Star Wars: The Last Jedi director explains why Lando and Obi-Wan didn't make the final cut

Star Wars: The Last Jedi wasn’t shy about ripping up the rulebook about everything that came before it. The past weighed heavily on the movie, and that’s without taking into account that Lando and Obi Wan could’ve dropped by. Rian Johnson, however, has laid out his reasons as to why they weren’t part of the movie, and what role they would’ve had to play. Some spoilers to follow…

“I would have loved to have had Ewan McGregor in the movie, but it was just a matter of storytelling,” Johnson tells CinemaBlend. “The original relationship with Obi-Wan – obviously if Alec Guinness were still with us that would have made sense. But we never saw Luke ever interact with the Ewan version of Obi-Wan, so there’s less of the emotional connection.”

Fair enough. That Episode 3 Anakin Force ghost that was retroactively planted in Return of the Jedi still rankles. However, the Obi-Wan fanboy in me is still getting a bit excited; if Rian Johnson had plans for him, maybe Lucasfilm have been on the blower to Ewan McGregor about that long-rumoured standalone film?

Lando making an appearance was also on the table according to Johnson’s interview with The Playlist: “In terms of Lando, I briefly considered, would he work in the [DJ] part.” Johnson ultimately decided against it though, “I don’t think you would ever buy that Lando would just completely betray the characters like that and have that level of moral ambiguity.” Someone hasn’t seen Empire. 

Kidding aside, Lando appearing would’ve served as a nice primer to get newer fans up to speed before Donald Glover steps into his boots in the Han Solo movie. But, if we’re talking about a fresh trilogy here, there’s nothing worse than refusing to let go of the past by having the same characters return over and over again. Star Wars: The Last Jedi, if nothing else, cuts all ties with that past, and the more power to Rian Johnson for being so brave.

For more Rian Johnson spoiler-filled post-mortems of The Last Jedi, be sure to check out his appraisal of *that* big Leia scene, as well as whether Captain Phasma is coming back for Star Wars 9.

Image: Lucasfilm

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.