Obi-Wan, so there’s less of the emotional connection and it might have been a little odd. So, it made sense and we could recreate that character [practically], so it made sense that Yoda be the one that comes back and kicks [Luke’s] butt a little.”

Johnson also addressed the fact that Force-Ghosts can now seemingly interact with the living world with Yoda summoning lightening to set fire to the tree in the Jedi temple.

“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. 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. The one point where we do introduce a bit of a twist in terms of Force ghosts is where Yoda calls down the lightning onto the tree. That I think, is a tantalizing hint of the potential of someone who is a Force ghost interacting with the real world.”

Whilst Johnson’s somewhat unique vision has caused a massive divide with regards fan approval, the box office returns don’t seem to have been hurt at all with the film’s current worldwide box office topping $450 million since its release last week.

Sources; The Playlist, LA Times.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is in cinemas now.