Joseph Gordon-Levitt breaks down the 'two big risks' of The Last Jedi

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Jan 17, 2018

Joseph Gordon-Levitt has finally gotten around to seeing Star Wars: The Last Jedi -- and, like most of us, he had some thoughts about it. Via his Twitter, Gordon-Levitt admitted to getting "sucked down a rabbit hole" reading all of the "starkly different opinions" people were having about The Last Jedi -- but rather get into heated online debates about what the film either succeeded or failed at, he decided to channel his opinions into a lengthy blog post on Medium.

He prefaced the piece, titled "A New Old Skywalker," by explaining his own personal connection to the film's director. Fans of Gordon-Levitt are probably more than familiar with the fact that he has a long and involved working relationship with Rian Johnson, having starred in two of his prior movies -- 2005's Brick and 2012's Looper. He's also had brief cameos in two of Johnson's other films, The Brothers Bloom and The Last Jedi.

Those potential biases aside, he goes on to address what has become one of the most hot-button topics for Star Wars fans since The Last Jedi was released: the journey of Luke Skywalker. "The way I see it," Gordon-Levitt writes, "The Last Jedi takes two big risks in its depiction of Luke. 1) He’s different than he used to be. 2) Not only is he different, he’s changed for the worse."

However, as far as Gordon-Levitt is concerned, Luke's flaws in The Last Jedi are what make him a better character. He compares Luke losing his faith due to events that take place before the film, and eventually regaining it, with what The Last Jedi forces Star Wars fans to do -- to reconcile their faith in a franchise that may be trying to shake things up more than they're comfortable with.

The fact that Lucasfilm is deciding to take narrative risks on a big property like Star Wars "in the interest of building a world ... that thrives in the long-run", Gordon-Levitt adds, is also a good sign, and demonstrates that the main concept of the film extends to both characters and audience. "In the end, to me, The Last Jedi demonstrates not only that we can still have faith in Star Wars, but that Star Wars still has faith in us."

You can read Gordon-Levitt's piece in full via Medium.