Rian Johnson Briefly Considered An Anakin Skywalker Appearance In 'The Last Jedi'

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is back in the news again. The divisive eighth installment in the Skywalker Saga has a few new fun facts for you, unveiled by none other than writer/director Rian Johnson, who engaged in an informal Q&A of sorts on Twitter about the 2017 Star Wars movie. Per Johnson, he nearly included an appearance from the tragic central figure of the prequels, Anakin Skywalker, but decided against it.

In response to a fan question on Twitter asking if had ever considered bringing Anakin Skywalker's Force ghost to speak with Luke or Rey during the course of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Johnson revealed that he, in fact, had.

"Briefly for the tree burning scene, but Luke's relationship was with Vader not really Anakin, which seemed like it would complicate things more than that moment allowed," the director responded. "Yoda felt like the more impactful teacher for that moment."

Johnson also revealed that he came up with the title The Last Jedi himself "very early in the writing process," and that the writing process for the film was fluid, "like with any movie you're adding and changing all the way until you lock the edit... and many of the scenes evolved in rehearsals, working with the actors."

But the big reveal, of course, comes to the scrapped Anakin cameo. A few Star Wars fans may take issue with Johnson's statement that Luke's relationship was primarily with Darth Vader, and not Anakin Skywalker (and a few already have in his replies), but the filmmaker's reasoning is solid. It's true that Luke mostly knew Anakin as Darth Vader, though Return of the Jedi propped him up as the only one who could sense the good in his father. Still, seeing the good in Anakin doesn't mean that Luke had a deep connection with Anakin, per se. Featuring Anakin in that scene might have been as jarring as Luke seeing the Force ghost of young Anakin Skywalker at the end of the remastered Return of the Jedi.

Having Yoda in the tree-burning scene — which is perhaps most embodies The Last Jedi's casting off of the past — feels right for Luke's entire arc: Yoda was Luke's closest mentor after Obi-Wan, and he was the last Grand Master of the Old Jedi Order. It feels fitting that he would be the one to encourage Luke to let go of the old ways of the Jedi.