Luke Skywalker is different in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and so is his training of Rey


In an interview with Vanity Fair, Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson cautioned that Luke Skywalker is a different person in the upcoming film.

Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) is now a different man from the one we left at the end of Return of the Jedi.

According to Vanity Fair‘s cover story on Star Wars: The Last Jedi, “something heavy went down” with Luke after Episode VI. He tried to start a new Jedi Order; but when that endeavor was snuffed out by his nephew, Kylo Ren, Luke disappeared from the known galaxy. At the end of The Force Awakens, 30 years after the events of Return of the Jedi, the scavenger Rey finds the Jedi Master on Ahch-To. There, says The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson, Luke found the first Jedi Temple. But once he found it, he didn’t leave. Instead, he continued living their among an indigenous people that resides in huts, like the in the photo below.

Image credit: Vanity Fair (Photo by Annie Leibovitz)

Luke is changed, and Johnson cautions fans to expect something different in his relationship with his pupil, Rey, as well. Many people assume that because The Force Awakens is so much like the first Star Wars movie, A New Hope, The Last Jedi will follow suit and draw cues from The Empire Strikes Back. But there is no “one-to-one correlation” between the two latter stories, says Johnson. At least not with regard to the plot of an old Jedi Master training a pupil, like how Yoda trains Luke and how Luke trains Rey:

"“There’s a training element to it,” he said, “but it’s not exactly what you would expect.”"

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All this talk of Luke as a changed person has me thinking back on the theory that Luke turns to the dark side in The Last Jedi. We know something dramatic happens to him. Whatever it is, it made Mark Hamill say to Rian Johnson that he “fundamentally disagreed with everything” the director decided for his character.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be as drastic as him becoming a Sith lord, however. Maybe Luke lost faith in the Force and doesn’t want to train Rey, forcing her to convince him to give in. Or perhaps Rey herself doesn’t want to become a Jedi. Training to become a Jedi is an enormous task. She only just discovered how to use the Force in The Force Awakens. Consider, too, that she hasn’t yet had the chance to look for her long-lost family. So expect both her and Luke to carry a lot of emotional baggage in The Last Jedi.

Johnson also said that The Last Jedi focuses a lot on Luke and Rey’s relationship. Whatever doubts or hurts Luke and Rey feel, they will confront them together. What the outcome of that confrontation is, remains to be seen.

What do you think Johnson means when he says Luke’s training of Rey is “different”? How changed is Luke, and in what ways? Tell us your ideas in the comments below.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi premieres in theaters on December 15, 2017.