'Star Wars: The Last Jedi': Explaining the meaning behind that shocking ending

MAJOR SPOILER ALERT - Don't read if you have not seen the movie.

December 16, 2017, 8:55 AM

— -- Consider this the biggest possible spoiler alert for any "Star Wars" fan who has not yet seen "The Last Jedi."

This is not a joke, this story will explain the symbolism behind the ending of the film, so if you have yet to see it, please click away now!

With that said, strap in, here we go.

In a shocking turn of events, Luke Skywalker used the Force to distract his old apprentice Kylo Ren at the end of "The Last Jedi" to give Rey, Leia and the rest of the group time to escape from the First Order's clutches. He also ends up seemingly becoming one with the Force as the movie comes to a close, much like other "Star Wars" icons before him.

In something we've never seen before, Luke uses the Force to project himself into the battlefield, fight Ren (though he's never really there) and then let Ren know of his trick after the Resistance has already escaped.

There are two key moments that pay homage to previous "Star Wars" films and iconic scenes within them.

'I've failed you'

First, before Luke battles Ren, he says "I've failed you," since his training and mentorship was not enough to stop Ren -- aka his nephew -- from turning to the Dark Side.

That moment is reflective of when Luke's father and Ren's grandfather Darth Vader was bested by his master Obi-Wan Kenobi at the end of "Revenge of the Sith."

PHOTO: Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen in Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith.
Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen in Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith. (2005)
Lucasfilm Ltd.

Kenobi tells those same words to his former apprentice while they are battling after Anakin Skywalker had also turned to the Dark Side. Kenobi would eventually beat Vader, cutting off various limbs and leaving him to burn, which is why he would have to wear his suit for the rest of his life. That loss would also fuel Vader to be one of the most ruthless villains in all of the galaxy.

But Kenobi also factors into another homage in the final scene of "The Last Jedi."

One with the Force

Luke tells Ren that he'll always be with him just like his father Han Solo, whom Ren killed in "The Force Awakens." After Luke lets go of his Force vision, we see that he's actually on Ahch-To, the planet he's been hiding on for years. So, Luke never left.

PHOTO: A scene from the original "Star Wars" trilogy of Obi-Wan Kenobi's duel with Darth Vader, 1977.
A scene from the original "Star Wars" trilogy of Obi-Wan Kenobi's duel with Darth Vader, 1977.
Lucasfilms ltd.

But what happens next mirrors what happened to Obi-Wan in "A New Hope" when he was battling Darth Vader yet again. Kenobi warned that if Vader struck him down, he would become something greater. Vader then swings his lightsaber as Kenobi disappears, becoming one with the Force.

A similar thing happens to Luke, though it's not Ren's lightsaber that strikes him down. After Luke is done using the Force to project himself to the battlefield and save the Resistance, he too vanishes from his perch in Ahch-To and it seems like he has joined his former masters, Kenobi and Yoda, in the Force. He's also joined his father, who became one with the Force at the end of "Return of the Jedi," when he sacrificed himself to save Luke.

It seems as if Luke is finally at peace with the past and knows that there will be others to carry on his legacy after he's gone.

It's a very surprising end to a thrilling movie. No matter what you think about what happened, no one could have seen this sacrifice coming.

What did you think? Let us know in the comments below!

ABC News and Lucasfilm are both owned by parent company Disney.

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