Rian Johnson is continuing his mission to explain every frame of The Last Jedi. And now he admits to drawing inspiration from the prequels during a pivotal scene at the end of the new sequel featuring Kylo Ren. Obviously, The Last Jedi is a very divisive movie for Star Wars fans and Johnson’s admission to watching the prequels isn’t going to help his case against the faction of haters. But in true Star Wars fashion, there will be many that are excited that Rian Johnson went and took inspiration from all forms while crafting The Last Jedi.
At the end of The Last Jedi, Kylo Ren can be seen watching the Millennium Falcon fly away while clutching his father’s holographic dice. Kylo Ren was just tricked by his uncle Luke and then had to watch his mother and Force equal escape on his dad’s crummy ship. Rian Johnson was asked in a recent interview what was going through Kylo Ren’s head at that very moment, but the director was reluctant to answer the question. He had this to say.
“That is such a great question. Will you be mad if I said that it’s such a great question, I don’t want to answer it? Only because I think that’s such a beautiful notion of what does he regret in that moment, it’s the same way I think about in Revenge of the Sith, that mask is coming down, that beautiful shot of Anakin’s eyes right before it goes over and you see that glimpse of… Is it fear? Is it regret? What is it? What is going through his mind at that moment? That’s that kind of moment for Ben and I don’t want to put that moment in your guys’ head. I feel like that’s a moment that everyone should read into themselves. But just posing that question is really beautiful.”
While the director wouldn’t give a direct answer in regard to Kylo Ren’s feelings on Crait, he did reveal where the inspiration came from: the prequels. He already mentioned the mask at the end of Revenge of the Sith and then went on to speak more about where he took inspiration from while crafting The Last Jedi. He explains.
“I watched the prequels a lot actually, and that goes for the writing and while we were in prep. I think partially because the original trilogy was the ones that I know by heart, shot for shot. The prequels – I knew them really well, but I saw them less so I kind of wanted to steep myself in that visual language a lot more before I got into it.”
Rian Johnson’s reasoning behind his decision makes a lot of sense, especially since he was diving into a movie franchise with some of the most passionate fans in the world. The director clearly did his homework and studied far and wide while he was making the movie.
Rian Johnson is also currently writing his own Star Wars trilogy, so it makes even more sense that he would be looking at any official canon that he can get his hands on. The director talks a lot about “echoes” from the previous movies and it’s definitely one of the strengths of The Last Jedi. There are echoes, not exact plot points from the other movies. Johnson says.
“The notion of finding echoes, not just in the original trilogy but also in the prequel trilogy felt like just a really rich well to draw from. So, I kept the original trilogy and also the prequels just on my iPad that I had with me all the time and at night I would just put it on in a random spot and watch pieces of it.”
Rian Johnson immersed himself into the world of Star Wars and he did not discriminate. Johnson read the Jedi Path as well as the Book of Siths, which is where Luke’s “new” Force powers came from. In addition, he watched all of the previous movies a lot to prepare for the making of The Last Jedi, even the prequels. You can check out the rest of the interview with Rian Johnson talking about prequel inspiration courtesy of Sleemo’s IMAX Q&A Transcription.