WARNING: Spoilers contained below. If you haven’t seen The Last Jedi yet, avert your eyes now.
The ending of The Last Jedi is as memorable and impactful as any other ending I have ever seen in a movie. It rocked me like a blindside hit on a quarterback by a blitzing 240-pound linebacker. A few days ago we posted an article that featured director Rian Johnson and members of the Episode VIII production team discussing the ending of the film and the difficult decisions that went into crafting what played out on screen.
Following along those same lines, IGN spoke with Johnson about why Luke Skywalker’s Force projection was utilizing his father’s blue lightsaber during the climactic confrontation with Kylo Ren on the salt plains of Crait instead of the green lightsaber Luke constructed himself. And didn’t Kylo see the lightsaber hilt severed in two during his Force pull-off with Rey after wiping out Supreme Leader Snoke and his Praetorian Guards?
Well, not exactly.
“[Luke] is basically tailoring this projection to have maximum effect on Kylo,” Johnson explained. “He knows that Kylo’s Achilles heel is his rage, and so that’s why he kind of makes himself look younger, the way Kylo would’ve last seen him in their confrontation at the temple, and that’s why he decided to bring Kylo’s grandfather’s lightsaber down there — the lightsaber that Kylo screamed at Rey, ‘that’s mine, that belongs to me.’” As far as Johnson’s concerned, Luke believes that Anakin’s lightsaber will have a much more visceral impact on the erstwhile Ben Solo than Luke’s own green blade.
But why did Kylo fall for his uncle’s Force Illusion when he saw Anakin’s lightsaber split in half right in front of him? Because, Johnson pointed out, he didn’t actually see it.
“We as an audience saw that… The truth is, we see the lightsaber split in half — Kylo sees a blinding flash of light and is knocked unconscious, and then Rey takes the lightsaber away before he wakes up,” he said. “So if you really want to dig into it and get an explanation, you can say that he doesn’t 100 percent know what happened to the lightsaber.”