Luke Skywalker starting training with the Force while blind, and in one version of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the aging Jedi Master would have been permanently blind when Rey finds him on Ahch-To.
In an interview published Wednesday by Rolling Stone, director Rian Johnson revealed an early version of The Last Jedi’s story in which the Luke Skywalker Rey found would be an old blind man:
“… early on when I was trying to figure out the story for this. I had a brief idea I was chasing where I was like, ‘What if Luke is blind? What if he’s, like, the blind samurai?’ But we didn’t do it. … Didn’t stick.”
Even if Luke had been blind, there are plenty of precedents in the Star Wars universe of Jedi seeing exclusively through the Force. In Star Wars Rebels, the Jedi Master Kanan Jarrus gets blinded in a fight against Maul (the villain that actually lived through The Phantom Menace), and he adapts by using just the Force to see and wearing different kinds of blast shield helmets and blindfolds.
There’s also the blind monk Chirrut Îmwe from Rogue One, who although not a Jedi, still used the Force to “see,” though in a less literal sense than what’s possible for the likes of Luke and Kanan. Rian Johnson noted that his idea pre-dated Îmwe’s appearance in Rogue One.
And of course, everyone fondly remembers Luke’s first training scene early in A New Hope when Obi-Wan made him spar with a droid while the blast shield on his helmet was down:
Luke Skywalker: But with the blast shield down, I can’t even see! How am I supposed to fight?
Obi-Wan Kenobi: Your eyes can deceive you. Don’t trust them.
Luke, of course, would go on to keep his blast shield down in the final battle of that film and delivered the torpedo shot that destroyed the Death Star. Those that trust in the Force, it would seem, don’t really need their eyes anyway. For a Jedi as powerful as Luke, blindness would hardly matter.
The Last Jedi will be released in theaters December 15, 2017.