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Tear Jerker / The Last Jedi

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"I only know one truth. It's time for the Jedi... to end."

Trailer

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  • "I only know one truth. It's time for the Jedi... to end." Whatever motivated Luke himself to say so — he who defiantly told the Emperor he had failed and that "I am a Jedi, like my father before me" — it sounds pretty tragic.
    • Alternatively, he may mean that the time of the Jedi teachings are over...so it can pass to a new line of successors. Regardless of context, though, it's still quite sad to see the Jedi we all knew and love seemingly doomed to disappear.
  • A split-second shot of what appears to be Luke falling to his knees as he watches the destruction of his Jedi Enclave.
  • Finn is still in stasis, recovering from his fight with Kylo Ren in the previous film. When he wakes up, he screams, "Rey!"
    • And the first thing he asks Poe when he wakes up? "Where's Rey?" This is especially prominent because the last time Finn saw Rey, she'd been sent flying thirty feet in the air and knocked unconscious against a tree by Kylo Ren. How worried he is about her really says a lot.
  • The Finn shot is followed by Poe running from an explosion. The implications are sad: The former Stormtrooper who saved Poe and spearheaded the effort to destroy Starkiller Base is comatose, and Poe can only dive back into battle.
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  • Entertainment Weekly's description of how Luke is doing when Rey finds him on Ahch-to; it is not good. The iconic hero we remember from the Original Trilogy has apparently been replaced by a broken man who has resigned himself to live out the rest of his days in exile. According to Mark Hamill, not only does Luke feel responsible for his nephew turning to the Dark Side, but he feels as though he has failed Obi-Wan and wishes he could be more like the Jedi he wanted him to be.
    Entertainment Weekly: His dreams are different now. Less hopeful. More regretful. But deep down, the farmboy turned warrior turned exile would also like to meet the hero known as Luke Skywalker again.
  • In the second trailer, there's a brief sequence where Kylo flies towards Leia's command ship, fully intending to kill his own mother to further his journey towards the Dark Side. The sad part comes in when you see the look on his face, which betrays the fact that he clearly doesn't want to do this, but feels he must in order to become as strong as his grandfather.
    • Leia's face during this sequence, too. She walks over to the window, clearly sensing him and his intentions, and stares out with these wide, sad eyes. You can just feel the grief and regret on her part and torment and reluctance on Kylo's. Her and Kylo's faces convey so much emotion without saying a word.
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  • Luke's reaction to Rey's power. To hear Luke Skywalker, the biggest, most idealistic Hero since day one, the guy who destroyed the Death Star, redeemed his father when all hope was lost and, in another world, led the Jedi to new heights, talking about his past with such regrets is soul-crushing.
    Luke: I've seen this raw strength only once before. It didn't scare me enough then. It does now.
  • Simply the fact that this will be the first Star Wars film post-New Hope to not feature Han Solo. Leia and Chewbacca have lost a lover and a partner, respectively, and Luke will never see his old friend again. Then we have the shot of Chewie piloting the Millennium Falcon all alone...

Movie

  • Poe's big victory over the dreadnought at the start of the film was all well and good, until we are shown a clearly upset Leia gazing at a panel that displayed how few of the Resistance's fleet remained. Later, she delivers a slap to Poe's face and a demotion for his recklessness. Sure, Poe may have inflicted a setback for the First Order, but given that Leia has experienced the deaths of way, way too many people at this point (the destruction of her home planet, the destruction of an entire star system, and most of all the death of her husband), can you really blame her for being upset over Poe being the indirect cause of even more of her allies' deaths? It's also a small wonder that her substitute, Vice-Admiral Holdo, has such a snarky and screw-you attitude towards him.
    • Smaller wonder once you read supplemental materials and learn that the bombers were based aboard the Ninka (the ship which looks like a heavily modified CR-90 Corvette). The Ninka's commander at the time was Vice Admiral Holdo, meaning that Poe's stunt cost the lives of many people under her command.
  • Paige's sacrifice at the climax of that counter-attack, especially the close-up of her face as she knowingly awaits the end. We see her bravery and resolve as she saves hundreds of lives, and then she's gone.
    • Like Rogue One, it lends a quite visceral edge to the kind of devastating fights that a Red Shirt Army often goes through, and which the viewer often finds easy to overlook with the focus on the saga's main characters.
    • Special mention to the shot of her touching her necklace. Her sister Rose is seen to be wearing the other half of the necklace, likely meaning that in her last moments, Paige was thinking of Rose, dying with the knowledge she did all she could to protect her sister.
    • The music accompanying the destruction of the fearsome First Order Dreadnought Fulminatrix. Unlike the victorious marches that usually play when a bad guy superweapon is destroyed, the Dreadnought goes up in flames to the accompaniment of a funeral dirge. Even Poe can't help but look in horror at his handiwork.
  • While Leia is angry at Poe for not being practical, she's still very motherly, perhaps treating him as a Replacement Goldfish for Kylo Ren. Her expressions throughout the film while talking to and about him range from "I'm too old for this" to "You're such a child". At the end she admits that she may not be able to save her son, who will murder them all, and orders everyone to follow Poe when he decides to evacuate the base.
  • While it might be more of a bittersweet kind of tears than most of the entries on this page, it's impossible not to get choked up when Leia uses the Force to pull herself back to the bridge of the Raddus after being blown out into space. It's an incredibly emotional moment, not just because we're finally getting to see Leia using the Force, but because Carrie Fisher's death ensures that she never will again. One last grand hurrah for our Princess. We'll miss you.
  • Chewbacca has killed a porg and roasts it over a fire, intending to eat it. Other porgs gather and give Chewie the saddest look one can imagine with their Puppy-Dog Eyes — these creatures really care for each other. Likely to apologize, he lets some of them nest in the Millenium Falcon and accompany him in space.
  • A brief one, but there is a shot of Luke's X-wing that he used throughout the entire original trilogy submerged and encrusted with sea creatures. Seeing one of the most iconic movie spaceships like this is sad in and of itself but it's also a rather poetic metaphor for how Luke considers himself done with being a hero. And thanks to his death, it will stay there forever, as a memorial.
    • Even more so, given how submerged his X-Wing is, Luke couldn't have physically pushed it in or crashed it into the water, so he used the force to put in underwater. When training with Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back, his first piece of real training was lifting his X-Wing out of the water.
    • Let that sink in. Luke deliberately sunk his X-Wing, his only possible way off the planet. He really did come there to die.
    • The reason that Luke fled and cut himself off from everything. He's ashamed that he failed Ben Solo, and that the brief moment he contemplated killing him was the moment that pushed Ben over the edge and turned him into Kylo Ren.
  • The surprisingly happy reunion between Luke and Chewie is dampened when he learns that the latter came with Rey on the Falcon... And then it sinks in.
    Luke: ... Where's Han?
    • This is worth emphasizing, Luke had so completely cut himself off from the Force that he couldn't feel Han passing, the man who was as much a brother to him as he was a friend.
    • Another tragicomedic Chewie scene later is dampened when Luke sneaks onboard the Falcon, clearly happy to see the old girl one last time. What makes this worse is that the last time Luke himself was seen in the Falcon's cockpit or the Falcon at all, it was all the way back in Empire, and him physically and psychologically battered and broken after his duel with Vader. And that moment itself is the last time he'll ever be on the Falcon ever again.
  • When Luke is bitterly listing examples of the Jedi's faults and hubris, one he singles out was that a Jedi Master was personally responsible for the training of Darth Vader. To see Luke speaking so dismissively of Obi-Wan, the man he considered a mentor, is rather upsetting.
    • Fridge Brilliance kicks in when you consider that the celebration on Endor may have been the very last time Luke saw Obi-Wan's spirit. Luke probably feels his mentor abandoned him right when he was at his most desperate.
  • Rose's introductory scene. She's clearly been crying after learning of her sister's death to save the Resistance, then having to apprehend the same people her sister died for, for attempted desertion. She meets with Finn and for a while she was ecstatic at meeting her hero, only to find to her fury that he was trying to leave the ship (albeit he had a good reason, he was trying to find Rey) and thought he was a deserter too. While she did find out the truth later, you feel like you just want to give her a hug for what she had to go through.
  • When Finn and Rose are looking for their master hacker on a luxury gambling planet, Finn is visibly dazzled by all the wealth and glamour after his regimented life as a Stormtrooper, but Rose tells him to look closer and reveals to him the dark exploitative underside that makes all that glamour and luxury possible. The fathiers appear to be a local species and the owners of the gambling planet have effectively enslaved them for use in an equivalent to horse racing — we see these huge, graceful animals being brutalized and their child slave stable hands being beaten when they try to protect the animals they care for from being cut and burned. It's like an incredibly dark and tragic call-back to the in-universe fun and thrilling pod races of Episode One. When Rose and Finn free the fathiers en masse and they realize they're free and escape into the wilderness this turns into happy tears, however.
  • DJ points out to Finn, who believes the First Order is bad and the Resistance is good, that the people profiting from the war play both sides. Case in point, he shows Finn a hologram of the items the owner of their stolen ship has sold: First Order and Resistance ships. Finn's expression doesn't help.
  • DJ selling out Finn and Rose (and the Resistance with them) to the First Order.
    • They had come to like this guy and convinced themselves he was a gambler with a heart of gold but instead, after being captured, he not only betrays them but allows the First Order to track the fleeing Rebels. Rose cries and Finn is stunned that the man really was all about himself and "just business," not caring about the lives he's costing.
    • Surprisingly, DJ's own stance towards the betrayal is not much better, because he looks actually remorseful for what he has done, and even answers with a gloomy "maybe" when Finn angrily calls his views wrong. He doesn't give the viewer the satisfaction of hating someone who acts on pure evil - his action, if it was done in order to save his own life as it is implied, was something possibly anybody in his place could have ended up doing.
    • Poe's reaction when he hears the captured over the radio. They were so close to their goal, and then he's Forced to Watch that he may have sent them to their deaths. It makes his relief that they managed to get into the Crait base all the more heartwarming.
  • Rey believes that Kylo Ren can be redeeemed, just as how Luke managed to turn his father Darth Vader to the light side. And in the end Rey does indeed convince Ren to kill Snoke, just as Vader killed Palpatine. But the parallel story Rey sees doesn't really exist, and her heart breaks as she learns the truth: Kylo Ren killed Snoke not to defeat the First Order, but to usurp it.
    • The look on Rey's face is heartbreaking. She's just so disappointed.
      Rey: Please don't do this, Ben. Please don't go this way.
    • When Kylo Ren tells Rey his plans, he extends his hand to her and tells her that We Can Rule Together now, ending his speech with a shaky "Please". The words he uses are similar to Anakin's when he tried to get Padme to join him after he had fallen to the dark side, but the look on his face and his body language are completely different.
    • Kylo Ren's justification of why Rey and he should let everything from the past burn is simple and yet poignant. They've both been let down by everyone in their past: Rey's parents sold her in exchange for alcohol, and Luke was so afraid of young Ben's powers and inner darkness that he tried to kill him in his sleep. They can't count on anyone but themselves, but that would change if she'd accepted his offer.
  • Rey admitting that her parents were never going to come back for her. All those years she spent in Jakku waiting for them was just her lying to herself, burying the fact that they were a pair of junk-rats who sold their own daughter for booze money, and eventually got themselves killed, buried in unmarked graves she will never find under the sands of Jakku.
    • When combined with her Force-vision underneath the island, this revelation becomes absolutely devastating for Rey. For the last two movies, Rey has been desperately searching for meaning to her life, looking for a place to belong. She looks to legends like Han, Leia and Luke, asking them to tell her where she belongs. Rey might well have been expecting some grand revelation to come from the Mirror vision. For her, finding out she was a chosen one or special based on her heritage would be a good thing, because then at least she could believe she was fitting into some grand plan. But she's not. Luke has no answers for Rey. Her Force-vision shows nothing but herself. She isn't The Chosen One like Anakin or the child of The Chosen One like Luke or Kylo. She's not part of some Heroic Lineage. She's just a girl from nowhere.
    • This seems to be the better place to put this Tear Jerker realization: after finding out the truth about Rey's parents, the flashback scene in The Force Awakens showing Little Girl Rey screaming after her parents to come back turns from sad and regretful to horrifyingly heartbreaking. Her parents didn't leave because they were forced to, because they had to in order to protect her or keep her safe. They left because they just didn't care.
  • For a brief few minutes we don't just see a path to redemption for Kylo Ren, we get a glimpse of the hero he could have been. Rey might well believe that her vision could come true. And then she discovers just how deeply he's tied to his ideology, and he's willing to let the resistance die along with the rest of the things from the past.
    • When Rey realises his intentions, after she had grown to care for and even love him she just looks at him in utter sadness, begging him in a quiet, choked voice not to do this. It reminded several viewers of the equally emotional scene in Revenge of the Sith when Padme futilely pleaded with Anakin to come back to not go down a path she could not follow.
  • By the time the Raddus's shields are about to give out, Poe and his closest allies have resorted to holding Vice-Admiral Holdo and her closest allies at gunpoint, because they won't agree on how to handle a desperate situation that the fate of the entire galaxy hinges on. When Leia has finished recovering, she approaches Poe, and Poe feels relief for a moment...only for Leia to blast Poe unconscious and have his body brought aboard a shuttle against his wishes. Remember how in Rogue One the Rebel Alliance was hopeless to the point of infighting and nearly giving up? Picture that, except smack dab in the middle of cosmic nowhere.
    • Holdo, for all her abrasive responses to Poe, actually doesn't hate him. When Leia tases Poe and brings him aboard an escape pod, Holdo strokes his hair and she and Leia have a laugh about how Poe is so reckless. Poe never knew that Holdo actually cared.
  • Admiral Holdo's Heroic Sacrifice, and her emotional farewell with Leia. At first Holdo is be set up as a foil to Leia and by proxy, Dameron. Seemingly passive to Leia's active response, Dameron denounces her as a coward. Then not only did Holdo prove him wrong by not only having a plan to ensure the survival of the remaining Resistance members, she also stayed behind to pilot the main ship to provide a distraction for the First Order. Then she managed to wreck Snoke's private ship by ramming into it while accelerating to lightspeed in one of the most badass suicide takedowns in film history, thus saving them all.
    • The scene where she discovers that the First Order know about the evacuating transports and are easily destroying them one by one shows her nearing breakdown, pleading desperately for the evacuation to continue because there is nothing else to be done.
    • The look on her face just before she pushes that lever... She knows she's facing her own death, and the combined determination and sorrow are so clear in her expression, because she CAN'T allow any more of her rebels to die. She faces her death with absolute dignity. This is juxtaposed with the mutinous rebels (whom Poe personally turned against Holdo) thinking Holdo is running, while Poe realizes, "No she isn't," in the most horrified hushed tone he's ever used. Too late, he's realized just how badly he underestimated Holdo, how badly he threw a monkey wrench into her plans (thus necessitating her Heroic Sacrifice), and the enormity of what she's about to do.
  • As Rey and Kylo Force wrestle, the Skywalker lightsaber is destroyed. It's only snapped in half, so repairs may not be impossible, but there's a chance the most iconic lightsaber ever is truly gone for good.
  • R2-D2 plays Leia's old message from A New Hope. Luke looks so sad and ashamed of himself when he hears, "Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope." once more. This is what finally motivates him to train Rey, likely to honor his old mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi one last time. It's also a Tear Jerker in the meta sense of course, thanks to Carrie Fisher's passing (and, for that matter, Leia's final moments in Rogue One).
    • Right before that, when R2 activates, and Luke turns around, wide-eyed, and disbelievingly says "R2???" He sounds just like the 19-year-old farmboy from the original trilogy again, if just for a second. Then he laughs, so happy to see who was probably his closest companion among the original trilogy cast but there's so much pain in it. He knows that things can never be the same as they were because of everything he's been through and lost.
  • The final meeting between Luke and Leia. In particular is his line "Nobody is ever truly gone," which just seems extra meaningful given who he's saying it to.
    • The scene when Leia and Luke meet begins with Leia joking that she "changed [her] hair." Hilarious when you see the movie, but when you crack open the visual dictionary, you find out WHY Leia changed her hairstyle between movies... She's in mourning for Han.
  • Finn attempting to pull a Heroic Sacrifice by flying his speeder into the First Order's cannon. Sure, Rose saves him, but the expression on his face, the music, watching his speeder slowly fall apart as he tries to push on... It creates a tense, emotional moment where you honestly think the film's writers just might go through with it.
    • In the same scene, Poe calling out to him over the comm when he realizes what Finn is about to do, going so far as to pull rank and try to order him to pull back. Regardless of how one reads their relationship, Poe is clearly anguished at the thought of losing any more of his people.
  • Kylo's order to aim every gun available and fire on Luke, followed by his pure, unbalanced rage displayed when he confronted him on the ground. Nothing else the viewer has seen up to this point has made him that angry for so long. It's clear that Kylo once truly respected, trusted and looked up to Luke, and the rage displayed comes from terrible pain over Luke's betrayal. In this light, that betrayal, however momentary, seems to be very likely what turned him to the dark side more than Snoke's manipulations. When Hux commands their forces to stop, while it's due to the fact that they're concentrating an excess amount of artillery on a single human, he also sounds like he's doing so because their shelling has turned into straight-up cruelty.
    • Likewise, when he sees the Millennium Falcon come to the Resistance' aid during the battle, his order to "BLOW THAT PIECE OF JUNK OUT OF THE SKY!!" is full of such rage and hatred for his father's beloved ship. He probably spent most of his childhood on that ship. Though it would make sense that he's not too happy about seeing the Falcon of all things being used against him to foil his plans.
    • When Kylo confronts Luke, he mockingly asks him if he’s going to “say you forgive me” or try to “save my soul”. Standard villain stuff... only the way Kylo spits the lines, every word laced with pure hatred and bitterness, as well as his generally unstable demeanor, is a real gut-punch. This is the first time uncle and nephew have seen each other since that fateful night when Luke’s temple burned. Kylo’s clearly still deeply hurt by Luke’s betrayal of him and Luke…pretty much acknowledges it. He never raises his voice to Kylo or tries to rebut him. He simply honestly states he’s not here to save him, because he knows he can’t, but that he’s sorry anyway. This, coupled with Luke’s earlier assertion to Leia that “no one is ever truly gone” carries the implication that Luke still loves his nephew and believes he could still potentially be redeemed, but he knows that he can not, and will not be the one to do it.
  • At the end of the movie, Luke passes away from the tremendous effort it took him to maintain the Force illusion on Crait while he was still on Ahch-To. Only Chewbacca and Leia are left from the old guard. Not completely unexpected, but still, Luke Skywalker is dead. It's much less tragic than it was with Han Solo, as he's now one with the Force and may return as a Force Ghost, but it won't be the same. Another hero of many people's childhoods is gone.
    • As he dies, full of "peace and purpose", the last thing he sees—with tears in his eyes—is a beautiful twin sunset, a memory of the days when he was a simple farmboy dreaming of adventure on Tatooine.
      • The final reprise of 'Binary Sunset', often considered Luke's theme from the iconic scene in A New Hope, is almost guaranteed to bring tears to your eyes.
    • In the novelization, one of the last things Luke hears before disappearing is the voice of Obi-Wan telling him to "Let go." Whether this is the voice of his former mentor or a memory from the Battle of Yavin, Luke finally lets go of the pain he had been suffering for years, finally at peace.
  • By the end of the film, Leia has lost many people dear to her (including her husband, her brother and close friends), the New Republic that she spent decades rebuilding has collapsed, her army has been reduced to a mere dozen and her son is apparently beyond redemption, all in the span of a few days.
    • Remember how earlier Kylo couldn't go through with killing her, in the end? The audience knows that. Does she? It's very possible she may think the shots came from him, not his wingmen.
    • Some may have missed it because it happens quite unceremoniously and the character is only quickly mentioned afterwards, but the Mon Calamari on Leia's command deck is indeed Admiral Ackbar, and with the exception of Leia, he's killed with all the other officials. The old Expanded Universe had him die peacefully of old age (after concocting a plan that kicked much Yuuzhan Vong ass); no such luck for him in the new canon.
  • Seeing as the fleeing Resistance members are gradually killed during their desperate escape (by the end of the movie there are so few of them left, they all fit into the Millennium Falcon) can be very painful. Star Wars has made us used to see entire spaceships explode, often forgetting there are hundreds if not thousands of people inside. Here, the writers have used the simple "trick" of having some numbers stated now and then to remember the stakes; it's very effective.
    • To this end, watching Poe's face as he sees the few pilots remaining during his attempt at a sally on Crait getting shot down in front of his eyes. It finally hits him how reckless he's been with his flight squadrons - they all trust him dearly and his skills are an inspiration to all of them - but too many are getting killed for it. It comes full circle when he's the one trying to order Finn to back off of his suicide run, just as Leia tried to get him to fall back from his dreadnought counterstrike back at the start of the film.
  • Despite several instances where it seemed Kylo might pull himself back to the Light, he ultimately falls even more to the Dark Side when he betrays Snoke and assumes leadership of the First Order. With Luke now having become one with the Force, this leaves Kylo and an aging Leia as the sole surviving members of Anakin's legacy. Barring an increasingly unlikely chance that Kylo will redeem himself and survive the events of Episode IX, the Skywalker line seems destined to die out upon the conclusion of the trilogy. Although it does end on a hopeful note, as shown when Kylo picks up the dice that Luke had given to Leia when he says "No one is ever truly gone."
    • To drive this in further, for all his inner turmoil, his actions may have finally even gotten his mother to seemingly let go of her son. Leia, who so strongly believed that Han could bring him back seems to acknowledge that her son may be too far gone. Though as mentioned above, Luke tries to encourage her otherwise.
    • Kylo tries one last time to reach out to Rey through their Force Bond, and gets a silent, hard, and disappointed look in return. Judging from the expression on his face, even he seems to know how much he deserves it.
    • When do we last see Kylo Ren? Standing triumphantly at the head of his new army? Nope. He's kneeling on the floor, staring hollowly at his father's dice. He's gotten what he wanted, but it doesn't seem like it was worth it. This is only emphasized by the fact that the dice fade away in his hand, since they weren't truly there.
  • The twin suns vision, as Binary Sunset plays.
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