In a recent Q&A, The Last Jedi writer-director Rian Johnson talked about the echoes from the Prequels in his movie (transcription by sleemo).
“So I was watching Revenge of the Sith recently and I noticed there are a few echoes from that film to The Last Jedi, like when Anakin’s talking to Padme in Revenge of the Sith just before they face off Obi-Wan, there’s some similarities there with the “join me” and the lashing out of Kylo to Rey and Anakin to Padme. Did you watch the prequels while you were writing?
Yeah, I watched the prequels a lot actually, and that goes for the writing and while we were in prep. I think partially because the original trilogy was the ones that I know by heart, shot for shot. The prequels – I knew them really well but I saw them less so I kind of wanted to steep myself in that visual language a lot more before I got into it.
The notion of finding echoes, not just in the original trilogy but also in the prequel trilogy felt like just a really rich well to draw from. So I kept the original trilogy and also the prequels just on my iPad that I had with me all the time and at night I would just put it on in a random spot and watch pieces of it.
My question is about the last scene between Rey and Ben. He’s kneeling on the ground, he has his father’s dice in his hands that his uncle gave to his mother and his mother left for him, and he’s looking up at the person who’s the most important person in the world to him and before that door shuts, if he could have a do-over to go back to that moment, what do you think he would say or do differently and why?
That is such a great question. Will you be mad if I said that it’s such a great question, I don’t want to answer it? Only because I think that’s such a beautiful notion of “what does he regret in that moment”, it’s the same way I think about in Revenge of the Sith, that mask is coming down, that beautiful shot of Anakin’s eyes right before it goes over and you see that glimpse of… Is it fear? Is it regret? What is it? What is going through his mind at that moment? That’s that kind of moment for Ben and I don’t want to put that moment in your guys’s head. I feel like that’s a moment that everyone should read into themselves. But just posing that question is really beautiful.”
You can hear this at 55′: