It's so subtle, we don't blame you if you missed it.
One GIF in particular blew up like the Death Star online last week—this specific juxtaposition between Luke in moments of distress from the two Star Wars films.
A visual comparison I made last year of Luke in RETURN OF THE JEDI and THE LAST JEDI, coming to the same realisation that he was letting himself slip towards the Dark Side of the Force... it's like poetry, it rhy--yeah, you get it.#TheLastJedi #TLJGang #LukeSkywalker pic.twitter.com/dmk4ZuUuFE— Luke Ryan's New Nightmare (@RazorwireRyan) October 27, 2019
Many are pointing out that the framing for both of these shots is almost identical, and it could reflect the emotions that Luke was feeling at both points.
If you don't remember, these moments are when the character is at his most emotional and unhinged, about to kill Darth Vader and Kylo Ren in anger. Therefore, these are the moments where Luke was closest to the dark side of the force.
The Last Jedi came out in 2017, but hardcore fans are still picking up what they believe are director Rian Johnson's subtle nods to the original trilogy. Johnson is a director who cares about detail and knew that he was working in an established universe, and maybe he felt this shot could hearken back to another very similar moment in Luke's journey.
Perhaps, through tiny visual moments like the one featured above, he was attempting to connect his entry in the Star Wars saga to what came before, while also creating a film that could stand on its own. It's a little ironic since one of the central themes of The Last Jedi is that we should let go of the past.
This Return of the Jedi/The Last Jedi visual comparison came from a larger video on the ending of The Last Jedi for JoBlo, which you can watch in its entirety below.
Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrszhFH2VeM
However, this wouldn't be an article about The Last Jedi without mentioning that the movie remains divisive. Other Twitter commenters have pointed out that this is a very basic method of framing—a tight close-up to show a character's emotional response. Johnson definitely has his share of haters, and they think that this comparison is giving him a little too much credit.
What do you think? Is this moment a purposeful visual nod to the original trilogy, or just a happy accident? Let us know in the comments!