Of all the takeaways from the eighth chapter of the Star Wars saga, The Last Jedi, perhaps the biggest is how the film fundamentally changes our understanding of the Force and its capabilities. However, director Rian Johnson has finally shed some light on the evolution of the franchise's enigmatic staple.
"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 told the Los Angeles Times. "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."
Johnson would go on to discuss Luke Skywalker's ability to create an astral projection of himself, as well as its limitations in terms of influencing the world around him.
"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," he explained. "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 conversation then shifted over to the concept of Force ghosts, who we've never seen physically interfere with the outside world prior to The Last Jedi. According to Johnson, though, the precedent has now been set, so it's possible it could come into play in future Star Wars films.
"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," he said. "That, I think, is a tantalizing hint of the potential of someone who is a Force ghost interacting with the real world."
Written and directed by Rian Johnson, Star Wars: The Last Jedi stars Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Daisy Ridley as Rey, John Boyega as Finn, Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron, Andy Serkis as Supreme Leader Snoke, Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux, Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma, Anthony Daniels as C-3PO, Lupita Nyong’o as Maz Kanata, Benicio Del Toro as ‘DJ’, Kelly Marie Tran as Rose Tico, Laura Dern as Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo, and the late Carrie Fisher as General Leia Organa. The film is in theaters worldwide.