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The ending reveal in The Last Jedi was very easy to predict.

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I just want to point out that the projection reveal on Crait was easy to predict, mainly because Luke uses his father’s lightsaber that was recently split in half (even if it’s symbolism for accepting a lightsaber that he previously rejected), uses his younger appearance from the flashbacks, the fact that he was unscathed when the walkers blasted him, and the fact that we see no footprints in the salt. How do you feel?

EDIT: People are saying that they knew that something was up when Luke came in with his younger appearance and brought his father’s recently-broken lightsaber, but if you really think about it, Luke suddenly comes out of nowhere and doesn’t tell Leia that there’s a back exit. I’m sure some people would’ve wondered why we didn’t see Luke get his X-Wing out of the ocean and fly there (Yes, I know a wing was torn off and used for Luke’s door, but repeatedly we see ships in Star Wars fly all the time without wings).

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I remember sitting in the theater opening night staring at the lightsaber, confused. I knew it had just been broken, but I hadn’t seen it since the flash of light. Maybe I missed something and the movie will explain it later. (whenever theres something in a movie I don’t understand I trust that if I just keep watching it’ll make sense down the line). Up until the lightsaber I honestly just thought that Luke cleaned himself up and came through the back door. I was so caught up in the moment of it all that when Kylo slashed Luke and he was unharmed I was freaking out, and then the reveal moment knocked my socks off!

Green is not a creative color

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dgraham414 said:

Up until the lightsaber I honestly just thought that Luke cleaned himself up and came through the back door.

Yep, this. I knew something was up when the lightsaber came out, but I didn’t know what, and when the “what” was revealed I let out an internal “Holy shit.”

So no, I don’t think it was easy to predict.

a trolling bantha

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Yeah, it was a big surprise to me too. Is it obvious in retrospect? Sure. But opening night, first time viewing, I missed all the hints (I think most people did).

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I was puzzled when I saw the lightsaber intact, but my first though was: this is a big plot hole!

Han: Hey Lando! You kept your promise, right? Not a scratch?
Lando: Well, what’s left of her isn’t scratched. All the scratched parts got knocked off along the way.
Han (exasperated): Knocked off?!

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The movie is building to such a crazy emotional pitch at that point that the lightsaber isn’t even really the biggest WTF. As soon as he shows up, you’re off-kilter in a dreamlike way. Did he shave and get a haircut? Did he de-age? And the conversation between him and Leia with the Luke & Leia theme playing is just so good that you don’t even really have time to think of what any of that really means, and then he winks at Threepio and I feel like even IF alarm bells are going off at that point, they get muted by Luke winking at Threepio and a lot of viewers just give up trying to tune into why this all seems weird and dreamlike, and roll with it. It doesn’t hurt that The Spark is so propulsive as a piece of music that you really are just firmly shoved into believing what you’re seeing and feeling no matter how odd it seems.

Was it predictable? Probably. Star Wars movies aren’t that difficult to figure out. There was really only the one time Star Wars really surprised anyone, and that was 1980, and that twist absolutely came out of nowhere both in concept and execution. But even if it was predictable, the way the movie presented it nullified that predictability. The scene had the punch it had whether you knew it was coming or not.

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I’ll be honest, the whole idea of Luke using (or at least appearing to be using) Anakin’s lightsaber as a symbolic turnaround from him throwing it over his shoulder at the beginning of the movie never even occurred to me until now. Even though it’s all an illusion, I was always puzzled by why he wasn’t using his green saber from RotJ. Other than the flashback, do we ever see it at all, even if it’s just lying around somewhere in his hut on Ahch-to?

Did he still have it on his belt in that final shot of the first flashback where he’s kneeling next to Artoo watching the training temple burn?

Since Kylo Ren saw Anakin’s saber get broken in half, wouldn’t that have been a dead giveaway? It makes a little more sense that he doesn’t immediately figure out what’s going on if we assume that Luke’s green saber got destroyed on the unnamed (unless it’s in one of those DK books or something) training temple planet and thus a rebuilt Anakin saber makes a little more sense. But still, that’s a pretty short turnaround time.

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Did he still have it on his belt in that final shot of the first flashback where he’s kneeling next to Artoo watching the training temple burn?

I’m sure Luke would’ve Force-pulled it out of the debris of Ben’s hut off-screen.

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Fang Zei, I think Ben didn’t recognize the contradiction of Luke having the lightsaber in tact two possible reasons.
First, Kylo might saw the saber flash in a blinding light when him and Rey were fighting for it, but in that quick instant he might not have known it was torn apart.
Secondly, I think Luke’s mere presence (as well as Luke intentionally riling Ben up with little gestures like wiping the dust off his shoulder) has Ben seeing red. He’s not thinking rationally, which is the same reason why he ignores Hux’s tactical advice. Luke used Kylo’s own emotions to his advantage.

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RogueLeader said:

I think Luke’s mere presence (as well as Luke intentionally riling Ben up with little gestures like wiping the dust off his shoulder) has Ben seeing red. He’s not thinking rationally, which is the same reason why he ignores Hux’s tactical advice. Luke used Kylo’s own emotions to his advantage.

Yep, exactly this.

a trolling bantha

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Luke used Kylo’s own emotions to his advantage.

No, really. Rian Johnson confirmed this in an interview with IGN.

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“[Luke] is basically tailoring this projection to have maximum effect on Kylo,” Johnson explained. “He knows that Kylo’s Achilles heel is his rage, and so that’s why he kind of makes himself look younger, the way Kylo would’ve last seen him in their confrontation at the temple, and that’s why he decided to bring Kylo’s grandfather’s lightsaber down there – the lightsaber that Kylo screamed at Rey, ‘that’s mine, that belongs to me.’” As far as Johnson’s concerned, Luke believes that Anakin’s lightsaber will have a much more visceral impact on the erstwhile Ben Solo than Luke’s own green blade.

This is exactly what I’m talking about.

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The clothes and the beard were a dead giveaway. So was the saber. I got what was going on right away. It was a great scene.

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yotsuya said:

The clothes and the beard were a dead giveaway. So was the saber. I got what was going on right away. It was a great scene.

Don’t forget the hair.

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Interesting I’ve never seen this quote

“[Luke] is basically tailoring this projection to have maximum effect on Kylo,” Johnson explained. "He knows that Kylo’s Achilles heel is his rage, and so that’s why he kind of makes himself look younger, the way Kylo would’ve last seen him in their confrontation at the temple,

I never looked at this specific aspect in this way but it actually makes a lot of sense, especially in light of Kylo’s first words to Lor San Tekka - “Look how old you’ve become.” Kylo’s changed so much in the meantime, but this old figure from Kylo’s past - the legacy he’s supposed to be supplanting - hasn’t changed a bit, making the threat of him that much more formidable.

I think the topic title is interesting “the ending was very easy to predict.” Sure, all the clues were right out there in front of you to predict… but did you? I knew something was up the moment we saw him (the hair) but I wasn’t able to figure out what exactly until the film revealed itself. The closest I got was when Kylo finally sliced through him (my thought - did he die already and now he’s a force ghost?), but when the real trick was revealed it was definitely a “holy shit” moment. And of course that’s what it was, a magic trick, and like the best magic tricks it occurred in plain sight.

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DominicCobb said:

I think the topic title is interesting “the ending was very easy to predict.” Sure, all the clues were right out there in front of you to predict… but did you? I knew something was up the moment we saw him (the hair) but I wasn’t able to figure out what exactly until the film revealed itself. The closest I got was when Kylo finally sliced through him (my thought - did he die already and now he’s a force ghost?), but when the real trick was revealed it was definitely a “holy shit” moment. And of course that’s what it was, a magic trick, and like the best magic tricks it occurred in plain sight.

+1

a trolling bantha

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I knew something was off the moment he showed up in his old outfit (and if you think about it, the blue saber) but I was confused the entire time on my first viewing until the lightsaber. I thought it was great.

Maul- A Star Wars Story

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OutboundFlight said:

I knew something was off the moment he showed up in his old outfit (and if you think about it, the blue saber) but I was confused the entire time on my first viewing until the lightsaber. I thought it was great.

Speaking of his old outfit, I’m sure Luke might have kept it in his hut. I mean, we don’t really know what actually happened to it.

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He probably took it to get dry cleaned but forgot which dry cleaner he took it to.

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Yep, I agree. It was a masterful slight of hand played in full view of the audience. I too knew something was going on (the lightsaber was the biggest clue that jumped out to me on opening night, but other things like his appearance and surviving the bombardment had my gears turning too). I had a pretty good idea what was happening by the time I saw Kylo’s blade slice through him with no effect but I wasn’t certain until it was fully revealed. Overall I find TLJ a rather mixed bag, but the climax and Luke’s fight with Kylo Ren is just pitch perfect. That sequence really saves the film for me in all honesty.

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Thinking back to my first viewing, I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced a sequence that’s put me more on the edge of my seat than this one (nor an audience more rapt). There’s a lot of amazing suspense films out there of course (and many which are obviously superior to this film), but this is the true return of Luke Skywalker. Not only is it something I had anticipated for decades in real life, it’s something that’s built up in both TFA and TLJ, with the latter providing a real emotional heft to the proceedings (in terms of Luke’s character’s journey, and his confrontation with Kylo). To top that all off with a clever and exciting bit of Force wizardry really is the cherry on top of what is surely one of the best sequences in the saga (and probably my favorite of the ST so far).

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DominicCobb said:

Thinking back to my first viewing, I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced a sequence that’s put me more on the edge of my seat than this one (nor an audience more rapt). There’s a lot of amazing suspense films out there of course (and many which are obviously superior to this film), but this is the true return of Luke Skywalker. Not only is it something I had anticipated for decades in real life, it’s something that’s built up in both TFA and TLJ, with the latter providing a real emotional heft to the proceedings (in terms of Luke’s character’s journey, and his confrontation with Kylo). To top that all off with a clever and exciting bit of Force wizardry really is the cherry on top of what is surely one of the best sequences in the saga (and probably my favorite of the ST so far).

+1.

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I, too, won’t forget my first viewing of the sequence and how riveting it was for a lifelong Luke aficionado, like Rey was. I was so overcome when he and Leia shared their scene, partly because of the bitterness of the reality that it would be the last time that would truly be possible due to real life. When Luke was revealed not to have been cut in half, I thought to myself, “He’s already dead! He’s been dead the whole time, maybe for years!”
(Then again, during TFA I so thought the lightsaber was going to fly into Luke’s hand.)
After the duel, the movie kept jerking me around. ‘Nope, he’s not dying,’ then ‘he collapsed and might be dead,’ to ‘nope, he’s getting up,’ to ‘uhh’ and then to ‘oh no, he is dying, but why is he dying though?’

PM me for links to my edits; apparently, some feel shy about this.