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The Dead Speak!: Reading with the Jedi

November 8th, 2023 | 7 min read

By Robert Brown

The Last Jedi is filled with provocative moments, but one scene is especially inflammatory—literally. Rey has just flown away to try and turn Kylo Ren back from the Dark Side. For exiled Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, who insists the Order is so morally compromised that it should end with him, this is the last straw. He brandishes a torch, intending to burn down the tree housing the ancient Jedi texts. The ghost of his own master, Yoda, appears, but doesn’t stop him. Instead, when Luke hesitates, Yoda himself calls down lightning to strike the tree—and laughs about it! As the tree burns, Luke concludes, “So, it is time for the Jedi Order to end.” But Yoda replies, “Time it is—for you to look past a pile of old books. … Wisdom they held, but that library contained nothing that the girl Rey does not already possess.”

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Robert Brown

Robert Brown studies American literature at Baylor University. On the side, he writes about theology and culture and especially film. His writing and other projects can be found at