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Warning: SPOILERS for Star Wars: The Last Jedi are ahead!
Contrary to what Rey initially believed about the Force in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the mystical energy field created by all living things is more than just a power that lets Jedi control people and make things float. It's so much bigger. Over the the course of the main Star Wars saga, we've seen other ways the Force can be harnessed by both light side and dark side users, and The Last Jedi showed Luke Skywalker harnessing this energy in an especially impressive way: creating a realistic projection of himself. This particular power has been criticized by some Star Wars fans, and while director Rian Johnson has already defended its use, he took to social media earlier today to clap back against those still giving him grief about that element of The Last Jedi. And best of all, he did it without typing a word.
It all started with posting posting some simple eye emojis, and from there, Rian Johnson's Twitter thread strengthened his defense further by proving that the projection ability Luke used in The Last Jedi has been a legitimate Force power for years.
After taking a picture of his bookshelf, Johnson then focused on a 2011 book called Star Wars: The Jedi Path, which is an "ancient training manual" that, among other things, teaches the different ways a Jedi can wield the Force. Turning to the "Advanced Force Techniques" section, Johnson highlighted the "Doppelgänger" entry, which notes that this ability allows a Jedi to project themselves into new locations. Furthermore, Luke could have taken it further by including troops that weren't actually present.
Johnson ended the thread with one of my favorite gifs: Homer Simpson disappearing silently back into the bushes. Case closed.
One of the critiques directed towards Luke Skywalker's Force projection ability in Star Wars: The Last Jedi is that we hadn't seen it before. Rian Johnson ultimately responded that none of the other previously-seen Force abilities were "explicitly set up" before they happened either. Now Johnson has the official Jedi Path book to back him up, which we can basically consider the equivalent of The Sacred Texts.
Alas, even with that proof to support him, that doesn't mean just any Force user should use the "Doppelgänger" on a whim. Luke projected himself from Ahch-To all the way to Crait, and the energy he poured into that essentially exhausted him to death. It's hard to say if we'll ever see someone else use the projection ability in another Star Wars movie or another media project, but at least now it's definitively established that it's a legitimate power, even long before The Last Jedi was conceived.