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SPOILER Luke in TLJ: A Microcosm of the Hero's Journey

Discussion in 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' started by JediMasterRobert, Dec 19, 2017.

  1. JediMasterRobert

    JediMasterRobert Rebel Official

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    I've seen the movie only once so far, and I plan to see it again several times, but this much I am sure of:

    Luke Skywalker's role throughout The Last Jedi is, for me, a microcosmic presentation of "The Hero's Journey," which has been famously defined and expounded upon by mythologist Joseph Campbell and many others since.

    Here is my view of TLJ Luke as per the usual outline of "The Hero's Journey":

    Departure / Separation: Luke has disappeared and cut himself off from the Force.

    Call to Adventure: Rey appears to Luke and presents the lightsaber to Luke.

    Refusal of the Call: Luke tosses the lightsaber away and walks away from Rey, rejecting her multiple pleas.

    Supernatural Aid: The Force and Yoda return to Luke, helping him contextualize historically what it means to be a Jedi and to understand his place as a master whose natural eventuality is to be succeeded and grown beyond.

    Crossing the Threshold: Luke agrees to give Rey three lessons.

    Initiation / Trials: Luke imparts difficult wisdom to Rey, who, in turn, challenges, disrespects, and defies Luke.

    The Temptress: Rey unsuccessfully, at first, tempts Lukes to rejoin the fight at a time he has fully given himself to a future of peace beyond the galaxy's struggle.

    Atonement: Part one: Luke finally reveals to Rey what happened that night when he went to visit Ben Solo who was asleep at the time. Part two: Luke visits Leia and apologizes. She is forgiving and understanding. Part three: Luke atones to the Republic/Resistance for his absence by projecting himself on Crait to help them escape while also (Part four) confronting his former student and owning up to his failure as Ben Solo's teacher.

    Apotheosis / Refusal of the Return / Master of Two Worlds: Luke, at the height of his Jedi powers, achieves what few Jedi could ever do in this Force Projection and is able to willingly merge the Force while at peace with his purpose. Also, Luke "returns" as a Jedi, but chooses not return physically to the mortal world, where it would be expected of him to use the Force against the First Order (much like the Jedi Order of old was expected to defend the Republic). Luke knew the past and was wise enough not to be lured back into a virtually endless war proliferated under the name of Skywalker.

    Freedom to Live: Through his various choices, in spite of mistakes made throughout his life, Luke Skywalker has proven time and again to be selfless, compassionate, and heroic, attaining a rare dual freedom for himself, the Rebellion/Resistance/Republic, and the galaxy at large. He ultimately has used his powers to empower the powerless while at the same time not succumbing to a Sith-like relentless pursuit and maintenance of power. In so doing, he becomes among the ultimate of Jedi and can serve as a lasting figure of study and wisdom. By the end of the film, Luke is already shown to inspire the next potential generation of Force-wielders, especially the boy with the broom.

    UPDATE

    Forgot, almost, the best part of this, I did [Yoda-style chuckling]...

    The "Boon" I believe is yielded from all of this:

    YET ANOTHER NEW HOPE preserved for the galaxy through Luke's ultimate choices.

    Some online resources for further exploration:
     
    #1 JediMasterRobert, Dec 19, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2017
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  2. Ammianus Marcellinus

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    Spot on. Great post!
     
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  3. JediMasterRobert

    JediMasterRobert Rebel Official

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    Thanks! I hope more people consider this aspect of the film.

    Once put into this context, Luke's character as of TLJ makes a lot more sense, at least to me.
     
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  4. The Last Jorgny

    The Last Jorgny Rebel General

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    Already made sense to me, but this was fun to read. Thank you.
     
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  5. LadyMusashi

    LadyMusashi Archwizard Woo-Woo-in-Chief
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    Great summary. Well done!
     
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  6. Ammianus Marcellinus

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    I'm still hoping for the Orpheus' motif to return in episode IX. Death and resurrection has been a theme a star wars and a central one in Episodes III and VII. I hope there is a moment in IX where someone like Rey has to bring a loved one back from the death. But not through the darkside, as Anakin tried, but through the light, through an act of ultimate empathy.
     
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  7. Fearghas_Ajax

    Fearghas_Ajax Rebel Official

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    Excellent, Excellent! Couldn't agree more. Some people just look at the pictures, others read the articles. You sir, read the articles. Well done.
     
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  8. Galaxy '77

    Galaxy '77 Rebelscum

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    Great post! I wish more people viewed Luke's arc like this and dug a little deeper into his development in TLJ instead of just attacking his characterization because he is not the same Luke we met in A New Hope.
     
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  9. Jayson

    Jayson Rebel Official

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    Nicely outlined.
    I would note that Luke's trials are that of fearing Rey as another Kylo, and his own self deception that he is avoiding interaction out of want for peace instead of his real motives of fear and shame.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  10. Smullie_1138

    Smullie_1138 Rebelscum

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    Great post and a fun read !

    I really hope in time more people will come around and regard The Last Jedi as the great and layered piece of work it is. If TLJ is a template for Star Wars' future, then bring it on !
     
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  11. BobaFettNY21

    BobaFettNY21 Force Sensitive

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    Yes!


    He had to unlearn what he had learned.


    I swear that anybody who didn't understand the film just deleted everything Yoda said since 1980. It's all there. There's a reason he shows up again.
     
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  12. singlern05

    singlern05 Rebel General

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    Well done indeed! Some people didn't like that Luke was vulnerable, flawed and had moments of weakness. I've even heard some people say this version of Luke has "ruined their childhood" to which I reply "your childhood must have really sucked!" These people are missing the bigger picture. This movie, and in particular Luke's character, was a stroke of sheer brilliance. The Hero's Journey and the Power of Myth are alive and well in our beloved galaxy far, far away.
     
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  13. The Hero With No Fear

    The Hero With No Fear Jedi General

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    Luke talking about how the Jedi Order has been romantisized is remniscent of how Luke himself is romantisized by the fans. What makes Luke Skywalker so relatable and likeable is because he's imperfect, as well as the fact that he has many flaws, and it seems that some people have forgotten that.
     
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  14. ralfy

    ralfy Rebel Trooper

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    I found Luke's ending pathetic to the point that it doesn't remind me of Campbell's view but of Romanticism. That is, he is caught in a state that is a weird conflict of isolationism and the opposite. The result is that he has to project himself to the enemy rather than confront him directly, and then fade away as if he is resigned to those conflicting views. What he said about Jedis to Rey and his conversation with Yoda only heightened that pathos.
     
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  15. Atraills

    Atraills Clone

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    My least favorite part of TLJ was how they handled luke, BUT the way you put it really makes it seem better. Though a fight scene wouldve been cool lol
    Very well put and great analysis!
     
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  16. Boss Vos

    Boss Vos Rebel General

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    Posts like these are great, because it proves a point made by the movie. The problem is how these great concepts were executed in the movie.
     
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  17. Light Savior

    Light Savior Force Attuned

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    Nice thread @JediMasterRobert ....:).Like ALWAYS...posting GREAT things about Star Wars and the great way you see things is Star Wars magic...;).Keep the GOOD work my friend.
     
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  18. ralfy

    ralfy Rebel Trooper

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    Before he apologized for criticizing the latest film, the actor who played Luke argued that he did not accept the manner by which the character was portrayed by insisting that Jedis don't give up. At the very least, they would withdraw and then return, and that Luke would never say what he argued in the latest film.

    FWIW, though, some argue that this is the hallmark of a character who has matured, and that his last act was one based on intelligence and guile rather than on "gung-ho optimism." The problem is that this view perfectly describes Luke the Everyman but not Luke the Jedi, which might explain why Luke is now "cool." This might also explain why the force has been disentangled from its religious atmosphere, thus creating an idea that is banal to the point that the very idea of being a Jedi has been rendered almost meaningless. But why expect otherwise from a movie that is essentially about the last Jedi?
     
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  19. Pawek_13

    Pawek_13 Jedi General

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    Yoda says "Hi!".
     
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  20. A Concerned Fan

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    I can respect the OP and the post, good analysis and some good thoughts for sure, but I still think the whole situation was off and out of character for a Luke with 25+ years of wisdom, knowledge and experience post RotJ. It might have made more sense if a situation like this had happened shortly after RotJ because Luke would've still been young, but after 25-30 years, Luke should've been a great and wise Jedi Master, this is not how he would've responded considering his assumed growth since RotJ. He had the darkside pretty much conquered by RotJ, let alone 25+ years later. Also, no way Ben or Rey could stand or last even 1 minute against a Luke 30 yrs post RotJ. Luke by the time of the ST should've been more powerful and wise than even Yoda. His academy shouldn't/wouldn't have been burned down or otherwise, and he certainly wouldn't have ever thought about killing his nephew, Leia and Han's kid no less, no way.
     
    #20 A Concerned Fan, Dec 31, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 31, 2017
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