Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi has multiple arcs running through it for characters old and new. One of those is the culmination of Luke Skywalker’s story. As we watch Luke’s tale come to a gripping end, he finishes the film with one final showdown against Kylo Ren.
But did you know that his speech to his nephew at the end of the movie wasn’t only about Rey? Let’s take a closer look at the deeper meaning to Luke’s words and who else he was referring to.
Luke Skywalker’s character arc in the original film
In the original Star Wars films, Luke is a simple farmboy when we meet him, yearning to escape Tatooine for a life of adventure. He encounters two droids who pass along a message from Princess Leia Organa, an operative of the Rebel Alliance attempting to take down the evil Galactic Empire.
The message is intended for the Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi, who eventually pulls Luke into the mission. Luke ultimately helps rescue the Princess and take down the Death Star.
The idea of being something of a savior is central to Luke’s character, and more specifically, someone who helps rescue Leia. While Leia helps bail Luke out of a jam plenty of times, it’s Luke’s rescue of Leia that stands out as his first foray into something greater than the life he knew.
The role of Luke Skywalker in the sequel trilogy
By the time we see Luke in the sequel trilogy, many years have passed since the events of Return of the Jedi. He’s no longer an optimistic hero, but rather an aging failure who wasn’t able to stop his nephew’s descent into the Dark Side of the Force.
He’s enlisted by Rey to help the cause of the Resistance against the First Order, the new version of the Empire. While he’s at first hesitant, he eventually learns how to accept and move on from his failure. In the end, he sacrifices himself to aid the Resistance.
Yet again, he comes to the rescue for his sister Leia, only this time it’s from her son, formerly known as Ben Solo and now known as Kylo Ren.
The Luke-Leia dynamic is one of Star Wars’ most important. The brother-sister relationship has helped define the series in many ways. There’s even one more subtle reference to it that many fans may have missed.
Luke’s speech at the end of The Last Jedi wasn’t just about Rey
Near the conclusion of The Last Jedi, Luke confronts his nephew and informs him that he is NOT, in fact, the last of the Jedi. The film then cuts to Rey, drawing a rather unmistakable conclusion for the viewer. But one Star Wars fan on Reddit found a deeper meaning in Luke’s words that indicated he may have been referring to someone else as well – his sister:
“…when Luke is facing down Kylo Ren (I STILL think that scene was SO COOL) and is all like “I will not be the last Jedi”, I got shivers, it cuts to Rey, and I’m like “Ah yeah he’s talking about Rey” and that’s how I took it for years, even after tRoS [The Rise of Skywalker| came out.
Today, I was watching my Blu-Ray collection, saw the scene in tRoS where Leia and Luke are training, and it hit me like a ton of bricks, “OH. He meant LEIA. HOLY S**T HE MEANT LEIA. AND WE GOT TO SEE HER DO THE JEDI STUFF!!!”
Rarely do we see Leia use her Force powers – she uses them briefly in Return of the Jedi, The Last Jedi, and The Rise of Skywalker. But this point makes sense — Rey isn’t the last Force-sensitive person alive, and Leia does have some Jedi training under her belt.
It’s a cool nod to the fact that while she may not have been on the same level as Luke, Leia was in her own way a Jedi.
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