40 Years Later, Ahsoka Finally Redeems Star Wars’ Most Infamous Mistake
Ezra Bridger's new combat style actually cements a decades-old Force power.
Ezra Bridger is a new man, and not just because he’s in live-action now. After years of exile in the Peridea galaxy, he’s picked up some new threads, a beard, and even a new language. But one of the biggest additions to his character fundamentally changes a part of Star Wars history, and cements a part of canon that was previously only a fan in-joke.
Forty years ago, in Return of the Jedi, Luke fought off a bunch of Jabba’s lackeys on the crime lord’s sand barge. When one henchman in particular lunges for him, Luke kicks him off the barge. There’s only one problem: his leg never makes contact. Luke kicks the air, but the goon falls off the barge anyway.
It’s clearly just a choreography error, but the “Force kick” soon became a fandom joke. It was mentioned in a novel, it became a video game ability... it was an Easter egg for hardcore fans to recognize and pass on.
This year, however, things changed. In May, Mark Hamill himself responded to a question on Twitter asking if fans are bothered by the error, saying, “How could anyone possibly be bothered by my widely celebrated, perfectly executed Force-Kick?!”
Then, in August, we got a glimpse inside the mind of the kick’s victim in the short-story collection A Certain Point of View: Return of the Jedi. In Arsenault Rivera’s story “Kickback,” henchman Sion describes attacking Luke, only to find himself blown off the ship with no contact whatsoever.
Now, in Ahsoka Episode 7, we see Ezra forego his old saber to fight off enemies using only his Force telekinetics, including some kicks. After 40 years and multiple steps, the Force kick is finally canon. It clearly takes years of training to develop, hence why we haven’t seen it in live-action outside these two instances. Plus, when you’ve got a lightsaber, there isn’t much need for sweeping the leg.
It’s the most Star Wars story possible: something that began as a mistake became an in-joke, then a sly reference, then confirmed in supplementary material, and now an integral part of Ezra’s character growth. If there’s one thing this franchise knows how to do, it’s make lemonade out of filmmaking lemons.