How Luke is the same Luke from Return of the Jedi to The Last Jedi
Based on objective standards of cinema and fantasy storytelling, I'd say that The Last Jedi is incredible. Luke being the ultimate pacifist and becoming something greater than a Jedi or a rebel was the perfect arc for the character and is one of the greatest story arcs in all of fantasy cinema.
In A New Hope we meet a whiny, young Luke who destroys the Death Star. In Empire he goes from Rebels to Yoda's Padawan. While Han, Chewie, Leia and the freedom fighters are off viewing a Rebel powerpoint presentation presented by Mon Mothma, Luke is with Yoda being a Jedi. Then he reacquaints himself with his Jedi father. Luke and Vader face off in front of the Emperor. Palpatine keeps telling Luke he's doing a great job fighting, that he needs to fight even harder, give into the hate and fear he has for his father and it is there were Luke THROWS AWAY HIS LIGHTSABER. And it is at this moment Luke truly evolves as a character. Luke throws away his lightsaber in protest, he doesn't give into his anger and fear and chooses NOT TO FIGHT.
Fast forward 30 years, Luke's on Acht'To, Rey hands him his father's lightsaber and what does he do, HE THROWS IT AWAY, just like in RotJ. Brilliant and funny! Luke is still angry at himself for what happened with Ben Solo, this is because Luke is an emotional being, he never learned to be unemotional like Obi-Wan and Yoda and Mace, he was indoctrinated as a Jedi too late, like his father before him. Yoda than teaches him to let go and to be the beacon of hope people need. And then he does that on Crait, he becomes the spark of hope he was when he blew up the Death Star, and he does this all without fighting or killing anyone. Incredible. And then we see those twin suns. Now I'm kind of positive if Carrie Fisher died before the end of The Last Jedi production, they would've changed the ending. But I think Luke is something greater than a force ghost now and I'm excited to find out in IX. I can see Luke being more corporeal than force ghost Obi-Wan was. Maybe something along of the lines of Gandalf the White. To put the "Luke isn't Luke in TLJ" bulls**t to rest, this can only end by saying Luke was always a whiny, bitch baby who then became a Jedi, failed at being a Jedi and like his father before him almost gave into his fear of Ben Solo by killing Ben, much the same way Anakin did kill younglings. Luke is not only within character in the Last Jedi, he's also within bloodline. And this is why the film is called The Last Jedi, because Luke is the end of the old way of the Jedi Order, he's learned from his failings in teaching Ben that the Jedi were flawed and this is why he his second lesson to Rey is about the flaws of the Jedi and his failings as a teacher in the old ways. He may be the Last Jedi, but Rey is a new type of Jedi, one who will learn from the mistakes of the past. Luke is very much Luke in The Last Jedi.
- Chris ZeitChrist Taylor