Luke Skywalker, the Last Mentor?

By Brian Elston, Mentoring Committee Chair


The 28th Judicial Bar offers a mentorship program to mentors and mentees. The benefits to both is unquestionable. However, as depicted in The Last Jedi, a mentor/mentee relationship can involve growing pains.

In summary, The Last Jedi features Luke Skywalker-a once idealist mentee of the Jedi way, now-turned into self-exiled curmudgeon. In short, Luke has turned into a frustrated-mentor because of a prior failed mentor/mentee relationship, to such an extent, that Luke pulled a light saber on his mentee.

As I watched, I couldn’t help but think of Star Wars in the context of mentor/mentee relationships. Turning to our local bar’s mentoring program, and borrowing from a galaxy far far away, here are a couple lessons for each the mentor and mentee:

To the Mentee:

Trust the Force: Mentors became Jedi Masters for a reason. They’ve put in the hours, tried the cases, learned the lessons, and already made the mistakes. There’s a reason for the gray hairs. It is tempting, and human nature, for a mentee to think they can do it better and follow their own way. However, trust the mentor.

Get in the Millennium Falcon and go to Ahch-to. In TLJ, Luke, the great Jedi Master, is a hermit on an island. Rey, a hopeful-mentee, goes to great lengths to find him and eventually does. Does Luke welcome her with open arms when she arrives? Not at all.

Mentors are busy. They’ve have clients, their own families, billables, etc. However, like Rey, continue to show up and help the mentor make time for the lessons. Seek them out and follow up. On that note, mentees that need assistance with finding a mentor can visit the Local Bar’s website and fill out an application.

This is not going to go the way you think. Luke did not work out as a mentor for Kylo Ren. Kylo ended up finding another mentor. In other words, if a mentoring relationship isn’t working out, a mentee should find another.

On that note, there is no rule that a mentee can only have one mentor. Mentors can serve different roles: academic mentor, personal mentor, business mentor, etc.

To the Mentors:

Be patient and easy on the light-saber. In one of the most climatic scenes, Luke is about to give up when he feels that his mentee is going down the wrong path. Mentors may see their promising young mentees make ill-advised decisions or mistakes. Mentors-don’t go for the light saber. After all, the mentees are mentees for a reason. A mentee’s need for

knowledge and help is the reason they need a mentor.

Get off Ach-to: Luke was a Jedi master. He even had the only books in the universe to train Jedi. Instead of passing on his wealth of knowledge to mentees, he lived on his comfortable island drinking freshly squeezed Bantha Milk.

As a mentor, it will be easy to stay on the proverbial island. However, mentors have learned too much to keep it for themselves. On that note, mentors can visit the Local Bar’s website and fill out a mentor application.

See you around kid. In his final scene, Luke matches up with his former mentee. At the conclusion of their duel, Luke smirks “see you around kid.”

Mentors, like Luke, make an indelible mark on their mentees. A mentor’s teaching and guidance will follow a mentee like a force-ghost. Any knowledge that can be passed down won’t be forgotten, and if not at the time, a mentee will appreciate it.

In sum, a successful mentoring relationship will likely teach both the mentor and mentee lessons. The local bar is here to help both, and more information can be found here. May the force be with both!