Star Wars: The Last Jedi is one of those movies it seems people will never stop talking about. It's not even the most recent Star Wars film full of controversial plot elements, and yet, it seems people are still more curious about this film than Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. But if you're one of those people that are curious about Episode VIII, whether because you liked it or...not, then Rian Johnson has spoken some more about one of the most interesting scenes in his film, the "Force Cave sequence.
When Daisy Ridley's Rey discovers a place on the island on Ahch-To that is strong with the Force, specifically, Dark Side energy, she is immediately curious. And while Luke Skywalker cautions her against exploring the spot, she eventually does so anyway. What follows is something of a mind trip as Rey goes looking for answers about herself and her family, and finds...a house of mirrors with an infinite number of reflections of herself. It's far from clear exactly what this scene is supposed to mean, but as Rian Johnson recently explained to author Sariah Wilson, that was sort of the point.
In a series of tweets Sariah Wilson explains an exchange she had with the director about the cave sequence in The Last Jedi. she compared it to a similar sequence in Star Wars; The Empire Strikes Back, where Luke enters a similar space and confronts Darth Vader. We don't see Rey's entire experience in the cave, so she asked Johnson if Rey had a similar altercation with Kylo Ren/Ben Solo. He doesn't really answer in specifics, but that's because he wanted the scene to be left open to interpretation.
One theory has been that Rey actually stepped into the World Between Worlds, a place outside time and space seen in Star Wars Rebels. Rian Johnson made it clear he's a fan of the concept and hopes that we see more of the World Between Worlds in Star Wars, but he was making no direct reference to that here. He saw this as an internal experience for Rey, it's more about what she felt than where she was, and it's not supposed to give any concrete answers.
Leaving the whole sequence open to interpretation makes a lot of sense if only because Rian Johnson didn't know where the next writers and director would take the trilogy after he was done. Leaving it open means that it can be taken in a number of different directions depending on how the story was going to progress. Of course, nothing was really done with it, but that was largely the case with most of The Rise of Skywalker.
Of course, that works just as well because the sequence doesn't need to mean anything beyond a symbolic experience for Rey, which is ultimately what it is. If it means more to fans, that's fine, as each can put whatever they want to on top of it for themselves.