Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Rian Johnson Finally Explains The Ending Of Star Wars: The Last Jedi

The "Star Wars" franchise has always been known to touch all aspects of modern pop culture. References to the movies and media empire abound in other films, television shows, comics, and music. People quote the movie constantly, make lightsaber sound effects whenever picking up something cylindrical, and vigorously debate whether Han (Harrison Ford) or Greedo (Paul Blake) shot first. For some, "Star Wars" isn't just entertainment, it is almost a way of life – BBC reported in 2011 that 177,000 citizens of the United Kingdom claimed "Jedi" as their religion.

Of the more recent "Star Wars" trilogy, "The Last Jedi" broke the mold of a "Star Wars" movie and subverted many expectations with the follow-up to the wildly successful "The Force Awakens." Box Office Mojo notes that "The Last Jedi" proved to also be a huge financial success, making well over $1.3 billion. However, "The Last Jedi" met with somewhat of a polarized response from critics and fans, with Rotten Tomatoes highlighting the rough divide by a 91% critic score and a 42% audience score. Now celebrating the fifth anniversary of the release of "The Last Jedi," director Rian Johnson reflected on his now infamous "Star Wars" movie, and it seems like he still stands by his work.

Rian Johnson is very proud of The Last Jedi and thinks the film does a great job conveying the Star Wars mythos

Speaking with Empire, Rian Johnson expressed his thoughts on "The Last Jedi" by saying, "I'm even more proud of it five years on. When I was up at bat, I really swung at the ball." Johnson continued and said that "Star Wars" is almost mythical, and that both fans and himself have been affected by the story in some way or another. He added that it was never his intention to strip away "Star Wars," but instead get to the root of its power and what makes the franchise so special.

Johnson then reflected on the symbolism and meaning of the ending, and said, "The final images of the movie, to me, are not deconstructing the myth of Luke Skywalker, they're building it, and they're him embracing it. They're him absolutely defying the notion of, 'Throw away the past,' and embracing what actually matters about his myth and what's going to inspire the next generation. So for me, the process of stripping away is always in the interest of getting to something essential that really matters."

The final moments of "The Last Jedi" see Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) use the power of the Force from his hideaway island to battle Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), but the strain of such an ability causes him to die and return to the Force. The last scenes of the film see the children on the casino planet of Cantonica retelling the story of the Jedi and the Rebel Alliance, which truly telegraphs Johnson's ultimate point in "The Last Jedi."