Luke’s character arc from Return of the Jedi to Star Wars: The Last Jedi – or The Force Awakens, if we’re being technical – represents a drastic fall from god-like Jedi to a grumpy hermit living out the remainder of his days on Ahch-To, the far-flung water planet that hosts Porgs, Caretakers and a whole lot of mystery about the Jedi Order.
It’s part of the reason why The Last Jedi proved so contentious in the first place. Here you have one of the franchise’s most popular characters reduced to a shell of his former self, but it’s only when Rian Johnson’s sequel begins to unfold that we learn the true circumstances behind Luke’s self-imposed exile, and why he has Kylo Ren (and himself) to blame for falling off the wagon.
However, there may be more to it than that – or so says this latest fan theory from Redditor ‘LilBranMuffin’:
The reason Luke shut himself from the force is because he knew the same thing Snoke did. “Darkness rises, and light to meet it”. This quote, to me, explains the logic that Luke followed but in reverse, he knew the Jedi had to end because if he didn’t shut himself out of the force the dark would keep going as well. He read about the Republic era of Jedi and their downfall shown in the prequels and saw how flawed the original order was. So he created his own order and trained them, cutting out all the old Jedi way of no attachments it had forced upon its students. This however meant that their was still room for human error and this is where Kylo got seduced to the dark side.
It’s a question of balance, it seems; Luke Skywalker knew that the only way to avoid the mistakes of the past was to retreat into the shadows – into Ahch-To – so that the Jedi may end, ultimately leading to that solemn line delivered to Rey (“it’s time for the Jedi… to end”) during Episode VIII.
Luke learned that no matter how hard he tried to balance the force himself, it would constantly teeter and the darkness would return but he wanted this cycle to end. This is why he left and shut himself out of the force, he knew it was the only way for the Jedi to end and the darkness would have to lower to meet it. His flaw was that there was already darkness rising when he shut himself out. The force brought in a new light to balance it and that is the story we got. If he would have defeated Snoke and Kylo and then shut himself out, then his plan may have actually worked and there would finally be balance in the force.
But what say you? Is this convincing enough to offer some new perspective on Luke Skywalker’s journey during Star Wars: The Last Jedi? Or are you more inclined to believe this particular theory is total hogwash? Do let us know.