I feel like a proper homage to the old-school samurai student-teacher movies would have had an extended lesson when Rey slashes through the rock.
Specifically, a clear lesson in destruction and repair.
Honestly, a competent episode of a Star Wars cartoon could have pulled it off better: Rey swings the lightsaber around, gets careless, nearly crushes two nuns and smashes their cart. Hours of work are lost, and Rey is faced with a choice: apologize, ask for forgiveness, and offer to rebuild the cart and finish their work, or run away and leave it. Rey being Rey, she would probably go down and fix it herself (a fine subversion of the usual lesson, involving a sighing teacher who makes the apologies for his student), which would then earn approval from Master Skywalker–and perhaps a speech. A “what have we learned?” moment.
Instead, The Last Jedi plays this moment for laughs.
Maybe the novelization delves into her apologizing and making it up to them. Maybe there’s a deleted scene. Maybe this will be in Forces of Destiny. But it wasn’t in the movie, and honestly, I think the lesson was more just to show off her impulses.
If memory serves, that’s what leads Luke to discuss his “second lesson”, about how the Jedi failed and destroyed everything, but even that is…out of place. That’s Luke interpreting the wrong lesson. That’s assuming that Rey learned nothing, that all that happened was her destroying a rock and smashing the cart and that they both went “Oh, well.”
And as I said before, the film didn’t show enough hope. It ran on a steady stream of “give you hope and crush it”, and showing a part where Rey went down and fixed things would have just been good symbolism. There could have even been a moment of frustration where she finds out Luke was watching and says “Why didn’t you stop it? You could have waved your hand and brushed it aside!” And Luke could have responded “So could you.” To which Rey fumes–but then gets an idea, and waves her hand, and starts to piece the cart back together using the Force.
Proper training movies require more than just an old mentor and a brash young student. They need to interact, to build on one another, to teach each other and grow. Kung Fu Panda did this beautifully, and while this movie is not Kung Fu Panda, its roots and its origins are similar. Luke and Rey never argued properly about philosophy (except in that one deleted scene, which is so much closer to what the characters needed to be!), and there just wasn’t enough education. There was nothing to echo Obi-Wan or Yoda’s speeches; there was fanboy criticism and “aha!” observation, but nothing that resonated like “The Force is my ally, and a powerful ally it is.” There was no “Size matters not” moment.
We could have had it, but instead, we had Rey blasting holes in windows and smashing carts while calling her hosts “things” and Luke not caring about this one bit. I mean…responsibility, girl. You lived on a desert planet where what you had was what you could afford to not sell (and probably ended up selling eventually, anyway, when you had a bad day). Blasting a hole in a wall would be such a grievous offense for Rey, the girl who rescued a droid…but this is moving to a different topic.