Star Wars: The Last Jedi was a unique film in that the story ends not with our heroes, but with complete strangers. But director Rian Johnson says it was very important for the film to end the way it did. As our main characters are all escaping on board the Millennium Falcon, the camera pulls back to create a group shot of everybody on board. It looks like it will be the moment where the film cuts to the end credits, but instead, we get a brief sequence with children on Canto Bight who are reenacting Luke Skywalker's stand on Crait with homemade action figures. Rian Johnson says that these final moments are important because we needed to see how Luke's decision was making an impact on the galaxy. According to Johnson...
Rian Johnson tells Empire that even he considered ending the film on board the Millennium Falcon, but that he felt strongly the extra scene was needed. It acts a response to Leia's statement that the Resistance has everything they need. Earlier in the film, nobody responds to the call for help, there's a feeling that hope has left the galaxy, but Luke's act of defiance has changed that, inspiring people in even the darkest corners of the universe. We see that in the final moments of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and we also see that some of those who have been inspired will bring useful abilities to aid in the fight.
Of course, how that final scene will really translate into action in Star Wars: Episode IX is really anybody's guess at this point. The script that they originally had for the film was thrown out and a new script, co-written by director J.J. Abrams is now being written. It's unknown if this new script will modify previous ideas, or be something entirely new. It does seem that this trilogy is being handled a piece at a time, rather than as a single story, so really anything could happen.
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