The only thing scarier than squaring up against the forces of intergalactic evil is going to visit your idol and having them brush you off — and this is exactly will be the "major theme" of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, according to new plot details Entertainment Weekly has revealed. When we last saw Rey in The Force Awakens, she'd first come face to face with Luke Skywalker and had offered his family light saber to him. There were at least two minutes of Rey holding out that saber and him just eyeballing her back, like an odd mountain-top staring match, and as much as some of that could be chalked up to slow motion, that was a long shot. In short, it was pretty clear that something was wrong and it's now been clarified for audiences precisely what the tension is about.
Actor Mark Hamill (who plays Skywalker) explained to Entertainment Weekly that the character is now emotionally damaged:
"The fact that Luke says [in the trailer], ‘I only know one truth. It’s time for the Jedi to end…’ I mean, that’s a pretty amazing statement for someone who was the symbol of hope and optimism in the original films."
Luke's emotional transformation doesn't make things easy for Rey's visit to Ach-To, meaning that she feels anything but welcome. Daisy Ridley explained the possible impact on her character, stressing, "She’s so hopeful to everything and obviously there’s a hint of, ‘What the hell?’"
Sure, she's scrappy and independent, but, in the last film, we saw her have a lot of luck when it came to the people she was in contact with. By the end of the film, she'd become warmer and less guarded to those around her. As a result, viewers can hardly blame her for comparing Skywalker's behavior with that of the last father-figure she's hung out with, Han Solo. "'Oh my God, this other man that I lost within a couple days was somewhat of a father figure,'" Ridley explained Rey's thought process. "'Now he’s gone, and instead I’m with this grumpy guy on an island who doesn’t want me here.'"
The new images that have been released reinforce this feeling of distance between the two characters; there's still as much space between them as we saw at the end of the last film, suggesting that audiences shouldn't expect the tension between them to be resolved through one heartfelt conversation.
But, to be fair, Hamill suggested that the reason Luke pushes Rey away might center on Luke's feelings of guilt about constantly trusting the wrong people. When he then invests all of his energy into Kylo Ren and is then "betrayed, with tragic consequences," the "primary obstacle" to Luke returning to the world is "that guilt, that feeling that it’s his fault, that he didn’t detect the darkness in him until it was too late."
It sounds as if Luke is laboring under a whole galaxy of emotional baggage – and no prodigy, however charming, could expect to erase all of that in one snappy exchange.