Rian Johnson Answers A Burning 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Ending Question

In the wake of the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, there have been heated debates about the direction the Star Wars saga was taken by director Rian Johnson. Arguments range from the character arc of Luke Skywalker to the expansion (or rather evolution) of Force abilities, and the role of Supreme Leader Snoke.

Those debates will rage on in the years to come, but when it comes to one big moment from the Star Wars The Last Jedi ending, Rian Johnson has the perfect answer that should satisfy any potentially confused or annoyed fans. However, in order to answer this question, we'll have to dive into major spoiler territory, so don't read any further if you haven't seen The Last Jedi.

In the third act of The Last Jedi, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) returns to square off with his nephew Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). After surviving a barrage of laser fire from AT-M6 walkers without even a scratch, the new Supreme Leader of the First Order lands on the surface in order to finish this fight once and for all. He draws his lightsaber, and Luke Skywalker does the same. But instead of the green lightsaber that we last saw him wield, both in Return of the Jedi and in flashbacks from The Last Jedi, he's wielding the blue lightsaber he inherited from his father, Anakin Skywalker.

This is a detail that hasn't sat well with fans, because Kylo Ren was just part of a struggle to obtain the lightsaber with Rey (Daisy Ridley) on Snoke's ship. Each of them were using the Force to pull it towards them, but instead the lightsaber broke in half in a burst of energy, knocking Kylo Ren out and leaving Rey to escape. So why didn't Kylo Ren realize he was being duped by a Force projection of Luke if he knew that lightsaber had just been destroyed, making it impossible for him to be wielding it?

Rian Johnson has the perfect explanation (via IGN) for what some have called a "plot hole" (even though it isn't), and he also further explains why Luke made himself look younger for his last stand:

"[Luke] is basically tailoring this projection to have maximum effect on Kylo. 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.'" As far as Johnson's concerned, Luke believes that Anakin's lightsaber will have a much more visceral impact on the erstwhile Ben Solo than Luke's own green blade.

"We as an audience saw that... The truth is, we see the lightsaber split in half — Kylo sees a blinding flash of light and is knocked unconscious, and 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."

Of course Kylo Ren isn't confused by the presence of his grandfather's lightsaber. He doesn't know what happened to it. He just knows it's gone, along with Rey, who was previously in contact with Luke Skywalker. So it would stand to reason that Luke is back in possession of it because Rey gave it to him. It's that simple.

It's a little frustrating that Rian Johnson had to explain this when many had already assumed this fact, mostly because it's something that shouldn't really require an explanation. Hopefully this puts the nail in the coffin of at least one complaint about The Last Jedi, though there are undoubtedly plenty of others that won't go away no matter what Rian Johnson or anyone else has to say.