WARNING: Contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Rey and Kylo’s conversations via Force-merging are just the galaxy far, far away’s version of FaceTime, right?
Chatting with the LA Times, The Last Jedi writer-director Rian Johnson took some time to break down how Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) communicate with one another through the Force–which we know the human equivalent of a raisin Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) orchestrated. The film shows the two Force-sensitive fighters speaking as if they were right in front of each other, a link that’s quite different from what we’ve seen in past Star Wars films, as it goes beyond sensing feelings and breaks into full-on conversations (and arguments, in the case of Rey and Kylo).
Johnson explained that this new type of Force connection came about because the narrative of The Last Jedi demanded it. “It was always through the demands of the story. With the Force connections between Rey and Kylo I thought, ‘OK, I need to get these two talking. But if I put them face to face they’re going to either fight, or one of them has to be tied up,'” he stated. “So I knew I wanted them to talk, and to talk enough to where we could go from ‘I hate you,’ to her being forced to actually engage with him. That’s where the idea of these ‘Force connections’ came from, which is kind of a new thing.”
The filmmaker added that he looked to an iconic (and arguably the best) Star Wars film for a bit of inspiration when thinking of how the Force connections would work. “It’s a little bit of a riff on what happens with Vader and Luke at the end of The Empire Strikes Back,” said Johnson. “But it’s entirely new in some regards.”
As with any new addition to a Star Wars installment, the never-before-seen Force powers in The Last Jedi have caused a bit of a rift between fans. Some applauded Johnson’s innovativeness, while others were disappointed and even angry that the director was taking such drastic creative liberty with the Force. Given that we saw Rey slam the door on her link to Kylo, the Johnson-introduced Force connections may not be used at all in the upcoming Episode IX, which The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams takes the reins for.