Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson will not confirm nor deny twins Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia will reunite in the film, though their shared history plays an integral role in their respective arcs. While 2015's The Force Awakens marked the long-awaited returns of Luke, Leia, and Han Solo, the original trilogy's big three did not share any scenes together, as Luke had gone into self-imposed exile following the betrayal of his nephew, Ben Solo. This made Han's death in Episode VII all the more tragic, since he never got a chance to reconcile with his best friend. Many hoped Luke would get a chance to reconnect with his sister in a future installment - and that was before real-life tragedy struck.
One of the primary reasons fans are so desperate to learn if the estranged siblings reunite is because this is, sadly, the last time Carrie Fisher will appear in a Star Wars film, after the actress died late last year. Fisher had completed all of her scenes prior to her passing, and her role in the movie is unchanged, so what fans see in a few weeks is what Johnson always intended. Whether they cross paths again will be revealed in due time, but it sounds that's something Luke is trying to run away from.
Sitting down with EW, Johnson said, "It's nice seeing them on the cover though. Even if all we have is that," addressing the possibility of a Luke/Leia reunion - which has been rumored over the past few months. Mark Hamill explained Luke's damaged psyche will be explored in The Last Jedi:
"Luke longs to have that extended family that he established in the original trilogy, but now he’s at a place in his life and in his history where he’s shunned all of that. The big question is why didn’t he respond to Leia during [The Force Awakens]? There’s a lot of things you can’t answer until you see this movie... It’s very important for Luke to feel grounded and feel like he has a family. I think he loves her dearly."
At the heart of all this, of course, is Ben Solo, the man who turned to the dark side and tore the family apart forever. It's abundantly apparent Luke blames himself for what happened, but Leia feels some responsibility as well. One of the twists in the narrative is she relinquishes control of the Resistance to her longtime friend Vice Admiral Holdo (who doesn't get along with Poe Dameron), and though the full reasoning for this has not yet been shared, Leia's son might be the catalyst for the change. Ben felt neglected by his parents as they rebuilt the Republic, which led him towards Supreme Leader Snoke. Perhaps Leia, after years of being at the forefront of galactic conflicts, is going to prioritize her family. Right now, Luke is all she has left as we wait to see what fate awaits Kylo Ren.
A Luke and Leia reunion under any circumstance is sure to be one of the movie's most emotionally-charged and cathartic sequences, so it's understandable why nobody involved with the picture wants to answer that question now. It is interesting that the studio has revealed Rey gets off Ahch-To (she's been shown in Snoke's throne room), but have stayed mum on Luke. This could be an effort on their part to preserve spoilers, but there is a reasonable chance Luke remains in isolation, unable to move on from the pain of his mistakes. Luke is no longer the plucky hero who never gave up on his father. He's a broken, weary man too scared to show Rey the ways of the Force, and all will be revealed soon.
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018