'The Last Jedi': Luke Skywalker's Exile Wasn't Bad Writing

'The Last Jedi': Luke Skywalker's Exile Wasn't Bad Writing

The Star Wars franchise is one that has spawned many beloved characters over the course of the past 30 years — iconic characters like Princess Leia and Jedi Master Yoda. However, no single character is more loved by fans than Luke Skywalker.

The character of Luke was first introduced in the debut Star Wars film, released in 1977, and has since become not only the biggest personality in the films but one of the most iconic in pop culture history. As a fan-favorite character, Luke has often been central to some of the most divisive debates in the franchise history — including one that popped up when The Last Jedi was released, several years ago.

While most fans hated the trajectory that Luke’s character took in the film, a recent Reddit thread defends the creative choices made for him, pointing out that what he did in The Last Jedi actually made total sense for his character. 

When was ‘The Last Jedi’ released?

The Last Jedi is the second film in the Star Wars sequel trilogy. The film, directed by Rian Johnson, was released in December 2017, to extreme fan anticipation. However, it didn’t take long before critics were expressing their extreme disappointment with the edgy film, and in particular, the choices made for the characters in the movie.

The Last Jedi is notably darker than previous installments in the Star Wars franchise, and offered up a more pessimistic view of the galaxy far, far, away. It was Luke Skywalker’s character that bore the brunt of fans’ anger, with many taking to social media to attack Johnson. 

Many fans were unhappy with Luke Skywalker’s character arc in ‘The Last Jedi’

In The Last Jedi, viewers watched as an aged Luke Skywalker tells Rey that he has no desire to be the hero anymore and, in fact, he came to a deserted island in order to die. Many fans pointed out that this is very different from Luke’s optimistic personality in the original trilogy, noting that the old Luke would have stopped at nothing to help his friends and family. 

Even actor Mark Hamill, who has played Luke Skywalker since the beginning, seemed to be disappointed with the way Luke came off onscreen in The Last Jedi. “There are times where you go, ‘Really? That’s what they think of Luke? I’m not only in disagreement — I’m insulted.’ But that’s the process and you thrash it all out,” Hamill stated at one point. 

Why do some fans say that Luke Skywalker’s ‘The Last Jedi’ storyline makes sense?

Four years later, fans are still talking about what happened to Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi. Still, time has helped a few devoted Star Wars fanatics to see Luke’s journey in a different light, and in a recent Reddit thread, one poster talked about how Luke’s character arc actually made sense. The fan pointed out that Luke’s decision to move away to a deserted island was in line with his true personality: “In Luke’s mind, he was helping his friends by going into exile. Because he was responsible for training Kylo Ren, he banished himself to end the Jedi line for the good of the galaxy.”

Another fan noted that “It really annoys me when people say Luke was poorly written in the sequels. He died doing the most Jedi thing anyone could’ve done and exiling yourself to let the next generation solve your problem a Jedi tradition by this point.”

Multiple posters agreed, proving that, perhaps, The Last Jedi will go down in Star Wars history as not only the most divisive film in the franchise but possibly the most brilliant as well. 

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