32

The broom kid in Canto Bight has not grown any older, yet the story of Luke's bravery is already being passed along to become a legend (thus, within the span of a few months?). How is that possible?

And BTW, why would the galaxy believe a couple dozen "rebels" that such a stand took place? I know, I know... they need to believe. But there could be thousands of competing stories vying for people's attention. Why is the true story more successful?

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    Personal theory? Force ghost Luke wanders the Galaxy like an itinerant bard, sharing stories and fanning the flames of the Resistance. – Paul Dec 25 '17 at 5:32
  • I dont want to give away spoilers but there was a theory I read that insinuated a certain dead character became that child. Kind of hard to not know of Luke's last stand if you witnessed it. Of course, this all depends on the ninth movie but it is good to keep in mind especially in the context of the kid doing that trick with the broom where he grabbed it without using his hands. – The Great Duck Dec 25 '17 at 9:04
  • @Typhon, Anakin? Will it be Phantom Menace all over again? – user28434 Dec 25 '17 at 9:07
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    @user28434 someone who died in last jedi. It would make up for the lackluster death scene that made the character fall flat on their face literally and figuratively. – The Great Duck Dec 25 '17 at 9:13
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    @Typhon, yay, admiral Ackbar will return! – user28434 Dec 25 '17 at 9:34
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Canonical sources for time around The Last Jedi and after it are sparse so far, so I don't think we can provide definitive answer yet. Maybe upcoming novelization will change that.

However, junior novel The Legends of Luke Skywalker does provide some insight into minds of galaxy youth and status of Luke Skywalker at around this time. Here is what we know:

  • Luke spent years after Battle of Endor travelling galaxy far and wide. He met a lot of people and a lot of people witnessed first-hand some of extraordinary things he is capable of. He was subject of numerous stories shared during long space travels, in cantinas of dubious reputation and probably in many other places.
  • Some of stories about Luke were greatly exaggerated or not true at all. One Imperial Battle of Jakku veteran believed that Luke single-handedly brought down two star destroyers - while it isn't yet established in canon if he was even present during Battle of Jakku.
  • Children working in Canto Blight stables had access to crews of numerous starships from around the galaxy. They definitely heard some of the stories circulating around.

Some blanks are still left to be filled by your imagination, but we can at least try to answer some of original questions:

But there could be thousands of competing stories vying for people's attention.

At that point of history, Luke popularity was already established. That was not some random story competing for attention with other random stories - that was new story about very popular superhero. It was willingly shared thanks to the same mechanisms that make new Star Wars trailers go viral.

Why is the true story more successful?

We happen to know that this particular story is somewhat true, but in-universe it's status is probably similar to other stories about Luke. Children find it fascinating because it's super-awesome. Adults dismiss it as myth or think that there is some element of truth somewhere deep down below layers of fantasy.

25

Presumably the Resistance are still in communication with their former allies, even if they couldn't muster a fleet in enough time to be useful. Stories are deliberately spread about Luke's return (to take on the First Order single-handedly) as propaganda to further their cause and "light the spark".

Note that the film's director specifically confirmed that the children are role-playing his last stand, not just stuff that Luke did in his younger days.

“It’s mostly about Luke,” he said. “To me, it shows that the act Luke Skywalker did, of deciding to take on this mantle of ‘the legend,’ after he had decided the galaxy was better off without him, had farther reaching consequences than saving 20 people in a cave.”

Several times in the movie, characters mention “the spark” that will light the fire that burns down the First Order. While completing the task is now the job of the new heroes, it turns out that spark was our old friend Luke.

The Last Jedi spoiler talk: Rian Johnson explains deeper meaning behind that ending

  • Also there were presumably scanners running during the battle and thus capable of recording what happened, if only by the droids if no on else. – Keith Morrison Dec 26 '17 at 17:39
  • @KeithMorrison - Poe had some electric binoculars. There's probably a "record" button. – Valorum Dec 26 '17 at 17:42
  • I'd say it's not just presumable -- the kid has Rose's Resistance ring and there appears to be a starship just blinking into hyperspace in the sky above him in that scene. – ArrowCase Jan 2 '18 at 17:06
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In Earth, viral stories go viral on the Internet within hours.

Given that the galaxy far, far away has already mastered light speed travel, I would suspect that the planets in Star Wars probably have far more advanced communication across galaxies than the Internet. Ditto for news media and how they disseminate their news information across the stars.

Even though the kids at the end of the movie replicate the legend through fairly primitive toys, it's not unreasonable that they heard it through more advanced communication technology first.

Additionally, I think there were a few other factors (in addition to communication technology and news media being advanced) that helped the story of Luke's last stand spread across the galaxy.

  1. Luke Skywalker was already a legend who had helped destroy two Death Stars and end the reign of the Emperor and Darth Vader two to three decades ago. He had disappeared for many, many years and come back in the nick of time to save the Resistance, or at least what was left of it. How could this not go "viral"?
  2. The Resistance was almost crushed by the time Luke stepped in. Given how close the First Order was to decimating the Resistance, the entire galaxy was probably paying attention to the standoff at the Crait, irrespective of which side they were on or rooting for.
  3. As @Valorum points out in his answer, the Resistance is probably going to help fan the flames of Luke's last stand and how he single-handedly faced off the First Order and Kylo Ren. As we saw at the end of the film, the Resistance had little support, and Luke's magnus opus is probably being seen as the "spark that will light the fire that will bring the First Order down." (Not exact quote.)
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    The First Order already did decimate the Resistance, and then some. 400 early in the film down to an estimate of 20 by the end. – Nij Dec 25 '17 at 5:19
  • Plus that shoulder brush. Its just hard not to be on the edge of your seat, especially when you dont notice the obvious thing going on (like I didnt). – The Great Duck Dec 25 '17 at 9:06
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    4. Also, thousands of First Order soldiers witnessed the event. Some might pass the story on out of carelessness, and some might, just as Finn, start to question whether they are really on the good side after all. – vsz Dec 25 '17 at 16:34

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