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Rian Johnson talks key Luke Skywalker scene in Last Jedi

MAJOR SPOILERS FOR STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI

 

Many of the characters in STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI have very challenging, defining choices to make, and the movie is all about the consequences and results of the decisions they make. No better is that represented than in Luke Skywalker, who forced himself into exile after he felt like he pushed Ben Solo/Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) to the Dark Side.

This key moment was relived in JEDI in a now controversial flashback scene, showing Luke, for the briefest moment, toying with the idea of killing Ben so as to stop him from turning to the Dark Side. Though the fallout of this act is fundamental to the character’s story arc, fans are angry about it and feel it is very out of character for Luke, saying it shows him embracing a bit of the Dark Side himself. Director and writer Rian Johnson spoke on the matter to IGN, saying the point was to show Luke being tempted by the Dark Side, and though this was the closest he’s ever come to turning, he was able to resist the urge:

Absolutely. That was the embodiment of The Dark Side, is the quick and easy path, right? It’s that glimpse of… and Luke has never been… it’s not like Luke is a Superman who’s impervious to that. Having just, even the brief moment of temptation of it, because that’s what that moment is. He doesn’t give in to the Dark Side, it’s a moment of temptation to the Dark Side.

Fans were quick to decry the scene, but Johnson says this was not the first time Luke’s been tempted, recalling a pivotal scene from RETURN OF THE JEDI:

It reminds me very much of when Vader is tempting Luke, when Luke is underneath the stairs in [Return of the] Jedi, lit with that very beautiful half-and-half, the duality of these two sides of him being pulled. And that’s really what that moment is for me, it’s a moment of temptation to the Dark Side for Luke.

Speaking of the Dark Side, Rey (Daisy Ridley) latter chastised Luke, saying it was his betrayal that sent Ben over the edge, and that there is still a conflict of emotions inside him. By the end its possible Rey still thinks she can bring him back to the light, which is something Johnson thinks is certainly plausible given how Vader himself was brought back:

Are you kidding? Vader was worse than Kylo ever was, I think, and Vader got redeemed. Also, I should just for the record [say] that I’m not involved in the writing of the next movie. I’m an audience member in it, just like you, so when I talk about what’s going to happen next it’s in the context of, as a fan, what I’m thinking of.

Say what you will about the scene, but Johnson has a point in addressing the fact that Luke is not some sort of superhero who is at all impervious to the Dark Side. We've seen Jedis in the past, such as in the prequel trilogy, seeming very pure of heart and incorruptible, but through Luke, we see something very different. We see a flawed Jedi whose battle against the Dark, both internally and externally, is never done. On a cinematic level, it was a fascinating road to take the character down and inspires a lot of questions about the character and the Light and Dark Side, which is something very unexpected and welcome to come out of this movie. 

THE LAST JEDI is in theaters now!

Source: IGN

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