WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for director Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, in theaters now.
In the movie, a disenchanted Luke attempts to burn a sacred Jedi tree containing the Order's texts on Ahch-To. However, Yoda appears from the afterlife to impart wisdom about failure and letting go of the past. Johnson considered using Obi-Wan, but opted against it because it would have to be Ewan McGregor reprising the role and not Alec Guinness, who died in 2000.
“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," he told The Playlist. "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.”
Some fans wondered why Johnson didn't use a CGI version of Guinness, as Disney did with Grand Moff Tarkin in Rogue One. However, it's clear that Johnson believes Yoda -- who continued Luke's training in The Empire Strikes Back -- was the right person to offer the Jedi one final lesson.
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.