Rian Johnson: Why he didn’t feature Anakin Skywalker’s Force ghost in The Last Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi..Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill)..Photo: Lucasfilm Ltd. ..© 2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi..Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill)..Photo: Lucasfilm Ltd. ..© 2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved. /

Rian Johnson is revealing why Anakin Skywalker didn’t appear in The Last Jedi.

In a scene during Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, fans got a special surprise from the long favorite character Yoda in the appearance of a Force ghost. The ghost appeared to Master Luke on Ahch-To just as he was ready to burn all the sacred texts he held. Yoda’s ghost even helped to ignite the spark.

In a much-debated movie, the scene was undoubtedly one of significance, getting to see Master Yoda again and having him interact with Luke one last time. Though, out of all the Jedi who could have appeared, according to director Rian Johnson, it was important that it be Yoda who was the one to sit and talk with Luke.

Johnson provided that information on Twitter after a fan asked him a pretty interesting question: had he ever considered including another Jedi in Force ghost form to appear to Luke or possibly Rey — Anakin Skywalker. Here’s what he had to say about that decision:

If Johnson were to include Anakin in on the script, it really would have turned the Skywalker saga on its head as we know it. Luke didn’t know much about his father, to begin with. And while we know a lot about Anakin Skywalker after spending time with him in the prequel trilogy and even The Clone Wars, Luke wasn’t there for any of that.

His chance at meeting his father was when he assumed the identity of Darth Vader, which was far removed from the old Anakin Skywalker. You could say in the end when he was redeemed in Episode VI, Luke finally “met” Anakin — but he died shortly after. (Even at the end of Episode VI, Luke didn’t say anything to the Force ghost Anakin that appeared at the Endor celebration.)

With Luke actually meeting Anakin in his Force ghost form, they’d probably have a lot more to talk about than just the sacred texts. What about Anakin’s grandson assuming the title of Kylo Ren? What about Luke failing Ben Solo and leading his nephew to join the First Order in the first place? What about Leia’s role in all this? So much to discuss, and his conversation about the sacred texts and Rey barely rank among the most important discussions to have with his father.

And so, Yoda definitely seemed like the appropriate choice for that scene. (Maybe Obi-Wan Kenobi could have been a runner-up.) Though, the sequel trilogy lacking a Force ghost Anakin is still a sore spot for some. Episode IX would have also been the perfect opportunity for Anakin to appear (and not just as a voice in Rey’s head). But the window for that has closed now, unfortunately, and we’ll just have to get a Force ghost Anakin some other way.

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Would you have wanted Anakin to appear in The Last Jedi? Let us know in the comments.