In The Last Jedi, Luke and Rey had a discussion in the cave on Ahch-To, by the mosaic of the Prime Jedi.

First, Luke expressed how the Jedi Order was responsible of the rise of the Empire and was able to identify Darth Sidious by his Sith name. Where had he got this information from?

Next, Rey spoke about Luke as the Jedi who saved Darth Vader. She pointed out how Luke had felt a conflict within him but believed he wasn't gone but could be turned back to light. How could she have known what had happened, how Luke had felt and what he believed? In fact, how could anyone (except us, the audience)?

  • 4
    Trivially, there were enough characters around who became one with the force and would have been able to point much of that out, so Luke could have gotten the intel from them. Otherwise there was enough time for him (before Kylo Ren was old enough to be trained) to search for information about that time period in old archives, etc. As for Rey, I assume that the stories of the first trilogy became legends in-universe, too, so many people could have heard about Darth Vader and the Jedi who redeemed him (there were a lot of rebels and stormtroopers around). Dec 21, 2017 at 8:18
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    @Odin1806 Rey thought Luke was a myth, so unlikely she knew as much as she did. Re question: I'm certain a lot more time passed on Ahch-To then we're shown. And I mean weeks, maybe even months.
    – Edlothiad
    Dec 21, 2017 at 8:30
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    Given that Palpatine/Sidious was based on Coruscant and with Leia and her fellow Senators back in charge of Coruscant, it's likely that Luke gained access to his transmissions, archives and all the Sith/Jedi paraphernalia in the Jedi Temple/Imperial Palace. I'm assuming Palpatine has a folder on his desktop marked "Super Secret Sith Stuff - No Peeking!"
    – Valorum
    Dec 21, 2017 at 9:00
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    Yoda and Ben were around when the Empire came to be and I believe they knew Darth Sidious by name. Luke has contact with them. Luke spent time with Leia and co before running away it's likely they talked, y'know being siblings and good friends. It's not unlikely that Leia told Rey this or even Luke had told it her at some previous point in time.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Dec 21, 2017 at 10:59
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    Simple answer: Rey is a Mary Sue, and the force too is in the new trilogy. So everything is now possible, as long as the writers needs it to happen.
    – motoDrizzt
    Dec 21, 2017 at 11:38

1 Answer 1


(This is answer is entirely theory and conjecture, and as such devoid of sources. If another answer comes along that does have sources, please upvote that past this one)

Luke's knowledge of Darth Sidious and the rise of the Galactic Empire:

With the death of the Sith at the end of Return of the Jedi the Force was once again easily accessible and in balance. This shows itself, among other things, by having a whole parade of force ghosts showing up for the final scene of the film. With that established it is far from a stretch to assume that Luke had further exchanges with force ghosts of the Jedi that he knew, Obi-Wan and Yoda, who both had first hand contact with the rise of the empire and the fall of the order.

Rey's knowledge of the particulars of Darth Vader's fate:

Luke had a semi-public funeral for his father back on Endor, giving an opportunity for the core of that story, Luke having saved Vader, to be woven into the legend. Actual events turning into legend is definitely a theme of The Last Jedi, based primarily on the epilogue, and Return of the Jedi also establishes this with C3-PO telling the tales of the Rebel Alliance to the ewoks.

Of course one could argue that that's only enough for the broad strokes, that it was improbable that the legend happened to exactly cover the truth of the events (and discarding the possibility that the films we all love ARE the legends). Additional details, especially about the emotional state of Luke, could have been learned through the Force as Rey interacted with Luke.

There is precedent from The Force Awakens too where Rey learns a lot about Kylo Ren's emotional state and fears despite his resistance.

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