Rewatch The Empire Strikes Back and I think it's apparent that there was no other choice for Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi, given the events of The Force Awakens.
The entire premise of The Empire Strikes Back is that Luke Skywalker can sense Han and Leia in danger before it happens across the galaxy and drops everything to save them.
Which makes the biggest question in The Force Awakens, to me, "Why didn't Luke save Han?"
Not Snoke, not Rey's parents, nothing. Why did Luke Skywalker let Han Solo die?
Luke is the central mystery of The Force Awakens. The opening sentence of the crawl is "Luke Skywalker has vanished." The closing shot is Rey having found him. The film is begging us to ask these questions about Luke.
Why are we getting sidetracked by Snoke and Rey's parents?
Because of Empire and The Force Awakens, I don't think Rian Johnson COULD have done anything else with Luke Skywalker and have it make sense. There were slight variations that could have been made, sure, but the broad strokes of what Johnson gave us are pretty much inevitable.
I expected Luke to toss the saber the first time I saw the film. That's his thing. I've been on the "Luke is turning to non-violence" bandwagon for a while. But I was furious the first time I heard him say, "Where's Han?" BUT! I realized there had to be a reason for it...
My patience paid off in what I find one of the most heartfelt and stunning moments in the film: when Rey realizes that Luke has cut himself off from the Force.
Here we have the single most powerful Force user in the galaxy forced to cut himself off of every instinct he has for fear he'll do the galaxy more harm than good. From Luke's perspective, this abstinence of the Force is heroic. Another Jedi purge becomes impossible.
The perspective of the audience hasn't been as sympathetic. But this is also one of the central themes of The Last Jedi: that we can all perceive the exact same thing in a different way.
I'm not just talking about the Rashomon sequence (which I thought was brilliant filmmaking), but the vision Rey and Kylo shared and discussed on the elevator. They saw the same thing and came to different conclusions about what that outcome would be.
But let's talk about the Rashomon sequence. Because, to me, this is what made Luke the LEAST Luke and the MOST Luke and the more I watch it, the more heartbreaking it is to me in the best ways.
In case anyone is unfamiliar, Rashomon is a groundbreaking 1950 samurai film by Akira Kurosawa, who has always been an intense influence on Star Wars.
It tells the tale of a murder in a meadow from three different perspectives. The film never offers us an objective truth on what happened, merely lets the narrators be as reliable or unreliable as our point of view allows.
Our first glimpse of the "Rashomon" triptych in The Last Jedi comes when Luke explains that he'd sensed the Dark Side in Ben. He went to confront him about it and it didn't go well. No sabers were in play. This is how Luke WISHES it would have gone, if at all.
The second version is from Ben's perspective. Naturally, he's the hero of this version. Luke practically has Sith eyes and his green lightsaber is almost a sickly yellow. From Ben's POV, Luke arrives to murder him absolutely. There is no question in his mind.
And then, the third time, we're given Luke's version. A blend of the two with plenty of shades of gray. And, for my money, the version of the story I believe. And it's the one I think truest to Luke's character, too.
Luke goes to check on Ben and the darkness growing inside him. This wellness check is already filled with self-doubt. Luke, like every creative or heroic person I've ever known, suffers from impostor syndrome. Just like Obi-Wan's.
And here he sees a darkness greater than anything he could have ever imagined. And a future where all of his loved ones are killed and the Jedi order he cared about burned to the ground. What happened the last time he was confronted with an image of this?
The last time this happened, he was in the Death Star Throne Room and Vader taunted him with this vision of the future and he lost control. He ignited his saber out of instinct and fought. With rage and anger.
But he pulled himself back from doing the thing he swore he wouldn't do: kill his own father. Then he tosses his lightsaber and says, essentially, "kill me if you have to, but I'll die like a Jedi."
Now, he goes to Ben's hut and sees that future all over again. And, as before, his saber ignites. And this is startling to him. He's instantly ashamed of himself and must deal with the consequence of that split-second consideration. We know he'd NEVER kill his nephew. Ben doesn't
And here's where Luke decided it was ultimately the right thing for the Galaxy to end the Jedi and quit the Force. Because these cycles of violence will happen between good and evil jockeying for power. And the constant in Luke's view was the Jedi.
Their failure. Hypocrisy. Hubris.
If they were off the playing field, there would be no Vader. Or Kylo Ren. So instead of doubling down and training NEW Jedi to take down his nephew, he simply ends the cycle.
VIolence begets violence and Luke would no longer participate.
And that's why I love the end of the movie. Luke finally learned from his mistakes. He could stick to his non-violence, but still set an example that would ignite the galaxy. Which is why his saber never touches Ben's during the fight. It's 100% evasion.
From my perspective, given Luke's inaction in TFA, this is the ONLY thing that could have been done with him. And why I've embraced the arc so much. I love it.
Quick question: what was the reason you feel Luke regained his faith/belief in the Jedi? Despite his feeling that all of the galaxy's problems stem from them I.e someone turning dark (violence begets violence as you said). Was it that failure is the greatest teacher as Yoda said
I think Yoda summed it up best: that Rey saw the split-second mistake Luke had made with Ben but that all the failures were the greatest teacher & Luke only then realised that Rey could continue the Jedi in a way that prevented those mistakes from being made
This is the most flawed of all the tweets. He stepped away and yet the First Order and Kylo/Snope flourished. There are arguably no Jedi in the next film yet i guarantee you there will be by its ending, because with or without Jedi the Sith will always exist.
Well, just on Canto Bight alone (which I loved): It complicates the story, enhances and plays to the theme, offers us that character development, lays the groundwork for the ending (not just the END ending), but for everything Holdo has to do AND it is the point of Poe's arc, too
I think you got the wrong lesson from the Yoda arc, friend. Yoda and the Jedi of the time thought the darkness could be extinguished from themselves. They believed themselves pure and arrogance blinded them. What Yoda learned in that arc is that, yes, that dark part of himself
does exist. It will never go away fully. But it does not control him. Ignoring it would only give it power. The only way to defeat the dark side is to constantly resist it. There WILL be temptation, there WILL be moments of weakness.
That didn't change his mind, though. He says, "I'll give you three lessons on why the Jedi need to end." It wasn't until after his conversation with Yoda that he had faith in Rey.
I agree with your Luke take. My only disappointment with TLJ is Rey's decision not to join Ben. Everything Ben tells her in his pitch is correct (except he doesn't know how much Finn cares about her.) But even she's oblivious to that. She should have joined Ben.
I think if “violence begets violence” were his real reason for hiding, he’d have said so. He’s hiding because, as long as he’s around, he’ll be expected to rebuild the Jedi. He’s convinced that would be a mistake. He has no qualms about helping perpetuate a war.
xerxes and/or Robbo
Felt like he was saying she was nothing to underscore his point and not necessarily to put her down - for dramatic effect, but you may be right. And in lots of ways his understanding of her "nothingness" and hers as well is correct. Aside from Finn, who cares about her wellbeing?
His lightsaber doesn't touch Ben's because it can't. He's a hologram basically. Your love for the series is commendable but you're having to do a lot of work to find the good in this. Castrating Luke was just a huge undermining of the character and deeply unsatisfying to watch.
Uggh these dimwits such as you making straw man arguments on why you think people disliked the movie are hilarious. It has nothing to do with fan theories and all to do with proper storytelling, coherent story for a sequel and respect for the lore, which TLJ is lacking. It sucks
Here's where I have a problem with this line of thinking. A core tenet of Luke's character is his unwillingness to give up on someone. Also, his reaction in the Throne Room was anger at the Emperor. In this story, it's fear which doesn't resonate with his character.
There's a problem with this point though: Snoke. If the issue was just a fallen apprentice, this theory makes sense. But Snoke's already there (somehow). Luke walking away after failing Kylo, sure, but he also left the galaxy and friends to die at the hands of a dark side master.
Gillian de Nooijer
This argument is so stupid. For them to say they HAVE to kill the jedi + sith to create grey area characters is so ignorant. If they bothered to read the EU they would know that there is such a thing as dark jedi. Mace Windu, Quinlan Vos, etc. The ppl in charge don't know sh*t.
It could’ve easily been explained as Snoke clouding the Force so Luke didn’t know
Also, if Luke had been a non-glowing Force ghost the whole time it would’ve been a lot better (as in, the whole purpose of the map was not to lead to Luke but to the temple where Rey could save it)
This is why I love the movie. Fans complain about no duel, but are forgetting that the force is very peaceful. It's a side of Star Wars we are not familiar with and it's different. Showing luke in mediation, fishing, a very tranquil way of living.
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