I’m participating in Star Wars ComLINKS, a Star Wars themed monthly link up. This month’s topic is: Favorite TLJ Scene.
Since this month’s topic is Favorite TLJ Scene, there will obviously be spoilers for The Last Jedi in this post. Read on if you’ve already seen the film (or don’t mind major spoilers), or bookmark this page and come back once you’ve seen The Last Jedi.
The first time I saw The Last Jedi, I was in a theater packed with the most devoted of Star Wars fans. The audience laughed, cried, gasped, and applauded during the film – it was an incredible experience!
It took me a couple days to process everything that happened (so much happened!), but I already knew that I liked The Last Jedi. Sure, there are parts of it that have me scratching my head in bewilderment, but as a whole I found it to be an enjoyable film that moves the franchise in a fresh new direction.
At first I had a hard time deciding on a favorite scene: there were many moments throughout the film that made me laugh, and others that deeply moved me, but the one scene that I couldn’t stop thinking about was the final showdown between Luke and Kylo Ren, not just because it is a stunning sequence but because of the deep meaning and symbolism attached to it.
Luke was fascinating to me in this film because as far as he was concerned he was done with being Luke Skywalker: Jedi Legend. All Luke wanted to do was hide out on Ahch-To and live out the rest of his days in a quiet existence. Obviously he wasn’t pleased when Rey showed up and challenged him to rise above himself and return to being the legend the galaxy needed. It wasn’t necessarily “Luke Skywalker” that was needed, rather, it was the concept of Luke, the hero who had defeated the Empire and saved the galaxy.
Finally, at the end of film, when almost everyone had run out of hope, Luke showed up with a lightsaber to save the day. He had come to terms that it wasn’t about him, it was about saving the Resistance and reigniting hope in the galaxy.
Luke’s reunion with Leia was beautiful and emotional on so many levels. I could probably do an entire post just about their reunion but this post is about his showdown with Kylo.
The face off between Luke and Kylo was brilliantly done. Luke had miraculously survived a massive amount of firepower from The First Order and come out unscathed; Kylo was unsurprisingly furious. I appreciated the contrast of Kylo’s fury against Luke’s calmness. Kylo used his rage to strike against the last Jedi but Luke was zen and evaded every attack.
While I did notice how different (younger) Luke looked during the confrontation, there were details that escaped my attention upon the first viewing. Watching the film a second time I picked up on the brilliance of the filmmakers leaving so many hints as to what was truly happening (or not happening). Film editor Bob Ducsay noted. “There are many small things that would give you some clues as to what’s going on with Luke. He doesn’t make a sound. Nothing ever falls on him. Kylo’s lightsaber interacts with the salt, and Luke’s doesn’t.” Another thing to note is that Luke’s lightsaber was destroyed earlier in the film by Kylo and Rey, yet he has it when he confronts Kylo. It was the little details like that which made me appreciate the scene even more upon further viewings.
It was an incredible sequence to watch and one that pushed the story forward with Luke’s sacrifice. Not only did Luke buy time for the Resistance to escape, but he also left the galaxy with one heck of a story to pass along. As the film ends we get a glimpse as to how his final act is already impacting the next generation, who have become inspired and filled with hope for the future.
While the ending to the film is bittersweet it does leave me with hope and excitement for the future of Star Wars. One of the main themes of The Last Jedi was letting go of the past and being open to the future; and, that is something I am embracing when it comes to this franchise. It may not go the way I think it will, but I’m along for the ride anyway.