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Rewatching Star Wars 4-6: TLJ got Luke Right.

SG-17

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,925
You just assumed he was out somewhere learning some Jedi secrets or something but being a coward and walking away from everything is a set-up carried over from TFA. Rian Johnson didn't create that set-up, he simply built off it.
Even if you want to say that JJ did set up Luke being a coward (which I will never agree with) it was Rian's choice to run with it and make him a cowardly suicidal asshole.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,673
Nah dude, this is an extremely cynical reading of the character in order to justify TLJ's bullshittery and character assassination.

TLJ portrayed Luke as a coward and a quitter who was willing to abandon his friends and family. That's utter bullshit.
Yeap. I’m for an “old miser” Luke who begins to lose faith in the Jedi way or whatever... but they took it way too far. He would have been kicked out of his emo phase as soon as it was necessary to save his friends but in this it really seems like he doesn’t give a shit about anyone
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,418
Nope.

Starting to sound like it's Luke haters who really liked TLJ at this point, but that definitely wasn't the Luke I grew up with, and he was written completely stupid, arrogant and vain here.

Sure, Obi Wan and Yoda failed with Anakin, but in spite of Snoke corrupting Ben, It's Aaaaall YOUR fault Luke. Just you.
Let's abandon your family, friends and the rest of the galaxy so you can sort your feelings. And that's only one problem of many.
Assinine.
 
Oct 28, 2017
6,478
New Jersey
The biggest flaw in TLJ is that this is a deleted scene:
I will never understand why this scene was cut. Firstly, it shows that Rey finally GOT to Luke with that last line, because immediately following this Luke reconnects with the Force. Secondly, it provides better justification for Rey to open up to Ben after being so thoroughly disillusioned by Luke's games. I really, really hate that they cut this scene.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,444
I mostly don’t have a problem with Luke in TLJ, but I do take issue with him (even instinctually) igniting his saber while Ben was sleeping. Luke can certainly get angry and go off the rails, as shown vs Vader, but Vader and Palpatine were actively taunting him. That part could have been done better.

Say Luke sees his vision while they’re training and fights too hard by “instinct”, almost killing Ben in the process.

As for his depression and cynicism, I actually liked it. And it makes sense for him to go “I failed my nephew, my sister, my best friend, and the Jedi. I’m done.”

My issues with TLJ are plenty, but Luke is (mostly) fine.
 
Oct 26, 2017
15,424
Eyes of a scared boy is not see you around kid. This is some weak spin.
"Eyes of a scared boy" does not literally mean "this character was a child during this scene please ignore that you're very clearly looking at a grown ass man" Like you realize Kylo is 29 right? The youngest age he could be during that scene is 23, which from the perspective of a man who at the time, is 45, is a boy.
Which doubly makes the Rey should've joined him hot takes creepy af

Lol you cut like half of it where he slowly pulls his saber off his belt and it still fails to look like a flash of instinct over in an instant. What exactly is he contemplating all that time with his saber in hand before he ignites it?
The exact length of Luke pulling out his lightsaber, getting angered at the thought of losing everything, and igniting it before immediately coming back to his senses is 12 seconds.


It's absolutely a brief lapse of judgement in every sense of the word. Just take the L on this one goddamn, you asked for a receipt and I gave you 2.


I will never understand why this scene was cut. Firstly, it shows that Rey finally GOT to Luke with that last line, because immediately following this Luke reconnects with the Force. Secondly, it provides better justification for Rey to open up to Ben after being so thoroughly disillusioned by Luke's games. I really, really hate that they cut this scene.
IIRC Rian felt that it made Luke seem a bit too mean. I agree, to me it's a perfect scene that perfectly encapsulates everything wrong with Luke's ideology up to that point, while also reinforcing the type of people Rey and Luke are. At that moment she's devastated because someone she, (and we), have been fangirling over for years just isn't who she, (and we) thought he was.
 
Oct 28, 2017
6,478
New Jersey
Even if you want to say that JJ did set up Luke being a coward (which I will never agree with) it was Rian's choice to run with it and make him a cowardly suicidal asshole.
What is there not to agree with? What do you call walking away from everything while the nephew you once trained runs rampant across the galaxy with The First Order?
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,454
New York
Agreed. This shit always amazes me. Like Luke in TLJ was perfectly fine, great even, of anything I could critique about the film Luke is like one of the last things I would ever have even thought to be bothered by.
 

SG-17

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,925
Yeap. I’m for an “old miser” Luke who begins to lose faith in the Jedi way or whatever... but they took it way too far. He would have been kicked out of his emo phase as soon as it was necessary to save his friends but in this it really seems like he doesn’t give a shit about anyone
Learning Han was killed should have really reawakened the Jedi Master and good man within Luke.

But nope.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,520
TLJ chicken shit Luke is nothing like OT Luke.

Can't believe they made it like he force connect to a server pretending to be the man, executed a few troll emotes then perished once he's exposed.

They retconned Luke’s character growth in the OT to own the fans. #subverted

Also lol at saying the fans were dumb for wanting op Luke while ignoring op ass Rey.
Thank you, exactly.
 

Replicant

Banned
Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,561
MN
It seems not simple when people seem to fail to understand what the main character arc of RotJ was and that in the movie itself Luke doesn't even have a character arc in the way everyone keeps claiming.
Yes he does. He literally throws his weapon away and would rather have the emperor kill him than continue to fight or kill his father.
Luke is unbearable in the originals
oh boy...here we go..
So unbearable that he was universally loved for 40 years.
 
Oct 29, 2017
393
Putting himself in harms way to save others (particularly friends/family) is intrinsic to Luke's character.
Yes he starts off weak and whiny, but that's the part of him that changes and develops. His character arc spans all three movies.

He never loses his 'faith in his friends' and his drive to protect them. That is his core, and it's thematically central to the OT. The villain even spells this out to the audience, and assumes it's not a strength, but a weakness (it's both). Taking that away from Luke without proper development is obviously going to rub some people the wrong way

In the OT, Luke:
Runs back to the farm to save his Aunt and Uncle despite being told not to (fails)
Runs off to Alderaan to help a beautiful woman he's never met with no understanding of what he's getting into
Is the only character to run towards Obi-Wan to help him despite being told not to, refuses to leave until Ben's ghost tells him to go
Takes on the Death Star with no understanding of what he's getting into
Does all he can to pull Dak out from under that AT-AT (avenges him on foot)
Abandon's his training in order to save his friends despite being told not to (fails) with no understanding of what he's getting into
Spends months training and plotting to save the friend he failed to protect
Keeps his promise to another friend, and returns to watch him die
Gives himself up to the Emperor, to save his friends and their mission, his fate uncertain
Gives himself up to the Emperor, in an act of selflessness for his father, his fate uncertain

Luke is selfless to a fault, values interpersonal connections and causes over his own well being, and is motivated to develop into a better person solely by his failings to help those he cares about. These are intrinsic qualities that do not change in his character throughout the OT. Rather, his arc is him learning from his failures and growing stronger so that he can better serve his desire to protect those he loves. His heart is always in the right place, but his ability is lacking and he's a bit too reckless. The latter are where he develops

TLJ did not get Luke wrong because he should be space Goku. Luke was never painted as an amazing warrior. It's his friendship and his selflessness that drive his victories.
TLJ got Luke wrong because he gave up on the galaxy, and more importantly on his friends, which is particularly jarring considering he's giving up on a situation he feels responsible for creating. It got Luke wrong because of a silly contrivance where he almost murders his nephew, which would've been best not shown.
Yes, Luke can have regrets, he can fail, he can flounder, he can have moments of weakness. He did all of these things throughout the OT. He shouldn't be perfect. But we still expect him to try, and to correct his mistakes. If you're going to take away his selflessness, you're going to need to do a lot of legwork to get the audience on board.

What they did to Luke would be similar to a Leia who is no longer a part of, nor cares about, the rebellion. Maybe she's lounging in a lazy river on Coruscant, sipping mimosas, fat off her government pensions from the New Republic, part of the faction that downplays the impending threat of the FO. Yes, somebody could have written such a Leia into the ST. After all, it's been 30 years and 'people change'. But take away the core of her character, the spunky can-do attitude and devotion to her cause, and fans of the character are going to want answers
 
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Oct 28, 2017
4,450
luke has always been dettached

his reaction to seeing his aunt and uncle burn bodies was "take me with you ben, nothing holds me to this place"

he didnt even buried them!
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,127
Yes he does. He literally throws his weapon away and would rather have the emperor kill him than continue to fight or kill his father.
That's not an Arc, he started the movie saying he wouldn't kill his father. That arc happened outside of the film entirely.

Right lol. Luke's depiction in TLJ was so bad it actually went back in time and altered the events of the OT!
That person just wanted a clever cool zing moment for their "#subversive" meme, didn't matter if they could set it up properly or not.
 
Oct 26, 2017
15,424
They retconned Luke’s character growth in the OT to own the fans. #subverted

Also lol at saying the fans were dumb for wanting op Luke while ignoring op ass Rey.
There's nothing OP about Rey. So far she has, mind tricked a stormtrooper, pulled things with the force, and involuntarily used the force on occasion during dire situations. If Rey was actually OP, then she wouldn't have been thrown around like a ragdoll by Snoke. She literally couldn't resist a single thing Snoke was doing. And the film made it a point to show that she could resist Kylo. Also, Luke is shown to be much more capable in this film, they just don't base his entire character around his power level and that's why it's great is because they focused on his characterization and having him be a real flawed character. OT Luke couldn't do something like this:
 
Sep 21, 2018
676
ROTJ Luke was so different to farm boy Luke. I don’t know how you can’t see that. His face off with Sidious, his faith in his fathers redemption, he’s far more self controlled.

TLJ Luke is not even like farm boy Luke tbh. Felt like a different character.
 

SG-17

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,925
Putting himself in harms way to save others (particularly friends/family) is intrinsic to Luke's character.
Yes he starts off weak and whiny, but that's the part of him that changes and develops. His character arc spans all three movies.

He never loses his 'faith in his friends' and his drive to protect them. That is his core, and it's thematically central to the OT. The villain even spells this out to the audience, and assumes it's not a strength, but a weakness (it's both). Taking that away from Luke without proper development is obviously going to rub some people the wrong way

In the OT, Luke:
Runs back to the farm to save his Aunt and Uncle despite being told not to (fails)
Runs off to Alderaan to help a beautiful woman he's never met with no understanding of what he's getting into
Is the only character to run towards Obi-Wan to help him despite being told not to, refuses to leave until Ben's ghost tells him to go
Takes on the Death Star with no understanding of what he's getting into
Does all he can to pull Dak out from under that AT-AT (avenges him on foot)
Abandon's his training in order to save his friends despite being told not to (fails) with no understanding of what he's getting into
Spends months training and plotting to save the friend he failed to protect
Keeps his promise to another friend, and returns to watch him die
Gives himself up to the Emperor, to save his friends and their mission, his fate uncertain
Gives himself up to the Emperor, in an act of selflessness for his father, his fate uncertain

Luke is selfless to a fault, values interpersonal connections and causes over his own well being, and is motivated to develop into a better person solely by his failings to help those he cares about. These are intrinsic qualities that do not change in his character throughout the OT. Rather, his arc is him learning from his failures and growing stronger so that he can better serve his desire to protect those he loves. His heart is always in the right place, but his ability is lacking and he's a bit too reckless.

TLJ did not get Luke wrong because he should be space Goku. Luke was never painted as an amazing warrior. It's his friendship and his selflessness that drive his victories.
TLJ got Luke wrong because he gave up on the galaxy, and more importantly on his friends, which is particularly jarring considering he's giving up on a situation he feels responsible for creating. It got Luke wrong because of a silly contrivance where he almost murders his nephew, which would've been best not shown.
Yes, Luke can have regrets, he can fail, he can flounder, he can have moments of weakness. He did all of these things throughout the OT. He shouldn't be perfect. But we still expect him to try, and to correct his mistakes. If you're going to take away his selflessness, you're going to need to do a lot of legwork to get the audience on board.

What they did to Luke would be similar to a Leia who is no longer a part of, nor cares about, the rebellion. Maybe she's lounging in a lazy river on Coruscant, sipping mimosas, fat off her government pensions from the New Republic, part of the faction that downplays the impending threat of the FO. Yes, somebody could have written such a Leia into the ST. After all, it's been 30 years and 'people change'. But take away the core of her character, the spunky can-do attitude and devotion to her cause, and fans of the character are going to want answers
Exactly. Great post. For all of Luke's faults, he was never a coward. That bit of character assassination is the mortal sin of the Sequels. Something that will always color them.
 
Oct 28, 2017
2,453
It depends what you watch SW for I guess

On a technical level OP, you're probably right

As a general 36 year old viewer of Star Wars, a fan but not a massive one by a long stretch, I recall sitting down with my dad around 10 and watching them on Video. Watching a classic Hero Journey. Simple swashbuckling in ANH. Tinges of darkness with the heroes struggling in Empire. Prevailing in ROTJ and a wistful looking grown Luke proudly seeing his redeemed ghost father and a sense he'd grown.

I enjoyed the film's and then grew up. You grow older. You find life isn't the simplicity of heroes and villians. Life is hard. Making a living and death and all that jazz. Darker takes and tales prevail everywhere. I fully appreciate those tales of aspirational heroes being tainted and flawed.

I can take all of that. I went to watch TFA with my daughter, and enjoyed it for what it was. Nice levels of earnestness, if seeing it copied the beats of ANH a bit too earnestly.

When it came to TLJ, I got what it was trying to do but honestly? On a simplistic level, I just found the 'hey, that Luke from your childhood? He turned out to be an asshole too! He became a recluse, refused to train Rey properly, didn't do much, had a change of heart, acted as a diversion for five minutes then died' not fun to watch

I've seen this kind of take often rejected on here and twisted to be 'well lol you probably just wanted him to do fan servicey stuff and be the same character'. On this, I'm split. Half of me wants to say 'No, I don't like the character he actually was' on his own merits, but the other half actually wants to say 'Yes! I'm sorry, forgive me. In a time of real world constant shit, and equally an era of dramatic fiction that obsesses around anti-heroes I actually did want a likeable Luke, one of cinemas classic icons, that resembled the happy memories of my childhood and fantastical feats (like taking on Jabbas barge etc) for a few short hours of escapism

It depends subjectively I guess why we collective wish to escape to a narrative 'far far away' place and equally why SW has endured.

It was funny as a night out goes. My daughter asked me what I thought of it and I laughed and said 'It was fine' and technically it was, but in my head it ended my casual fandom of SW there and then.
 
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Oct 30, 2017
2,347
The biggest flaw of TLJ is the movie itself. The movie does not know what it wants to be. Luke being a coward, suicidal, and grumpy old fart living alone is a terrible depiction of his early heroic figure.
Luke was always an idiot, who did not think twice and acted on impulse, but never a coward.
 
Oct 25, 2017
6,188
I mean...I'm not sure why it's Johnson's fault that people think Luke's a coward who did nothing. Like, what did you expect when JJ Abrams decided that Luke was missing for decades? That he was a secret badass but decided to fuck off to a secluded planet and not deal with the problem he created because....?
 
Oct 29, 2017
5,086
I respectfully disagree with you.

In the OT that's how Luke started off, he was a cocky character who wanted an adventure. However throughout ANH to ROTJ he vastly grew and changed from that.

When he meets Yoda for the first time this is EXACTLY why Yoda is "acting" like such an annoying pestering creature toward him, he's testing Luke to see his true character (this is why it made NO SENSE to have Yoda act like a bumbling idiot in TLJ, that is NOT YODA , he was just acting that way to teach Luke a lesson). Of course Luke fails miserably, he sees Yoda at first as a pest an annoyance and doesn't treat him with respect or dignity. Yoda takes him off his high horse quickly when he finally reveals that he is the one he's looking for (and he no longer acts like this during the movie or in the prequels).

Luke forgo's his full training because Han and Leia need his help, THIS is the true Luke, he will stand up for his friends, he has no problems helping them in their time of need, he doesn't abandon them. Even at great peril to himself, which is what it cost him when he fought Vader in ESB and lost his hand.

Then in ROTJ Luke comes off as a much more matured character, he's not as whiny or self centered in the least. He stands up to the emperor, someone far faaaaar more powerful then Kylo.

He did NOT come off like the type of person that would run from danger or problems, he came off like someone that would try to fix them, at any cost, even if it meant his life.

I mean...I'm not sure why it's Johnson's fault that people think Luke's a coward who did nothing. Like, what did you expect when JJ Abrams decided that Luke was missing for decades? That he was a secret badass but decided to fuck off to a secluded planet and not deal with the problem he created because....?
There were so many other ways they could have done that. Luke could have been beholden by Snoke and no one realized it, they could have made Snoke a much bigger threat if he had been the one behind Kylo "imagining" that about Luke and driving Kylo toward the darkness and what he done, all while Snoke had Luke imprisoned and made him watch what he was doing to Kylo and how he was turning him to the dark side all while he wasn't able to do anything about it even though he wanted to. Then Rey could have been the one to find him and help him break free.
 

SG-17

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,925
I mean...I'm not sure why it's Johnson's fault that people think Luke's a coward who did nothing. Like, what did you expect when JJ Abrams decided that Luke was missing for decades? That he was a secret badass but decided to fuck off to a secluded planet and not deal with the problem he created because....?
The Destruction of Luke's Jedi Temple happened between 28 and 32 ABY and the events of TFA and TLJ happen in 34 ABY.

He was not gone for decades.
 
Dec 22, 2017
2,044
I mean...I'm not sure why it's Johnson's fault that people think Luke's a coward who did nothing. Like, what did you expect when JJ Abrams decided that Luke was missing for decades? That he was a secret badass but decided to fuck off to a secluded planet and not deal with the problem he created because....?
I imagined he was in mourning. Maybe due to the loss of a child, which he would then find (metaphorically) in Rey.

I actually am fine with RJ’s treatment of Luke, just wanted to answer your question.
 
Oct 25, 2017
6,188
The Destruction of Luke's Jedi Temple happened between 28 and 32 ABY and the events of TFA and TLJ happen in 34 ABY.

He was not gone for decades.
Ok, that still doesn't answer the question. Like:

I respectfully disagree with you.

In the OT that's how Luke started off, he was a cocky character who wanted an adventure. However throughout ANH to ROTJ he vastly grew and changed from that.

When he meets Yoda for the first time this is EXACTLY why Yoda is "acting" like such an annoying pestering creature toward him, he's testing Luke to see his true character (this is why it made NO SENSE to have Yoda act like a bumbling idiot in TLJ, that is NOT YODA , he was just acting that way to teach Luke a lesson). Of course Luke fails miserably, he sees Yoda at first as a pest an annoyance and doesn't treat him with respect or dignity. Yoda takes him off his high horse quickly when he finally reveals that he is the one he's looking for (and he no longer acts like this during the movie or in the prequels).

Luke forgo's his full training because Han and Leia need his help, THIS is the true Luke, he will stand up for his friends, he has no problems helping them in their time of need, he doesn't abandon them. Even at great peril to himself, which is what it cost him when he fought Vader in ESB and lost his hand.

Then in ROTJ Luke comes off as a much more matured character, he's not as whiny or self centered in the least. He stands up to the emperor, someone far faaaaar more powerful then Kylo.

He did NOT come off like the type of person that would run from danger or problems, he came off like someone that would try to fix them, at any cost, even if it meant his life.
Ok, let's say this is all true. Why then, is Luke missing from the beginning of TFA until the end? Why is Luke, someone that would try to fix problems at any cost, in the bumfuck middle of nowhere on a planet so obscure no one has the complete map for it? Why is Johnson the one who "ruined" your character when your character you thought was ruined far before that? This is what gets to me about this. That TLJ somehow "destroyed Luke" when I can easily point to TFA that this is the only conclusion you can reach without causing a massive plot hole.

I imagined he was in mourning. Maybe due to the loss of a child, which he would then find (metaphorically) in Rey.

I actually am fine with RJ’s treatment of Luke, just wanted to answer your question.
Honestly I am too. I like Luke's portrayal.
 
Oct 28, 2017
6,478
New Jersey
Luke could have been beholden by Snoke and no one realized it
Bruh, Snoke is looking for Skywalker in the movie so no he couldn't have been beholden by Snoke. And we see in the last scene of the movie that he's alone and not under the control of anyone. wtf????

 
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Oct 26, 2017
15,424
The biggest flaw of TLJ is the movie itself. The movie does not know what it wants to be. Luke being a coward, suicidal, and grumpy old fart living alone is a terrible depiction of his early heroic figure.
The movie literally makes it out to be a bad choice on his part.

I mean...I'm not sure why it's Johnson's fault that people think Luke's a coward who did nothing. Like, what did you expect when JJ Abrams decided that Luke was missing for decades? That he was a secret badass but decided to fuck off to a secluded planet and not deal with the problem he created because....?
"He was just waiting for the grandchild of his master, Ben Kenobi. Because fuck I love my stories to be as neatly tied up as possible. Because that's what SW is about at the end of the day, what specific bloodline someone has and how we can fit them on the force power level scale"
 
Oct 28, 2017
887
Luke never faced a challenge as big as being responsible for turning his nephew into the Dark Side, though. Through the whole OT, he could always trust in the "force" to get things right, especially recovering his father, but it wasn't the same when he failed with Ben and then the cycle started to repeat.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,623
Miami
He grows in those movies, he doesn’t say the same. To say the OT Luke has ZERO character growth is just idiotic. By Jedi he is a drastically different character but still has some doubt because he feels so alone as the only Jedi left. He took a gamble, a huge one as he put his life on the line that he can turn his dad, and it worked.

You want to view that as selfish go ahead but I view it as a character that is all about love and hope. As a character that would not abandon the galaxy or his family. Also this makes an absurd assumption that Luke learns nothing in 30 years! ROTJ should be a stepping stone to a better Luke, a Luke that inspires and grows from where he left off in ROTJ.

Instead you want the OT to mean nothing. You want Luke to have no growth or worse regress. You want 30 years of nothing, a gap that means nothing to the character except for that time he made a school and whoops his nephew made him scared for a moment. It’s a terrible character arc and that isn’t RJs fault alone but JJs as well. Luke’s end in TLJ was well done but everything around it was poorly conceived, did not fit with the character and ignores the strides he made in the OT. It’s also sad that he is almost unrecognizable as a character except for a few glimpses like when he met with R2, when he is with yoda and his final moment.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,699
I mean...I'm not sure why it's Johnson's fault that people think Luke's a coward who did nothing. Like, what did you expect when JJ Abrams decided that Luke was missing for decades? That he was a secret badass but decided to fuck off to a secluded planet and not deal with the problem he created because....?
Tbh. I think a lot of people just wanted Luke to be chilling on an Island for like 6 years gathering energy for a spirit bomb to throw at Snoke.
 
Dec 12, 2017
26
No, it was a character assassination that threw away his Hero's Journey. He gives up after one stumbling point and instead believes its OK to allow the Galaxy to descend back into darkness.
Luke makes a point saying that the state of the Galaxy is a result of his lineage and the Jedi/Sith orders. That's pretty decent motivation to remove yourself from the picture.
 
Oct 28, 2017
6,478
New Jersey
Luke never faced a challenge as big as being responsible for turning his nephew into the Dark Side, though. Through the whole OT, he could always trust in the "force" to get things right, especially recovering his father, but it wasn't the same when he failed with Ben and then the cycle started to repeat.
Yup. And that's why I remain unconvinced by arguments to the contrary. As you said, Luke never faced a similar challenge or failure in the OT so claiming that he would never respond the way he did in TLJ is kinda .. baseless.
 
Sep 14, 2018
164
Wait.. what? Luke was the only man to have the balls to face darth vader and the emperor and refuse to kill him because he sensed the good on him. And you call him a winny? Wtf?

Is about making a character. Thats why its a trilogy. Luke had 19 years old in ANH. He was a farm boy and he went to the rescue of a princess with an old man, a smuggler and two robots, on a piece of junk. Luke is fine.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,159
He never loses his 'faith in his friends' and his drive to protect them.

Luke is selfless to a fault, values interpersonal connections and causes over his own well being, and is motivated to develop into a better person solely by his failings to help those he cares about.

It's his friendship and his selflessness that drive his victories.
TLJ got Luke wrong because he gave up on the galaxy, and more importantly on his friends, which is particularly jarring considering he's giving up on a situation he feels responsible for creating. It got Luke wrong because of a silly contrivance where he almost murders his nephew, which would've been best not shown.
I feel like all of those are reasons as to why he's as completely and utterly devastated as he is.

He didn't give up on the galaxy or is friends, at least not intentionally. He gave up on himself because he saw the ruin he could bring to them.
 
Oct 29, 2017
5,086
Ok, that still doesn't answer the question. Like:



Ok, let's say this is all true. Why then, is Luke missing from the beginning of TFA until the end? Why is Luke, someone that would try to fix problems at any cost, in the bumfuck middle of nowhere on a planet so obscure no one has the complete map for it? Why is Johnson the one who "ruined" your character when your character you thought was ruined far before that? This is what gets to me about this. That TLJ somehow "destroyed Luke" when I can easily point to TFA that this is the only conclusion you can reach without causing a massive plot hole.



Honestly I am too. I like Luke's portrayal.
TFA did not explain anything about where Luke was or what happened really, we have no idea how JJ would have continued his story from how TFA ended, Rian basically had free reijn to do whatever he wanted regardless of what JJ did.

He could have had a twist or something majorly different in store for Luke, why he was on that island or what had happened between him and Kylo, we will never really know since JJ didn't make TLJ.

Bruh, Snoke is looking for Skywalker in the movie so no he couldn't have been beholden by Snoke.

There are other ways to take that, for all we know JJ's plan could've been that Snoke realized there was another force user out there (Rey) and he was aware of this and was using Luke to draw her to him, he wanted to try and bend her to the dark like he did Kylo and Luke was the bait to get her into his clutches.

We don't really know what could've been though, I just highly doubt that JJ intended to make Luke act so careless, to toss the lightsaber into the ocean, to literally want to destroy and burn the Jedi text (though Rey saved them) and other things, that just felt like Rian taking a wrecking ball to expectations for the sole sake of doing it without any real meaningiful plan behind it because's his jokes (which weren't funny imo).
 
Oct 28, 2017
6,478
New Jersey
There are other ways to take that, for all we know JJ's plan could've been that Snoke realized there was another force user out there (Rey) and he was aware of this and was using Luke to draw her to him, he wanted to try and bend her to the dark like he did Kylo and Luke was the bait to get her into his clutches.
Dude, what? The awakening happens in this movie. Snoke has no idea who Rey is in TFA.

 
Oct 26, 2017
15,424
There are other ways to take that, for all we know JJ's plan could've been that Snoke realized there was another force user out there (Rey) and he was aware of this and was using Luke to draw her to him, he wanted to try and bend her to the dark like he did Kylo and Luke was the bait to get her into his clutches.
Whenever people propose story ideas for these movies they always come up with way more convoluted stories that completely ignore the thematic intent of what these films try to accomplish while simultaneously having no overall message because they're more focused on a twist than a message...on top of ignoring the events of the movie. Rey fully awakens in TFA. That's why it's called "The Force Awakens." JJ didn't have a plan, he went into this with maybe vague ideas of what'd he expect the plot to be about, he was originally only going to direct TFA, and made changes to it based on Rian's script. Rian's script was based directly on TFA's plot threads, it just wasn't about giving derivative answers. Each answer had a point.
 
Feb 8, 2018
64
Well, ignoring the fact that I really love Luke's portrayal in TLJ, its TFA that turned him into a gigantic coward running away from his responsibilities.
 
Oct 29, 2017
393
Ok, that still doesn't answer the question. Like:



Ok, let's say this is all true. Why then, is Luke missing from the beginning of TFA until the end? Why is Luke, someone that would try to fix problems at any cost, in the bumfuck middle of nowhere on a planet so obscure no one has the complete map for it? Why is Johnson the one who "ruined" your character when your character you thought was ruined far before that? This is what gets to me about this. That TLJ somehow "destroyed Luke" when I can easily point to TFA that this is the only conclusion you can reach without causing a massive plot hole.



Honestly I am too. I like Luke's portrayal.
I also mostly like Luke in TLJ. Making him jaded is interesting, even if it's also jarring. I just fully understand why some people aren't happy with it. It's a big jump for the character to take, without much legwork getting the audience there. Thus one can forgive the audience for expecting (wanting) something different.

I also think the weird rationalization for Luke's self-imposed isolation shoehorned in via flashbacks just makes everything worse.

I do like Luke's last stand, though, and the fact he settled things selflessly and without violence

Concerning why Luke's absent in TFA, one could come up with hundreds of reasons. From what I recall, TFA was originally going to show Luke levitating boulders as Rey arrived (thus he wasn't cut off from the force). Who knows what J.J. had in mind (it may have been worse!)

Ultimately it's TLJ that has Luke double down on his insistence of not helping, even after learning that he's now caused Han to die... All of the characterization people didn't like about new Luke is specifically in TLJ. The weirdness of blaming the stuff people don't like in TLJ on TFA is the worst defense of the movie

I feel like all of those are reasons as to why he's as completely and utterly devastated as he is.

He didn't give up on the galaxy or is friends, at least not intentionally. He gave up on himself because he saw the ruin he could bring to them.
yeah, I just don't see this. He already brought them ruin, it's not like him to just sit and let them suffer; even worse, to cut himself off from his connection to them so he doesn't have to deal with it (and not even say goodbye)

In the OT, when he saw his friends in ruin, he tried to fix it. He's the reason Vader went after them, he feels a responsibility to set things right and free Han. Then on Endor, he realizes his presence will ruin the mission. He gives himself up to prevent them from failing
Luke is reliably selfless

Is it possible for him to give up and be distraught? sure
But I fully understand why fans of the character (including Hamill himself) would be upset with the change
 
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Oct 25, 2017
2,036
"Coward-in-exile" was actually where I always expected Luke to end up in a theoretical post-ROTJ story that ignores the EU. I was personally more disappointed at the resolution than the characterization itself. The Force Projection thing seemed super dumb and hokey to me.
 
Jan 8, 2019
65
I had NO idea I ever wanted bitter, old man Luke Skywalker in my life until this movie.

I loved that, even when he's a miserable recluse on an island, a little bit of his old self shines through (R2 and Yoda) and that he inherited a few traits from his masters (tickling Rey).

And him overcoming his weaknesses, living up to his legendary potential and completely owning the First Order was simply beautiful. I still cry at the end with the kids telling his story, like 3PO with the Ewoks, and the broom kid goes out and is inspired by him.

Pure kino, my dudes.
 
OP
OP
Drek
Oct 27, 2017
766
Here is the core truth of the matter - Lucas planned on three more movies that would, obviously have meaningful points of conflict. At that point you need to turn your view of the original trilogy from one of "the good guys triumphed and therefore their actions all had merit and were morally right" into "they won a temporary/hollow victory and would be tested again within their lifetimes, as their actions were either in error or insufficient".

That isn't an interpretation, that's basic logic based on there being three more movies focused on these characters. So at that point the right or canon interpretations of the original trilogy need to lean more cynical in nature. That is a core prerequisite of Lucas' own plan, and they were his movies so the direction he pointed the arrow ultimately needs to be the direction we move in.

Under that more cynical view Luke's narrative as a galactic hero falls apart. He would of course live in a time when everyone considered him a galactic hero, but as an adept force user he would sense the darkness growing, and know that he failed to truly achieve the very thing that everyone considers him a hero for. Not only that, the darkness grows directly under his own nose and corrupts his own family. The moment where he draws his lightsaber over Ben Solo is the point when Luke realizes that all of his struggles during the OT were insufficient, that he was the Obi Wan to his nephew's Vader/Anakin, and that he now had the choice between striking down his own family or trying to convince himself that he could divert Ben from that path despite his best efforts to date leading Ben straight to it.

He knew he was a failure at that moment. His willingness to self sacrifice puts the saber in his hand as Luke would, briefly, only see the act through his own sacrifice, him having to kill his nephew. Then reason comes back to him but he already knows he's failed. Ben's first act as Kylo getting the academy wiped out is the physical proof that he was right, and then it is firmly cemented in Luke's mind that he won only a brief reprieve in the OT and that since then he had failed to effect any kind of meaningful change. So like both of his mentors, Obi Wan and Yoda, he retreated into seclusion.

Any other version of Luke requires him to take zero ownership of the various ills that befall the galaxy post-OT when Luke shows throughout the OT, even in RotJ, that he's very willing to make everything about him. The only version of Luke that works in a galaxy where the dark side is re-emergent is one where Luke suffers the same ideological fate as Obi Wan and Yoda.

The alternatives suggested, Luke fighting alongside Leia and Han or Luke hiding out to get more powerful, both fall flat. The former doesn't work as Luke is just one man, unless you go full Starkiller fucklord, and as a result would be best served as a heroic icon, a role he wouldn't be able to stomach as he would know it was false and that a large part of the current issue was his own failure to protect Ben Solo from the dark side. The later doesn't work as at requires an assumption that Luke would return as full Starkiller fucklord after his time training with King Kai and spirit bomb Snoke into oblivion, or that there was some lower level between what Luke was already at and that level that would make his seclusion for years a worthwhile exchange.

So even setting aside the characterization of Luke and the parallels they're drawing between him and Obi Wan (a core part of the character and exceedingly apt in my opinion) the other scenarios simply aren't viable.

This also misses the fact that if Ben Solo was going to turn to the dark side it would, very much, destroy their entire family dynamic. The son of Leia and Han, the student of Luke. Their entire family dynamic would be destroyed under that pressure. I would argue that Han running back to smuggling is possibly the most true to form moment in the new movies, followed by Leia going back to being a rebel (only because depending on the narrative post-OT she could have held higher regard for the form of gov't. she helped establish post-Empire). Luke's turn requires more inference from the audience, but if you run through the options assuming a movies 7-9 had to happen to wind up with very few good alternatives. At that point the narrative they picked explains the backstory and future actions as best as any reasonable alternatives.
 
Oct 29, 2017
5,563
Pennsylvania
Last Jedi's main problem is it's relatively boring middle act; there's not enough Jedi training with Rey and Luke, too much super slow space race, and Kanto Blight would be ok if there were other more interesting things going on alongside it.

It took me three watches(fell asleep the first TWO times) but I'm ok with Luke's portrayal now after not liking it very much at first. People just really weren't ready for how much Luke had become disenchanted with the Force.