‘Star Wars’: Rian Johnson Explained Why Anakin’s Force Ghost Didn’t Appear in ‘The Last Jedi’

The Star Wars franchise has been a huge influence in popular culture since the late 70s. One of the most popular characters is Darth Vader, also known as Anakin Skywalker. In recent years, a sequel trilogy came out to continue the story. Fans became more divisive after The Last Jedi

Rian Johnson is the director of the film and has talked about the reasoning for his narrative choices. Recently, he confessed that he considered having Anakin show up but chose Yoda instead. As a result, fans discussed the logic behind his decision. 

Rian Johnson almost brought Anakin back

Many Star Wars fans began to speculate what the rest of the trilogy would hold after the release of The Force Awakens. While the production for The Last Jedi was underway, there were efforts to keep certain plot points a secret. One of them was Yoda making an appearance.

During the latter half of the film, Yoda appears in front of Luke as a force ghost. He burns a tree full of ancient texts and helps Luke come to terms with his failure. Some fans were probably surprised by the small character’s cameo. 

On Reddit, some users talked about the reasoning behind Yoda being the one to show up in the film. The discussion centered around one of Johnson’s tweets. He replied to someone on Twitter about why the wise Jedi master appeared instead of Luke’s father, Anakin. 

The director told the Twitter user that Luke’s relationship was with Vader not Anakin. He felt that using his father’s force ghost would make the scene more puzzling than it needed to be. Johnson stated, “Yoda felt like the more impactful teacher for that moment.” 

Fans concluded that the decision made sense

Rian Johnson
Rian Johnson | Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb

A few Reddit users agreed with the director that Yoda made more sense for that scene. One of the reasons is that he is Luke’s other mentor besides Obi-Wan Kenobi. In The Empire Strikes Back, Yoda gives the new force user an intense training regime. 

Yes, Anakin is a mentor and has helped teach others in the past. Fans may remember Ahsoka from The Clone Wars series. Anakin helps mentor her as the two of them went on missions together. However, he never got the chance to teach his own son. Most of his interactions with Luke are antagonistic. 

“Yeah, yoda [sic] was a mentor to Luke like Obi-wan, but Anakin never really had a ‘teaching’ role with Luke so it wouldn’t make sense for him to come back and teach him something else,” one user wrote. 

Anakin was not Luke’s teacher figure


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Fans wondered how Disney could bring back Anakin Skywalker. Some were hoping that he would make an appearance in The Rise of Skywalker. The demand may have grown after Johnson admitted to having considered adding him before deciding against it.  

Another user sided with Johnson and explained how it would complicate the moment. They stated that Luke likely would have been shocked and surprised upon seeing Anakin show up. His reactions would have mirrored the audience’s feelings about his cameo. On the other hand, Yoda would not have been too startling for Luke. 

Yoda has already established himself as a wise master. He spent a portion of The Empire Strikes Back becoming a teacher figure. Anakin possibly would have needed to do all that within the span of a few minutes. Some felt that it would have hurt the pacing of the film. 

“I think Yoda was by far the correct choice here,” the user wrote. Fans that want to see Anakin appear once again will have to wait and see what future Star Wars projects have in store.