Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the very definition of ‘Divided We Stand’. The movie was an exit from the oomph and epic storytelling from the original Star Wars saga. It was neither Dark nor too light. It was neither a tale of the hero or the villain. It was… different.
And different does not bode well with a fan base which has stayed loyal to this franchise since half a century. They like things the way they were. That is why they became fans in the first place. But Star Wars: The Last Jedi did not give them what they wanted. Some fans liked the experiment, others loathed it big time.
Luke Skywalker – Legendary Jedi Master and hero of the Resistance, was one of the primary plot points of The Force Awakens. He was the reason Rey went on an interstellar journey to help save the Galaxy from the clutches of the first order.
But his presence was almost non-existent until the very end of the movie. The Last Jedi though, made sure fans had Luke Skywalker in plenty. He was a central character and core member of the storyline.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi showed the fans the dilemma and struggle Luke is facing as his days come to end. He failed to restart the Jedi Order. His failure to save his nephew Kylo Ren from turning over to the Dark Side and his general realization that the Jedi Order has done more harm than good to the Galaxy has been thorns on his side ever since.
But the movie saw Luke finally coming to terms with his past and using the last remnants of his powers in an incredible display of Force manipulation never seen before throughout the history of Star Wars.
How is Luke thought to be the most powerful Jedi ever?
Now, this begs the question – With Luke completing his journey of life and switching over to the Dark Side, and showing brand new uses of the Force, has he become the most powerful Jedi of the Galaxy to have ever existed?
The Star Wars universe has produced a shitload of extremely powerful Jedis whose power is almost unimaginable. Is Luke Skywalker really even more powerful than the ancient legends and myths about the old warriors of the Jedi and the Sith Order?
So what about the Skywalker Legacy?
The Skywalker Legacy began with Star Wars: A New Hope. Darth Vader, Princess Leia Organa, and Luke Skywalker are all of the same bloodlines. The Star Wars franchise has, more or less, orbited around the memoirs and adventures of the Skywalker family.
Luke meeting Yoda, Leia meeting Luke, Anakin Skywalker joining the Dark Side to become Darth Vader and the eventual demise of the most dreaded warrior of the Galaxy by his own son – all are the doings of the Skywalkers, whether directly or indirectly.
But then comes in Rey. Living on the planet Jakku until meeting Finn, Rey realizes her destiny is to save the Galaxy from evil and goes on a galactic quest to find Luke Skywalker. Rey then realizes she is force sensitive and has the potential to become a Jedi.
The Last Jedi establishes her parentage – Kylo Ren reveals that Rey’s parents were nobodies. They were junk traders that sold her off in Jakku and are now dead.
What is interesting about The Last Jedi is that it gives off a clear message: Anyone can be a hero. And you do not need the blood of one to become one. Rey does not care about her parentage anymore. She now truly is The Last Jedi and the only hope of the Galaxy.
Rose also becomes a hero when she helps and later save Finn while fighting the First Order. And who could forget the broom boy at the very end!!
So is he the Most Powerful Jedi Ever?
Let’s first try to understand the journey of Luke Skywalker:
When the Empire got defeated, Luke dedicated himself towards restoring the Jedi order but he was not a willing participant. He started a quest to seek secrets of Jedi spread across the galaxy. He broadened his search and found other force cults. It has been eloquently put in Ken Liu’s novel titled ‘The Legend of Luke Skywalker’ which goes like this:
“There are a thousand names for the truth. It doesn’t matter what we call it, only that it is true.”
He got exposed to the balance of the force. He learned about the prophecy of the Chosen One, the one who would restore the balance. He managed to bring some reform to ‘The Jedi order’ and kept track of the Chosen One.
He concluded Ben was the Chosen one and as a result, he focused on training Han and Leia’s son. But he was oblivious to the influence of dark side on Ben once he found out that Darth Vader was his Grand-father. This led Ben to the dark path and he became Kylo Ren.
Luke has not given up on his fight for restoring balance, fight evil etc. but he just has a new way of going about it. It has been eloquently put in Ken Liu’s novel titled ‘The Legend of Luke Skywalker’ which goes like this:
“There are more ways to serve good than by fighting and confronting evil. You also serve the good by standing guard and maintaining pools of tranquility and peace; you also rebuke evil by showing that there is another way than death and violence. We are all connected through the Force, and there’s a time and place to rest, as well as a time and place to act.”
The Last Jedi showed his true control over the force. He projected his force ghost across the Galaxy into a planet millions of light years away. Not even Jedi Master Yoda or Sith Lord Darth Vader has shown such amazing abilities.
George Lucas has himself claimed that Luke is indeed the most powerful Jedi ever. But his comments came at a time when the character of Rey wasn’t even conceived yet. Several times, the makers have said that Anakin Skywalker could have topped Luke’s Force powers had he stayed on the Light Side but he did not.
Luke is consistently termed the most powerful Jedi coz he has stayed a central figure in Star Wars saga for a long time. But Rey could may well become even more powerful than Luke as she is fighting to restore hope in the galaxy and Luke himself told her that he has never seen the kind of power that’s inside her.
Luke Skywalker’s claim to the Jedi Grand Master title should not go unheeded either. He has shown feats as a young Padawan in training and become one of the greatest Jedi Knights that ever existed. He built his own Lightsaber with absolutely no training, bested Vader in combat and could see into the future.
Maybe it is time to give Luke Skywalker the recognition he deserves. He will always be the greatest character not just in sci-fi/fantasy genre but in the history of cinema. Thank You, Mark Hamill, for your service.