The opening crawl from this latest film 'Star Wars, Episode VIII: The Last Jedi' reads that the First Order is plotting to seize military control of the galaxy. A team of Resistance fighters led by General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) are planning an evacuation from their main base as Supreme Leader Snoke's (Andy Serkis) forces are coming for them. The Resistance holds out hope that Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) will return to bring hope.
The opening scene shows Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and the droid BB-8 are flying over the First Order's dreadnought as General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) orders his men to fire upon Poe and the Resistance's base. Other fighters head in for the attack. Poe orders a fighter, Paige (Veronica Ngo), to drop the payload onto the dreadnought. The fighters take heavy hits, and Paige is knocked away from her remote. With mere moments before the First Order obliterates the Resistance, Paige is able to grab the remote and drop all their bombs down on the dreadnought, completely destroying it at the cost of her life. The rest of the fighters go into hyperspace to escape.
Aboard the First Order ship, a hologram of Snoke reprimands Hux for failing to stop the evacuation. Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) enters the meeting. Snoke notes that, in spite of Kylo killing his father, Han Solo, he may still turn to the light side of the Force. Although Kylo protests, Snoke doesn't have faith in him. On his way down the elevator, Kylo smashes his helmet to pieces in rage.
Meanwhile, former storm trooper Finn (John Boyega) wakes up from his coma after his light-saber battle with Kylo. Poe finds him and is happy to see him. The first thing Finn asks is for Rey (Daisy Ridley).
Rey has just arrived on the planet Ahch-To with Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) and R2-D2 (Jimmy Vee) on the Millenium Falcon to find Luke. She hands him his light-saber, but he just callously tosses it over his shoulder. Confused, Rey follows Luke, but he doesn't want to see her or know who she is and why she has sought him out. She tells him that Leia sent her to find him. Chewie breaks down the door to Luke's hut. Luke then asks Chewie where Han is.
Leia demotes Poe as a result of his actions with the dreadnought. Moments later, the First Order ship catches up to the Resistance after tracking their hyper-speed. The First Order deploys their TIE fighters to attack. Kylo flies in in his own TIE fighter and prepares to launch the killing strike against the Resistance leaders, but he pulls back after sensing Leia on board. The other TIE fighters fire upon them, causing a blast that sucks the rebel leaders into space to their deaths. Leia pulls herself back to the ship using the Force, but she goes unconscious.
Rey and Kylo begin to feel a connection in which they can see and communicate with each other. With Luke still not wanting to have anything to do with the Force or the Jedi, R2 plays him Leia's original message to Obi-Wan Kenobi to persuade Luke to help (from the first Star Wars film 'A New Hope'). Luke senses Rey's power and eventually agrees to give her lessons in the way of the Jedi and why it must end.
With Leia out of commission, Vice Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern) assumes command of the Resistance. Meanwhile, Finn attempts to hop on an escape pod. He is found by mechanic Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran), who is mourning Paige, her sister. Rose is a big fan of Finn, seeing him as a Resistance hero. However, she zaps him with her taser when she realizes he's trying to escape. Finn notes that the First Order is tracking them through hyper-speed, and they can't make another jump because they are dangerously low on fuel, and the First Order will find them anyway. With Poe's help, they contact Maz Kanata (Lupita Nyong'o) for assistance, but she is in the middle of a fierce battle. She does tell them that she knows a code-breaker on Canto Bight that can help them, and they need to find him wearing a particular symbol.
Rey's first lesson sees Luke attempting to show her to feel the Force and control it. Rey is able to see visions and manipulate small pebbles as she achieves balance. However, she soon sees a vision of herself being pulled toward a dark pit, with Luke trying to break her out of it. The pit spews water and snaps Rey out of the vision. Luke says she saw the dark side of the Force, and she didn't even try to stop herself. He tells her he has seen something like this once before, and it didn't scare him then as it does now. This is why he considers the ways of the Jedi to be a failure.
Finn, Rose, and BB-8 arrive at a casino on Canto Bight. Finn is impressed with the glitz and wealth of the casino, but Rose hates the place because only the weapons dealers who sell to the Empire are rich enough to gamble there. It is also home to a number of rotten people who take pleasure in misdeeds, including cruelty to giant but gentle creatures called fathiers that are forced to race, and enslaved children who live with them in the stables as caretakers. The trio finds the Master Codebreaker (Justin Theroux) playing at a table, but the heroes get captured and thrown into a jail cell for illegally parking their ship. In their cell, Finn and Rose meet a stuttering scoundrel named DJ (Benicio Del Toro). He overhears the two of them needing a code-breaker, and he offers his services. DJ manages to open their cell and helps them escape, and they climb down to the stable. Rose, fascinated by the beautiful fathiers, stops to free one from its stable and finds a small boy inside. Frightened, he nearly pushes a panic button but Rose shows him her ring with the Resistance's symbol. They fight guards on the way out with the help of BB-8 and ride the fathiers as they stampede through the casino to get away. Finn and Rose's ship is destroyed but BB-8 and DJ bring them another one to make their escape.
Luke mentions that the last time he saw Kylo Ren as his student, he had attempted to kill him by collapsing his hut on him. As Rey and Kylo continue to connect, Kylo tells Rey that Luke saw the power growing in Kylo and had attempted to get rid of him before he got stronger.
Holdo starts to set in motion plans to evacuate the Resistance ship to a nearby Resistance stronghold, the planet Crait. Poe believes she is doing something wrong, and he attempts to stage a mutiny. Before his plans can go into effect, Leia appears after waking up and she incapacitates Poe. Leia allows Holdo's plan to go ahead.
Rey confronts Luke over what Kylo told him. They engage in a brief fight before she asks if he really tried to kill Kylo. Luke explains that he sensed nothing but great darkness in Kylo, with no hope of him turning back. He did consider killing him but backed out of it, only for Kylo to see him with the light-saber and respond with a counterattack. Rey decides to leave Ahch-To with Chewie and R2. Luke walks by the tree containing sacred Jedi texts when he is met by a familiar face...YODA (voice of Frank Oz). He destroys the tree with a lightning bolt, to Luke's dismay. Yoda's spirit tells Luke to help Rey before she is also lost to the dark side. Luke considers himself a failure, but, in the words of Yoda, "The greatest teacher, failure is."
Meanwhile, Finn, Rose, and DJ make it to the First Order's ship. Unfortunately, they are captured by Captain Phasma (Gwendolyn Christie) and her goons, with DJ having told the villains Finn and Rose's plan in order to gain monetary compensation. At the same time, Rey arrives on the same ship and is taken prisoner by Kylo Ren.
Kylo brings Rey to Snoke. Rey tries to get Kylo to abandon the dark side, but Snoke taunts Rey as she tries to fight back. Snoke reveals that he created the connection between her and Kylo in an attempt to destroy Luke. Snoke attempts to get Kylo to kill Rey with his light-saber, but Kylo uses Luke's light-saber to impale Snoke and cut him in half. Rey and Kylo then fight Snoke's soldiers and slaughter them all. Kylo, now fully taken over by the dark side, tries to get Rey to join him, but she refuses and tries to get him on the Resistance side. Kylo attempts to manipulate Rey when mentioning her parents. Despite her trying to forget, her parents were just junk traders who sold her off. Rey eventually resists and leaves to rejoin the Resistance while Kylo assumes his role as the new Supreme Leader.
As the Resistance fighters are making their way to Crait, Hux's men start to fire upon the transports, killing heavy numbers of the Resistance. Seeing no other option, Holdo sacrifices herself and rams the command ship at light-speed into the First Order ship, splitting it in two and destroying other nearby ships.
BB-8, having escaped the villains' clutches, commandeers a AT-AT armored Walker to fire upon the First Order soldiers. Finn and Rose prepare to escape, but Finn battles Phasma until he overpowers her. She tells him he was always scum, to which he proudly responds, "Rebel scum." The ship starts to come apart, and Phasma falls into the burning wreckage. Finn and Rose head off to meet the others on Crait.
The surviving Resistance fighters have dwindled to a few dozen or so. Kylo and Hux lead gigantic walkers to the Resistance stronghold, armed with a battering ram cannon that will obliterate the entrance. Poe leads Finn, Rose, and a few others on speeders to fight back. Rey and Chewie come down with the Falcon to draw away TIE fighters while Finn attempts to stop the cannon. He nearly flies head on until Rose crashes her ship into his to stop him. Finn goes to her and asks why she did it. She tells him they always fight for what they love. She kisses him and then passes out. Finn rushes back to the stronghold to get Rose medical attention.
The First Order fires their cannon onto the stronghold. Poe and Leia appear hopeless with most of their comrades dead and their own doom approaching. Suddenly, Leia is visited by Luke. The two siblings have a final meeting, with Luke saying that "Nobody is ever truly gone." Luke goes out to face the First Order. Kylo orders the soldiers to fire everything on Luke where he stands. Even after the insane amount of firepower unleashed on Luke, he still stands and coolly brushes his shoulder off. Poe realizes Luke is distracting the villains to allow them to escape. The fighters follow crystal wolves to an exit, only to be blocked by a huge pile of rocks.
Kylo goes down to face Luke himself. They duel with their light-sabers, and Kylo attempts to strike Luke with a killing blow, only to realize Luke is a hologram... projecting himself while still on Ahch-To. Luke tells Kylo that he will not be the last Jedi. At that moment, Rey uses the Force to clear the way for the fighters. She and Finn embrace. Kylo screams in rage at his defeat as the heroes board the Falcon and escape.
On Ahch-To, Luke finishes using what power he had left. He looks up and sees a twin sunset, just like back on Tatooine. He smiles, and then, he vanishes, now completely becoming one with the Force. Rey tells Leia that she has sensed that Luke is now gone, and she asks what will become of the Resistance now. Leia tells her they have what they need to rebuild.
On Canto Bight, a trio of stable children that previously encountered Finn and Rose are telling each other the story of Luke Skywalker. Their master comes over to scold them to force them back to work. The boy they had found in the stable goes outside to sweep. He looks up at the sky to see the Falcon flying overhead, and, with Rose's Resistance ring on his finger, he raises his broom like a light-saber.
The film closes with the words, "In loving memory of our princess, Carrie Fisher."