Nearly three years after it arrived in theaters, we are still talking about Rian Johnson’s lone installment in the world of “Star Wars” lore, ‘The Last Jedi.’ But, in a fun twist, we’re not here to talk about how the internet is exploding with hatred and vitriol against Johnson. Instead, we’re going to take a trip down “What if?” lane to see the filmmaker explain why he almost had Anakin Skywalker in the feature but ended up passing on the idea.
As with anything ‘The Last Jedi’ related, the conversation begins on Twitter, where the filmmaker was responding to fans. When asked if he ever considered using Anakin in “The Last Jedi,” Johnson tweeted, “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. Yoda felt like the more impactful teacher for that moment.”
This is not unlike what Johnson himself told us about Obi-Wan Kenobi and Ewan McGregor. A few years ago, he explained almost using Obi-Wan instead of Yoda.
“Believe me, man. I would have loved to have had Ewan McGregor in the movie, but it was just a matter of storytelling,” Johnson told The Playlist in 2017. “The original relationship with Obi-Wan — obviously, if Alec Guinness were still with us, that would have made sense. But we never saw Luke ever interact with the Ewan version of Obi-Wan, so there’s less of the emotional connection, and it might have been a little odd. So, it made sense, and we could recreate that character [practically], so it made sense that Yoda be the one that comes back and kicks [Luke’s] butt a little.”
Regardless, we got Yoda. And the scene with Yoda in “The Last Jedi” is probably one of the high points of the feature. Of course, whenever you compliment ‘The Last Jedi,’ you have to understand that everything is subjective and relative, so there will be plenty of folks on social media explaining why even including Yoda was the wrong move.