The Last of Us E6’s Director Drew Inspiration from His Own Experience to Recreate Jackson

The Last of Us E6’s Director Drew Inspiration from His Own Experience to Recreate Jackson

Jasmila Žbanić, drew from her personal background to create a genuine depiction of the Jackson settlement. Following Joel and Ellie’s arduous journey across the country, they stumble upon a town that resembles a pre-infection society with features such as movies, laundry, and farming. 

Despite the chaotic apocalypse, Jackson manages to provide a peaceful haven for survivors. However, the latest episode alters the course of events for Tommy and Maria with the revelation of Maria’s pregnancy. Compared to the first game, where the town struggled to establish stability and only found success with Joel’s assistance, The Last of Us episode 6 showcases a transformed Jackson. 

The Last of Us E6 Director Draws from Own Experience to Create Jackson
Jackson in The Last of Us game | Source: Fandom

In an interview with Variety [ ], Jasmila Žbanić explained that her own experiences during the Bosnian War informed her approach to creating a realistic portrayal of Jackson. Check out the statement here –

I didn’t really talk about it, because for me it was very natural. What we talked a lot about was that I survived the war in Sarajevo in the ’90s. I think for Craig and Neil, it was interesting that I was kind of living in a place which was like Jackson in a way, because we were surrounded by the Serbian army, we were constantly bombarded. We had to be on alert, we had to survive, we had to learn how to live without anything, without civilization. There was no electricity, no food, nothing. But we managed to survive because of solidarity, and the way the city was restructured. You have to start from zero. That experience for me was something that I felt very close about Jackson. It’s a community that functions, and I find it really beautiful and hopeful because I really believe even in the worst catastrophes, like war, I survived. People are able to keep the society. They are not always the enemy to each other. So I was really happy to direct this episode that really said something that I deeply believe in.

Jackson serves as a vital location in both The Last of Us and The Last of Us Part II. Its significance lies in the fact that it provides a much-needed respite for Joel and Ellie before the painful cliff-hanger of episode 6. 

Here, they can rest, stock up, and prepare themselves for the next difficult stage of their journey. The settlement also offers a glimmer of hope in a world that has been ravaged by destruction.

For Joel and Ellie, discovering a settlement that presents a way of life free from constant travel, warfare, and violence is a novelty. They had been living in a war-stricken Quarantine Zone and traveling through a country filled with people who shoot first and ask questions later. 

The Last of Us E6 Director Draws from Own Experience to Create Jackson
Jackson | Source: Fandom

While Jackson is not entirely free from violence, it represents people working together and demonstrating their love and dedication to one another, a recurring theme in The Last of Us.

For Ellie, Jackson is like a glimpse into a world that she has never experienced before. As The Last of Us reveals Ellie’s backstory, the sight of Jackson offers her a chance to understand precisely what she’s fighting for and why she must find the Fireflies. 

The story of Jackson provides hope for the world of The Last of Us and a place to return to if Joel and Ellie can complete their journey following Joel’s injury.

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About The Last Of Us

The Last of Us is an HBO TV series adaptation of the award-winning video game of the same name originally developed by Naughty Dog.

It is set in 2033, as a fungal infestation plagues humans, turning them feral and blind before finally finishing them off. The series follows Joel’s journey to escort an immune 14-year-old Ellie to the Fireflies, who hope to study her to procure a vaccine.

The cast comprises Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, both famed for their roles in Games of Thrones, along with Gabriel Luna, Merle Dandridge, and Nico Parker. The show was renewed for season 2.