clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Rian Johnson pokes Last Jedi haters with a sharp obscure reference

New, 181 comments

The sacred Jedi texts!

If you buy something from a Polygon link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Luke Skywalker Lucasfilm

It’s not news anymore that there’s a vocal minority of folks who think that Star Wars: The Last Jedi took some liberties with Star Wars canon — and some others who have even more ridiculous problems with the blockbuster.

Director Rian Johnson continued a streak of getting a little cheeky on Twitter today, with a series of tweets tacitly defending a certain thing that happens in the climax of The Last Jedi.

[Warning: This post will contain spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.]

Johnson simply tweeted a series of image: First, an “eyes” emoji. Then, a series of pictures getting closer to a bookcase, revealing a specific title: The Jedi Path, a hardcover young adult book published in 2011 and written by Daniel Wallace, frequent author of similar titles in the Star Wars Expanded Universe. Here’s the Amazon description:

Passed down from Master to apprentice, The Jedi Path is an ancient training manual that has educated and enlightened generations of Jedi. Within its pages, the Jedi-in training will discover the history and lore of the Jedi Order, the ways of the Force and how to wield it, the subtle nuances of lightsaber combat, and the dangers of the Dark Side. The only remaining copy in existence, this hallowed tome features handwritten annotated notes by Yoda, Luke Skywalker, Count Dooku, and Darth Sidious, among many others. Created in collaboration with Lucasfilm along with an acclaimed Star Wars author and revered Star Wars illustrators this volume also introduces never-before-seen ships, creatures, characters, and details about the Star Wars galaxy.

To pave the way for the new trilogy, Lucasfilm announced that all supplemental material set in the Star Wars universe (the Expanded Universe) published or released before 2014 would no longer be considered a canonical part of the story. Only the core trilogy films and the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series would be exempt. By that reckoning, The Jedi Path would not be considered a part of Star Wars lore anymore.

But that doesn’t mean that it couldn’t be again. The infamous Grand Admiral Thrawn was one of the character casualties of Lucasfilm’s decision, and he’s since featured in the Star Wars: Rebels cartoon series, and will have his own comic series from Marvel Comics starting next month. Thrawn shows that elements of the Expanded Universe can, indeed, return.

But let’s move along. Through pictures, Johnson opened the book to a section titled “Advanced Force Techniques,” and finally zoomed in on one passage.

We’ll write that out for you:

Doppelganger, or Similfuturus, permits a Jedi to create a short-lived duplicate of himself or herself or an external object that is visually indistinguishable from the real item. Those who have perfected this ability can create phantoms of any person of their choosing or trick an enemy into seeing more objects, such as droids, than are actually present.

Finally, Johnson closed his twitter thread with a .gif of Homer Simpson gliding backwards into a bush until hidden.

The reference Johnson is making seems clear: Among the many additions to the suite of Jedi abilities that The Last Jedi’s critics have objected to is the main hook of the film’s climax. That is, when Luke Skywalker projects an illusion of himself across the galaxy to fool Kylo Ren and the First Order into thinking he has come to defend the last remnant of the Resistance.

Look, Johnson appears to be saying, if I’m only allowed to use things that were a part of the Star Wars universe already, well, here. Force doppelgangers were a part of the Star Wars universe already.

At least, that’s how we interpret it. You might have your own certain point of view.