Why Rey Is Able To So Easily Beat Luke Skywalker In The Last Jedi

Rey appears to easily beat Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which may seem dubious to some viewers. Rey is shown repeatedly to possess a remarkable intrinsic connection to the Force, yet she’d had no formal training at that point in her story—only a basic lesson on how to feel the Force. Luke Skywalker, on the other hand, is a former Jedi Master by the events of The Last Jedi and should have easily been able to defeat the scavenger. Despite this, Rey’s apparent victory makes sense in context, considering Luke’s condition, her natural strength, and the events of their brief fight.

With only brief training from Jedi Masters Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda, Luke Skywalker followed the path of the Jedi largely on his own, using his curiosity, aptitude, and strong connection to the Force to become one of the galaxy’s greatest Jedi Knights by the events of Return of the Jedi. In this regard, he and Rey are kindred spirits, which makes their lack of a meaningful relationship in The Last Jedi an unfortunately missed opportunity.

Related: Star Wars: How Powerful Luke Skywalker Really Is In Each Movie

After discovering Rey’s Force-connection to Kylo Ren, Luke destroys Rey’s Ahch-To hut and demands that she leaves, only to be attacked from behind by Rey with her quarterstaff. Arming himself with a metal antenna, Luke battles Rey until she brandishes Anakin’s lightsaber, causing Luke to fall. While Luke appears to be beaten, he had the upper hand but ceased fighting once Rey wielded the lightsaber. Luke never truly lost the fight.

When Rey and Luke first began trading blows, Luke was in control of the fight. With only a metal pole, Luke easily blocks and dodges Rey’s attacks, striking Rey multiple times before disarming her rather effortlessly. Had they both been wielding lightsabers, Luke would have similarly bested the untrained scavenger. Luke stumbled and fell once Rey produced a weapon capable of harming him, but even so, his use of the Force later in the film proves that he still likely wasn’t in any real danger.

While Luke was cut off from the Force for most of the film, he demonstrated incredible feats as soon as he reconnected to it, reaching out to Leia and obliterating a stone hut within moments of using the Force again. Luke’s most impressive feat was projecting an image of himself across the galaxy to distract Kylo Ren and the rest of the First Order’s forces. Even unarmed, Luke was likely not in any danger when Rey threatened him with his father’s lightsaber.

By the time that Rey took up the lightsaber, Luke was not interested in escalating their melee and simply wanted her to leave. Although The Last Jedi’s interpretation of Luke was arguably dissonant with his characterization in previous films, it would have been even more out of character for him to trounce Rey with the Force and potentially repeat his traumatic mistake with Ben Solo from years ago. Instead, Luke allowed the situation to simmer before explaining his actions. Rey never beat Luke in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, he simply fell and refused to continue a needless fight.

Next: Star Wars: What Lightsaber Form Does Rey Use?

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