The ending of Star Wars: The Last Jedi was unlike any other Star Wars movie in the saga to date.
While most films in the franchise close with celebrations of familiar characters gazing into the stars, Rian Johnson's installment takes a different approach
Warning: Spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi below.
In the new movie's ending, Luke Skywalker seemingly returns from self-imposed exile to face down the First Order and his nephew Kylo Ren, though it all turns out to be a ruse to aid the surviving members of the Resistance in their escape.
Actually, it turns out to be more than that, as Luke's standoff with the former Ben Solo becomes a legend spreading across the galaxy, and we are shown children telling the story of the Jedi Master who faced down the might of the First Order all by himself, igniting a spark of hope.
“It’s mostly about Luke,” said Johnson during a Q&A session with EW's Anthony Breznican. “To me, it shows that the act Luke Skywalker did, of deciding to take on this mantle of ‘the legend,’ after he had decided the galaxy was better off with, had farther reaching consequences than saving 20 people in a cave… Now the Legend of Luke Skywalker is spreading. Hope is reignited in the galaxy."
The movie ends with a group of children on Canto Bight, who were previously shown during Rose and Finn's jaunt to the isolated, luxury casino. The kids are portrayed as slaves or servants, and their master interrupts as one recounts the story of Luke's standoff against the First Order, complete with homemade toys to help visualize the event.
The children disperse, and one goes to sweep the walkway leading to their home. He Force-pulls the broom close to him, revealing that the Force did indeed awaken after the events of the last movie. And after a few sweeps, he looks up at the stars and sees a ship dash into lightspeed.
The camera quickly cuts to his ring, gifted by Rose, adorned with the symbol of the Rebellion and now the Resistance. Back to his face, he looks hopeful, and the final shot pulls out to show him gripping his broom as if it were a lightsaber. Hope is indeed alive in the galaxy.
“I couldn’t think of a more evocative image of hope than a kid who is playing with his Luke Skywalker action figure and being inspired by that to grow up and have an adventure and fight the good fight,” Johnson said.
The kid's name is Temiri Blagg, as revealed in the "Star Wars: The Last Jedi - Visual Dictionary."
While it remains to be seen if he'll have a huge impact on the Star Wars galaxy, his inclusion in this film makes it apparent: the spark has been ignited, and the fire is lit.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is now playing in theaters everywhere.