“It’s time to let old things die.” Kylo Ren doesn’t get many things right, but with this quote, he nails the theme of
The second lesson Luke imparts unto Rey concerned the Jedi’s legacy of failure. Luke cites how the Jedi’s hubris allowed Darth Sidious to rise to power. Luke recognizes his own failures with Ben Solo, too, a mistake that led to Ben serving Supreme Leader Snoke. But failure the story can recover from. Yoda points out how failure is the greatest teacher. The real problem has been arrogance. It led to the demise of the Jedi, Palpatine, and Snoke. Luke believes that buying into his own “legendary” status contributed to his misjudging of Ben.
Rey is the opposite of a legend. Her parents aren’t Skywalkers or Kenobis. Kylo uses this reveal to talk down to her, telling her she has no place in the story. But she’s at the heart of what happens next. Making Rey like any random person plucked out of the galaxy opens the door. The Force isn’t only for those with an impressive lineage. You don’t have to come from privilege of any kind to be a pivotal person in the tale. Everyone is important, everyone can save the day—even the kid sweeping the fathier stalls on Canto Bight.
By moving the story past those strongly tied to the original trilogy, Rey, Finn, Poe, and Rose have options ahead of them that aren’t weighed down by fan expectations. And with the death of Snoke and Rey’s parentage reveal, they’re not weighed down by hundreds of pages of Reddit theories either. They’re unfettered, and thank goodness, because the Resistance has dwindled so much it’s hard to hold onto the spark of hope. We need their unburdened energy.
The Resistance still has to (hopefully) defeat the First Order, so while the “wars” part of the title will likely still be accurate in Episode IX
Luke could have hopped into the X-wing we saw off the coast of Ahch-To, performed some repairs, and plotted a course to the salt planet. History tells us that’s what Luke would do. The last time his friends were in danger in
It’s not like the kind of dashing heroics Poe Dameron engages in at the beginning of the film, when his actions result in the destruction of a Dreadnought and the entire Resistance bomber fleet. Luke’s actions are more like Vice Admiral Holdo staying on the run from the Supremacy to preserve the light. She saved what she loves, and like Luke, she’s a hero. And hopefully, this approach will continue.
Moving forward, we must unlearn what we have learned. If conflict has torn the galaxy apart for this many decades, the attitude must change. Like Kylo says, it’s time to let old things die. It’s time to find a new way, and