Warning: SPOILERS for Star Wars: The Last Jedi ahead
Star Wars: The Last Jedi was something of a departure from the norm for the Star Wars universe, and fans are divided over the latest installment in the new trilogy. Unlike The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi changed gears, focusing on heritage and legacy, and on the final journey of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) as the legendary Resistance Fighter and Jedi Master. While Luke was a major presence in The Force Awakens, he didn't actually appear in the film until the final scenes, when Rey (Daisy Ridley) tracked him down with his old lightsaber to beg him to return to the fighting.
This time, Luke was a central character from start to finish, as he worked with Rey on Ahch-To, training her and warning her (and telling her that he wouldn't return). We learned about his attempts to re-launch the Jedi Order, and how his rift with Ben Solo (Adam Driver) began. And finally, we saw Luke come through for one final, shining moment to save his friends and the last of the Resistance, with a display of never-before-seen Force Powers.
Of course, there was more going on in The Last Jedi than just the completion of Luke's journey, and he's also not the only one to bust out some brand new ways of using the Force. All of this has started fans asking some questions about how this changes the established Star Wars universe, including whether or not Luke is still Star Wars' most powerful Jedi...
This Page: Luke's Massive Show of Power
How The Last Jedi Challenges The Skywalker Legacy
Since the release of A New Hope, the Skywalker family has been front and center in the Star Wars universe. The original trilogy revealed that almost most of the major players were Skywalkers; Luke, Leia (Carrie Fisher) and even Vader (James Earl Jones) himself. The family ties were the biggest plot twists in the original trilogy, and everything else was secondary. Then, the prequels laid out the rise of the Skywalker clan: Vader's humble beginnings as Anakin (Hayden Christensen); Luke and Leia's mother, Padme (Natalie Portman); and how Anakin turned to the Dark Side.
So, when the new trilogy began with The Force Awakens, fans naturally assumed that the new central characters would also be connected to the Skywalker name... until The Last Jedi revealed that while Ben/Kylo is a Skywalker, Rey is actually not connected to the biggest names of the franchise at all.
In a heartwrenching scene, Kylo tells Rey that her parents were simply drunk junkers who sold her on Jakku, and who are now both deceased and buried in the desert. For fans who have spent a long time speculating about Rey's origins as another potential Skywalker, Solo, Kenobi, or other legacy family, it was jarring to realize that this wasn't going to happen. However, that is a big part of the point; The Last Jedi chooses to make a clear statement about the ability of anyone to become a hero, from maintenance worker Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) to 'nobody' Rey, to the final shots of 'Broom Boy'. It's very likely that this challenge to the traditional Star Wars Skywalker-obsession may also mean that a Skywalker is not the most powerful force user in the universe, as well.
Luke Skywalker's Claim To The Ultimate Jedi Title
While there is (obviously) some debate over who is currently the most powerful Jedi in the Star Wars universe, Luke Skywalker is usually one of the top contenders; not least because he has been the central figure of the films for so long. George Lucas himself has said that Luke is the most powerful Jedi ever, although there is some disagreement about just how reliable Lucas would be as a source on the current state of the Star Wars franchise (now that it is owned by Disney). It's also worth noting that Lucas has also reportedly said that Anakin would have been more powerful than his son had he remained on the Light Side, and that his comments on Luke's powers came before Rey's emergence in the Star Wars world.
George Lucas aside, there are plenty of reasons to believe that Luke remains the most powerful Jedi, truly worthy of the position of Grand Master that he claimed after the events of the original trilogy. Luke has had incredible power from the outset, even when he spent his youth utterly untrained. While still very new to the ways of the Jedi, Luke was able to perform feats that would have been beyond that of trained Jedi Knights, and his powers have appeared to only grow stronger as time goes on. His powers were legendary for a reason: he was able to best Vader himself in single combat, he built his own lightsaber with almost no training, he can see into the future, he has an innate grasp of the Force... and now, in The Last Jedi, he has been shown to do something that no-one else can: project himself across the galaxy using only the Force. It may have been the final act that killed him, but this Jedi Grand Master has shown that his powers and understanding of the Force outstrip those of almost anyone else. Even the other legendary masters like Yoda himself haven't displayed the same abilities that Luke has, let alone with so little training.
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Obi-Wan Kenobi release date: Oct 16, 2018