When the chapter of Luke Skywalker had come to an end in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, there was a lot of disturbance in the Force and a pretty familiar echo for Wolverine fans.
The clawed mutant (Hugh Jackman) went through a very similar story arc like Mark Hamill’s Skywalker and he did it with a much more gravitas in Logan. This is not diminishing the impact of Rian Johnson’s choice to showcase Luke’s act of heroism, but there are a few unavoidable similarities between these movies and how they deal with their old and aging legends. And we can say that Logan’s last stand surely edges out Luke’s with no doubt.
AGING HEROES IN EXILE
Regret and remorse were what drove Luke and Logan into making their choices. In Logan, Charles Xavier suffers from Alzheimer’s and his psychic powers killed the X-Men. Logan had exiled himself and Charles in Mexico and where Charles is isolated. But Logan accepts the responsibility of Charles and makes ends meet as a limo driver.
Luke Skywalker also isolated himself in remorse for a big regret: scared that Ben Solo may succumb to the dark side, he tried to kill his nephew. After Ben had responded by burning the Jedi temple and killing a few students, Luke ran away from everything. The last Jedi sought refuge in an isolated world of Ahch-To.
Logan is made of sterner and bolder stuff than Luke. Luke’s story is that of a hero who is swimming in self-blame. Logan continued to struggle and face life.
YOUNG WOMEN IN NEED WHO ARE JUST LIKE THEM
Unwelcome strangers had come into the life of Logan and Luke as young girls with very similar powers. In Logan, it is Laura, a clone of Wolverine. She is desperate for help to find a haven for the mutants in Canada. Initially having refused, the circumstances had forced Logan to help Laura. Logan eventually accepted the responsibility for Laura.
Luke was much more reluctant than Logan to help Rey when she came to Ahch-To. His mentoring of Rey was very brief. Rey finally found Luke to be a disappointment. She then left Ahch-To and tried to turn Ben Solo to the light side. It was after Luke had made his sacrifice that Rey finally saw the spark of a hero that she believed in as a young girl.
Laura and Rey had spent little time with the aging heroes. Laura got more effort out of Logan. He breathed his last breath protecting Laura. Rey just regards the time she spent with Luke as a letdown.
COPING WITH THEIR LEGENDS
Luke and Logan dealt with the specter of their past exploits. Luke’s heydays were all over, as the young Jedi who had destroyed a Death Star and redeemed Darth Vader. While we know very little about his life between Return of the Jedi and when Rey meets Luke, the sad Master had was dismissive of his legend and had rejected Rey.
Logan’s life was spent fighting wars and enduring as a victim and a killer. Logan was uncomfortable with hero worship including any regard shown to him by Donald Pierce.
Laura and Rey had believed in their legends. When they were called upon Luke and Logan had risen to the occasion in their own different ways. Logan was an inspiration to a few mutants who are now on their own and must survive in a world that hates them. The legend of Skywalker has a lot of power in the galaxy, and his final stand on Crait had given new hope to the Rebellion.
THE FINAL SACRIFICE
These story arcs share a whole lot of similarities. Yes, Luke’s sacrifice was a powerful heart-felt moment but was this as resonant as Logan’s sacrifice. Not really.
While Luke owned up to his mistakes and faced Kylo, he did this through the Force. Luke did not face Kylo for a very noble goal like saving him from the Dark Side. Luke’s last stand was just to give the Rebels enough time so that they could escape. His sacrifice, well, yes, was noble but loses luster as he as not physically present.
Logan gave up his body, heart, and soul. And all this to save Laura. He withstood pain and abuse. Logan had lost Charles and had faced a much more powerful clone of himself in X-24.
In spite of his healing factor, he could not withstand the wounds but still pushed himself beyond limits.
While no one cried at Luke on screen despite Leia and Rey sensing that Luke had gone, Logan’s death was devastating.
Luke’s end in The Last Jedi was divisive among fans and Logan‘s sendoff has become legendary.