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Comments for Rian Johnson Defends His Luke Skywalker, Fans Clap Back

luke skywalker on ahch-to

Credit: Lucasfilm/Disney

63 Comments

  1. Backcountry164

    Literally no Star Wars fan agrees that Luke was treated properly. A handful of Rian Johnson shills who don’t even pretend that they can back up their “opinions” obviously can’t be called “fans”…

    1. Oliver Surpless

      Star Wars fan here who agrees that Luke was treated properly…

      Though I do wonder if not watching the OT until 1990 is enough to make me a fan; does the fandom gatekeep based on years as well?

      Did a fan have to be there at Grauman’s in ‘77 to have their opinion count?

      1. Bob

        You just have to enjoy any aspect of star wars at any time to be a fan.
        You’re a fan.
        Maybe a fan that doesn’t understand Luke, but You’re a fan.

        1. Oliver Surpless

          And is there only one way to understand a character then?

          1. A Friend

            There’s two ways. Right and wrong.

        2. Chris J Beckham

          So wrong Bob… I find everytime I talk to someone that didn’t like the way Luke was handled in TLJ it is them that has never understood Luke’s character. They wanted him to ce out there and defeat the entire first order by himself and kill am entire fleet. Instead we get to see the most Jedi move we have ever seen.

          “You will know… when you are calm.
          at peace. passive. a jedi uses the
          force for knowledge and defense,
          never for attack.”

          – master yoda

          1. The Rebellion is here.

            No one is saying that. You made that up. What his fans want is solid writing. If Rian wanted to do away with the lightsaber, an iconic weapon, that represents the amazing technological advances of Lucas Film and the whole Star Wars culture there is a more creative, skillful, and delicate way to execute this rather than throw it off a cliff backwards during a 5yr old temper tantrum. Luke could have laid his saber down and given it up and wrestled with this more if Disney wanted o preach non violence. This was a stab at the culture. The writing couldn’t get any worse. It was our sludge.

      2. Robert Esparza

        Mark Hamill would disagree with you and he knows Luke better than anyone. We wanted Luke but we got Jake instead.

        1. Rebellion Squad 1

          Yeah but it’s about symbolism too. Yoda retreated that’s beautiful, it’s on violent but Like had a hissifit. He through his lightsaber off a cliff IN THE FIRST SW SCENE HES BEEN IN SINCE THE 70’S! I’m sorry but there’s a more skillful and delicate way to approach the biggest action character of all time. This seems deliberate to me. Activists have been attacking the fan base for years. This was their Pearl Harbor.

      3. Robert Esparza

        Mark Hamill would disagree with you and he probably knows Luke better than anyone.

        1. Ma name Jeff

          Mark hamill also wanted luke to turn to the dark side in return of the jedi, so…

          Also Rian’s luke was based off George Lucas’s template

          1. Rebellion Squad 1

            This still would have been more interesting and relatable than him throwing a temper tantrum at 60yrs like a child and throwing his lightsaber off a cliff.

        2. aurelio

          Luke is literally to starwars what christ is to Christianity. You would not write Christ as a faithless hermit in a sequel to the new testament nor should luke be portrayed the way Johnson portrayed him. Luke literally talks to God the force …he communes with the saints aka departed jedi all the time. He sees the big picture and knows he exists to bring hope and instill that in others. It is impossible for him to lose faith because he is one with God aka the force whi b is faith and live itself. 🙏

        3. Mije

          Its a fantasy story…its not REAL. Chill out. Im a HUGE fan & didnt see any problem with luke in the sequels. Yoda retreated to a remote planet & went a little bonkers….

      4. Luke wouldve NEVER killed a jedi, let alone his nephew because he had a dumb ass dream….. he was willing to die rather than fight his father…… BULLLLLLLSCAT

      5. Randolph Holmes

        The result is not the issue, it’s the crappy writing and weak story that had no emotional resonance and made no sense based on Luke’s never give up attitude that pissed people off. If he was this broken you have to give a far better back story to make fans accept it. For 3 movies he was a beacon of hope no matter how much pain and setbacks were dealt to him and now he just quits. I call BS.

        1. Kearn

          You don’t think seeing his nephew head down the same path his father did, breaking his vows by attempting to kill him, said nephew destroying his Academy and then becoming a monster every bit as bad as Vader might break him? Wow.

    2. Steve3PO

      I thought that Luke was treated properly. I figured he would be either disillusioned, or turned to The Dark Side.

      Those critical of Rian’s  seem to be clamoring for an unrealistic version of Luke that conflicts with a character that:

      – Grew up without parents
      – Saw the burning corpses of his aunt and uncle
      – Witnessed the suicide saw of a father like figure in Obi-Wan, who lied to him
      – Had his ✋ severed by someone who turned out to be his dad.
      – Was trained to kill his own father by a 900 year old green midget who later died in front of him.
      – Fell in love with a woman who turned out to be his sister
      – Almost turned to the Dark Side and in a fit of rage, mercilessly beat and severed off the hand of his elderly father, who after ‘saving’, died in front of him.

      My question is, how could you possibly think that Luke wouldn’t at some point question all of this shіt and desire to spend the rest of his life in seclusion on a remote planet far away from the ying and yang of The Force?

      Almost everyone that he knew or cared about either died before his eyes, lied to him, or was trying to have sex with his sister.

      1. Mike

        They all forget yoda failed and retreated to a remote planet where he too went a little bonkers. Yoda from ROTJ was insane compared to prequels…

        1. Matter

          Yoda never gave up on the force and retained hope that someone could one day defeat Palpatine. Luke turned his back on everyone and everything, then refused to initially help not out of a lack of confidence in the one asking but from a total sense of hopelessness. Yoda was biding his time, Luke was just waiting to die alone.

          1. Keark

            Yeah, but Yoda had spent many human lifetimes in yh4 Jedi order. He was steeped in its traditions, had trained many generations of Jedi. Luke had none of that. His training was brief and rudimentary, and he had barely completed it when he found himself the only known Force user in the galaxy. It’s simply not realistic to expect Luke to have the same depth of faith and resilience that Yoda did.

      2. Saintchess

        Obi Wan lost his fatherly figure in his arms, and his best friend almost brother turned to the dark side killing a lot of his fellow Jedi, not to mention the children. Don’t try to justify bad character writing with preconceived notions of how people experience traumatic experiences.

        1. Kearn

          And what did Obi Wan do? Oh yeah, he became a hermit and kept his powers a secret from everyone. Way to run face first into the point!

      3. John

        Absolutely incredible take!

      4. clicks

        You seemed to have missed the part where he overcame those trials and stayed true to the light because he knew he needed to, which led to him:

        – Redeeming his father, not just “”””saving””” him
        – Finding family again after he thought he had lost everyone
        – Learned that there was an afterlife
        – Defeated a nearly invincible Empire and saving countless lives from their oppression

        You on the other hand seem to have as cynical a view of the world as Ryan did, which is more pitiful than anything. Sometimes people learn to do good even in the face of unending trials, and we call those people heroes.

    3. DARIN Baker

      First Luke was THE strongest Jedi that had ever lived in Star Wars Mythology and George Lucas…how he was portrait in this realm was God awful…and is what killed the franchise

    4. MIchael Anderburg

      I saw Star Wars in the Theater in 1977 and TLJ was one of the best SW movies period. Sorry you guys didn’t get to grow up with Luke, but I thought this was an immaculate coda for the guy I idolized for all of my adolescence. He was perfect and TLJ was a damn good movie.

    5. Ach urra

      Fandom gatekeeping? I think those are the Rian Johnson shills that run every SW community and will run to mute and ban anyone who dares step out of line. The fans are in the comments, speaking the truth.

    6. Scott

      I feel Luke was not only treated properly, but brilliantly. “Do you think I came to the hardest place to find in the whole galaxy for no reason?”
      -Luke Skywalker

      JJ wrote Luke as someone who had secluded himself, not Rian Johnson. Rian had to give proper weight to why that could possibly be the case. Would you prefer that Luke be his jovial self, but just such a selfish jerk that he abandoned everything? Luke HAD to be damaged. That makes his non-violent defeat of the First Order and single handedly saving the Resistance have so much more weight. And then his sacrifice, not dissimilar to Obi-Wan in IV, inspires hope across the galaxy. Just like we’d expect from Luke Skywalker.

    7. Rodney Sciba

      Rian Johnson is a good filmmaker. KNIVES OUT was wildly entertaining. However, THE LAST JEDI was a major misstep. Luke Skywalker reason for retreating was a completely undercooked excuse. Mark Hamil was absolutely correct.

    8. Sean Taylor Simpson

      I’m a die hard Star Wars since I was a kid and I love Luke’s arc in the last jedi because it actually makes sense of you re-watch original trilogy. Quit whining.

    9. Me

      I do, and I watched the OT as it happened.

    10. Carlos

      Yes now I am no longer a Fan.
      Star Wars ceased to interest me after watching TLJ, until the first episode of The Madalorian. Now I do believe Star Wars is dead.
      Also, the whole company is always insulting me like @KrystinaArielle, @justinaireland @tvaziri and others do. #NoMoneyForDisney

  2. RobofWonder

    I absolutely loathed The Last Jedi for many reasons. Most of all because Ryan Johnson got the tone of the movie completely wrong. Putting all other considerations aside, it didn’t feel like it fit with the 7 movies that went before and, for all their many issues, the prequels at least got the feel of the Star War movies right. But yeah, Rian Johnson’s going to need to offer a lot more than that to explain how, in any way, that was consistent with Luke’s character.

    Having said that, I think his trilogy could be really interesting, taken out of the Skywalker saga. It’s a big galaxy with a lot of stories to tell. Just because he got the feel of the Skywalker Saga completely wrong (and basically gave a giant FU to older fans that aren’t necessarilly steeped in the wider Star Wars lore) desn’t mean he can’t do a great trilogy of Star Wars movies exploring another area of the Star Wars galaxy.

    Still loathe TLJ. Still love Star Wars. Would totally go and see Johnson’s take on an unexplored area of it.

    1. frOge

      “Older fans” are frequently the only ones who ARE steeped in the macro SW lore.

    2. Jason is Cool

      I’m going to have to agree with you there.

    3. Kearn

      Hard disagree on the prequels. They never managed to recreate the old SW magic *at all* IMO. They weren’t Star Wars movies, they were movies about Star Wars. The sequels did, albeit to lessening degree with each one.

  3. Robert

    I was in the target demographic age for the 1st Star Wars movie in 1977. I saw it when it came out and got hooked. You modern TLJ haters aren’t allowing Luke to grow older. It is common, and natural for older men to feel threatened by the prospect of having to compete for influence with strong-willed younger men. The fact that Luke impatiently thought he could neutralize the threat of Ben Solo, and drew his light saber – only to immediately REGRET IT – is classic Luke. He was always a little impatient. Even as a teacher you couldn’t imagine him sitting around meditating for too long, waiting for things to happen. This is Luke’s character. Unfortunately, young Ben Solo’s self-esteem was already so fragile that waking up next to a humming light saber was the last straw. Of course it was a traumatic event, but I believe a less damaged Ben could have recovered from that moment.

    1. Codefy

      Yes but then in response he lets his nephew get seduced. Become the second in command to the empire. Give up hope and become a recluse that thinks the jedi need to end. Thats just rediculous. The guy who didnt give up hope of redemption for a father he never knew and was already evil ass dude. Its comical.

      1. Daid

        No it doesn’t change my opinion that johnson had no business doing the sequels. Sure luke was always a bit hasty and impatient but he always believed in family and friends. No way the real luke would have even thought about killing his nephew or walking away from his friends. Learned nothing all these years of watching star wars have you.

    2. Robert Esparza

      Mark Hamill disagrees and he would know Luke better than anyone.

    3. A Friend

      You’re as good a writer as JJ.

  4. Uncle Buck

    Mark Hamill would know better than anyone, besides George, who Luke is. As he said, “…that wasn’t my Luke…”

  5. CO

    Disney, don’t listen to these man-baby schmucks. The Last Jedi is the best star wars movie since The Empire Strikes back, and stands on it’s own as a film. Too many people out here just want to watch the same old movie with different characters. “Fan” service to people who wanted a repeat of Return of the Jedi is why Rise was the worst of the new trilogy (but still better than attack of the clones).

    1. Your starting to sound like a Rian Johnson suck up worshiper now. Starting to love the corrupt new sequels, as in the darker and non-canon according to Luke. The only man- baby here is you.

    2. Alex

      This is a real thing someone with a semi working brain said…

  6. aurelio

    Luke is literally to starwars what christ is to Christianity. You would not write Christ as a faithless hermit in a sequel to the new testament nor should luke be portrayed the way Johnson portrayed him. Luke literally talks to God the force …he communes with the saints aka departed jedi all the time. He sees the big picture and knows he exists to bring hope and instill that in others. It is impossible for him to lose faith because he is one with God aka the force whi b is faith and live itself. 🙏

    1. Shane Keddell

      If he had put the scene where Luke stared into the Sun and he’s meditating and then he disappeared before he reappears on the other planet to help Leia I think that would have been more Epic. It would have taken away a little bit of the surprise to the fans when kylo Ren’s lightsaber doesn’t work when it goes through but still more epic to have projected across the galaxy as a self chosen force ghost than dying after.

  7. Bo Fraze

    Did Francis Ford Coppola CONSTANTLY have to explain Michael Corleone??? How bout the director of John Wick? Director of Gone With The Wind? Just admit you made a half decent Sci Fi movie that COMPLETELY sucked as a “Star Wars” movie! The first step to solving a problem is admitting YOU have a problem!

  8. Jason is Cool

    I was fine with Luke being a reclusive hermit. I was fine with him doubting himself and believing the Jedi needed to die so.something new could rise in it’s stead. What I wasn’t fine with was the whole plot of TLJ and how Johnson treated the characters. It was abysmal.

    When Luke had a chance to greet Chewbacca, learn of his friend’s demise and especially when R2D2 played that hologram for him, the real Luke would have stood up and been the hero he was meant to be. Even if he couldn’t save Kylo Ren, he would have brought his service to the Force against the Dark Side threat we now know was Palpatine at the very least.

    1. George

      Spot on… best thing I’ve read on here

  9. Christopher Marki

    The bottom line is that Ruin Johnson wanted to do his own thing with the Greatest Pop Culture character ever so he could make himself feel special, and ended up making the WORST Star Wars movie ever, AND, at the sametime, creating a civil war between REAL SW fans and shills that never even paid attention to SW before that HORRIBLE Disney Trilogy. No Real SW fans since the 70’s liked that BS

  10. Smashville

    The last Jedi was horrible. In so many ways and more than how it treated Luke. First of all hardcore fans didn’t care about rey, Finn, and Dameron they expected the original stars to well be the stars. The movie even rubbed this snub in when he had Luke say the line about what soxyou expect me to do use a lightssber and single handedly save the galaxy. Thats why so many were mad. Thats what they wanted Luke to man up and be awesome and go kill sith. Also the idea of the slow speed chase was just boring. Leia flying through space was op. And the idea that the people in charge didn’t tell the crew their plan to survive the slow chase is just idiotic. Maybe if they had hinted at a spy on board but they never did. Also halfway through the .ovie a couple characters just went on a vacation in Monaco. The viewer only cares about a couple characters. They could have easily gotten off the ship and then who cares about the slow chase.

  11. LUKE was great in 456…
    I agree with most, he was not properly used in the 89.. he was used as a weak minded old man with no BALLZ….
    COMIC AND BOOK WORLD he has a great role as a jedi with a passion and direction..
    The 89 movies seems like he didnt know who , what , or how a jedi is.. BIG BLAH ….

  12. Saintchess

    The fact is they didn’t have any plan for the trilogy, and no one can deny this. So Luke appear at the end of Episode 7 , he was in full Jedi Robes, in episode 8 Rian thinks maybe he is depressed and luke changes his outfit to jedi hobo, and then by episode 9 when Disney realized the fans were unhappy, they changed luke character again. No story arc, just made up stuff on the go.

  13. Mark Evans

    Rian Johnson is a MORON. He along with stupid ass Kennedy ruined the Sequels. PERIOD.

  14. Darin

    Rian Johnson is a good director, but a lousy Star Wars director. He contempt for the genre reminds me of the kid that wore the anarchy shirt in college, and he just wants everything popular to metaphorically burn, and that’s how he treated Star Wars with the same disdain, and flippant attitude. I blame Kathleen Kennedy for hiring him, because he dropped a car bomb in the middle of a pretty good story arc by JJ, who had an insurmountable task and albeit with some New Hope mirroring still managed to create a mystic of his own. Rian Johnson needs to stick to artsy films, and far, far away from Star Wars.

  15. Kearn

    I’m kind of with Johnson on this. Luke basically had to rebuild the Jedi Order on his own, with no more senior or conventionally trained Jedi to advise or support him. Seeing his nephew heading straight down the path that claimed his father would’ve been deeply distressing and again, without that guidance it’s not hard to imagine him becoming quite irrational. To then have that nephew become a monster perhals even worse than Vader would be devastating. In that context, is it really so hard to imagine him concluding that the Force was too dangerous, and he himself was too powerful a symbol, and decide the best thing he can do is live out his days in isolation, not training more potentially dark Jedi? Not being used and manipulated by politicians and ideologues? Personally I think that’s entirely consistent with Luke’s previous character – putting the wellbeing of others ahead of his own. I can only assume those who can’t see that must have quite limited experience of the human condition.

    All of that is not to say TLJ is a good film. In terms of film-making it’s a bit of a mess. The pacing was weird, several plot devices made no sense, Canto Bight was hamfisted, Finn’s defeat of Phasma felt unearned, cheesy and a waste of a potentially good villain. I thought the essence of what Johnson was trying to do – democratising the Force (so it’s not just relatives of the old characters who have it), ending the rebellion, Rey and Kylo’s connection and his breaking away from the old Jedi/Sith dichotomy was all pure fresh air for Star Wars. If JJ had followed through it could’ve sustained the franchise for another decade or more. Instead, JJ bowed to fan pressure and produced a much poorer film, despite its many flashy set pieces, which basically rendered the sequel trilogy pointless.

    1. V

      People who are upset about Luke barely listened to his dialogue in the movie. It’s somehow not reasonable to fall into doubt and despair when you fail to save the galaxy because you couldn’t save OR kill your own flesh and blood. Additionally, because of his choice, he believed that many of his own students were slaughtered or also turned to the dark side. Losing people under your care can be absolutely soul crushing. The things that happened to Luke could have even turned him to the dark side, but didn’t.

      Moving past failure is obviously a massive theme in this movie and Luke, having sunk so low for many years, emerges at the end to keep the spark from being snuffed out. Defeating his own feelings was an interesting victory for Luke, moreso than if he just lightsabered somebody.

      All that being said, for many fans, Luke isn’t Jesus. He’s a famous, important, powerful Jedi, but he is not the entirety of the SW universe, and the universe and lore is more interesting and important than any one character. The ending of TLJ was literally an open book and the third movie could have been about almost anything, and instead we got RoS.

  16. Mikael

    The thing is, GL write all this as a saga about the Skywalker family. To then just kill off one of the most powerful Jedi that ever existed and at the same being a Skywalker was the most stupid thing ever…

  17. Cicero

    Luke treated unfairly in movie timelines and stories set forth by the evil empire that is the money making goliath Disney.
    These movies should not even be called Star Wars.
    Read the books before forming an opinion. Should only take a few months…maybe a year…there are at least 100 George Lucas approved storyline books before the franchise was sold to the douche bags from Orlando.

  18. Frank Thompson

    I saw A New Hope as an 8 year old kid when it premiered, and have been a lifelong fan ever since. I think having Luke fall into exile and disillusionment after becoming the greatest hero in the galaxy before the age of 30 makes perfect sense. The turning of Ben Solo and the destruction of the Temple broke him, and he followed the path taken by his two mentors, Yoda and Obi-Wan. In the end, he overcomes his self-loathing and reconnects with The Force to save his friends and family. He then dies at peace with the universe,. That’s the classic hero’s journey. Did Rian Johnson make a great SW movie? No, but Luke’s character arc makes dramatic sense. Many fans dislike the choices RJ made, but that doesn’t mean those of us who enjoy the film are dumb, stupid, beholden to RJ or not “real” SW fans. Peace, and MTFBWY.

  19. Heather

    I don’t care what anyone says, his character arc was completely appropriate considering all that he’d lost in life. Some people have obviously not gone through tragedy or you would understand why he turned out the way he did. He lost many people he was responsible for, including his own nephew. He lost his livelihood when his students and the temple were destroyed, and his life would’ve been in danger had he not been thought dead. He lost EVERYTHING. I’ve been there, admittedly there were different situations. I’ve suffered chronic illness and lost connections through the years for different reasons, and have worked with terrible bosses and co-workers. I have toxic family members. I completely understand why Luke turned out the way he did, yet he rose above it in the end; he released it all and came to be at peace before he died. Some of us who go through a lot in life still can’t cope or come out of it.

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