It’s one of the stranger touches in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The movie picks up exactly where the previous film, The Force Awakens, left off, with Rey finally finding Luke Skywalker and handing him his father’s lightsaber. When The Last Jedi resumes, Luke looks at the lightsaber, looks at Rey, and tosses the saber off a cliff. Then he walks into his hut and ... changes clothes, from a white and tan Jedi robe to a darker ensemble.

The movie doesn’t make a big deal out of it, but it is a strange moment. Luke has guests so he changes into less nice garments? Why would he do that? Well, probably because The Last Jedi was a different movie and the filmmakers decided, for whatever reason, that they wanted Mark Hamill to wear a different costume that was more thematically appropriate to Luke’s arc. But it turns out there’s an in continuity explanation we never saw.

ScreenRant quotes from the Last Jedi novelization by Jason Fry, which provides a detailed reason for the switcheroo:

Luke’s white robes are ceremonial Jedi apparel that are part of the ritual of burning down the [ancient Jedi] tree. It turns out the last Jedi had long contemplated the act of lighting that tree ablaze, and with it, the remnants of the ancient Jedi Order, which he felt had been the cause of so much tragedy throughout the galaxy; something he was grappling with when Rey turned up ...

Basically, when Rey arrives on Ahch-To, Luke was going to burn the tree, but then he stopped. And since these “ceremonial robes” are only for the ceremony of burning down the tree, he changes out of them into what we guess is the Jedi equivalent of his comfy sweats.

So there you have it. Mystery solved. Star Wars: The Last Jedi is out on Digital HD now.

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