Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker - The Visual Dictionary reveals the exact cause of death for Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), who became one with the Force after projecting himself across the galaxy to confront scorned nephew Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Luke tapped into abilities learned through the Fallanassi, a religious order that first appeared in the now-Legends Black Fleet novel trilogy — Before the Storm, Shield of Lies and Tyrant's Test — that was de-canonized when the Star Wars Expanded Universe, consisting of comic books, novels, and other materials, was rebranded as Star Wars Legends.
In The Last Jedi, Luke appears untouchable while wielding a blue-bladed lightsaber when confronting his former student, who furiously tries to cut down the Jedi Master in their first meeting in six years.
The exhaustive effort Luke performs to project himself to Crait from the planet Ahch-To is explained in-depth by The Visual Dictionary:
In truth, Luke’s presence exists only in the Force, a projection through a Fallanassi technique chronicled by ancient Masters in the sacred texts as Similfuturus. This discipline requires extreme concentration and focus, as Luke essentially pours his living Force presence into the all-encompassing cosmic Force, bridging incredible distances. The transition is so complete that Luke gives his all into the Force, finding serenity in this final mortal moments and becoming one with the great beyond.
The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson previously admitted he was “dreading” Luke’s ghost-like appearance on Crait, where a dwindled Resistance was moments away from being eradicated by the overwhelming power of First Order forces:
“I don't want to get too explicit, because I like people being able to have their own interpretations, but I think definitely the act of what he does at the end literally just takes everything out of him,” Johnson told the Huffington Post. “That's a huge thing. Also ... he's having his final act be something of myth-making in a way.”
Luke becoming one with the Force also meant there might have been the possibility for him to “do more for the galaxy in another form,” said Johnson.
In the J.J. Abrams-directed Rise of Skywalker, spoilers, a more at-peace Luke appears to Rey (Daisy Ridley) when she attempts to exile herself on Ahch-To after learning she’s the granddaughter of Sith Lord Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid). The pep talk ultimately inspires her to travel to the Sith world of Exegol and confront the Emperor in the final battle between the Sith and the Jedi.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is now playing.
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