When Luke Skywalker challenged Kylo Ren to the ultimate mind-fuck lightsaber duel in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, some fans think he used the wrong lightsaber. Shouldn’t have Luke busted out his green saber and not that blue one that has been such a big deal lately? Last Jedi director Rian Johnson says no. This supposed “plot hole” was intenitonal.
On Wednesday, IGN published an interview with Johnson in which he directly addressed this now, very common complaint. Turns out, he’s got a pretty compelling answer. But first, you have to accept that Luke’s whole plan was to piss off Kylo Ren as much as possible.
“He 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.’”
But, why didn’t Kylo Ren know immediately that the old Skywalker lightsaber had been destroyed? Johnson says that technically, Kylo didn’t know that at all. “Kylo sees a blinding flash of light and is knocked unconscious,” Johnson said. “Then Rey takes the lightsaber away before he wakes up. 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.”
Obviously, this explanation works on multiple levels and continues to prove that despite any plot wonkiness, Rian Johnson knew what he was doing with all these decisions. But, whether fans agree with Johnson’s choices is obviously a nest of gundarks that nobody can be pulled out of easily. It’s easily debatable that Kylo Ren would have been just as pissed off if he saw Luke holding the green lightsaber. After all, that saber was the one Luke clutched as he contemplated killing youn Ben Solo in his sleep. Wouldn’t that one have pissed him off just as much, if not more, than the old blue classic?
The upshot of Luke using the green saber instead of the blue saber was that it could have allowed the audience to be fooled by Luke’s ruse for a little longer. Kylo didn’t see the blue saber broken in half, but we did. Meaning, Luke busting it out on Crait sort of telegraphs the twist out way before it actually happens.
But, there were a lot of clues that Luke wasn’t really there. So, maybe, the audience being in on that fact is actually the point.
The Last Jedi is out in wide release now.