“The Last Jedi” was the anti-epic. It’s not a big, bombastic film. It’s not about the epic showdowns and the chosen heroes. It’s about the little people and the little moments of heroism and hope that add up to something spectacular.
That’s the tension that drives the film. Kylo Ren wants to be the epic “chosen one” who fulfills a grand destiny. Poe wants to be the hero who makes the miraculous shot that destroys the enemy forces. Rey wants to have some epic origin story to drive her destiny as the hero who saves the galaxy. But “Star Wars” isn’t that sort of universe anymore. Luke learned that being the legendary chosen hero can backfire. Leia learned that blowing up the big ship isn’t a grand victory if most of your troops lose their lives in the process. So they teach their apprentices a new way.
In this film, it’s the little moments of caring that can change the world. Telling a story to a poor orphan can be more heroic than blowing up a spaceship. The characters who learn that will be the ones who save the galaxy in the end. Only when the people on both sides can abandon these epic narratives in favor of little moments of compassion will this galaxy escape this cycle of war and achieve true peace.