If you have not seen Star Wars: The Last Jedi and do not want to read massive spoilers, please stop reading. This is not a test, please stop now.
Okay, if you’re still with us, that means you’ve probably seen The Last Jedi and you might have a lot of questions about some of the more shocking moments in the film. The good news is, we have some answers. (Beyond confirming The Last Jedi‘s dorkiest reference, which Johnson talked to us about previously.) On Friday, we spoke to writer and director Rian Johnson about three very specific plot points of The Last Jedi. (Again, this is your last warning.) More specifically…
• The return of an old friend from the Original Trilogy and Prequels that we were not expecting to see. And how, specifically, this old friend is the way we remember him from The Empire Strikes Back and why that was so important. (Also, Weird Al is a topic.)
• The mysterious Snoke, and why what happens to him happens the way it does.
• The fate of our old friend, Luke Skywalker. And why Luke’s destiny had to be a contrast to that of his old pal, Han Solo.
You fulfilled Weird Al Yankovic’s prophecy that Luke would be making movies with his Yoda until the end of time…
[Laughs.] “The long term contract I had to sign, we’ll be making these movies until the end of time.” Oh, I can recite the whole song…
“With my Yoda.”
Oh, that was on my mind. I should have just had that song when that scene played out.
That would have been great.
I should have, man. I really should have.
Was that always a character you wanted to bring back?
Yeah, it made a lot of sense, I think.
You went with The Empire Strikes Back version of Yoda, the ornery version.
That felt really important to me. And, actually, I cut some of that out and Frank Oz said to me I had to put it back. Because when I first pitched him the scene, it’s like the Yoda from Empire is back because that’s the one Luke had the emotional connection with. And that’s why we did the puppet and recreated the Empire puppet: Neal Scanlan and his team did a recreation of the Yoda puppet. It’s not only a puppet, it’s an exact replica of the Empire puppet. They found the original molds for it. They found the woman that painted the original eyes for Yoda. Then Frank came and worked with them for a few weeks to get the puppet right. He did a lot of testing and a lot of adjusting with the puppet creators. It was amazing to watch the process. The idea that the last time Luke saw Yoda was in Return of the Jedi and the notion of getting back to that version of Yoda to form the emotional connection with Luke – including a glimpse of the impishness, as part of their relationship. It made a lot of sense.