Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson took to Twitter to defend his portrayal of Luke Skywalker describing him as a “true mythic hero.”
Johnson would respond to a Tweet from Gil Gonzalez who shared a tweet from Not Rian’s Luke explaining the difference between Luke Skywalker at the end of Return of the Jedi and the Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi.
This is the best written explanation I’ve seen of how @rianjohnson completely destroys the character of #LukeSkywalker and almost derailed the franchise. Thank goodness for @bad_robot coming in and cleaning up Johnson’s mess. #TheRiseOfSkywalker https://t.co/MNV5jTcr1n
— Gil Gonzalez (@danaCreative) December 20, 2019
Not Rian’s Luke explains that “Rian wants us to believe that Luke is still the child we knew on Tatooine – forget his entire arc.”
That arc saw Luke Skywalker master his emotions in the final battle of Return of the Jedi when he threw down his lightsaber and refused to turn to the Dark Side and follow in his father’s footsteps.
However, as Not Rian’s Luke explains, Rian attempted to undo this arc by showing Luke not in control of his emotions and attempt to murder his nephew in his sleep.
He would double down on this portrayal of Luke by also having him holed up on Ahch-To abandoning his friends and the galaxy to tyranny. Not only did Luke put himself in exile, but he rejects the lightsaber and explains that he has shut himself off from the Force.
Not Rian’s Luke elaborates, “Rian says that Luke Skywalker now holds himself in contempt because Luke has, in the end, remained Anakin Version 2 forever.”
He then adds, “At the end of the movie, Luke force-projects to buy the Resistance an extra few minutes. This is ostensibly meant to be his redemption, but it fails because one fleeting act of decency cannot redeem an impulsive, selfish, unprincipled liar.”
Not Rian’s Luke concludes:
“Everything Luke stood for and everything Luke fought for, both within himself and within the world, has been lost to Rian’s hand. It cannot be so flippantly restored. Luke himself was the “hope” in A New Hope, and as such, Rian’s damage to Luke retroactively reverses the entire meaning of the franchise, from one of hope to one of cynicism. Rian tears down the hero, fails to restore his honor, then kills him, and leaves both the hero and the franchise to rot in the grave of our memories. Whether intentionally or through incompetence, The Last Jedi completely invalidates the foundational stories that comprise the heart of Star Wars, and it positions itself in direct opposition to the virtues these stories represent.”
Johnson responded writing, “Gil, I understand that point of view but I completely disagree with it. In fact I think it disrespects the character of Luke by treating him not as a true mythic hero overcoming recurring wounds & flaws, but as a video game character who has achieved a binary, permanent power-up.”
Gil, I understand that point of view but I completely disagree with it. In fact I think it disrespects the character of Luke by treating him not as a true mythic hero overcoming recurring wounds & flaws, but as a video game character who has achieved a binary, permanent power-up.
— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) December 20, 2019
While Johnson defended his portrayal of Luke, fans are not the only ones who didn’t understand the characters decisions made for the character.
Mark Hamill, who plays Luke Skywalker, was asked by a fan why Luke gave up in The Last Jedi. Hamill responded in a now deleted tweet, “When I understand, I’ll let you know.”
What do you make of Johnson’s response?