My only problem with TLJ Luke is that I don’t like how they killed him off. I acknowledge your point darthrush, but I guess I just don’t really like the way this particular aspect was handled. It still felt like Luke accomplishing everything he could in TLJ, failed to accomplish the one task he had. He did fail, and he did overcome it and gave hope to the galaxy and to the Resistance, but something feels off. In a way he’s still a failure I think. It just feels like such a small victory to me compared to all the defeats etc.
But I must say that I loved his arc in the movie, and I loved the outcome except for his death.
I honestly think he had more of an arc than any of the protagonists.
I still don’t like it so much. The change in Luke’s character is massive and we only get one 30 sec flashback that set’s it up. He made a mistake, but he had seen the worst and gone through hell before. He admits, he had already lost Kylo. He made a mistake and didn’t try to fix it. He abandoned his friends, and allowed the galaxy to be plunged in a second darkness, while he had the power to do something about it together with his friends.
Then there’s the fact that this entire arc aims to push Rey to the foreground as the next last Jedi, Luke 2.0, new and improved. However, does she deserve this mantle? Luke goes through hell and back before becoming a Jedi, making mistakes, suffering loss of life and limbs. Rey get’s her powers handed to her, and seemingly is never tempted. She’s almost a perfect heroine. The secret of her parents are supposed to be a representation of her personal demons, but it’s ultimately inconsequential. She cries about it, and the next scene she’s back being the hero. When Luke discovered the secret about his father, there was anguish and reflection, setting up the redemption arc of the next film.
There’s also the interesting fact that the OT didn’t really need the PT to tell Anakin’s story. Luke’s story was Anakin’s story. Having the anger in him, taking the quick and easy path like Vader did in TESB by going after his friends, risking falling to the dark side. However, it also shows Luke making the right decisions, where his father made the wrong ones, which ultimately leads to the father following in his sons footsteps, and his redemption. There’s so much subtext in Luke’s journey. Ben Solo’s journey is a cynical one by comparison, and doesn’t feel nearly as well developed.
I really wonder, if Empire versus rebels 2.0, and particulary Luke’s deflation as a character, and Rey’s simultaneous rapid inflation is really worth the journey from a saga perspective. It’s an entertaining enough story, but I don’t really see what it adds to the saga as a whole. I think it actually takes away from it, to be honest, in a much more fundamental way than the PT.