I will never understand Rogue One fans who try to use the movie to diminish Luke Skywalker. Because if anything, that movie showed me why Luke would have been so damned important to the entire fleet.
For one thing, I don’t think I ever really appreciated the symbolic role the Jedi seem to have for the Rebellion. But they use them: the imagery and the sayings. Bail remembers Obi-Wan fondly. They give each other the Force wishes. Even Baze and Chirrut’s “there are no Jedi here” seems to represent, to them, how things have fallen.
So what must it have been like for the average rank and file of the rebellion to meet Luke Skywalker. A man trained by a Jedi, who owns that proudly. A man who openly wears a lightsaber. A man who openly wears that NAME.
A man who lives up to the sacrifices of Jyn, Cassian, Bodhi, Baze, Chirrut, K2, and brings down the Death Star with the Force itself.
And that’s not even getting into Luke, the man.
Look at Cassian. Look at his sacrifices. Look at what he’s had to do for his cause. Look at what it has done to him. Look at his despair and his weariness, and the desperate way he clings to his humanity even when he has to follow orders that skirt very close to the line that separates the Alliance from the Empire.
Can you imagine how much Cassian would have loved Luke? Luke Skywalker, who is so innocent and untouched by the war that’s battered them? Luke Skywalker, who is so moral and honest, open and accepting? Luke Skywalker, who would understand what they’ve had to do, but still remind them that they’re better?
Luke Skywalker represents everything that the Rebellion is trying to save. Everything the Empire isn’t.
Is it any wonder that Leia loved him immediately? That she focused so intently on comforting him through his grief?
Can you imagine how Luke’s squadron sees him?
Luke Skywalker is the embodiment of everything that the Rogue One squadmates died for. And he is so very very important.