Rey does not attempt to resist the dark side of the Force during her training with Luke Skywalker. Luke tells her to resist and she fails and he is clearly outraged. He says "It didn't scare me enough then. It does now.", referring to Kylo Ren.

Luke appears very disturbed by this and storms off. When seeing this, it appeared clear to me that Luke would cease training her or they would have some sort of an impasse, but the very next scene between them starts off with Luke saying "Lesson 2..." and they move on like nothing happened!

Why does Luke continue to train Rey despite being scared of her and what she might become?

  • 3
    Luke may have thought that she briefly gave into the dark side, but I thought that movie showed that this was actually not what she was doing
    – Jesse
    Commented Apr 6, 2018 at 17:36
  • 2
    What do you mean? He literally asks her to resist the dark and seems to splash water on her to pull her back. How was this not what she was doing? Also, the question stands. Why did Luke continue to train her if he believed she would give in to the dark side (or similar).
    – Behacad
    Commented Apr 6, 2018 at 17:43
  • 1
    He didn't think she ultimately would give in... but your title itself said that she briefly gave in. I am saying that what she actually did is under debate as to whether or not it was giving in to the dark side
    – Jesse
    Commented Apr 7, 2018 at 1:34
  • 3
    That was the only part of the movie I liked. Everyone isn't either black or white, good or bad. Everyone has negative aspects, and you can't fight the dark side (of yourself). That only makes it grow stronger. You shouldn't embrace it either, but recognize and acknowledge its existence. youtube.com/watch?v=2s8I3yq-Kmo
    – Chloe
    Commented Apr 7, 2018 at 19:46
  • 1
    Comparing to Yoda on Dagobah, I'd say Luke wasn't training Rey at all.
    – Essen
    Commented Apr 8, 2018 at 15:20

3 Answers 3


Luke was never trying to teach Rey how to use the Force. He was trying to show her why the Jedi needed to end- and, by extension, why he would not train her.

The first lesson was supposed to show Rey what the Force actually was; she already knew how to access it, but she had no idea what it was or how dangerous it could be, like a child playing with a loaded gun. It made sense to show her that she was only a small part of the Force, and how she could not control it herself.

The second lesson was about how hubris destroyed the Jedi and created the Empire. So again, Luke is trying to show Rey that the Force is dangerous, and how she should definitely not rely on it to find her parents or save the Resistance.

The way I see it, Luke couldn't just kill Rey: last time he tried that it backfired horribly (and at this point he has neither lightsaber nor the Force to help him). He also couldn't train her to use her power, because again that didn't go so well with Ben Solo, and Rey looked like she was going down the same path. Instead, he tried to show her that she didn't own the Force, and could never master it to get what she wanted, and if she tried it would only end in tragedy for her. Essentially, as Yoda explained, he taught her about failure, so she could grow beyond it.

  • 15
    Good answer except for one nitpick. You say that Luke doesn't have the Force to help him. I think there's plenty of evidence in the film to show that the Force is very much still with Luke.
    – craq
    Commented Apr 6, 2018 at 23:14
  • 6
    @a25bedc5-3d09-41b8-82fb-ea6c353d75ae But as Rey noticed in the first lesson, Luke had at that point disconnected himself from the Force. There was no point in attempting to draw on it again for something like attacking Rey, just to repeat his worst regret. Only later did things make him willing to feel and use and be used by the Force once again.
    – aschepler
    Commented Apr 7, 2018 at 0:59
  • 2
    @user21820 I actually have no idea what happened to my username. If you click on it, you can probably go through to my network profile and see that my username on other stack exchange sites is craq. This might be the first time I've posted in SciFi. Is a25b-etc a hash of craq? Maybe there is already a craq on SciFi?
    – craq
    Commented Apr 7, 2018 at 5:33
  • 1
    @a25bedc5-3d09-41b8-82fb-ea6c353d75ae: No there is no craq on SciFi SE (you can click on "Users" above to check), and your username is not a MD5/SHA1 hash of "craq".
    – user21820
    Commented Apr 7, 2018 at 6:03
  • 8
    The username seems to be a GUID of some sort
    – Vogel612
    Commented Apr 7, 2018 at 12:20

This actually isn't how it seems. That "lesson two" is the precise logical conclusion of Luke's fear of Ben's - and now Rey's possible - failure to the Dark Side.

The Novelization covers the exact sequence:

  • First, Rey has that first lesson when she is drawn by the Dark side.

  • Then, Luke observes her practicing with the lightsaber - NOT as part of instruction, but because she decided to do it herself. They have not spoken at that point, since the first lesson, yet.

    Rey stood opposite an outcropping of rock, practicing sparring with her staff.
    On Jakku she’d rarely neglected such practice—she needed to defend herself against threats ranging from marauding Teedos to fellow scavengers willing to kill for a valuable bit of salvage. She’d let things slide since arriving on the island, though, and now she wished she hadn’t.
    She was rusty, for one thing. But the exertion also helped blow away the fog and frustration that had enveloped her. Here there were no gnomic Jedi utterances or malevolent visitations to contend with—just the need to keep her staff spinning and jabbing.
    Rey didn’t allow herself a breather until she was sweating freely and her arms and shoulders ached. Leaning on the staff, ignoring the curious porgs circling overhead, she spotted Luke’s lightsaber peeking out of her bag. Should she?
    Of course she should.
    (Chapter 17)

    Note that she very explicitly starts her excercise to contrast with Luke's weird "teachings", and deliberately decides to practice with Lightsaber next.

  • Then, as Luke observes her destroy the rock outcropping (and the Caretaker's cart), Luke starts talking to her - at her prompting, mind:

    The suns were dipping toward the horizon as Rey and Luke entered the Jedi temple, facing each other across the font in the center of the ancient space.
    “So,” Rey said.
    She shook her head. “Nope, you start this time.”
    I’ve shown you that you don’t need the Jedi to use the Force,” Luke said. “So why do you need the Jedi Order?”

    As you can see:

    • He didn't want to talk to her until he saw her practicing with the Lightsaber (at which point he knows that she would risk turning to the Dark Side with or without his instruction).

    • Even then she had to prod him into the conversation.

  • 1
    I like the context of the answer. But can you perhaps elaborate on what your answer is to the question?
    – Behacad
    Commented Apr 7, 2018 at 14:43

I Just re-watched The Last Jedi and this is the impression I got:

Luke knows that he trained Kylo Ren, but kept knowledge of the Dark Side hidden, or at least downplayed. This allowed Kylo to be seduced.

Luke realized that withholding knowledge is dangerous, and rather than let another powerful force sensitive out into the world, he continues to train Rey. He stresses his thoughts on why the Jedi, specifically, needs to end. We don't get to see a long diatribe about this, but my brain just assumes it happened.

I suspect it's going to lead into a canonical creation of Grey Jedi, Each individual containing within themselves balance in the force, as opposed to the forced duality of Sith and Jedi.

This is all just speculation on my part.

  • 1
    This is possible but is indeed pure speculation, or perhaps even a significant leap.
    – Behacad
    Commented Apr 6, 2018 at 17:23
  • 1
    It is more than pure speculation, Luke's fear of the dark side was portrayed as out-dated, the favoured approach being shown as Rey's more open and accepting style
    – Jesse
    Commented Apr 6, 2018 at 17:39
  • Yes but the fact that Luke thought this and changed his mind based on this fact is pure speculation, is it not?
    – Behacad
    Commented Apr 6, 2018 at 17:44
  • 1
    Hence the last line there "This is all just speculation on my part".
    – Paul TIKI
    Commented Apr 6, 2018 at 18:12

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