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  • Luke at Crait:
    • When the rebels make their escape in the climax, Poe reasons there must be a back entrance to the base to explain how Luke got in. When they do find a way out, it's too small for them to fit, despite it seeming like Luke's only entry point. It's a subtle clue to the audience that the Luke facing Kylo Ren is not as he seems; he's a Force projection of Luke being projected from another planet. Though keep in mind if Luke had come through there normally of course he would have moved the rocks, but as a Force projection he didn't need to.
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    • Another clue to the above revelation is that while Kylo Ren's feet uncover the bright red soil as they fight, Luke's never leave a single blemish in the white salt surface.
    • Luke appears at the base looking as he did in the prior flashbacks, if one looks closely - he wears black, his hair isn't the scraggly grey that we see earlier (especially notable in his facial hair) and his face appears younger as well. Further: Luke's projection appears the way he looked the last time he saw himself in a mirror! The fact that he looks like this is also a great visual cue that he took Yoda's advice. Luke returned as the Jedi he wanted to be, rather than keeping the role he was forced into. The Force Projection would no doubt mirror his mental state.
      • We're also dealing with the son of Anakin Skywalker the drama queen and Padme Amidala, the fashion queen, twin brother of Leia who is no slouch in the fashion plate department. Of course, if he's going to make an entrance for a swan song, he's going to follow family tradition and go full out in looking good.
      • According to Rian Johnson, Luke's look is deliberately this for a specific reason: it's how he looked the last time Ben Solo saw him. His intention is to capture and hold Kylo Ren's attention for as long as necessary for Leia and the remaining Resistance to link up with Rey. Wielding Anakin's blue lightsaber instead of the green saber he built himself is also part of this, as explained below.
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    • We see a close-up of Luke's hands at the end of his reunion with Leia. His robotic one has the appearance of a normal human hand as opposed to being stripped down to the mechanics.
    • C-3PO's "Master Luke" and Luke's wink in response gives off the impression that Threepio senses something is amiss.
    • Finally, and by far the biggest clue is the fact that Luke just happens to be wielding his/Anakin's blue lightsaber, despite that lightsaber having been destroyed only a few minutes earlier in the Force struggle between Rey and Kylo.
      • Luke wielding the blue lightsaber serves a symbolic purpose, beside a hint to the audience that he's a projection. Twice on Ahch-to he rejected the request to help the rebels by refusing to take the lightsaber that Rey presented to him. His appearance on Crait with the blue lightsaber is his way to say that he has embraced his status as a legend and Hope Bringer.
      • In an interview, Rian Johnson explained why Luke appeared with the blue saber: to provoke a response from Kylo Ren.
      • Some viewers complained about Luke's "Matrix" moves, but this is purposeful too; Luke is projecting evasive tactics to dodge Kylo Ren's attacks rather than parrying with his lightsaber, since any contact with Kylo would give away the illusion.
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    • Luke had an X-wing parked back on his planet. Given that it was probably well after the Battle of Yavin when he landed, it probably had Republic cash going into repairs... And armament that was normally too expensive for the Rebellion. If Luke had actually flown to Crait, with the full load of torpedoes, a full magazine being enough to destroy a star destroyer, the Battle of Crait would have been a curb stomp battle in the favor of a resistance. Luke not arriving after the sound of a huge explosion is a pretty big tip that he didn't fly there.
      • There is also the fact that the X-wing was underwater. Considering how long Luke has been away, that fighter is too waterlogged to do anything.
      • And with R2-D2 gone on the Falcon, there's no astromech droid available for the X-Wing. So even if the ship could reach orbit, he couldn't jump to hyperspace anyway.
      • And when the Falcon finds the back door, there's no ship for Luke anywhere nearby.
  • In the scene where the porgs are on the Millennium Falcon, why was one porg tearing at the chair's upholstery? Because it was helping the mama porg build a nest for her baby porgs. Awww!
  • At this point, Snoke is fittingly Yoda's Evil Counterpart. Hailing from the dark side, he may be taller than Yoda and bear more resemblance to a human being, but Snoke is sadistic and far from human. On the other hand, Yoda is from the light side, and is kind-hearted and good-humored. Snoke's jokes are belittling and abusive, while Yoda's are guiding and encouraging. Snoke mentored a Skywalker (Ben Solo) to be a Sith, whereas Yoda mentored another Skywalker (Luke) on how to be a Jedi. Snoke dies a violent death (reflecting the nature of the dark side). Yoda died a peaceful death (representing the nature of the light side).
  • Luke specifically asks Chewie where Han is. As close as they once were and the fact that he was able to sense the danger they were in decades ago, this seems a strange thing for him not to already know. This is a subtle hint to the fact that Luke has cut himself off from the Force.
  • A Sensitive becoming deaf to the Force has always seemed to involve a massive shock in Legends canon. Kreia became deaf after being betrayed and brutalized by her apprentices. Visas went deaf after Nihilus sucked all the life out of her homeworld. The Exile went deaf after activating a weapon of mass destruction and feeling thousands (if not millions) of lives snuffed out in a quick and painful way. Comparatively, Luke's shock was somewhat less... But it was personal.
  • When Yoda appears to Luke, he's a lot clearer than he is in the previous movies. Of course he is, the island is a Light Side Nexus.
  • How fitting that a ship named after Rogue One's Admiral Raddus be used to once again obliterate a far larger Star Destroyer via ramming. Alternatively: The Raddus destroys a fleet of Star Destroyers by jumping to lightspeed straight through them, protecting a small force of escaping rebels. Admiral Raddus's fleet was interdicted by a Star Destroyer coming out of light speed in their path, preventing many of the Rebels from escaping.
  • The way Leia breaks apart the hologram of the lead First Order ship as she floats back through the destroyed bridge is the exact same way Holdo later breaks apart the actual ship as she launches the Resistance cruiser to light-speed right through it.
  • Yoda tells Luke there is nothing in the old Jedi texts that young Rey doesn't already possess, which is exactly true: as we see later in the movie, by that point she had already swiped the books and stashed them on the Falcon when she left the island.
  • Going with the above, of course Yoda would be the one to appear and help Luke with some needed wisdom (aside from Sir Alec Guinness having passed some time ago). Yoda fully understood the failings of the old Jedi Order in a way that Obi-Wan likely wouldn't. He was the one who could best help Luke confirm that he can't stick to the old, failed ways and must move forward to help make a new and better Jedi Order. Yoda is the one who understands exactly what it's like to see the Jedi Order you've built and loved be torn apart around you, thanks to hubris and the arrogance of buying into the legend of your own wisdom and infallibility.
  • Why would Rey so fixate herself on the redemption of Kylo Ren, a man she herself called a "murderous snake" and a monster? Rey grew up with the stories of the heroes of the Rebellion, and the tale of Luke Skywalker leading Darth Vader himself to the Light Side was prominent among them. Of course, Snoke's artificial Force Bond between the two probably helped create a sense of "destiny" for her.
    • It's also likely that Rey, having spoken with Leia before setting out, understands that Han tried to redeem his son. If she could succeed in this, she'd be honouring his memory.
    • Seeing how much of the whole Kylo Ren and Rey arc borrowed from Knights of the Old Republic, another thing to keep in mind is how it was depicted in the games, particularly the second game. A Force Bond creates an overwhelming sense of empathy and loyalty, even when said loyalty and empathy is at odds with everything one of the participants stood for. Play a Dark Side Exile, and you will hear party members react with horror as they feel compelled, over and over again, to support atrocities. Play a Dark Side Male Revan and you will see Bastila reacting to you and your actions very much like Rey is reacting to Kylo Ren.
  • Of course Kylo Ren doesn't turn from the Dark Side. For all the bluster about the connection between the two, not killing Rey was not a redemptive act in and of itself; he may have come to care about Rey, but he's not going to abandon his beliefs or ambitions so easily. Rather, this was The Rule of Two playing out to its logical conclusion, as it had for centuries before.
  • For that matter, sure, Snoke really should have seen Kylo's treachery coming a mile away, but this is yet another example of Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal catching the Bad Boss by surprise due to his hubris in his old age. Palpatine and Snoke each thought they had their treacherous apprentices cowed and firmly on a leash, only to discover that insulting and threatening to replace them to their faces was not as effective a strategy of maintaining such grudging loyalty as one might think. Also, an unspoken but heavily implied part of that Rule of Two policy is that a master's succumbing to so much hubris is the very moment of weakness in which the apprentice ought to strike.
    • And also, when he was reading Kylo's mind up to the moment that happened, everything he perceived was true... From a Certain Point of View.
  • One thing psychiatrists and others who've dealt with suicidally depressed people will mark as a warning sign that someone is about to attempt suicide is that when the individual suddenly seems to "snap out" of moping around and start seeming happier and more focused, this may be due to having resolved to proceed with the suicide. For people who aren't suicidally depressed, this same sudden change of mood can also indicate intent to take some similarly drastic (or desperate) action, such as defecting from one's country... or betraying one's master and seizing his throne for oneself. This is another warning sign Snoke failed to notice in Kylo Ren as he took to praising his apprentice where he'd been belittling him before: "Where there was conflict, I now sense resolve."

    Apparently, he was just too pleased with his apprentice's rapid improvement in disposition to notice that his resolve to take control of his life now included an ambition to eliminate those who'd previously overshadowed him and take control of everyone around him too. Hux especially had better watch his back, since as a rival to Kylo Ren he was also another one of the tormentors who used to overshadow him, always trying to "get one up" on him to curry Snoke's favor. Now that Kylo Ren is the new Supreme Leader, he might just consider Hux another one of those relics of the past he's outgrown that needs to be abandoned... or eliminated.
    • It also explains Luke. While his shift from moping around to clarity of purpose isn't so abrupt, the fact that he did exactly what he said he wouldn't do ("walk out with a laser sword and face down the entire First Order"), is a sign that his life is nearing its end... more of a Heroic Sacrifice than a suicide, but it still fits the bill.
  • At one point, Snoke refers to Hux as a "cur" and points out that while he sees Hux's viciousness as more of a petty weakness than anything else, such petty lackeys do have their uses. Later when Kylo's given himself a Klingon Promotion in the wake of killing off Snoke and his guards, you might say Kylo puts a choke collar on Hux by Force-choking him to remind him who's got all the real power and is therefore in charge now that Snoke is overthrown.
  • When asked by Luke what the Force is, Rey calls it a tool for tricking minds and lifting rocks, much to his dismay. And yet, the two great Force-wielding feats in the film's climax are an illusion impressive enough to fool an army, and the lifting of a landslide. However, these were not done as parlor tricks but for the goal of protection and rescue (respectively).
  • Poe's distrust of Holdo actually makes more sense when you consider that the New Republic had just been shattered by the First Order despite Leia and others having warned their puffed up political leadership about the impending threat for years. Now you have Holdo, an admiral who seemingly cannot be bothered to wear a uniform and projects an air of superiority towards everyone around her while issuing seemingly irrational orders without explanation. Under the current circumstances, a mere title does not equal credibility.
  • Leia had a plan all along, and her substitute was following it instead of blindly floundering, like Poe thought. After all, any experienced military leader knows about command continuity. Conversely, it would have been a good idea to share the plan with Poe and other mid-rank officers as well. Most of the senior officers got blown out into space when the bridge was hit and it was only because Holdo wasn't there that she didn't die too. Command continuity needs to extend down more than one level when you are in a battle situation where the survival of command rank officers is not assured. Had Holdo actually been on the bridge at the time and died like everyone except Leia, then nobody would have known what the plan was and the whole issue would have been moot.
    • Then again, considering how swiftly the First Order struck, catching the Resistance partway through their evacuation, Leia probably didn't have much time to communicate her plan before things went to hell.
    • There is another woman in the movie, with blonde very wavy hair and a Rebel uniform, the one who announced Holdo as Leia's replacement. She never speaks when Poe demands to know the plan, but she is one of the officers removed from the bridge during his attempted mutiny and, as soon as Poe revives in the transport and Leia gets him to sit down, this woman is the one who rattles off the entire plan. It is likely that she (and possibly the others who had been herded off the bridge in the mutiny) did know the plan all along.
  • Rose is a young woman who doesn't socialize much, recently suffered a heavy loss, and has heard stories about how heroic Finn is. He then proceeds to take her on an adventure and live up to the stories. They even ride a "horse" together on a beach in the moonlight. Honestly, it makes perfect sense for her to swiftly develop feelings for him. In fact, it's not much different from the way Finn's own feelings for Rey developed. Just slower.
  • In hindsight, the Wham Shot from the official trailer makes a huge amount of sense, bordering on Trolling Creator. It was meant to fuel speculation that Rey could pull a Face–Heel Turn, but also deliberately embraced its status as a Red Herring because it was obviously spliced together from two different scenes. Nope! This whole time, it was actually Foreshadowing the Force Bond between Rey and Kylo Ren, where the two characters are able to interact with each other despite being in completely different parts of the galaxy. The shot of Kylo Ren is from his We Can Rule Together offer to Rey after he kills Snoke, so it actually was foreshadowing something related to a potential turn after all. The Wham Shot was foreshadowing one of the biggest plot twists in the movie by pretending to foreshadow a completely different twist. Wow.
  • The shot of Rey holding Kylo Ren's lightsaber, in retrospect, is more of the same: lots of speculation fuel leading to a payoff not at all like the one the speculators were expecting. In the end, Rey only picked up that saber because she needed a weapon and couldn't afford to be picky, and then it didn't prove to be much use to her anyway. Her loan of her own saber to Kylo Ren while taking on Snoke's Praetorian Guards, which her borrowing of his saber neatly foreshadowed, proved to be far more effective.
  • For all that Kylo's personal hang-ups make him a less than impressive leader and combatant, he does seem to have an innate wisdom and understanding of the Force - his advice to Rey about moving on from the past is pretty much the same advice Yoda gives to Luke. He's just doing it in an evil way, but his basic realisation is sound and something Yoda apparently didn't realise until after he died. This and Rey's competence bode well for the quality of the new generation of Force-wielders.
    • In truth, Kylo only has half the picture. In a story where characters have to grapple with the past and their mistakes, he tries to turn his back on it without learning from it. He even ends up trying to drive his lightsaber through another male relative, and he's punished for his actions with his failure to extinguish the Resistance. Appropriately, his humiliation comes courtesy of Luke, who has finally made peace with his own past and reveals that Kylo's actions will only ensure that Luke, like Han, will always haunt him.
  • The reveal that Rey's parents were "nobodies" shouldn't come as quite a shock to most fans. In the Star Wars Rebels, Ezra Bridger was just another street rat that happened to be Force-sensitive and stole Kanan Jarrus's lightsaber. Force-sensitive "nobodies," who probably would have been identified early if the Jedi were still around, must exist in the galaxy. This becomes Fridge-Awesome when one realizes: Anybody could become a Jedi.
    • It could also be a nod to Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords. The Exile confronts Kreia, expecting some world-shattering reveal. Kreia mocks the Exile (and the player) for expecting one. There is no great revelation, no great secret. Just Rey.
    • It could even be argued that this has in fact been present in Star Wars for years. Aside from being conceived of the Force, Anakin, The Chosen One himself, started out as nothing but a slave to a sleazy junk-dealer in the middle-of-nowhere. He could be regarded as ‘the lowest of the low’ and look at what he became!
    • The prequels showed that the Jedi Order prohibited members from marrying or having families. They also took Force-sensitive children born in the Republic at very young ages. This would suggest that virtually all Jedi were like Rey — the gifted children of Muggle parents rather than heirs to distinguished bloodlines. Luke and Ben are actually the exceptions, having been born into a strong lineage because Anakin broke the rules, got married and had children.
      • Factoring into Darth Plagueis' birth, it is shown that most Jedi started as young and nobodies... but it is the Sith who typically are born of parents that are force-sensitive.
    • If they always intended Rey to be ship teased with Kylo Ren, it makes more sense if she's not a Skywalker. Not only it will avert the Kissing Cousins trope, which would squick out many fans, it will also make her fulfilling the role that is similar with Leia and Padme who got hooked up with morally conflicted guys.
    • Some viewers complained that Rey not being related to anyone we know contradicts what was set up in The Force Awakens that she is somehow special. But really, a lot of things in that film make a lot more sense after the revelation. As someone pointed out on the Force Awakens fridge page, Rey wore the same distinctive style of hair and clothes as a young adult on Jakku as she did when she was abandoned as a child. She was expecting her parents to return and needed to be recognized since she wouldn't recognize them. Since she wore the same hairstyle through the entire film, shouldn't Leia, Han, or Luke have recognized their own long-lost daughter? And Leia going straight to Rey when the Falcon returns to D'Qar in the climax, instead of say, Chewie, who she knew much longer? That doesn't have to reply they're related. They share a connection to the Force that no one else in that base does, and as such, felt Han's death much differently from anyone else. They would have to go to each other since no one else would understand the way they felt. Rey isn't special because she's part of the Skywalker line, but because she's IMMENSELY powerful, the most powerful Force user that we know of born since Kylo. Her realization of her Force powers is responsible for the "awakening" that Snoke nebulously mentioned.
  • When Rey asked the Dark Side nexus to show her parents, she saw only herself. That's because on some level she already knew what they had been; she just wanted a different answer. The Dark Side was showing her the person who knew and told her, in typical Force-talk, exactly what she wanted to know: her parents may as well not exist for all the good they did her, and she is entirely alone—in spirit, but in power, containing multitudes. Within the Dark Side, she is infinite. Furthermore, it was also telling her (and the audience) her question was irrelevant. What does it matter who her parents were? It's who she is that matters, so the Dark Side shows her herself.
    • Back in Episode I, Anakin Skywalker is presumed to be a child born of The Force, with no father. In this case, it's questionable whether his mother was actually his biological mother, or technically a surrogate carrying Force Baby Anakin Jesus. In Episode III, we get some doubt about this, when Palpatine talks about Dark Side users being able to create life and heavily implying that this is where Anakin's true origins lie. Which would technically mean that Anakin wasn't really the one mentioned in the prophecy, seeing as he was artificially created. A lifetime later in Episode VIII, Rey asks the Dark Side nexus to show her parents to her and sees only herself. Feel free to read your own implications into this.
  • While it may not have been passed down from Luke to Kylo Ren, Kylo inadvertently follows Yoda's teachings from The Empire Strikes Back: He stops trying to be Vader and just does it. Force choking his authority over others.
  • Fridge Humor more than anything else, but we do have some very compelling evidence for Rey not being a Skywalker: she ended her second film with all four limbs still firmly attached.
    • Similarly, Kylo was never going to explicitly embrace his Skywalker heritage in a good way - he still has both hands.
  • A lot of the plot points in this movie are a direct parallel to those in The Empire Strikes Back. The film intentionally uses these similarities to subvert many of the audience's expectations.
  • In The Force Awakens, Han warns Kylo that Snoke is only using him for his power. Snoke himself confirms this in The Last Jedi when he lectures Kylo about how he had hoped Kylo would become a new Darth Vader. But what was Vader beyond just the Emperor's servant and tool? This seems to awaken Kylo to the reality that aspiring to be like his grandfather may be setting his sights too low. So Kylo does what Vader never managed to do — kill his master and take his place.
    • And then, at the climax of the film, when Kylo seems on the verge of victory, what does he do but make the exact same mistake Darth Vader did, getting delayed by his old Master who schools him one last time while allowing the heroes to escape? So not so different from Vader after all.
    • Snoke was clearly training Kylo for Vader's role, not Palpatine's. Hence we see that Kylo is not politically-savvy and relies more on direct intimidation using his powers. Also like Vader he tends to employ overwhelming military force rather than subtle strategies. These are not character flaws if your only ambition is to be The Dragon to the Evil Overlord, the latter of whom wants to keep their job (and life).
  • One of the themes Yoda brought up was the concept of the student surpassing the master. Luke managed to do this in a rather amusing manner: Like Obi-Wan, he managed to delay a Sith former student and let his allies get away. And surpassed him by doing it from a galaxy away!
  • While the ramming scene can cause a few other logical problems when thought about too much, it actually strengthens the logic of a Star Wars icon that had previously seemed a little excessive: the Death Star. In addition to the power needs, why would you build a mobile fortress the size of a moon for your superweapon? Because something with that much mass, that much possible shielding, can soak a suicide hyper-charge from a fleet of ships and keep chugging along. Hell, in RotJ it felt weird at the time that the Death Star was so operational despite looking so unfinished, but that's the point - even with large sections of it missing, either through being unbuilt or being blown off in suicide charges, it can keep on fighting. The only remaining logical hole is that, ideally, you'd want two Prime Device Dishes on opposite ends of the globe so that an attacking force has to strike two sides at once to really disable the weapon, but even then, the existence of this kind of suicide charge only helps to reinforce why the Death Star design makes sense in-universe.
    • Also, the massive size of the Death Star gives room for a titanic power generator, which would generate an immensely powerful shield around it which might be able to deflect a suicide charge that would kill a much smaller ship.
  • This video explains the movie demonstrates why space combat in Star Wars takes place at such close ranges. We're outright told that Deflector Shields are able to fully nullify attack at range. Every space battle in the franchise we've seen shields seemingly not shielding takes place at those extreme ranges. This also why fighters are effective against them despite their small size, they're able to close and operate within said range.
  • Luke reaching out through the Force to Leia may seem like a reminder of the connection the twins share, but given the situation, after learning of her close encounter to death, chose to Force heal her, as she partially awakens from her coma after feeling his presence, and fully awakens not too long afterwards.
  • Poe (and to a lesser extent, Finn), had to learn a very subtle but important lesson about war. Your first priority isn't to win. It's to not lose. Doubly so in the Star Wars universe, given the endless cycle of Republic versus Empire warfare, and the Empire's tendency to do very well for while, and then shoot itself in the foot and self-destruct due to experienced officers and Sith getting backstabbed by their less experienced underlings or otherwise get distracted by internal power struggles while the Republic just has to hold the line long enough to watch the show. Remember, the Republic stood for thousands of years. Palpatine's Empire barely lasted 25 years.
  • Why didn't anyone show up when Leia Organa herself calls for help? Not because they can't help, but because of a way more obvious reason. It's a trap. Think about it. Every high level officer of the Resistance had a goal of just surviving, not trying to attack the First Order, Holdo, Ackbar, and Leia weren't trying to take the FO head on, they were just trying to get the hell out of dodge. Their allies know that, and are probably under the same orders. But suddenly, Leia mysteriously reverses her orders and calls for help from everyone in the Outer Rim, on an abandoned Rebel base in the middle of nowhere, when last they heard their fleet was being chased by the FO? Yeah, no. They knew Leia would rather die than endanger people in a fruitless battle. So it makes sense that they'd ignore it, even if they got Leia's personal code.
  • Luke's story and role in the film is essentially a composite character of his two mentors, Obi-Wan and Yoda.
    • Like Obi-Wan, he was unable to save a prized, beloved student from the Dark Side (and subsequently massacring other younger Jedi trainees) - and it could be argued that each Jedi Master's attempt to kill said student was the final push that turned each of them.
    • Like Yoda, his failure to keep the Jedi Order together as essentially its most senior member, drove him into exile on a backwater planet where he chose to live and presumably die as a hermit until a member of the next generation appeared, seeking Jedi training.
    • Like Obi-Wan, he appears to stall the antagonist and his former student to allow the new heroes to escape at a crucial point in the narrative. He also gives his life in the attempt and his body vanishes as he becomes one with the Force, leaving only his robes behind. Also, like Obi-Wan, he's not completely forthcoming to the main hero about the truth regarding the villain, and eventually the villain himself has to tell the hero the truth.
  • While some (including Mark Hamill himself) have accused this movie going against Luke Skywalker's character in the incident that turned Ben Solo into Kylo Ren, it's not entirely out of character for Luke to be tempted into thinking that Murder Is the Best Solution. Consider what nearly proved to be his downfall in Return of the Jedi: for all the Emperor's taunting about the Rebel Alliance's imminent demise, it was Darth Vader who finally pushed his Berserk Button by discovering that Leia was his twin sister and suggesting that if Luke didn't change sides, he and his master might have better luck turning her. Then, when Luke went berserk, it totally worked: he curb-stomped Darth Vader and still didn't go evil in the end. His father's killing off the Emperor also put an end to a whole lot of the Empire's evil and birthed the New Republic.

    Flash forward thirty years, and once again someone is threatening everyone and everything Luke loves, and killing the guy would surely preempt a whole lot of trouble. In his heart of hearts, he doubtless remembers what Yoda taught him about how easy and seductive the Dark Side is, but he also remembers how Yoda's mistake of hiding the truth about his lineage from him nearly brought his downfall. He also remembers how killing the Emperor solved so many problems the way he'd better not try to solve them this time... Well, what's so tempting about that?
    • Even worse; given the nebulous canon (and possible canonization) of Knights of the Old Republic. There was a line in the game where Jolee berates a man who killed a Sith while she was asleep and defenseless saying that there is a vast difference between killing a Sith in a legitimate battle, and killing one in their sleep. Likewise, the comic series kicked off by the Taris Jedi Covenant following a half-baked vision and deciding the slaughter their own Padawans because they thought one might fall to the Dark Side. What does Luke do? Tries to kill his own Padawan in his sleep on the fear the kid might become the next Darth... Which pretty much ensured what happened next. So, he managed to make the biggest, nastiest mistakes the Old Jedi could have made in one take.
    • It is also a reflection of the fact that Luke and Anakin both share a distinctly similar weakness that leads them towards the Dark Side: fear. Not fear for themselves, but fear for what might happen to their families and loved ones. Fear is what causes Anakin to turn to the Dark Side in Revenge of the Sith – he’s afraid that Padme is going to die, and seeks out power at any cost to avert it. Fear leads Luke to rush to Bespin to save his friends in The Empire Strikes Back, nearly getting himself killed in the process and/or captured by Vader. And fear nearly drives Luke close to the Dark Side as well in Return of the Jedi, where Vader’s implied threat regarding his sister drives Luke into a berserk fury that he only barely snaps out of. Is it any surprise, then, that fear drives Luke to contemplate killing his nephew to protect his apprentices and his sister and brother-in-law? And then, in turn, it is Ben’s fear that pushes him fully to the Dark Side, seeing his uncle apparently trying to kill him. Yoda’s remark that “Fear is the path to the Dark Side” is certainly true for the Skywalker family.
    • There's another subtle factor: Luke had more to lose at this time. He knew what a relatively free, peaceful Galaxy looked like, and had other students to care for besides Ben. Instinctively, he was acting out of concern for them.
    • Luke makes an important point when he gives Rey the truth: it is a split second. Luke is a hero, but he's human. He was impulsive and acted on instinct in his youth, so the fear of Ben turning is enough to push him to the edge for a second.
    • Its even entirely possible that Luke was unaware of what he actually considering until he saw his own ignited lightsaber in his hand, he could well have been on force auto-pilot while searching Kylos' mind and been so overwhelmed by the depth of the darkness there that he had no idea what his hand was doing until it was too late. It could even play into his guilt over Kylo and disillusionment with the force; if even after all the jedi mastery he's achieved it all went south over something he couldn't control let alone put any thought into.
    • Plus, it's simplistic to think that Luke being tempted to kill Ben was the one moment that turned him to the dark side and that he never would have fallen if not for that moment. As Luke says: "Snoke had already turned his heart." Now, of course, seeing your mentor and uncle standing over you ready to kill you is a fantastic final push, but in some respects, Luke was already too late to prevent Ben from falling. If Luke hadn't done what he did, the anger and hate would have just stewed until the blowup happened over something else. Probably Luke demanding that Ben carry him around in a backpack all day.
  • So the fighting style of Luke became more acrobatic and graceful, really different to his older form of fighting. Well, maybe not, and this is because this new style is in fact a perfect mix of the favorite forms of his masters (Soresu for Obi-Wan and Ataru for Yoda), creating a really defensive form of fighting that can become a effective attack, especially against single enemies that use melee weapons.
  • The ice foxes, or "vulptices" have scientific fridge brilliance. A brief moment in the film reveals that the white surface of the planet Crait is in fact salt. That means that if the vulptices' pelts are made of crystalline ice, all they have to do to avoid being eaten by predators is roll around in the salt. Any skin contact with their pelts would cause severe burns, and warn potential predators away from eating them!
  • Luke's snarky responses and penchant to play jokes seems odd, as Luke never showed these traits before. Then one realizes the masters Luke trained under, and it all makes sense. Yoda was known to play jokes, and Obi-Wan was famous for his snarky wit. There's also the meta that the actor's best known role outside Skywalker was The Joker.
  • Kylo goes absolutely berserk at the sight of the Falcon during the siege at the climax, ordering all of his air support to go after it and leaving the skiffs free to try and destroy the cannon. Given the Millennium Falcon was his father's vessel and considering the possible people who could be piloting it (either Rey who just turned down Kylo's We Can Rule Together speech almost immediately beforehand, or Chewie who shot him in the last movie, thus giving him a severe handicap in fighting Rey and Finn), it makes sense he would lose his mind - all his berserk buttons were pressed at the same time.
    • Plus, look what happens to the TIE fighters that go chasing after the Falcon: They are all, to a man, shot down in a running dogfight with the hunk of junk. Any TIE that attempted to continue the attack against the Resistance ground forces would have been splashed like a clay pigeon. If anything, they might have been better off retreating, except that would leave Kylo Ren's own ground forces vulnerable.
  • The destruction of the Republic Fleet in the previous film and the appearance of Republic Ships in this film may not make much sense to some, but after a trip for some Tea it will. While the Senate was in session, the Republic Fleet may have been doing their version of a 'fleet week', showing off for the Senate, and for the Republic Citizens. Not every ship that could be there, will be there. This is no different than when Major Naval Powers do their own shows. Not every ship that is part of a particular command will be present at the event for this very reason. Before Starkiller Base wiped out the majority of Republic Ships, the First Order could never hope to take on the Republic in a Fleet fight. They lack the ships and manpower to face the Republic at all, let alone with the command structure intact. Destroying the Fleet, and the command structure in such a way flipped that in favor of the First Order. With no command structure, and no fleet to call to, each group of Republic ships the First Order come across could get wiped out with little trouble, especially true since they now know there would be no help coming for the Republic Ships.
  • There's a moment in the now EU Thrawn Trilogy which The Last Jedi recaptures closely enough that you'd think it was intentional. In the former, there's a moment where Luke is reflecting on the passing of Obi-Wan's Force Ghost, and he claims to be the last of the Jedi, followed by him hearing Obi-Wan's voice declare that he is "not the last of the old Jedi, but the first of the new". Fast forward to Luke's final encounter with Kylo Ren on Crait, where Luke declares that he will not be the last Jedi (as Rey was determined to follow in his footsteps, not to mention possessing the old Jedi scriptures), as he has faith that Rey will become a Jedi... And if the ending scene is any clue, the first of the new. If that was intentional, then it's a really smart case of Schrödinger's Canon.
  • Poe Dameron is dismissed (both in-story and by some critical reactions) as a hotheaded Military Maverick, but his actions take on additional nuance when you remember what happened to him at the beginning of The Force Awakens. He was captured by the First Order, physically tortured for information, and eventually gave up Resistance intel to Kylo Ren after the latter subjected him to an agonizing Mind Probe. He also lost over half his pilots in the Starkiller operation. While Poe isn't crazed with vengeance, it's not hard to think his desire to hit back hard at the First Order is a little personal.
    • Poe was a pilot in the Republic Navy before he joined the Resistance. He probably lost a lot of old friends when the main Republic fleet was wiped out with the Hosnian system.
  • Remember how Luke says that both he and Han will be with Kylo forever. Notice how the Falcon dice at the end disappears well after Luke has become one with the Force. The dice is supposed to be a reminder to Kylo that Han is still watching Kylo. In a way, it's Han's Force ghost.
  • Rey says she'd rather not Force-communicate with Kylo "Right now". Kylo concurs, because he's not wearing a shirt. The obvious question this raises is "So who or what is behind the Force bond?" Who indeed.
    • In addition, when they first see each other via the Force bond, Kylo remarks that he can’t see Rey’s surroundings, “only you”. This serves as more Foreshadowing, because the one who created the Force bond doesn’t know where Rey is.
  • When Yoda burns the Jedi texts, he puts Luke in a rather clever Morton's Fork by asking if he'd actually read them.
    • If Luke answered yes, then there was no reason to object to the texts burning; they were preserved through Luke. Additionally, Luke himself had come to the conclusion that the texts needed to burn... all Yoda did was follow through. As Yoda said himself, they weren't exactly page-turners, which would imply that the lessons are better understood when lived out than when written down.
    • If Luke answered no, then he'd have to admit that, in all the time he'd spent there, it had never occurred to him that he had the equivalent of a complete Jedi bible there, and he never bothered to at least try to read it, revealing how little he thought of the texts anyway.
  • Holdo's lack of communication makes sense when you realize that the First Order managing to find them is supposedly impossible, and there is no way that they could have found the Resistance. Except for one way... a mole, or a spy, leaking their location to the First Order. By that logic, not communicating their trump card for survival to everyone is probably a wise idea.
    • Telling someone (not everyone) would have been wiser. Just saying that there was a plan at all would have saved so much trouble yet Holdo didn’t even do that.
      • She probably did. Someone had to be fueling those transports. Just not Poe.
      • It's quite possible that Poe missed out on the necessary information because of his demotion at the start of the movie. This makes sense, because high level information like this would likely be restricted to the most senior Resistance members. This also gives a slightly different perspective to the first interaction between Poe and Holdo – She's not just talking about his demotion to be a douche. She's reaffirming to him (and quite possibly to herself) that he's no longer of a high enough rank to be granted any details of the escape plans.
      • It isn't just about rank. It seems like pretty much all Holdo knows about Poe is the reason he was demoted: his jackass dreadnought plan, where he disobeyed direct orders and almost got everyone killed. She says as much in the same conversation as above. Holdo has every reason to believe that if Poe knew the plan, it would just make it easier for him to throw a wrench in it if he happened to disagree. It turned out that Poe would have been on board with the plan had he known about it, but Holdo had no reason to assume that given what she knew of Poe's "flyboy" personality. Now, if Poe really was such a threat to the fleet, one might wonder why Holdo didn't send someone to babysit him and make sure he stuck to his post, but maybe she couldn't spare anyone given how many losses the Resistance took. Far more egregious than Holdo not telling Poe the plan is Poe's blatant disregard for the chain of command. When a superior officer gives you an order in a high risk situation, you FUCKING DO IT, no questions asked. This is why soldiers who commit war crimes that were ordered by a superior officer face fewer consequences than their superiors depending on the circumstances. This is why those same soldiers often need counseling after that experience. The chain of command is the reason that militaries WORK, and the whole reason an entire company doesn't get blown up just because some private thought better of his orders, or decided to waste time by asking for more details! It's easy to side with Poe in the debate because he's the character we know better, but Holdo isn't in the wrong.
    • The Raddus was also being pursued by a ship that had both Snoke and Kylo Ren on it - two incredibly powerful Force users who had the ability to read minds. Keeping things on a need-to-know basis could very likely be standard operating procedure for the Resistance. As it was, if Snoke focused on the feelings aboard the ship, he probably felt an overwhelming sense of despair that helped fuel his overconfidence. More people on board knowing the plan means more feelings that could betray the Resistance.
  • Compare the First Order's performance over D'Qar with the Empire's performance at Scarif. At Scarif, the Imperial forces were taken by surprise, having a Rebel fleet drop in their laps without warning, and they were able to scramble swarms of TIE Fighters and TIE Strikers within minutes to try and fend off the Rebel forces. Decades later, a First Order fleet launches a prepared attack on a Resistance base, and it similarly takes them several minutes to launch their fighters, allowing a single Resistance starfighter to cripple the dreadnought's defenses, despite being the ones who planned the attack. While the First Order's military is quite capable, it is also clear they are very inexperienced compared to their Imperial forebears.
  • The First Order is noticeably stingy with its TIE Fighters in the Crait system, sending out only a single wing with Ren during his attack on the Raddus. This is because they're still relatively few compared to the First Order, and engaged in the occupation of the Republic's territory. Having just lost a Dreadnaught and its complement of fighters, it's understandable that Snoke and Hux take a more cautious approach later on. The wisdom of this is borne out when Kylo Ren sends a squadron after the Millennium Falcon and gets them all destroyed.
    • Ironically, if their fighters had been deployed forward to harass Leia's flotilla, it's possible that more of them would have survived Holdo's final action. Fighters in their hangar bays are protected only to a point. Past that point, they are entirely defenseless. That said, there was nothing in previous films to suggest this was something to normally expect.
  • Finn’s fixation on violently lashing out at his enemies (gradually learning the value of protecting his comrades instead over the course of the movie) makes perfect sense (combined with some Fridge Horror) when you consider he was raised by the First Order, who trained him to be a merciless killing machine and don’t place much value on friendship and looking out for each other. Whilst the brainwashing mostly failed with Finn, it’s still ingrained in him to some extent: he (initially) doesn’t know how to react in any other way.
    • Further, Finn's and Rose's views on hurting those we hate versus helping those we love is in essence the struggle between the Dark and the Light sides of the Force. This struggle is further seen with fellow muggles Poe (who has to learn that sometimes it's better to protect his people and run away than to rack up a list of costly victories) and DJ (who insists that it's best not to choose a side at all). In this way, DJ also contrasts with Han Solo: While the smuggler decided to side with the Light side to help his new friends, DJ has, at least for now, sided with the Dark for his own benefit.
  • Snoke is the ultimate embodiment of the Star Wars fanbase post Episode 7. To list:
    • He chews out Hux for his failures, and lampshades that he's fanatical to the point that it hinders him (a common complaint for Hux).
    • He tells Kylo to remove his mask because he doesn't deserve it and that he needs to find his own identity (people see Kylo as a Darth Vader wannabe).
    • He sets up a scenario where Kylo and Rey could bond and form a relationship (shipping in the fanbase).
    • He ends up being split in half (the fanbase's reaction to Episode 8).
  • There's an extra little nod to the fans for those paying attention: before the film's release, a lot of them were speculating as to whether someone was going to lose a hand, this apparently being a bit of a tradition for second movies in a Star Wars trilogy. Well, in fact, someone did: Snoke! The reason you might not have noticed this is that Rey's saber was also chopping off his entire top half at the time. His hands were left lying on the armrests of his throne, one being knocked off by his top half as it tumbled to the floor, and the other still being visible there later when Hux shows up just in time to see the other half tumble off.
  • Kylo Ren uses the Force Choke for the first time on film after Rey leaves him. This is similar to Luke using this technique at the beginning of Return. It is significant because the Choke is heavily associated with Vader, and when a character performs it there is the suggestion that they are falling further into the Dark Side.
  • Kylo Ren's scar moved. While an odd continuity choice, it makes sense: The scar follows where Han touched his son's face for the last time.
  • Holdo didn't want Poe to know the plan because she was afraid he would mutiny... which he did, because he didn't know the plan.
  • During Rey and Ren's fight in The Force Awakens, she kicks him to the ground. One film later she uses the same kick against the Praetorian Guard, this time propelled from Ben Solo's back.
  • Threepio was able to see and hear Luke's Force projection on Crait. This either means Threepio is connected to the Force despite being a droid (which has been hinted at on occasion), or Luke's projection worked by manipulating sound and light to make a very realistic hologram of sorts. If the latter, and given he was not only projecting and moving his appearance in perfect (if not exactly accurate) detail, it's little wonder the strain was too much for him in the end.
  • Holdo's treatment of Poe takes on a new cast when supplementary materials reveal that the entire Resistance bomber squadron came from Holdo's ship the Ninka, which had just come back from another campaign to assist the evacuation of D'Qar, and it was Poe's plan to attack the Dreadnaught that got them all killed. It is no surprise she was stand-offish with him at first: she must have partly blamed him for the death of people under her command.
    • And Poe, seemingly used to operating only under Leia's oversight, understandably fails to appreciate this.
  • When the Raddus's bridge was destroyed, most of the Resistance's senior leadership was wiped out in one blow, including fan-favorite Admiral Ackbar. Thematically, this lines up with the new trilogy's theme of a younger generation of heroes taking up the mantle, and indeed, by film's end, the surviving Resistance fighters have taken to calling themselves Rebels, just like the heroes of old. Similarly, the First Order also loses Supreme Leader Snoke, and the Dreadnought commander, Captain Canady, who was also an Imperial veteran of the Galactic Civil War.
    • Also, if the person who took over was actually military looking and someone the audience recognized, or at least was more traditionally military, we wouldn't be on Poe's side when he goes behind their back.
  • While cited in-universe and out as an example of what not to do, Poe's attack on the Dreadnought was actually critical for the survival of the Resistance. Consider: the Dreadnought shows up with a Big Stick gun capable of engaging planetary surface targets from at least medium or high orbital range and with enough power to produce fireballs visible at the same altitude. It then prepares to engage the Resistance fleet with the same weapon at extreme range - well beyond the range of the other capital ships in the area. Poe leads his attack which, granted, results in severe losses among the Resistance pilots, but most importantly breaks the Big Stick. The fleet jumps away, only to be tracked right to their destination by the First Order. However, they no longer have their one-shot-kill Big Stick anymore. Had the Dreadnought survived, it would've been with the First Order fleet present during the tail chase and, in all likelihood, been able to pick off the Resistance ships with ease even at range, meaning Dameron's attack, while insanely costly, enabled the Resistance to survive at all. If Poe hadn't been willing to throw those pilots into the fire, the Resistance would've been destroyed in the first 30 minutes of the film, and the galaxy would've been under the rule of Kylo Ren. note 
    • That's kind of the point. Poe did something risky and ostensibly unneeded, and it worked out. So when it comes to Holdo, he does it again...and it fails catastrophically.
  • At the end of the film, Rey and Poe finally get a formal introduction (at least, on screen, they had a similar scene in the novelization for The Force Awakens):
    Poe: I'm Poe.
    Rey: Rey.
    Poe: I know.
    • Note that, up to this point, everything about Rey has been about how she doesn't know who she is, nobody else does either. She's a nobody from nowhere. Except by the end of The Last Jedi, when she introduces herself to the Resistance's most renowned and daring pilot, of course he knows who Rey is. Like Luke Skywalker, Rey's actions have elevated her to a status of legend. It also helps that Poe's second-best-friend won't stop going on about her.
  • Not sure this counts as “brilliance”, but the reason why Holdo doesn’t tell Poe her plan to escape the First Order obvious: she simply didn’t trust him. This is the first time (as far as the audience knows) the two have met and the first thing she learns about him is his reckless assault on the First Order dreadnought, which lead to numerous of Resistance casualties and the loss of sorely-needed Resistance ships, and that General Leia had demoted him because of it. The next time they met, face-to-face, he is openly accusing her of cowardice and getting confrontational with her, in front of his and her fellow Resistance members and open disregard of military rank and discipline. After that, Poe has already instigated a mutiny on board the ship and any chance of simply talking things through is out of the airlock.
    • One of the common criticisms about the Poe/Holdo subplot is that simply telling Poe the plan would have prevented Finn’s/Rose’s subplot and subsequent the Hacker’s betrayal and its consequences, and Poe’s mutiny. This line of thinking is flawed because 1) Holdo had no idea Poe had ordered Finn and Rose to go to Canto Bight, as it was ordered on the fly, as per Poe’s character, so she wouldn’t have any motivation to tell Poe the plan due to that, and 2) wouldn’t the fact he did organize a mutiny reinforce and support her line of thinking that she shouldn’t inform her stubborn, rash, and insubordinate subordinate about important strategic decisions?
    • Poe and Holdo have mirror character arcs of each other in The Last Jedi: Poe is rash and impulsive and doesn’t trust his superiors in general and Holdo specifically; Holdo is calm and methodical and doesn’t trust her subordinates in general and Poe specifically. By the end of their respective character arcs, Poe had learned the importance of being a leader over winning battlefield victories and Holdo had learned or realize the need for decisive action. That’s why, by the end of the film, Poe is leading the Resistance escape and ultimate survival out of Crait and Holdo is ramming her ship into the First Order fleet at light-speed, entrusting the Resistance’s survival to Poe and the rest of the Resistance.
    • Also, Leia didn't trust Poe to stand down when she woke up, either. And why would Holdo need to tell Poe the plan if all he had to do is literally nothing? If you don't trust him, why give him info he might use to screw up the plan?
    • Some people complained that we didn't see Holdo give any indication of a plan. Well, yes, that's because Poe didn't see it, and we're supposed to be learning the lesson along with him. He just assumed she was an incompetent coward, so much of the audience did too.
    • Some said Ackbar should've been the one to ram Snoke's ship. Except if a character we already knew and liked and trusted was opposing Poe, he'd be much more sympathetic, and we'd be less inclined to take Poe's side.
  • Finn, DJ, and Rose are basically playing out a muggle version of the struggle between the Light side and Dark side of the Force. Rose is an idealist, advocating doing things to help others in need, rather than hurting those who do evil. Finn leans towards the Dark side, wanting to hurt those who do evil, often out of spite. DJ suggests instead not choosing a side, and swings whichever way benefits him at the moment (while certainly making him no long-term friends with his Chronic Back Stabbing Disorder). Rose's decision to save Finn rather than let him sacrifice himself to destroy the cannon shows that defaulting to the Light side all the time isn't necessarily the best choice, in this case trying to save one person she loved potentially meant sacrificing the others. In fact, this might have actually been Finn choosing the Light side (sacrificing himself for others) and Rose choosing Dark (giving in to her fear of losing another loved one and effectively sacrificing the Resistance to save a guy she just met).
    • On that note, Poe's conflict with Holdo in a very big way boils down to him succumbing to Fear, which leads to the Dark Side. Whenever someone acts out of fear, Bad Things happen.
  • Luke milking Thala Syrens and drinking their milk actually is much more than a gag; The Jedi Temple Island in Ach-To doesn’t look like it has any fresh water sources, so aside from rain water, that milk is probably the only source of liquid for Luke to survive on.
  • Where in the Galaxy are the Knights of Ren? Safely out of the Supreme Leader's way, is where. Snoke is deliberately pushing Ren close to breaking point and introducing the new element of the Force Bond. The Knights of Ren are likely one of two things. Having followed Ren since adolescence, they might be loyal to Ren and therefore a dangerous force multiplier should Snoke's treatment of Ren cause him to snap, as he indeed does in his interview with Snoke. Alternatively, being adherents of the Dark Side, they could turn on him if he shows any weakness, threatening both Snoke's most prized asset and (courtesy of the bond and his manipulation) his path to killing Luke. All in all, it's better for him to have them absent.
    • As for what the Knights are up to, the First Order's legions are busy occupying Republic worlds by the hundred, without a military machine as large as the Empire's. Fractured as the Republic is, some worlds are probably home to threats that would make a Dark Side warrior or four quite useful, if they're to be subdued quickly.
  • Kylo's encounter with Luke is significantly different from his encounter with Han; where his encounter with Han has him behaving stoically and showing little to no emotion, his encounter with Luke has him raging and trying to kill him at every moment. While odd, it may make more sense if you consider the fact that when growing up, Ben's parents would've most likely spent a lot of time away from home (Leia was bringing the New Republic to fruition, Han was probably running tasks for the New Republic throughout the Galaxy). And since he would've probably started his Jedi Training from a young age, who would that leave to be his Parental Substitute? Luke. Luke most likely mentored Ben himself, and as we've seen, the bond between a mentor and apprentice is incredibly strong, both within the Force and emotionally. Ben would've probably idolized Luke, not unlike how he currently idolizes Vader, and Luke would've done all he could to help Ben. So when Ben wakes up to see Luke holding a lightsaber over him, as if he was going to kill Ben, imagine how betrayed he must've felt. It's been implied that Ben would've never turned had he not seen Luke doing that, as that was the last straw Ben needed to turn to the Dark Side. That being said, it still doesn't justify anything Kylo's done since his turn to the Dark Side. He knew that Luke, Han, and Leia all loved him very much, and if he just listened to Luke, he wouldn't have Jumped Off The Slippery Slope.
    • What's more is that he essentially rendered every sacrifice and victory from the original trilogy moot by choosing to turn. He slaughtered all of Luke's apprentices, burned the temple, and sent Luke over the Despair Event Horizon. He then became Snoke's lapdog, allowing the First Order to spread fear and discord throughout the Galaxy, and eventually topple the New Republic when they destroyed Hosnian Prime. All of his parents and uncle's life work was undone by him, and he knows it. And that's not even getting into how Han loved him enough to meet with face-to-face and try to bring him back to the Light Side. And Kylo still killed him. Even if Kylo gets a redemption arc, he's too immersed in the Dark Side for it to be like Vader's; Vader's redemption came after years of regret and misery, and even then he was still able to become a Force Ghost, and be forgiven by Luke and (eventually) Leia. Kylo's done too much damage to everyone who cared for him, and he'll most likely have nothing or no one left to be remembered by in a positive way. That is, if his actions haven't already left him truly irredeemable.
  • Rey did not seem terribly angry after Luke told her the truth about almost attacking Ben. Of course, she pulled a lightsaber on Luke herself in a fit of instinct, presumably to strike in anger, before stopping herself. Of course she'd be able to relate and show compassion.
  • Rey attacks Luke asking him what really happened between him and Ben. This was after touching Ben's hand and seeing his future, but she likely also saw his other feelings, such as loneliness and conflict but more importantly that he honestly believed what happened in his own account of events.
  • Many people are angry at Luke just appearing on Crait as a Force Projection, instead of delivering an epic lightsaber duel with Kylo. But if you think about it, a Jedi never actually WINS against a Sith in open combat. They may sometimes BEAT them, but that is always for the worse. Had Yoda actually taken time to off Dooku, Anakin and Obi-Wan would've been crushed by a falling pillar. Anakin killing Dooku was a large solid step towards the Dark Side. Mace Windu not only had beaten Palpatine due to Vapaad drawing upon the Dark Side, but also had to delay the killing blow to keep himself from falling, giving Anakin cause and opportunity to kill Windu and causing him to fall. Obi-Wan beating Anakin crushed Obi-Wan's spirit and turned Anakin into Darth Vader, feared and hated by the whole galaxy. Obi-Wan's actual victory over Vader was when he basically lost and became one with the Force. Yoda was close to beating Palpatine, but only at the expense of embracing the Dark Side, which would mean the Dark Side would get a champion even more powerful than Palpatine (and Yoda himself looks shaken afterwards). Luke only beat Vader by drawing on the Dark Side and should he have actually finished the job, he would've fallen hard. Rey beating Kylo turned him from a loyal apprentice to Snoke into a rampaging manchild. Presumably, Luke actually facing Kylo in a lightsaber duel would have ended disastrously (be it due to Kylo perceiving it as Luke owning up to the fact he wanted to kill him, enraging him enough to overpower Luke, or some other, less direct consequences). On the other hand, Luke NOT doing that proved to be a massive triumph for the Resistance, shaking and humiliating Kylo and reviving Luke's legend.
    • Luke wouldn't have even made it to a duel without something going horribly wrong. Kylo, showing remarkable wisdom for a Star Wars villain, takes the direct approach and Just Shoots him. I guess you could argue that if Luke had been there in person, he would have stopped the first few blaster bolts with the Force, but a bunch of clones with much smaller armaments than the gorilla walkers were able to take down BASICALLY ALL THE JEDI just by keeping up a consistent barrage from multiple angles, exactly what we see the First Order do in the film. And after all, Kylo Ren would know exactly what it takes to kill a Jedi Knight...
  • The Force Awakens is basically a beat-for-beat knockoff of A New Hope. The Last Jedi sees the sequel trilogy start to find its own identity. In The Force Awakens, Kylo Ren is a cheap Darth Vader knockoff. In The Last Jedi, Snoke tells him to man up, stop being such a little bitch, and find his own identity. Hell, the entire theme of learning from the past in order to create something greater could apply on a meta level as well.
  • Rey employs double think a good deal in the film. She calls Kylo irredeemable, yet acknowledges Luke saving Vader "the most hated man in the galaxy". She does this because she's still angry. Confronted by Ben Solo's humanity, she eventually lets go of her anger. After not finding the answers she wants in the cave, Ben is the only person she can turn to who might understand. She leapt into darkness herself, after all and she wouldn't think Luke would have approved. She decides to save Ben after reconciling her hate for him with how Luke saved Vader along with her own connection to Ben which they have shared since The Force Awakens.
  • By failing Ben, Luke ends up repeating Obi Wan and Yoda's failure towards himself, namely not telling him the truth about his father. Luke repeated the mistakes of the Jedi without realising it. It's a tragic cycle of abuse and failure. Furthermore, Luke probably thought saving Anakin meant he could save Ben, but despite parallels Ben is a different person to his grandfather. Luke was, quite simply, ill-equipped to deal with his young nephew who was basically sent to military school because his parents were unable to understand him. None of this was out of malice but love, which makes these misunderstandings yet more tragic.
  • Leia's reaction to Poe's costly offensive on the dreadnought is fueled by guilt. In The Force Awakens she herself sent Han on a suicide mission by adding the entirely personal request that he bring their son back despite his own belief that Ben was too far gone to save. Han tried — and was killed by his own son for his trouble. Leia is now hyper-sensitive to the cost of personal agendas. She is also more uncertain than she once was, as illustrated by the way that she freezes up when she senses Kylo targeting the bridge of the Raddus, to the extent that she doesn't even call for anyone to clear the bridge before they come under fire. This culminates in her largely handing things off to Poe on Crait.
  • When the Raddus is shown cutting the Supremacy in two, all the shots have no stars, as if in a black void. Those who work with cameras will know that this can happen when adjusting the exposure of the camera for bright light sources, which means the camera doesn't take in dimmer sources of light. Basically, the Raddus cleaving the Supremacy was so bright there was no way the "cameramen" were able to show it without losing the stars (as shown in the final distant wide shot where the Supremacy is engulfed in a giant flash of light). In a series of completely digital shots where there were no camermen!
  • How appropriate is it that a film that aims to subvert and mislead as much as it can even uses its own title as a Red Herring? Luke Skywalker defies the very name of the final part of his story, declaring "I will not be The Last Jedi."
  • Luke and Yoda discussing the Sacred Texts can be kind of funny in a meta way, given how a sizable portion of the fanbase has reacted to the old Expanded Universe being declared non-canon and rebranded as the Legends continuity. Especially when Luke is asked whether he's read them.
  • Luke Skywalker's life began looking at the Binary Sunset. His journey into manhood began with the Binary Sunset. And his life and journey ended with the Binary Sunset.
  • During Rey and Kylo's first Force bond, Kylo Ren says: "You can't be doing this, the effort would kill you..." Not only is this a hint that some incredibly powerful being is responsible for the bond, but also lo and behold, what happens at the end of the film when Luke uses a Force bond-like power to project himself halfway across the galaxy?
  • The Canto Bight subplot gets a lot of (sometimes deserved) criticism, but it's pretty important for Finn's Character Development when analyzed closely. At the start of the film, Finn is willing to abandon the Resistance to be destroyed in order to spare Rey from that fate, which is admirable in its own way, but still kind of a dick move. Then he meets Rose, who has no patience for traitors and deserters because of her sister's Heroic Sacrifice. Circumstance slaps them together and sends them off to Canto Bight, where Finn is enamored with the sparkle and glitz of it all. Rose teaches him to look deeper at how the richest residents profit off selling weapons to the First Order, and how one person's hyperactive self-preservation instinct can hurt and kill others. Then they meet DJ, who represents what Finn will become if he continues on his present course of action: an amoral hacker who wanders through the galaxy, content to play one side or the other so long as it benefits him, then abandoning that side without a second thought. DJ almost persuades Finn to adopt his worldview, but DJ betraying them to the First Order pricks Finn's conscience. DJ just crossed the line he wouldn't cross. Then, in his fight with Phasma, he's proud to call himself: "rebel scum." At the Battle of Crait, he gains Rose's respect by willing to die for the Resistance to take down a First Order war machine, just like her sister did. Only this time, Rose thankfully has a chance to save him.
    • While many fans hate the Canto Bight sequence as a waste of time, it's actually the most important part in the movie. Those children Rose and Finn met are the future of the Resistance.
      • Not just the Resistance. That one boy could be the future of the Jedi.
  • The film is about legends, both deconstructing and reconstructing them. Luke Skywalker was a legend to Rey, inspiring her as a young girl. Then we see that legend broken, in how a single moment of weakness came to ravage the galaxy. Then at the end, we see the legend of Luke Skywalker reborn in his confrontation with Kylo Ren spreading, inspiring a new generation the way Rey herself was inspired by him. In its own way, what we're really seeing is the film's commentary on Star Wars as a franchise. Star Wars inspired generations, that is true. But there's no question that the series has its moments of weakness, its failures. Where you see the flaws in SW is up to you; perhaps Prequels, the Sequels, or anything inbetween. If you examine any legend closely, you see the flaws. But that doesn't negate the power or importance of a legend to inspire us. Even if that inspiration is to remind us not to do that.
  • In the battle against the Praetorian Guard, and even immediately before that in the confrontation with Snoke, Rey fights a lot more aggressively than she had in TFA, including twirling her lightsaber and screaming at her opponents in fury. Considering her psychic bond with Kylo Ren, it's not a surprise that she picked up a lot of his preferred fighting style. Meanwhile, Kylo himself takes a moment in this same battle to centre himself and tear through three circling Praetorians, much like how Rey was able to centre herself in her fight with Kylo in TFA and subsequently win.
  • Fridge involving the Raddus Ram. (Why it's not called the Rammus yet is beyond me.) First two important points. 1. Ships in Star Wars can tell when other ships activate their hyperdrives. Useful for when to break off from or cut off a retreating force. 2. When a ship activates it's hyper drive, it must point in the direction it intends to travel. You can't activate the lightspeed on the Falcon and then take off in the direction of the port(left) side instead of the bow(front). These two points alone explain why the tactic wouldn't be used often. A ship activating it's hyper drive while pointing directly at an enemy ship is an obvious giveaway of what's about to happen. It'd leave plenty of time for the enemy to either move out of the way or to damage/destroy the other ship. It'd be a desperation tactic at best. (Like shown in the film.) Feasibly a smaller faster ship could change direction in time to point at the target before the jump occurred, but it'd be so precise that I doubt droid brains would even pull it off enough times to make it a plausible tactic. (And again, that's assuming they aren't shot down anyway.) Only the best pilots in the galaxy would be able to do it, and frankly their expertise would be put to better use than literal suicide runs.
  • Another Rammus fridge and important factor is the imprecision of it all. Hyper space is pretty much a pocket space or dimension that hyper drives can reach for FTL travels. If the Raddus had actually reached hyper space, then it wouldn't have hit the Supremacy at all. It must have been traveling at a speed enhanced by the hyper drive to go faster than it's sublight engines but slow enough to avoid hitting hyperspace before the collision. The window of opportunity for this would obviously vary between ships of different sizes, and in universe they'd probably have some kind of general formula or estimation, but I think the biggest reason it worked is because the Raddus was so large. It's sheer size and mass gave it more time to hit it's target before hitting lightspeed.
  • The throne room confrontation between Rey and Snoke harkens back to a similar scene in Return of the Jedi: In both cases, our young hero willingly hands themselves over to the villain's apprentice, hoping to turn them to the Light. In both cases, the hero is brought to the Big Bad who proceeds to taunt them about their friends' impending demise, and in both cases the villain is appropriately impressed by the hero's dedication, dubbing them "Jedi" and sentencing them to death. In both cases this also foreshadows the villain's betrayal by their apprentice. The big difference, aside from Kylo Ren's refusal to turn to the Light Side, is that Palpatine was willing to kill Luke himself, whereas Snoke tried to force Kylo into doing it for him. Also, unlike Vader stopping Luke, Kylo made no move to protect Snoke from Rey's attempts to kill him.
  • The setting, pacing, cinematography, and choreography of the final "duel" between Luke and Kylo Ren more resembles the tense showdowns found in classic samurai films and westerns than the flashy, fast-paced acrobatics of the prequels or the slower, character-driven brawls from the original trilogy. How appropriate, given that some major inspirations for 1977's original Star Wars were two Kurosawa films and one western.
  • Why is Rey able to pick up on so many Force abilities so much faster than previous characters? Part of it is her apparently being The Chosen One for this generation, but much of it is simply that she has no preconceptions of what is possible or difficult. In the Old Republic, everyone had the Jedi to use as a basis for comparison (and the Jedi infamously got taken entirely by surprise and outwitted by the resurgent Sith). During the Galactic Civil War, Luke grew up knowing next to nothing about the Jedi, complements of his backwater home and stepparents insistent on him staying clear of all of it, lest he Turn Out Like His Father. Rey, meanwhile, grew up in a time that fondly remembered Master Luke Skywalker and the heroes of the Galactic Civil War, but after the destruction of Luke's school and his self-exile. Rey doesn't know what shouldn't be possible, only that great heroes like Han Solo and Luke Skywalker had done it all. Her Character Development isn't so much about her learning to harness The Force, it's about her learning how flawed and mortal her heroes are and that she can't rely on them to solve everything for her.
  • Rose stopping Finn's Heroic Sacrifice is often criticized, mainly for the reason that Finn could've destroyed the laser and stopped the First Order. However, Finn's sacrifice wouldn't have actually worked. The First Order's machines are sturdy and well-built, while Finn's ship is flimsy and even starts to melt and crinkle in the heat. His attempted sacrifice wouldn't do any damage, resulting in him essentially dying for nothing if not for Rose. Even more, earlier in the film, Rose inspected the skim speeders, so if there was anyone that would know that Finn's sacrifice would've been ineffective, it's Rose.

Fridge Horror

  • Rose mentioned that she had stopped some deserters who tried to escape the ship. While she doesn't elaborate any further, it implies that even among the Resistance forces, there are those who thought that their situation is hopeless and thus trying to abandon their compatriots to save their own skins. Even in the Rebel Alliance which employed criminals, assassins, and mercenaries, they rarely had deserters who abandoned their posts. In contrast, the situation has gotten so hopeless for the Resistance that some soldiers have given up on fighting completely even before their Darkest Hour.
    • An alternative is that this is Fridge Horror for the series up to this point. We watch Rose stun a grand total of one person, and that was due to Law of Conservation of Detail, even though she admits to stunning more. The fact that Leia knows to have someone on "stun the deserters" duty would imply that it's a problem she's had to deal with before, most likely while she was leading the original Rebellion. This is further supported by the fact that, if not for his status as a mercenary, this is exactly what Han did in A New Hope. Basically, the takeaway is that the Rebel Alliance probably had deserters, too... deserters that probably did a fair amount of damage to the Alliance itself.
  • If they already know about it, or are gonna find out later, how many surviving rebels are mad at Poe, Finn and Rose for their part in the destruction of the Resistance fleet, since their Indy Ploy resulted in DJ selling out the escape plan to the First Order?
    • It would probably be short-lived. They would have realized none of that would have happened had Vice Admiral Holdo actually done her job. An escape plan of that magnitude would have required the crew preparing for it. The fact that the bridge staff never gave the evacuation order even as they were entering the launch bay suggests that they were going to leave them there to die. The plan was to get any intelligence files, equipment, weapons, and personnel they could to the new base. That requires a lot of division of labor that the rank and file would be doing. There's no way Poe would have been able to get a mutiny formed if even a handful of people were fueling shuttles and loading on files. And for everyone to evacuate, everyone has to know they are doing it.
      • Except Poe was surprised when he walked onto the bridge and realized the shuttles were being gassed up, and promptly jumped to the wrong, but reasonable conclusion. You're also assuming the bridge staff were about to evac at that point, which there's no evidence of. For one thing, the wounded would be top priority, so Leia would've gone down first. And she clearly wasn't anywhere near the bay.
    • Technically, Poe was responsible for a huge number of Resistance deaths, through his combination of hubris and insubordination. At the start of the movie, the assault on the First Order dreadnought wipes out an entire squadron of bombers (even though, as mentioned elsewhere on this page, it would've been a very short movie if they hadn't destroyed those big guns when they did). This sees him demoted to Captain. If he'd chosen to simply follow orders (as he probably should have in that situation), then Finn and Rose wouldn't have gone to Canto Bight, DJ wouldn't have gotten involved, and wouldn't have cut his deal with the First Order. The Resistance escape plan would've gone under the radar, the First Order would've continued following a deserted cruiser, and none of the Resistance fighters would've died at the end. The First Order might even have been left thinking that they'd completely destroyed the Resistance, giving them a huge tactical advantage for any future operations.
      • Conversely, once everyone has had time to think about it, they will probably have realized how quickly the dreadnought would have wiped them out if Poe hadn't insisted it be destroyed. And since many of the survivors are the rank and file, they probably would have sympathized with being kept in the dark on the very existence of the plan.
  • No one pays attention to the other Jedi in training who joined Ben after he turned to the dark side and began destroying the academy. Everyone is so focused on Ben's fall that they've completely forgotten about the other students who fell with him. Even their old master Luke only seems to care about what happened to his nephew, with seemingly no thought or consideration of what became of his other students, or the possibility that they could be redeemed. The fact that Ben was able to turn several other students to his side so easily is quite worrying. Luke could've been paying so much attention to the darkness in Ben that he failed to see shadows dwelling in his other students.
  • The revelation that Luke briefly considered killing his own nephew out of fear of his Dark Side, due to the fact that it proves the truth of the Jedi's warning that unchecked fear will lead to the Dark Side. In his moment of weakness, Luke nearly killed Ben, a young boy he'd been entrusted to guide and care for, purely out of fear. Possibly meaning that, for just a moment, Luke nearly succumbed to the Dark Side himself by giving into his fears. Which made him Not So Different from his father Anakin, really. And maybe it was that realization that scared him away from anything having to do with the Force.
    • Not only that but Yoda said that fear leads people to the Dark Side: it leads them to anger, which leads to hate, which leads to suffering. Not only did Luke almost succumb to the Dark Side, but he sees himself as having been the one to push Ben Solo down that path by doing so.
    • Luke was worried about Ben so he went into his room to peek into his mind and see how dangerous the boy was. Upon sensing the darkness in him he has the impulse of killing him there and ignites his lightsaber before coming to his senses. Did he forego any notion of privacy? Yes. But he was blinded by that very hubris he talks about in the movie and thought he could do no wrong.
  • Nobody shows up to help the Resistance when Leia sends her distress signal to call her allies, not even Lando Calrissian. Just what happened to Lando that made him ignore the call of one of his closest allies and the wife of his best friend in her greatest hour of need?
    • Crosses into Fridge Brilliance with the fact that the call was only put out to the Outer Rim. Presumably, Calrissian isn't on Bespin anymore, or at least he's not in the portion of the galaxy within response distance of Crait. It's quite possible that he moved on to bigger and better positions in the Inner Rim or Core worlds after his stint as Baron-Administrator of Cloud City and his later exploits as a Rebel Alliance general.
    • Disturbingly, he may have been important enough to merit a place in or nearby the capital.
  • Much was made about how Ren doesn't Force Choke his underlings or employ Vader's well-known You Have Failed Me motivational technique in The Force Awakens, preferring instead to vent his rage on inanimate objects. After killing Snoke and being denied by Rey, Ren tries to assert his authority over the First Order, only to have General Hux backtalk him. Kylo Ren employs the Force Choke for the first time to literally bring Hux to his knees and force him to acknowledge Ren as the new Supreme Leader. Ben Solo has fully embraced the path of the Dark Side.
  • The tradition of the Rule of Two involves the ultimate culmination of the apprentice's training by killing the Master. Snoke urging Kylo Ren to "finish his training" when standing over Rey might not have been the best idea...
  • BB-8 spent a fair amount of time alone with DJ, the master hacker who betrayed them. Sorry, Poe, but you'd better do a hard factory reset on your little droid buddy.
  • DJ's demonstration that the arms dealers sell to both sides seems to come from nowhere, but ties into the arguments Luke and Ben were making about the Jedi needing to die. Johnson admits to being heavily influenced by Knights of the Old Republic, and the second game was a massive Deconstructor Fleet that argued that the Force (like the arms dealers) backed both the Sith with their variations on The Empire and the Jedi with their Republic proxies. So long as the wars keep going, they profit. DJ, Ben, and Luke made the same argument as Kreia - they all need to go in order for people to have true freedom.
  • The Rebel Flagship probably didn't stop with the First Order's ships. Anything going any significant fraction of light speed on its own is liable to do serious damage to anything in the way, bisecting ships for sure but even a moderately sized object hitting a planet with that much energy behind it is liable to destroy it. Holdo activated a Hyperdrive which allows the ship to move faster than the speed of light hence the bright white lines everyone sees while traveling that fast. Even if it was only for a moment, debris from the Rebel Flagship is going to be moving at least at relative speeds like a space shotgun blast ripping anything in its path to shreds for possibly light years in the direction she was pointed. Better hope nothing that way was inhabited.
  • How about some hyperspace tracking "fun"? Finn and Rose make it clear that blowing up the big ship isn't enough to disable the First Order's method to track ships through hyperspace: they would just pick up the tracking from another ship. The tracker has to be manually deactivated, which is what Finn and Rose try to do... But they get caught before they can. Then Holdo bitch-slaps the Supremacy, and the debris takes out several other star destroyers, but it certainly looks like there are quite a few that survive. The First Order still has a number of Star Destroyers that are perfectly capable of hyperspace tracking floating around, and even more if it wasn't their entire fleet involved in the pursuit of the Resistance. The Resistance had better not jump to light speed when there are Star Destroyers around in Episode IX.

  • It's subtle, but the revelation that Rey's parents were sleazy junk traders and apparent addicts who cared so little for their daughter, they essentially sold her into slavery for drinking money, and seemingly never tried to come back for her or contact her before dying god knows where. It calls into question just what the hell her life with them was like up to the point they abandoned her. The scene in The Force Awakens where Rey tries to impress Han by finding a malfunctioning part of the Falcon only to have him brush it off is likely a good sign; she probably did things like that to get her parents' attention only for them to ignore her. Also, in a bit of Fridge Brilliance combined with Fridge Horror, when Rey is ranting at Kylo about him killing Han, she demands of him why he hated him, stating "You had a father who loved you, who gave a damn about you". This foreshadows that Rey herself knows deep down her parents never really cared about her and she has been in denial for most of her life.
  • The entire First Order; with its fleet of Star Destroyers, armies of stormtroopers, and the massive military-industrial complex back in the Unknown Regions, is now under the control of Kylo Ren, an evil, psychopathic young man with a massive chip on his shoulder and a million Berserk Buttons. Not only does he have a lot to prove trying to live up to the reputations of Palpatine, Vader, and Snoke, his first time out as Supreme Leader he's thoroughly and publicly humiliated by his uncle during the battle on Crait, and his moment of ultimate triumph over the Jedi and the Resistance is completely ruined by a Jedi magic trick. In the previous movie he used a lightsaber to smash consoles and chairs when angered, but now he has the power and authority to burn entire cities and planets to the ground...
  • Despite Luke’s assertion, the war really does seem to be over. All that’s left of the Resistance is a handful of people with blasters saying they’re the spark that will light the raging fire of a new rebellion that will bring down the FO. They sound like the nutty “patriots” who thought they were the spark that would ignite a new American Revolution when they took over a wildlife refuge in Oregon. Is there any realistic chance these people can start a new war against the FO, let alone win it? Is there a better option left than for Rey to accept Kylo’s offer to rule at his side and use her influence to minimize the brutality of the new regime?
    • The epilogue of the film indicates that the story of Kylo Ren's defeat has spread across the galaxy, to the point where even slaves on planets far from the action are sharing it. Consider that the Prequel Trilogy ended with opposition to the Emperor's power being a handful of politicians (keeping their heads low) and a pair of Jedi Knights (keeping their heads lower), along with two infants. One of the consistent themes of the franchise is that hope and determination can win out, even if it takes many years. We also don't know what has become of the aforementioned allies that failed to show up, so they could still play a part.
  • Why was Luke wearing his Jedi robes at the very beginning of the film, only to change out of them after rebuffing Rey? The visual dictionary and the novelization taken together provide a rather disturbing answer. The visual dictionary states that when Luke went into exile, he made a vow to only wear ever wear his robes during his "last rite" as a Jedi. Then, in the novelization, we learn through Luke's internal narration that Luke was standing on the cliff where Rey first encounters him because he had just failed in an attempt to burn down the library tree, something which he evidently has to wear his Jedi robes for. This matches up with what we see in the film, as Luke changes back into his Jedi robes before his next attempt to burn the tree, after Rey leaves. This implies that, had Yoda not intervened Luke would have burned with the tree.

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