My Sunday morning, 11:30 a.m. screening of The Last Jedi literally erupted into SCREAMS as soon as the little boy grabs the broom at the end of the film. I’ve never heard such excited wallops from a crowd of strangers, but let’s be real, they had good reason to cheer. Though the “last Jedi” has just passed away and become one with the Force, it’s clear that there are other Force sensitive beings out there — and no, I’m not just talking about Rey.
The boy at the end of Last Jedi has a name, and it’s Temiri Blagg. He’s one of the young children living on Canto Bight, and yes, the Force appears to be strong with him. It’s such a tiny, tiny moment in a great, big film, but instead of actually grabbing a broom to sweep up the stables, the broom floats to Temiri. Then he fiddles with the Resistance ring that Rose gave him, displays the Rebel’s logo, and watches a shooting star fly across the sky. Meanwhile, everyone in the audience bawls their eyes out.
But, if you think this moment is about Temiri, you’re wrong. It’s not about him. It’s about Luke Skywalker, a newly minted Jedi legend.
Maybe the sweetest moment in the entire movie happens just before this scene, where we see Temiri and his friends playing with Jedi action figures (good to know Luke action figures are completely universal, in our galaxy at the next). Though we can’t decipher their language, it’s clear that the group is reenacting the Battle of Crait, where Luke faced down the entire First Order, and Kylo Ren. Know what this battle has given these less-than-lucky kids? Hope.
Early in the movie, Luke literally makes a joke about standing up to face down the whole First Order by himself, and that’s actually what he does (even though it’s not really him). This technicality doesn’t matter, though, as the sheer idea of him doing this courageous act is all anyone needs to hold on to. It’s this “legend” that’s going to give people what they need to keep standing up to the First Order — and sometimes, a legend intertwined with the idea of hope is more important than anything else.