and shows that even our heroes are people that fail
I just want to say, the OT already did this whole “heroes are fallible people, too” theme, just with more subtlety. Luke is constantly vulnerable throughout the trilogy, fails constantly in ESB, and has to be rescued at the climax of all three movies. By RotJ, he’s presenting himself as this big hero, but he’s still struggling with doubt and fear over the course of the movie. His victory in the end is very much a personal, spiritual one (rather than a glorious, material victory), which required him to “surrender” himself and take a leap of faith. It’s an unconventional end to a hero’s journey.
Star Wars was always subversive in its depiction of heroes. The OT just did a better job at it. Despite all his earlier bravado with Jabba, Luke standing at the top of the Throne Room stairs, softly saying “I will not fight you, father” makes abundantly clear what kind of hero he is on the inside.
(And I still don’t get why TLJ Luke was written to be such a prick. I don’t see what that has to do with the movie’s theme of failure. Luke being depressed is fine. Luke being a jerk for no reason is too much of a stretch.)