In The Last Jedi as the Resistance was facing their end with The Last Order having blown open the doors to the Resistance Base and not receiving any replies for help, Luke appears and comforts Leia giving her a set of Golden Dice from the Falcon (assuming Han's).

After Kylo Ren fails to kill Luke with a barrage of blaster fire he and Luke fight and at the end Ren realizes that he was fighting a Force Projection and Luke was never on Crait but still at Ahch-To.

During the fight we see that unlike Ren, the Skimmers or energy blasts that hit the ground, Luke was not disturbing the dried white salt on the surface and though out the fight Luke never uses his Lightsaber1 instead dodges everything, this would suggest that a Force Projection have no solid presence and if their lightsabers connected Ren would realize that the fight was fruitless (for him).

Back to the Resistance Base i recall Luke holding Leia's hands when they were sitting down. So my question is, Did Leia know that Luke wasn't real when he was at the Resistance base?

1: in the video linked above around 15-17 second in it it's hard to see if Luke's Lightsaber connected with Ren's but i'm of the belief that if it did, Luke's movements obscured Ren's sight of the Lightsaber going right through Luke's

  • The movie is still in theaters at the time of this writing. Would strongly advise re-phrasing question to something less spoiler-y, like "Did Leia know Luke's true nature?" or "Did Leia know the truth about Luke's appearance?" Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 3:38
  • Well, clearly Luke has a solid presence when he wants to. He was able to give Leia those projected dice, after all.
    – Adamant
    Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 3:41

5 Answers 5


Yes. Leia knows he isn't really there

According to a interview with Entertainment Weekly, it is confirmed that when Luke hands Leia Han's dice, she gives him a glance and "that is when she knows" that he isn't really there:

Those watching the film for the first time will likely miss this (they’re supposed to), but Fisher also delivers a subtle, revealing glance during their interaction when Luke reaches out and hands her the pair of Han Solo’s golden dice that were hanging inside the Millennium Falcon.

Her expression is not grief, but shock. And it’s not about receiving this memento.

“That’s when she knows,” Hamill says.

Her brother isn’t really there. And yet he is.

  • 1
    Exactly, why would he have the dice to begin with?
    – Odin1806
    Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 17:21
  • @Odin1806 Probably because it was a powerful memento from her dead husband and all their adventures together?
    – TylerH
    Commented Jan 6, 2020 at 21:40
  • 3
    @TylerH ...so... why would HE have it?
    – Odin1806
    Commented Jan 7, 2020 at 4:15
  • @Odin1806 somehow I misread the first comment as not only "she" instead of "he", but also "want" instead of "have". At any rate, Luke has the dice because he took them from the Falcon (which Rey flew to Ahch-To to find Luke). Luke probably missed Han a great deal, and so would've wanted them for the same reasons: most people like having the favorite good-luck charm of their recently-deceased long-time best friend, such things bring solace and help you remember them.
    – TylerH
    Commented Jan 7, 2020 at 14:44
  • @TylerH - I figured you did, but at any case I don't think Luke would have the dice at all. They would have stayed with Han and/or the Falcon. Considering that Han was alive until after Luke stranded himself on the 'Jedi planet' there is no real way for Luke to have ever even gotten the dice. To me the dice were an easy way to show camaraderie given current circumstances, sorrow for recent events, and hope to say 'We have done the impossible before... we can make it through this too.' It might have meant the Falcon was on its way, but Leia seemed surprised to me when Rey showed up...
    – Odin1806
    Commented Jan 7, 2020 at 14:58

There's no direct canon answer yet (may be future novelization will say).

But the evidence in the film says "likely, no":

  1. If she knew, she'd know 100% he was buying them time. Yet, it took Poe to point that out, well after Leia should have if she had known.

  2. When leaving, she wistfully looked back at Luke (before wryly telling everyone to follow Poe). If she knew he was a Force Projection she would not have

  3. The Dice felt real to Kylo when he picked them up, so would have felt real to Leia. So, Luke can control his projection to be solid.

  4. She didn't look like she faked the touch.

Now, what I want to know is, why did Luke winked at C3PO as he walked by. Like C3P0 was in on the joke (having sensors, probably he was)

  • Off memory, she also looks visibly struck, when Kylo Ren opens fire on Luke. Again, this would not have worried her, if she did not think Luke was physically there.
    – Gnemlock
    Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 5:51
  • What evidence leads you to think the dice felt real to Kylo or Leia? I think point 1 is not necessarily the case. She might have had no idea what he was there to do. Certainly looking at a projection (point 2) makes sense in any case. If she had hugged him or something like that, then I think you'd have a good case that she didn't know. Point 4 is actually what I think is the moment that contradicts your answer. She didn't "fake" it but she was surprised when they "touched" and she looked up at him with a puzzled expression for a moment. Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 14:57
  • @ToddWilcox - because otherwise they'd slip through their palms (like Kilo's lightsaber slipped through Luke). They both HELD the Dice, not just looked at them Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 15:37
  • 2
    I strongly disagree with all your points. Even if Leia knew that he was a Force Projection, she would still take some time to understand that he was buying them time. She would still look back at her brother; she understood that this might be the last time she was seeing him from close distance and she had nearly 20 years to see him alive. Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 15:54
  • Notice that Luke doesn't fall through the surface of the planet. Part of the whole process of projecting himself is making sure as he "moves" he realistically maintains apparent physics. Note that when he is "fighting" Ren he does not disturb the salt layer on the planet surface, and Ren does. The point being, the dice were projected to stay in Leia's hand, and rest on the floor (as opposed to falling to the center of the planet). They are not acted on by gravity. Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 16:25

According to the film's official novelisation, Leia recognises what Luke is from his touch (or rather his lack of touch).

“No one’s ever really gone,” he said quietly, leaning forward to kiss her on the forehead as he took her hands in his.

When they touched, she immediately understood. A slight smile played at the corners of her mouth, and her eyes shone with the secret the two of them now shared.


There is a reason to think the answer is:


When Luke first appeared, they went up into the control room and sat and talked. At this point, she had no reason to think it wasn't actually Luke. Then he reaches out and "takes her hand" and puts the dice in it. At that point she has a visible startled reaction. In my second viewing, I interpreted this as showing she knew she wasn't actually feeling anything at the time, that Luke was just a projection.

On my second viewing I read that reaction as a clear indication that she knows he is a projection. One argument against my view is that when Rey and Kylo "touch" via projection, it seems like they are making physical contact, or at least getting physical feedback from the touch. So it may be that you can "feel" a force projection and so Leia had her expression for a different reason.

  • I feel like there's too many things against your argument for it to be plausible, unfortunately. The look of shock could be that she felt him and her mind wasn't just seeing things. Or just having him be back after so long.
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 15:03
  • @Edlothiad What are some of the "too many things"? Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 15:05
  • Well there's 4 listed in the answer above and one in the comments, so that's 5.
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 15:12
  • @Edlothiad Oh, I don't think any of the four in the other answer hold water and I've commented on all of those. I guess I interpret the same things in the opposite way. Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 15:26
  • Startled reaction could be because it's Han's dice, and she just sent Han out to be murdered a couple of days ago. Again, absent novelization or screenplay, hard to say either way with certainty Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 15:38


  • She may have thought he was there at first, but only before thinking about it.
  • Once he handed her the dice that would have been the giveaway he wasn't.
  • How did Luke know that was where they were all headed for their last stand?
  • Crait was not their final destination.
  • And why did Luke have the dice to begin with?

So I think the biggest give away in this instance is that Luke was there. How did he know that that was where the rebels had chosen to go for their last stand. Luke had cut himself off from everyone in his self driven exile. He had no contact with the outside world, other than possibly using the force.

However, we are told that he had cut himself off from the Force prior to Rey showing up and we are expected to believe that up until he is confronted by Rey to that very point he has still been cut off from the Force entirely.

In addition, Crait (the planet of the last stand), was not their final destination. I can not think of a single case in ANY sci-fi series where you FTL to your destination, but then have to travel such a distance that your ships begin to run out of fuel before you get where you are trying to go... The plan was to jump away from the First Order, possibly to their new home base, but after completing the jump they traveled in a straight line long enough for their fuel reserves to run out and Crait just happened to be along that path. (I also like to think that it was at least a semi straight line or the First Order would have been smart enough to notice they were circling the planet Crait, thus giving away the destination, if it actually was where they were going.)

So the decision to go to that planet was an after thought, given the situation. Until they landed on the planet and sent out the request for aid no one had been contacted about their current location. And unless Luke pulled up his X-Wing to turn on the radio he had no way to hear that distress call.

Therefore, I believe it is safe to assume Luke only knew the location after finally reconnecting to the Force and reaching out to find Leia.

After first seeing Luke approaching her it is possible that Leia believed Luke was really there, but it is doubtful. Given his isolation and lack of communication the odds of him figuring out the rebels plan in such a short time (and Poe's lack of connecting the dots) and also flying all the way there, landing unseen and undetected, at the secret back door that she herself did not know about (or she would have spoken up sooner about it), and Luke telling everybody about the back door escape possiblility... that is very doubtful.

Luke was not there to facilitate the escape through the back door, he did not know it was there. He was there to buy time as best as he could hoping that the Force would provide another way or that someone would show up to help.

For the dice, we do not know if they had weight or any solidity to them. Hopefully a novelization will reveal that in the future; but it does not really matter. The question is Why did Luke have the dice to begin with? Luke had no reason to actually have them. They were Han's. Luke handing Leia something he shouldn't have was a clear indication that something was up. Luke couldn't have those dice and since that was a lie that likely would have been the point where she notice his being there was a lie as well.

He fabricated the dice as a non-verbal communication between himself and Leia, something only the two of them would understand. The dice were meant to represent Luke's sorrow for the loss of Han. That was it. They were just a symbol of Han that Leia would understand as unspoken sympathy given her recent loss.

And to the point of the dice being both held and picked up, I do no think that reveals much. For Luke to project himself across the universe he could have floated around the planet like a ghost... a Force Ghost to be exact... but he didn't. He simulated walking and everything else. It was all a show that he mentally built. He had to consciously think about "Ok, step here, this is a step down..." and simulate it all as if he was actually there... Given that shortly after their meeting Leia was out of that room and the dice were set down, it was likely a simple feat to 'leave the dice there' for Luke while he was fighting Kylo.

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