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Developing fan theories is a huge pastime for many fandoms, especially those for sprawling franchises that have overlapping plots spanning multiple years and formats. The Marvel Cinematic Universe, for example, is rife with fan theories because the franchise loops through films, television shows, and comics that provide plenty of source material as a launching point for speculation. The creators also have a reputation for secrecy and keeping fans guessing, making the satisfaction of getting a theory right all the more rewarding. 

The Star Wars franchise is another one that lends itself to fan theories. It has a long history that now spans decades and multiple generations of fans who can come together over their love for — and criticism of — the films and television shows that have continued to spiral out from the original trilogy. 

Star Wars films and shows face intense scrutiny from fans 

Mark Hamill
Mark Hamill | Rich Fury/Getty Images

The Star Wars fandom is a juggernaut in the pop culture realm that has been uniting viewers across generations. While the fans may all share an appreciation for the franchise, its characters, and the universal themes of good vs. evil explored over the years, they certainly do not all agree.

Fans have gotten into some intense debates, and many of them have no clear winners. Whether it’s fighting over Rose Tico’s screentime or debating whether or not the “Reylo” relationship is built on abuse, discussing the finer parts of the franchise has served as a flashpoint for some of the most heated discussions among fans. They also open the door to incredibly close viewing, giving fans a willing audience for observational writing about the tiniest of details. 

‘The Last Jedi’ has been mired in fan controversy

One of the things that has allowed the Star Wars franchise to go on so long is the pattern of looping back into previously told stories and examine a specific character’s journey more directly. In 2017, that tendency was center stage in Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi. The film saw original actors Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher reprising their respective roles of Luke and Leia Skywalker, and the plot provided fans with a chance to revisit previous assumptions and guesses about where these legendary characters ended up and got their motivations. 

Because Luke’s legacy hangs so heavily over both the reception of the franchise among fans and over the world building of the fictional universe itself, this film was always going to be a lightning rod for debate. Indeed, many complained that the portrayal of Luke Skywalker was one of a bitter old man rather than the hero they wanted to see, but others thought this gritty turn only deepened Luke’s importance. 

‘The Last Jedi’ fan theory involves Luke Skywalker’s legacy


‘Star Wars’: This Common ‘The Last Jedi’ Complaint Makes No Sense

From the time that The Last Jedi premiered, fans have been debating what it means for the franchise as a whole and how it impacts both past and future works. One Redditor took to the platform to air a fan theory about Luke’s actions on Crait. 

The poster writes, in part, that “Luke appears, very much all of a sudden, out of nowhere and is considered to be a myth. Over thirty years time, his feats have been told in believe it or not story form (more so with the newer generation). Some of these tellings may be exaggerated and some stories just completely imagined and retold multiple times, too. That must’ve been some kind of shock to see him. If those troops who didn’t know who he was during Crait found out later that it in fact it was Luke Skywalker, that’d make an even bigger impact.” 

Many agreed that these actions furthered Luke’s legacy and made him an especially enduring myth to his enemies: “The fear that THE Luke Skywalker might still be out there and strong enough with the force to do things like he did on Crait should straight up turn him into something of a boogeyman.” 

Others countered that Luke’s actions may have been covered up by Kylo Ren ordering silence around the event or even by killing all the witnesses, but many pointed out those extreme actions would likely only intensify the rumors around Luke’s legacy — something Luke may well have known all along.