Spoilers! Let’s get down to it and explain exactly what the end of the new Star Wars movie means.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi has arrived, and there is so much to talk about! Of course, that includes the ending of the film, but before we get started be warned…
Full spoilers follow, of course, for The Last Jedi!
There is no cliffhanger at the end of Star Wars: The Last Jedi as game-changing or revelatory as “I am your father,” but the Rian Johnson film certainly does leave the galaxy open to a lot of new possibilities. Here’s a breakdown of the key moments at the end of the movie, and what they mean for Star Wars: Episode IX. Again, full spoilers follow…
A New Hope
In a surprising turn, Johnson chose not to close the movie on a shot of Rey or one of The Last Jedi’s main characters, but instead on the young orphan Rose and Finn met on Canto Bight. This ends up being one of the most important scenes of the movie.
We see that this young boy is part of a new Force-sensitive generation following Rey and Kylo Ren. The orphan lightly summons his broom to his hand instead of just picking it up. This signifies to the audience that he has burgeoning Force powers. With Rey and Kylo Ren both being the most powerful of their kind moving forward due to the deaths of Luke Skywalker and Snoke, this being the final shot of The Last Jedi hints that a new generation of Force-users could be a key part of Episode IX.
Additionally, this young orphan reveals that he kept Rose’s secret Resistance ring. Considering none of General Leia’s allies showed up to assist the final few Resistance fighters on Crait, this small reveal proves that there is a group of downtrodden individuals across the galaxy who now look to the Resistance with hope, as was Leia’s intent.
Luke Skywalker’s Death
From Obi-Wan Kenobi to Yoda, it is well established in Star Wars canon that when some Jedi die, they can surrender their bodies to the Force and disappear instead of leaving a corpse behind. The reason Luke died is actually hinted at early on when Kylo Ren has his first Force connection with Rey; he says that she couldn’t be appearing to him through the Force because the effort to do that would kill her. Apparently sustaining a Force illusion of yourself is quite taxing, and given that Luke keeps it going for so long, it was probably the combination of that over-exertion and his elderly age that caused him to pass away into the Force. Though Rey at least states that he was at peace when he did so and that he did it with a sense of purpose.
The real question going forward is whether Luke will return in Episode IX as a Force ghost or not. It would be a huge missed opportunity for Mark Hamill to not reprise his role as Luke Skywalker in some capacity in Star Wars: Episode IX to fulfill a Force ghost mentorship role for Rey like Obi-Wan Kenobi once did for him.
The Missing Jedi Texts
We’re supposed to assume that Yoda burned down the prized Jedi texts with the tree structure on Ahch-to that housed them. But in a blink-and-you-miss-it moment at the end of the movie, we see that they actually are still intact.
When Finn opens up a drawer on the Millennium Falcon to grab a blanket for Rose, we catch a glimpse of the books lying next to it. While we can assume that Rey snagged the books before she peaced out from Ahch-to with Chewie and R2-D2, that has yet to be confirmed.
Rey and Kylo Ren’s Missed Connections
The Snoke-forged connection between Rey and Kylo Ren is one of the most engaging new dynamics to be introduced in The Last Jedi. Though we find out in the movie that it was the Supreme Leader who connected their minds from across the galaxy, it’s clear by the end of the movie that the connection still exists despite his death.
They share one last mind-connection at the end of the movie: Kylo Ren is in the abandoned Resistance base on Crait, and Rey is loading the remaining Resistance fighters onto the Millennium Falcon. We see Kylo Ren look to Rey through their Force connection first, and then the camera cuts to her as she closes the Millennium Falcon door while staring out at him.
It’s easy to read this scene as Rey closing herself off to the man formerly known as Ben Solo, though it’s unclear if he will still be able to Force mind-meld with her again going forward…
What unfinished business are you most excited to explore further in Episode IX? Let us know in the comments! There’s plenty more Star Wars to look forward to in the future, so for everything you need to know about that galaxy far, far away, keep it locked to IGN.