Warning: huge spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi's final scene ahead! Don't read any further if you haven't seen Rian Johnson's Star Wars adventure!
Arguably no movie in the Star Wars universe has ever ended quite like Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Rian Johnson's take on the galaxy far, far away sees the heroic demise of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), but also the promise of more new Jedi in the form of a young boy on Canto Bight. The conclusion to the story has spurred a wave of debate amongst fans, and Johnson recently sat down with CinemaBlend's own Eric Eisenberg to explain that the final shot is meant to signify the rebirth of hope through Luke's sacrifice. The Looper director explained:
First and foremost, that scene and the stable kids were about, for me, Luke's journey and about the final act that Luke does, and showing at the end of the movie that it wasn't just about saving 20 people in the cave, but that it was about taking on the mantle of the legend of Luke Skywalker so that that would then spread through the galaxy and reignite the hope, and the underclass would start to rise again. And so... showing THAT through the stable boy at the end, that was the real intent of the scene. And yeah, just the little hint of... there is more out there.
Throughout much of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Luke Skywalker laments his status as a legend because he believes he failed Ben Solo (Adam Driver) and created a great evil in the galaxy. However, his decision to face off against Kylo Ren and give himself up to The Force is meant to signify him as "the spark, that will light the fire, that will burn the First Order down." We lose one hero, but we gain the promise that the disenfranchised will soon begin to rise and take the fight to the bad guys.
One significant element of the Star Wars universe that has been changed by this finale is the deviation from the "chosen one" narrative that has long-characterized the Skywalker clan. By presenting audiences with the young, Force-sensitive boy at the end of the film, it returns us to the idea of Luke staring out at a twin sunset on Tatooine and establishes the notion that anyone in the Star Wars universe has the potential to become the hero of a story. It's not just about blood; everyone and everything are connected through The Force.
Now, among the many other questions raised by the ending of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, we're left wondering how that boy could factor into future stories in the Star Wars universe. Is he explicitly going to come back and play a role in the newly-bolstered Resistance, or is he merely a way of signifying that other Force users are out there in the Star Wars galaxy? With Star Wars: Episode IX set to debut in theaters in 2019, something tells us that we're going to get some answers.