“the rebellion is reborn today”
Opening image: The last hope
The opening crawl text tells us that the Resistance has become desperate as the First Empire looms large. They’re all banking on one man to save the say, Luke Skywalker.
Theme: All down to you
A few minutes into the movie, the Resistance is left with just one bomber to destroy the Freighter. We see her struggle to ensure the Resistance wins this fight and eventually gives her life for it. To put it plainly, it’s one fighter against a million bad guys. This works as the theme of the movie as this chapter revolves around bringing Luke back in the game. With him around, the Resistance is 100% sure that they can win. However, there are complications which we will see further into the plot.
Set up: Tied on the end of a string
Apart from the main plot and the B story, this movie also houses two subplots. The first one being Poe’s character development. We see that he is brash, arrogant and is willing to risk his entire fleet for his acts of grandeur.
The Resistance manages to evacuate their base and escape on a cruiser. However, General Hux reveals that he has a back up plan.
Catalyst 1: Master Skywalker?
Rey finds Luke and hands him his lightsaber. She’s confident that Luke will now return and make things right. The twist is that Luke refuses and tosses his lightsaber away.
Debate 1: Go away
Rey tries to talk to Luke but he ignores her. She then gets Chewbacca and Luke learns that Han is dead.
Catalyst 2: You’re no Vader
Supreme Leader Snoke expresses his disappointment in Kylo Ren. He believed that Kylo could be Darth Vader’s true successor but he’s no longer certain of it.
Debate 2: Let old things die
This brings Kylo’s world crumbling down. In his heart he believed that he could be the next Vader, he fashioned his helmet after Vader’s and even uses a voice modulator. After his intervention with Snoke, he decides that he’ll no longer live in Vader’s shadow and sets out to forge his own destiny.
Break into two: Not without you
Despite, Luke’s constant refusals, Rey remains persistent and follows him around as he carries on his routine.
B story: Now it’s awake
Rey beings to hear voices that draw her to the ancient Jedi texts. She confesses to Luke that she knows she possesses power but has no idea what to do with it. The B story focuses on Rey’s struggle with the force. As of now, Rey is neither Jedi nor Sith and her journey through the plot will determine which side she joins.
Fun and games: Reach out
The Resistance learns that despite the light-speed jump, the First Order has still managed to track them. Kylo leads several Tie fighters who open fire on the Resistance. He locates his mother, General Leia but right before he can fire, he hesitates. He’s struggling with the Force just like Rey is, this will be emphasized upon later.
Meanwhile, Luke sneaks aboard the Millennium Falcon and R2D2 manipulates him into talking the first step in the right direction. He agrees to teach Rey so that she can see from his perspective and understand why the Jedi must end.
Now that all this has been established, we’re introduced to the second subplot, Finn’s character development. Right now, even though Finn is technically a part of his Resistance, he isn’t fully on board. He selfishly plans to sneak off the ship so he could ensure Rey’s safety and be with her. He runs into Rose, who proves to the major catalyst to his arc’s development. Together, they figure out how the Resistance has been tracking them and they set out to find a master codebreaker to aid them.
B Story is brought back into the mix when Rey and Kylo’s minds are suddenly linked by the force. Right now, she’s rooting for Luke, but along the way she will sympathize with Kylo so she could turn to the dark side.
Luke tells Rey that the Force does not belong to the Jedi. The balance between life, death and everything in between will continue to prevail whether the Jedi and Sith are around or not. Rey is then tempted by the dark side when she is drawn to a cave, Luke tells her to resist, but she fails.
Rey and Kylo are drawn together again. He tries to make her see things from his perspective.
At another side of the galaxy, Finn and Rose make it to Canto Bight and Finn loves everything he sees. Rose shows him that behind all the luxury of this place lies the abuse and slavery. Finn learns that no matter where he goes, the battle between good and evil will always continue and remaining neutral may no longer be an option for him.
Rey begins sparring with her staff and we see that she’s sloppy and not entirely in control of her weapon. She then picks up the lightsaber and is a natural with it, however, she gets carried away and slices a boulder in half. This echoes her struggle with the force, she an either use a powerful weapon for the good or for destruction.
Luke tells Rey that since Ben was a Skywalker like himself, in his pride he believed he could make a powerful Jedi out of him. He tell Rey that during their final confrontation, Ben refused to give Luke a chance. Rey argues that Ben may have failed him but she won’t, she needs someone to show her where she belongs in this story.
When Kylo and Rey make their third contact, he tells her his side of the story. Luke was the one to attack him first and Kylo was merely defending himself. This draws Rey further and further to the dark side. She enters the cave strong with the dark side, seeking to find out who her parents are, when she doesn’t get an answer she confides in Kylo and not Luke.
Luke intervene and this results in a fight. Rey grabs the lightsaber and was about to kill Luke, but holds back at the last second. She tells him to confess the truth and he tells her that he did go to kill Kylo that night. Luke saw all the darkness in him and saw killing him as the easy way to prevent everything, but then with a glimpse of clarity, he holds back. But this was enough to push Kylo over the edge.
Rey offers him one last chance to make things right with holding out his lightsaber, he refuses to take it. This leads Rey to believe that she can reform Kylo and he’ll be their last hope. This is how the main plot crosses with the B story, Rey no longer depends on Luke to fix things and she heads out to find Kylo which is essentially walking over to the dark side.
Filled with anger and disappointment, Luke tries to burn the remaining legacy of the Jedi, but hesitates at the last second. Yoda appears before him and tell him that even though he lost Kylo, he cannot lose Rey. He must pass on his legacy to her, because she’s the last true hope for the Resistance.
Bad guys close in: When the time comes
While making their escape from Canto Bight on a stolen ship, DJ reveals to Finn that the ship they stole belongs to someone to sold weapons to both the First Order and the Resistance. He tells Finn to not pick any side and only keep shifting alliances as per whatever helps you survive. However, after meeting Rose, he knows that this is no longer an option and that it’s time to take a stand.
The First Order comes one step closer to wiping out the Resistance cruiser.
Poe finds out that Holdo’s plan is to not fight back but to abandon ship, creating greater friction between them. Her course of action doesn’t sit well with his hot shot attitude. He takes over the ship but is then knocked out by Leia. Holdo stays behind while the rebels evacuate.
Rey board the First Order ship but is handcuffed and taken to Snoke. On the way there, she’s tells Kylo that when the time comes, he will join the Resistance, Kylo says that in time she will join the First Order.
Finn and Rose end up getting captured.
All is lost: True enemy
Snoke reveals that he was the one who linked Rey and Kylo’s minds and played them both. When Rey attempts to fight back, he tortures her.
Poe learns that Holdo was more concerned about ensuring that the Resistance survives rather than taking the fight to the First Order, which teaches him a lesson.
DJ betrays Finn and Rose but despite this, Finn still believes that DJ is wrong. He’s no longer in conflict about who he is, he’s a rebel and he’s willing to die for the Resistance.
The First Order find out that the rebels are headed for Crait and Snoke orders Kylo to kill Rey.
Dark night of the soul: Rebel scum
Kylo kills Snoke instead and hands Rey her lightsaber. However, Kylo refuses to join to the Resistance and takes Snoke’s place as Supreme Leader. He tries to manipulate Rey into joining him by telling her the truth about her parents.
Holdo gives the rebels one last chance to escape by flying through the First Order ship while entering light-speed.
Rey and Kylo fight over Luke’s lightsaber, which ends up splitting in half.
Finn fights Captain Phasma and accepts his identity as a rebel. Thus, Finn’s subplot ends.
Break into three: Now or never
All the rebels make it to Crait and send out a distress signal. Rey joins the fight in holding the First Order back until help arrives. There’s no more conflict in her, Kylo made his choice to join the dark side and now she has made her choice to join the light side.
Finale: Not the last
Unfortunately, no one arrives to aid the Resistance and Leia declares that the rebellion will soon die. All of a sudden, Luke walks into the room and after saying goodbye to Leia, heads out to confront Kylo.
Poe’s subplot ends when he realizes that Luke is trying to give the rebels a chance to escape. He doesn’t head out and fight with Luke, instead they escape and live to fight another day.
Turns out Luke was just creating a Force projection to make everyone think he was on Crait. Unfortunately, the strain takes a toll on Luke and he dies while looking at binary suns set, confident that he did the right thing and ending his journey just as he began it.
Rey and Kylo share contact for a brief moment but Rey turns her back on him.
Closing image: Reborn
The desperation of the Resistance from the beginning is no more. They’ve found their one hope, Rey.
Meanwhile, legends of Luke Skywalker continue to spread and we see the birth of another Jedi. Hope is no longer lives in just one.