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Rian Johnson talks about the changes in the Force for Star Wars: The Last Jedi

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I shared my thoughts on Star Wars: The Last Jedi here. There were some great moments, but a few scenes that pulled me right out of the film. I had no problem with the revelations of Snoke and Rey and liked how it was different, but it ultimately left me feeling disappointed.

Spoilers ahead.


More of our coverage of The Last Jedi

However, there were big changes in how the Force was used. I did not have a problem with the way the Force was used as there had been similar uses in previous cartoons, boks and comics. I did feel the execution of some (Space Leia) was slightly and could possibly have done with a little something before (maybe Leia using the Force to move something beforehand just so we could see how much her power had evolved).

Director Rian Johnson spoke with the LA Times about how the Force evolved in the new film.

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.

He spoke about the Force Skype between Rey and Kylo Ren.

It was always through the demands of the story. With the Force connections between Rey and Kylo I thought, “OK, I need to get these two talking. But if I put them face to face they’re going to either fight, or one of them has to be tied up.

So I knew I wanted them to talk, and to talk enough to where we could go from “I hate you,” to her being forced to actually engage with him. That’s where the idea of these “Force connections” came from, which is kind of a new thing. It’s a little bit of a riff on what happens with Vader and Luke at the end of “The Empire Strikes Back,” but it’s entirely new in some regards.

Of course, we then had Luke’s final showdown with Kylo Ren that saw him project an image of himself across the Galaxy.

When Luke shows up he’s projecting, it’s like a hardcore variation of what Kylo and Rey have been doing the whole time and that’s why it takes so much out of him. In the version that we play, no. We tried to play really, really fair. In terms of his footsteps – we removed all of his foley — there are no footstep sounds. They never touch. And if you look, the salt flakes that are falling are sparking off of Kylo’s saber and not off of Luke’s.

The use of Force Projections is not new to the Star Wars universe and did occur in one of the old comics.

They also bring up the possibility of Dark Side Force Ghosts.

I think that would be interesting. We haven’t seen them in the movies as far as I can remember. But that would be really interesting considering the dark side is about self-preservation, trying to find immortality, and the notion that the light side actually got to it through selflessness — what would the dark side version of that look like? There’s so much cool [stuff] to think about if you’re willing to open your head a little bit!

Finally, there is the whole Space Leia moment.

That was something 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.” 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] 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.

How did you feel about the use of the Force in The Last Jedi? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Via io9

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2 Comments

  1. “Why has this never manifested in Leia?”

    Because it was never written in the movies!? Kathy had control over the first one, if she wanted the characters to have some development over the last 30 years she should have said so. Instead in TFA we got divorced Leia who looked old a tired! Along with a ropey repetitive script and carbon copy of a new hope.

    • Obviously I meant old and tired as in the character of Leia not as in the awesome Carrie Fisher!
      ..Don’t want the men haters after me!

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