Star Wars: The Last Jedi has many twists and turns and the occasional unexpected appearance from certain well-known characters, but did it really one in particular?
WARNING: SPOILERS for Star Wars: The Last Jedi to follow.
I’ll say it just once more that there are SPOILERS for Star Wars: The Last Jedi in this article so if you haven’t seen it yet then look away now and come back after you’ve seen it.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way we can’t start discussing the interesting stuff. Star Wars: The Last Jedi has proven to be one of the most decisive Star Wars movies ever made, which is slightly surprising because on a personal note I thought it was one of the most important Star Wars movies ever made. That said, I can understand why some fans had reservations about certain scenes.
There was the General Leia scene in which she uses the Force to survive being in outer space and get back to the safety of her ship. I understand why they had it in the movie but it did feel like a “WTF” moment, but upon reflection, it was needed to show Leia ability with the Force.
However, there was another scene which involves the return of a famous Star Wars character which also had people scratching their heads. I’m referring to the appearance of Frank Oz’s Yoda on Ahch To as a Force ghost in which he talks to Luke and reveals that the Jedi do need to change and he then proceeds to burn down the tree in which the Jedis’ first text reside which also happens to be the first Jedi temple.
The first question I asked myself was: was Yoda’s needed? I’ve read a few articles explaining how it should have been Obi-Wan Kenobi in that scene instead of Yoda, however that doesn’t really make sense to me. Luke’s real teacher was Yoda, not Obi-Wan. There’s an important emotional connection between a padawan and his teacher. It’s fitting this it should be his teacher, Yoda, to show him the error of his ways and get him back on the right track.
And then there’s also the fact that Alec Guinness is dead and you couldn’t really have Ewan McGregor return as Obi-Wan because he didn’t manifest as a Force ghost as McGregor in the original trilogy. It’s also far easier to bring Frank Oz and the Yoda puppet back rather than having to generate a CGI Alec Guinness. We’ve already seen them do something similar with Peter Cushing’s Grand Moff Tarkin in Rogue One and I found it to be rather disconcerting.
I actually think Yoda’s scene is vital for The Last Jedi’s plot but more importantly Luke’s story arc. Yoda basically gives Luke a good talking to and shows him that he still has much to do and needs to help Rey, the Resistance and the future of the Jedi. I thought Rian Johnson wrote and directed this scene perfectly. It was suitably touching, amusing and poignant.I also liked the fact that it showed that Force ghosts are still able to manipulate things in the world around them. Yoda burns down the temple by manipulating lighting to spark the fire that eventually burns it down along with the old Hedi texts.
Yoda also explains to Luke that the Jedi don’t have to be like they were before. He actually shows Luke that they can evolve and still have a part to play in the universe and that can be achieved through Rey and Luke’s subsequent actions.
So basically, yeah, Yoda’s cameo was greatly needed. Not only for the film’s plot and Luke’s story arc but also the future of this revamped Star Wars franchise. I understand why there has been a backlash but when all this outrage dies and people start to stop and reflect upon this movie they’ll realise how successful Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi really is.