Despite what any other bitter Star Wars fan says, “The Last Jedi” is a fantastic movie and I will explain one of the reasons why. One reason why “The Last Jedi” is a great movie is because of what it says about dealing with the past.
Dealing with the past has been a major theme throughout the Star Wars franchise. It was because of his inability to let go of the past that Anakin Skywalker turned to the Dark Side. It was through discovering his family history that Luke found the way to destroy the Empire. But unlike the original trilogy, the past is dealt with differently in “The Last Jedi.”
Arguably, the growing connection between Rey and Kylo Ren is one of the strongest aspects of the movie and the biggest thing they have in common is their relationship with their pasts. For them both, the past is their source of pain and their primary source of internal conflict.
For Rey, her past is a mystery. She does not know who her parents are or why she had to spend her life in painful loneliness before Finn and BB-8 showed up. That underlying conflict is always there and what pulls her towards the Dark Side the most.
For Kylo Ren, the past is something that fuels him and something he wants to forget. In “The Force Awakens” and at the beginning of “The Last Jedi,” Kylo Ren wants to be the next Darth Vader and forget he was ever a good kid who went by the name of Ben Solo.
But by the end of this movie, Rey and Kylo Ren make some major decisions. Rey decides to learn from her past, accept the truth, and move on. Kylo Ren decides he wants to try to kill any connection he has to his past to erase his pain and is left in a state of conflict and confusion.
The main lesson “The Last Jedi” gives to its audiences through this is the right and wrong way to deal with the past. It is wrong to run from the past or try to erase it from existence to stop the pain. The best thing to do is to learn from the past, pass on its wisdom, understand the failures of the old, and walk into the future to do better.
That’s something every person in every generation and every Star Wars fan needs to learn.