Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson reveals he almost did not include the "broom kid" scene at the very end of the film. As most viewers know by now, the latest chapter of the Skywalker saga concludes with a brief epilogue on Canto Bight, as children revel in the telling of Luke Skywalker's heroic stand on Crait. The final shot of the film shows one of the kids, named Temiri Blagg, using the Force to grab a broom while he gazes up at the stars. Temiri was the same boy who helped Finn and Rose escape from the casino during the movie's second act.
This was a different ending for a Star Wars saga film, which typically close out with a dialogue-free sequence depicting the main heroes. Even for an installment that looked to rewrite the rulebook, it seemed odd Johnson did not maintain this tradition. However, there's a very good reason he changed up the formula in Episode VIII, as it enhances our perception of Luke's actions.
Speaking with Empire, the filmmaker shared he originally felt the scene with the Resistance on the Millennium Falcon was the perfect way to end The Last Jedi, but ultimately decided the movie would be better off with that one, final bit:
"To me, it was really important to have that final scene, because it turns what Luke did from an act that saves 20 people into an act that inspires the galaxy. The notion that what we're setting up here is something big in the next chapter. And when Leia says, 'we have everything we need,' she's talking about everyone on the Falcon, but also about what we see next, which is we now have a galaxy that has seen this beacon of hope and is getting inspired to fight the good fight."
Star Wars canon has established the Resistance is a very small, ragtag group led by General Leia that didn't have the full support of the Galactic Republic before Hosnian Prime was destroyed. For most of The Last Jedi, the freedom fighters are on the ropes and increasingly vulnerable to the First Order's onslaught. Even when Leia sends out a distress signal to supposed allies in the Outer Rim, nobody comes to aid them on Crait. So, seeing that Luke's sacrifice had reverberated through the entire galaxy is a way of letting the audience know people are out there willing to answer the General's call to action now that they know hope is not lost. When Luke tells Kylo Ren, "The Rebellion is reborn today," he isn't just referencing the handful of survivors on Crait. Skywalker understood the significance of facing down the First Order with nothing but a laser sword.
It will be interesting to see how J.J. Abrams picks up this thread in Episode IX. Plausibly, the trilogy finale will see some sort of time jump, allowing the Resistance to regroup as the First Order adjusts under Kylo Ren's rule. The heroes may never rival the villains in terms of firepower, but history's shown they typically find a way to win. Unfortunately, they'll have to get by this time without the guidance of the Skywalker twins, but with the younger characters learning valuable lessons in The Last Jedi, the Rebellion will have leaders to look up to.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019