Let's talk about "the Spark" in TLJ.

#1
DISCLAIMER: this is NOT a thread to discuss whether you like Luke's role in TLJ, your opinion on the movie or even your opinion on this particular arc.

This thread is for discussiong what actually happens in this narrative arc and what consequences and evolutions may follow it in Ep. IX.

So in order to get the discussion started, I'll make a brief resume of what we know, and then the questions I'm most curious about.



What we know:

- before Luke's heroic sacrifice on Crait, neither the Republic nor the various indipendent resistance forces are willing to join the Resistance and directly oppose the First Order

- the Resistance communicates with those forces and as such they can absolutely leverage the military significance of Holdo's maneuver and arguably the death of Supreme Leader Snoke; neither of these events is sufficient to create the "spark" of hope Leia and Luke refer to

- this means Luke's actions on Crait are what tilts the balance and push the galaxy to take arms against the FO

- we also know that the Resistance is looking for a way out in the caves while Luke is "fighting" the FO; and unless we are to assume Leia and Rey disclose Luke's deception to them, they're fully believing Luke was actually present and they don't know what his ultimate destiny was


The questions:

- considering all the above, how did news of Luke's stunt spread across the galaxy? Was it the First Order recounting their defeat on galaxy broadcast? Was the Resistance from the Falcon? Did they know how the events played out?

- what version of the story was related? If it was the FO, why did they tell the story at all? If it was the Resistance, did they lie about Luke's actual presence on Crait or they told the real story?

- If Leia explained what Luke was doing on Crait, did she also inform them he's now dead? If they know, they related the truth when they spread the story across the galaxy, or they lied about it?

- influenced by how you answer the above, how do the arc move from here? Do the kids re enacting the battle of Crait know Luke is dead? Do the leaders who will send ships to the Resistance's help? Are we going to proceed into IX with JJ barely acknowledging the "spark" and pitting the Resistance in a desperate situation again, or it's going to be a full on military effort? If it's the latter, do you expect the Resistance to be confronted about their "fraud" if they lied about Luke? If they didn't, do you think the idea of a Jedi master dying to buy her sister time to flee is strong enough to justify a widespread military effort in a galaxy that 50 years earlier was pacified by Jedis that were known as capable of ending wars single-handedly?
 
#3
Knowledge about Luke's intervention likely spread by WOM on the part of Resistance survivors and FO defectors who witnessed it and were stunned (possibly with recorded holovideo). I don't think JJ has to bring it up at all - what matters is that the Resistance was saved and managed to spread.
 
#4
Well you had hundreds if not thousands of first order troops witnessing the Luke thing, so I imagined it spread over time. Although I’m not exactly sure how because it’s been established telecommunications in Star Wars is basically more primitive than we have here on earth.

I also have no idea what you are referring to with the spark. My memory is maybe not serving me properly here...
 
#5
I want IX to be a "ten years later" story where it's all force sensitives everywhere and everything is laser swords and pew pew pew and SSHHWOOM SHHWWWOOOM and stuff
 
#6
People there witnessed it on both sides. They told their spouses and friends. Then those people told their people.

The same way legends have been spread since the dawn on time: word of mouth.
 
#7
Your questions are leading and a little bit loaded, largely based on the assumption that it would be lying to not tell everyone Luke is "dead" and omitting the existence of Rey.

Leia and Rey, the only people who knew Luke was gone, probably know the truth in that he isn't straight up dead, but ascended like a Jedi Master. It wouldn't be lying to say he lives on in the Force, watching over and guiding the next generation of Jedi. It also wouldn't lying to say he confronted the First Order on Crait, even if his physical body wasn't there. Through the power of the force he defeated them, and he didn't even need to be there to do it.

You also can't overlook Rey. Luke's legacy and spark live on through the revival of the Jedi, not solely through the actions of one man. Kylo also started a lie in his own organization that Rey was the one who killed snoke. So as far as people know, one Jedi stood up to Kylo and the First Order to save the resistance, after his protege confronted Snoke and won. So whether people know Luke "died" or not, the spark lives on through his successor who defeated the big bad guy (per Kylo's lie) or at least confronted and came out alive (if the Resistance doesn't spread the same lie) and lives on to carry the torch.
 
#8
People there witnessed it on both sides. They told their spouses and friends. Then those people told their people.

The same way legends have been spread since the dawn on time: word of mouth.
This. Is not hard to figure out.
People complaint that movies spell everything out but at the same time they don't even try to engage with movies before trying to come up with "plotholes"
 
#10
Has there been any media covering the Galaxy's reaction to the destruction of the Hosnian System and the subsequent destruction of Starkiller Base? Your would think that would be enough to force people to pick a side between the Resistance and First Order.
 
#11
People there witnessed it on both sides. They told their spouses and friends. Then those people told their people.

The same way legends have been spread since the dawn on time: word of mouth.

Two small objections:

- one side. The Resistence has nobody witnessing the events unfold. There's also the important aspect of "how does the Falcon crew reach half the galaxy?".
I think your reasoning would be beyond criticism if the "force kid" scene was prefaced by a "4 years later" message, but the way the movie plays it out makes it seem like it's instantaneous (or at least a matter of weeks). The entire timeline of the ST is so condensed that it makes some things feel funny.

- the discussion isn't really about "how" - it happened: the movie tells you so. To object to that would be fishing for plot holes and I don't care about that. I'm more curious about "what" the message was, what it implies for our character, and how it plays out.
 
#13
Does the Galaxy have the internet? I'm the R/The_Snoke is already coming up with all kinds of ways to dilute and distort the message Luke was trying to send.
 
#14
We don't need to know the precise mechanism through which the message spread. It's a movie. That being said, I wish the movie would have explored why the galaxy has lost all its hope. Why is everyone so down and out?
 
#15
Has there been any media covering the Galaxy's reaction to the destruction of the Hosnian System and the subsequent destruction of Starkiller Base? Your would think that would be enough to force people to pick a side between the Resistance and First Order.
If we were to consider systems in galaxies like nations, I don’t think it’s hard to imagine the FO covering up and hiding their war atrocities.

Similar to how certain military operations are redacted and top secret. It’s not that the truth won’t come out, but the truth has to fight for light and when it does emerge, it has to also fight against the FO narrative since they’re de facto power atm.
 
#16
We don't need to know the precise mechanism through which the message spread. It's a movie. That being said, I wish the movie would have explored why the galaxy has lost all its hope. Why is everyone so down and out?
Well the Galaxy feels like it’s made up of about a dozen systems at this point so word travels fast.
 
#17
Yes

It’ll pick up a few years down the line and the resistance will be bigger, but still small enough to be the underdog for some reason.
This seems most likely. JJ will just rehash ROTJ down to Kylo coming over to the light side and becoming a jedi...like his father before him...err...uncle.
 
#20
Has there been any media covering the Galaxy's reaction to the destruction of the Hosnian System and the subsequent destruction of Starkiller Base? Your would think that would be enough to force people to pick a side between the Resistance and First Order.
Not really. A lot of this is still a blur.

We got some setup for the First Order in Bloodlines, but what's really happening Galaxy wide during the present time frame of the film is still very ambiguous.
 
#21
The “spark of rebellion” conceit was insane to begin with. The First Order destroyed the democratically elected government of the entire galaxy and we’re supposed to believe not a single group outside of Leia’s resistance cell gives a shit?
 
#22
You're giving this way more thought than any of the writers.

Everything that happens in modern movies like this is plot convenience to push character drama. "Oh and then Luke sacrifices himself and that's huge because Luke is popular and then the Resistance gets big and new heroes arrive." There's no logic to it. There's no grand plan. It's all contrivance, convenience, empty throw away plots that bounce from here to there without any plan or consistency all for the sake of memorable character moments. Because the pastiche of all these character moments is what executives thinks connects and, more importantly, what sells products beyond the movie.
 
#24
If we were to consider systems in galaxies like nations, I don’t think it’s hard to imagine the FO covering up and hiding their war atrocities.

Similar to how certain military operations are redacted and top secret. It’s not that the truth won’t come out, but the truth has to fight for light and when it does emerge, it has to also fight against the FO narrative since they’re de facto power atm.
I can't imagine what happens on Crait spreads faster or is more likely to "spark" people, then the destruction of an whole System (by the FO) or the destruction of the most powerful weapon in the history of the galaxy (by the Resistance). Keeping either of those secret sounds like a fools errand, especially when the explicit point of destroying the Hosnian system was to show the power of the FO. That was the whole point of Hux's rousing speech.

Now I'm not surprised it wasn't followed up on in TLJ, as that immediately follows TFA, but I imagine some media or Episode 9 will address the Galaxy wide reaction to those major events of TFA. I'd be interested in learning about it, for sure.
 
#26
- considering all the above, how did news of Luke's stunt spread across the galaxy? Was it the First Order recounting their defeat on galaxy broadcast? Was the Resistance from the Falcon? Did they know how the events played out?
I'm guessing FO people. Think about their perspective:
1) FO had them cornered in space.
2) They kill Snoke, blow up his flagship, but still, it was a desperate one time attack. Totally not sustainable.
3) FO corners them again.
4) Your new leader sees an old man and impotently orders AT-AT guns to fire on him.
5) This fails(!)
6) New leader goes down and fights him
7) Can't even hit him, and then he mocks New Leader and vanishes(!)
8) Kinda embarrassing but the Resistance is still trapped
9) Resistance isn't trapped, they're all gone, probably while your New Leader was impotently yelling at an old man

That's the kind of thing that collapses empires in history. Potemkin villages and all that. The FO was dealt an incredibly embarrassing loss that shatters the idea that they're a new Galactic Empire in the making. I could totally believe some FO troops went and blabbed. And honestly, the story sounds worse for their side from their perspective; the Resistance will hype up themselves up, but to the FO, they had them.
 
#27
Does the Galaxy have the internet? I'm the R/The_Snoke is already coming up with all kinds of ways to dilute and distort the message Luke was trying to send.
Yes, there is a mixed tv/internet system called the HoloNet.

Has there been any media covering the Galaxy's reaction to the destruction of the Hosnian System and the subsequent destruction of Starkiller Base?
Not yet. There have been a few books/comics that took place during TFA and in the immediate TFA-TLJ interim but they've all focused on people inside the Resistance and First Order. There's only been one story set after TLJ so far, which is the final story arc of the Poe comic, and that was just a small story to explain where Black Squadron was since Snap (Greg Grunberg) will be back in IX.
 
#28
We don't need to know the precise mechanism through which the message spread. It's a movie. That being said, I wish the movie would have explored why the galaxy has lost all its hope. Why is everyone so down and out?
Well you see after ROTJ the entire galaxy proved to be worthless and idiotic, completely abandoning their military forces built up and the victory they had just achieved. Instead, they decided to completely demilitarize, focus what remaining military resources they had left entirely in the Hosnian System, ignore the threat of The First Order, ignore the building of a mega-weapon about 3-5x as big as the Death Star, and then proceed to have their centralized government entirely destroyed in one swoop attack. This all occurring less than 30 years after the last great war which was the follow up to another massive Galactic civil war which caused the initial creation of the Empire.

What I'm saying is that TFA makes no goddamn sense and Rian had to work with it to make something somewhat logical and compelling. I'm guessing the Galaxy is just tired of Star Wars at this moment and are each just looking out for themselves.
 
#29
Considering the events of the original trilogy only happened a few decades earlier and those are nearly forgotten or became "legend" there must have been some serious meddling with the media/ writing of history by the first order (or the democratic government, which makes less sense).

Now fast forward to the events of TLJ where the only individuals who witnessed Luke's crazy feat were the first order troops on the ground. Unless they take the angle of a "resistance from within" angle it makes no sense at all.

Most people alive today have a good idea of the events of WW2, and that was much longer from today compared to the time span of OT to TLJ. Things aren't forgotten that fast.
 
#32
We don't need to know the precise mechanism through which the message spread. It's a movie. That being said, I wish the movie would have explored why the galaxy has lost all its hope. Why is everyone so down and out?
Probably because an entire solar system was destroyed by the first order base. And yes it got destroyed too, but you'd still shit yourself if that's what you had to go up against.
 
#33
As others have stated, the sense of time in TLJ and the ST in general is so messed up who really knows about the spark. There are several contradictory elements

1) The FO being so powerful that until Luke shows up to bail the Resistance out - no one is willing to stand up to them. This implies a level of fear and control of information that should render even the return of a legend ineffective.

2) The indoctrination of FO forces - this is shown to be at such an absurd level that Finn is the only Trooper we know of to nope the hell out. If most of their soldiers and officers are groomed from birth - well it becomes like the Nazis and not even Luke showing up and embarrassing Kylo should shake them. This could have been addressed by...I dunno, giving Finn something better to do than the Casino planet and trying to infiltrate back in to free his fellow troopers. But hey, we needed him and Rose to...bond?

3) The low number of Resistance survivors - With their numbers that depleted, the fact no one actually recorded anything, etc - who is really going to believe this group? "Oh Luke Skywalker saved us!" - prove it. I guess people in the SW universe aren't as jaded as people in this galaxy...but come on.

Again, spacing the timing out and specifying how long things had passed, adding even a hint that the FO might also spread the news...or - I dunno - have it take place on a populated planet where the FO can't deny it might have fixed this. But this is only one problem TLJ has with its writing.
 
#35
the only thing i don't understand is how the 12 remaining rebels aren't immediately decimated by the first order like 2 days after the events of the last jedi. i guess they're real good at hiding.


but yeah i guess they go on the run and manage to outrun the first order for like 10 years and add more people to the cause including kids who are inspired by the legend of luke skywalker. enter episode 9.
 
#36
Considering the events of the original trilogy only happened a few decades earlier and those are nearly forgotten or became "legend" there must have been some serious meddling with the media/ writing of history by the first order (or the democratic government, which makes less sense).

Now fast forward to the events of TLJ where the only individuals who witnessed Luke's crazy feat were the first order troops on the ground. Unless they take the angle of a "resistance from within" angle it makes no sense at all.

Most people alive today have a good idea of the events of WW2, and that was much longer from today compared to the time span of OT to TLJ. Things aren't forgotten that fast.
Rey lived on a junkyard planet and the school system is probably pretty awful. And Finn grew up in a military dictatorship where he learned only what the FO told him. It’s understandable why they wouldn’t know about the Jedi or recent history.
 
#37
I’m sure in a few years there will be some extended fiction about Space Reporter McType-y Fasto who was there to witness everything and sent out the story to Space Newspapers around the Galaxy.
 
#38
Luke also stayed out of the limelight in the 30 year gap. He went off on adventures with Lor San Tekka looking for Jedi artifacts and then eventually established his temple on a relatively unknown planet. So he went from being a war hero to swashbuckling adventurer to private reclusive hermit without ever having a role in the NR government. It makes perfect sense that he would become a legend in his own lifetime.
 
#39
The "questions" you're posing dont matter in the context of the movie/trilogy at all.

The end scene explains enough for us to understand what happens.

why do people need this shit spelled out for them constantly.
 
#40
I thought this was about the track titled "The Spark." Disappointed.

As for how the news spread, perhaps a thousand people watched the ghost of a mythical Jedi disgrace the most powerful man in the galaxy. Some of them were already dissidents, some of them probably became dissidents shortly afterwards. Not sure why anyone is hung up on that point.
 
#41
I think the entire spreading of the news not making much sense is one of the things I'm willing to forgive "because it's a movie".

Yes, it doesn't make much sense that the dozen people on the Falcon would manage to spread a message so powerful and controversial uncontested by the propaganda machine of the FO. Yes, the narrative isn't completely consistent with TFA. It's not a big deal to me.

I'm surprised however that apparently very few people are bothered by the moral implications of what happens in TLJ.


It's a celebration of "fake news". Luke did not, in fact, confront the FO. He didn't show up. He didn't risk his life (and this is what, I think, pushed RJ to make the effort of doing what he's doing kill him - he would come off as a coward otherwise). In order for this particular event to work as the trigger for hope to happen, you need people to be lied to; the news are factually fake. The kids on Canto Bight aren't playing pretend that Luke's astral projection is distracting the FO, they're convinced that the legendary guy the Resistance have been talking about for years as the hero who can tip the tides of war has actually come to the galaxy's rescue.

I'm quite mind boggled that RJ didn't see a problem with making Luke's legacy literally deceiving kids. It's not even exaggeration - we see it happen onscreen.
And it's not something that the movie conjures up at the end out of contrivance or poor writing. Luke foreshadows what everybody knows - he's no superweapon, he's not powerful enough to tackle the FO alone or to provide a significant aid in defeating them. In all honestly, all his legendary Jedi powers lent to the cause of the Resistance would probably pale next to what Holdo achieved.
But suddenly, at the end of a movie that is adamant about the effects of war on even good people, Luke projects himself to save Leia and somehow the movie spins this as a positive thing because this deception will lead people to believe Luke Skywalker has come to their rescue and they can throw themselves against the military might he was powerless to defeat.
Somehow TLJ ends up turning Luke Skywalker in the SW equivalent of Vassilj Zajcev and nobody has an issue with it. It's an absolutely dark twist and I comment RJ for having the guts to put it on film, but the way people dismiss it as "hope for everyone!" is mind boggling to me.
 
#42
I think the entire spreading of the news not making much sense is one of the things I'm willing to forgive "because it's a movie".

Yes, it doesn't make much sense that the dozen people on the Falcon would manage to spread a message so powerful and controversial uncontested by the propaganda machine of the FO. Yes, the narrative isn't completely consistent with TFA. It's not a big deal to me.

I'm surprised however that apparently very few people are bothered by the moral implications of what happens in TLJ.


It's a celebration of "fake news". Luke did not, in fact, confront the FO. He didn't show up. He didn't risk his life (and this is what, I think, pushed RJ to make the effort of doing what he's doing kill him - he would come off as a coward otherwise). In order for this particular event to work as the trigger for hope to happen, you need people to be lied to; the news are factually fake. The kids on Canto Bight aren't playing pretend that Luke's astral projection is distracting the FO, they're convinced that the legendary guy the Resistance have been talking about for years as the hero who can tip the tides of war has actually come to the galaxy's rescue.

I'm quite mind boggled that RJ didn't see a problem with making Luke's legacy literally deceiving kids. It's not even exaggeration - we see it happen onscreen.
And it's not something that the movie conjures up at the end out of contrivance or poor writing. Luke foreshadows what everybody knows - he's no superweapon, he's not powerful enough to tackle the FO alone or to provide a significant aid in defeating them. In all honestly, all his legendary Jedi powers lent to the cause of the Resistance would probably pale next to what Holdo achieved.
But suddenly, at the end of a movie that is adamant about the effects of war on even good people, Luke projects himself to save Leia and somehow the movie spins this as a positive thing because this deception will lead people to believe Luke Skywalker has come to their rescue and they can throw themselves against the military might he was powerless to defeat.
Somehow TLJ ends up turning Luke Skywalker in the SW equivalent of Vassilj Zajcev and nobody has an issue with it. It's an absolutely dark twist and I comment RJ for having the guts to put it on film, but the way people dismiss it as "hope for everyone!" is mind boggling to me.
But his Jedi powers DID save the rebellion. Luke didn’t decide to intervene as a calculated PR move, he made a strategic choice to buy the resistance time to escape the only way he could. And who knows what details the stories of that encounter include. That his intervention didn’t include a flashing light show and giant smoking craters doesn’t meant it wasn’t an incredible display of power. Who is to say those kids aren’t marveling at the incredible ruse he pulled on the First Order from across the galaxy?
 
#43
The “spark of rebellion” conceit was insane to begin with. The First Order destroyed the democratically elected government of the entire galaxy and we’re supposed to believe not a single group outside of Leia’s resistance cell gives a shit?
Probably because Episode 7 and 8 take place over a few days. Episode 8 starts with the Resistance evacuating their base after destroying Star Killer base (something I imagine they would begin pretty much right away after the X-Wings returned and Rey left to find Luke). When Finn and Rose leave for Canto Bight they say they have 18 hours of fuel left. That's just not a lot of time for any Resistance allies to build up a fleet large enough to take on the New Order fleet.
 
#46
Probably because Episode 7 and 8 take place over a few days. Episode 8 starts with the Resistance evacuating their base after destroying Star Killer base (something I imagine they would begin pretty much right away after the X-Wings returned and Rey left to find Luke). When Finn and Rose leave for Canto Bight they say they have 18 hours of fuel left. That's just not a lot of time for any Resistance allies to build up a fleet large enough to take on the New Order fleet.
I was mostly referring to the fact that the call for aid at the end returned exactly zero responses.
 
#47
But his Jedi powers DID save the rebellion. Luke didn’t decide to intervene as a calculated PR move, he made a strategic choice to buy the resistance time to escape the only way he could. And who knows what details the stories of that encounter include. Who is to say those kids aren’t marveling at the incredible ruse he pulled on the First Order?
If he saved them, then Rey played an equally important part.

There's two things I didn't put in the OP because they are different tangents and I wanted to discuss how this plot point may play out in IX, but as a small aside:

- the significance of saving the Resistance is minimal. It's not about them; they're 12 powerless people. Luke's message would be significant even if those people died. He wanted to save his sister, but even if she died, according to the logic of the movie he would have sparked the will of the galaxy to oppose the FO. Quite frankly, at this point, Poe and co. don't (shouldn't) really matter anymore.

- Luke's stunt is seen as the one thing that will galvanize people, and that's fine. But during the same day, a woman named Holdo inflicted a military defeat to the first order that crippled and decimated their army. If anything should spark the will to take on the FO, it's the fact that someone not only has demonstrated their lack of military discipline and poor leadership, but also destroyed half their military might in the process. The FO should be, at this point, extremely weakened. The idea that nobody cares about that but Luke showing up and disappearing is all important feels... stupid.

- Let's entertain the idea that the galaxy is mostly made by superstitious people who basically waiting for some Christ-figure to come and display supernatural powers and portray a saviour role.
Luke is fine and dandy, but we have Rey, who is a Jedi too (or a force-adept, if you want), who is a LOT more powerful than Luke ever did, who played an equally important part in saving the Resistance and who, incidentally, assassinated the First Order's leader (since THAT is a lie the FO itself will spread, out of necessity). Shouldn't be Rey the superweapon/saviour everyone was waiting for?
Wouldn't it be much easier for the Resistance to sell their power to still fight back by saying "Yeah, we have a jedi in our ranks and she killed Snoke and she can lift metric tons of rocks, clown the FO's tie fighters and she beated the fearsome Kylo Ren twice!" rather than "Luke Skywalker came back, and he did something... we don't know what exactly, we were fleeing"?
 
#48
You gotta understand that not everyone cares about this level of narrative consistency, and that's totally fine. Movies can be and often are more than some documentary-style description of events, things can be embellished or left vague or truncated for the sake of other creative priorities.
 
#49
You gotta understand that not everyone cares about this level of narrative consistency, and that's totally fine. Movies can be and often are more than some documentary-style description of events, things can be embellished or left vague or truncated for the sake of other creative priorities.

I'm fine with that, but I believe the moral implications of the heroes' actions are important, expecially in a quasi-fairytale like Star Wars (that is very much about family values, fighting fascism and generally larger-than-life-heroism fueled by love).

It's not about the logistics of how it happens; it does, the movie has the right to tell you it does and how it works. My interest is in the moral implications, for Luke but also for the Resistance. How do you turn what happened on Crait (which, in short, is: the guy we've told you we were looking for to be the thing that allowed us to win the war against the FO died to save 12 people and 1 ship) into a message of hope, without lies and deception?

Hope born from deception is a good thing?


And trust me, this one thing is the most interesting aspect of TLJ for me. I kind of hate it and love it. It makes me dislike the story but it also elevates the movie's complexity, a lot.
 
Top