Rian Johnson Defends His Luke Skywalker, Fans Clap Back

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luke skywalker on ahch-to

Credit: Lucasfilm

Of all nine movies in the Star Wars Skywalker Saga, the second film in the sequel trilogy — Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017) — is almost universally considered the most maligned.

rian johnson hamill
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: ‘Star Wars’ Writer Says He “Hated” ‘The Last Jedi’, Retcons Entire Story

From the start, Rian Johnson’s Star Wars movie received backlash from fans. Some specifically hated how Jedi Master Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) met his demise, others were unhappy with how Finn (John Boyega) was portrayed, and still, more Star Wars fans took issue with the movie as a whole.

Now, following USA Today’s Sariah Wilsonthe interview in which he confirmed his Star Wars trilogy is still happening — Johnson has expressed that his depiction of Luke Skywalker was “100% consistent” with how the iconic character was portrayed in George Lucas’s original trilogy. He Tweeted:

Hot take: Luke is in fact 100% consistent with his character (not the way he’s described in marketing blurbs, but his actual, based-on-his-words-and-actions character) from the OT. I’ll be at the bar if you need me.

Social media, unsurprisingly, does not agree with Johnson’s assessment. Here, we take a look at what fans are saying.

hamill last jedi
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: Dave Filoni: Rian Johnson Convinced Me to Do Live-Action

The Star Wars Facts Twitter account posted:

Rian Johnson says his portrayal of Luke Skywalker in ‘The Last Jedi’ is ‘100% consistent’ with the Original Trilogy “Not the way he’s described in marketing blurbs, but his actual, based-on-his-words-and-actions character”

A Twitter user going by Marvel-ous Jedi responded with a GIF of a frustrated Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor):

Yes because the Original Trilogy Luke Skywalker who was ready to die because of the belief that his father (that killed millions) could be redeemed would 100% go on to try to murder his nephew because of some dark thoughts. Rian Johnson just does not understand Star Wars.

Related: ‘Star Wars’ Writer Addresses Broom Boy, Other Force Users in ‘Rise of Skywalker’

Another commenter, Randy M., also replied to the Star Wars Facts post:

Just because you keep saying that doesn’t make it true, Rian. Star Wars fans didn’t need a toy box description to know who Luke Skywalker is and see how he was defined by his optimism, struggles, and desire to protect his friends and family at any cost. TLJ betrayed all of that.

Related: Did Mark Hamill Just Endorse Retconning the Sequel Trilogy?

Jim Classic went so far as to call Johnson a “troll” in his post:

Exactly. Anyone who knows Star Wars is well aware that Luke wouldn’t give up to save his friends. Rian Johnson’s just a troll at this point.

Related: PHOTO: After 43 Years, Mark Hamill Gets His Tosche Station Power Converter

Max Godby somewhat hilariously summed up many fans’ feelings about how Skywalker was characterized in The Last Jedi:

Rian Johnson turns on A New Hope: Luke in a whiny and annoying voice: “But I was going into Tosche Station to pick up some power converters!” *Rian turns off movie* Rian: “wElL tHaTs AlL i NeEd To SeE!”

Not all Star Wars fans disagree with Rian Johnson.

Some fans defended Johnson, pointing out that JJ Abrams likely had more say in Luke Skywalker’s character development than anyone else on the Lucasfilm creative team:

You know that all that was JJ Abrams idea, right? Rian Johnson just directed and helped to write the script but JJ aproved [sic: approved] it and he was who make Luke an exiled man

Related: Rian Johnson Confirms There’s a Han Solo Easter Egg in ‘The Last Jedi’

Others agreed wholeheartedly with Johnson’s assessment of his version of Luke Skywalker. Primmy wrote:

It seems the Star Wars discourse is centering back on Rian Johnson and how some people say he ruined Luke Skywalker or misrepresented him in some way. And I’m just gonna say a few things about that.
I agree when Rian Johnson says that he did not misrepresent Luke’s character. Like, firmly agree with that.

Related: Mark Hamill Writes to ‘Mandalorian’ Director, Fans Have Poignant Reactions

At this time, little is known about Johnson’s future with the Star Wars franchise except that, and as previously noted, his trilogy will still be happening at some point. The following two Star Wars theatrical releases are already accounted for. Patty Jenkins’s Star Wars: Rogue Squadron will debut in 2023, and Taika Waititi’s untitled project is slated for a 2025 release.

Boyega, Daisy Ridley (Rey), and Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron) have all indicated they don’t intend to return to the Star Wars universe, and it will likely feature new characters. The upcoming Star Wars movies could, perhaps, also follow “broom boy,” as rumored.

Johnson’s latest movie was Knives Out (2019), and a sequel, Knives Out 2, has been announced.

What do you think? Do you agree with Rian Johnson’s defense of Luke Skywalker? Are you willing to give Johnson’s trilogy a chance?

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