The Last Jedi similarly finds Luke emulating George. Luke can't return to help Rey fight the First Order, in the same way that George Lucas will never return to Star Wars. The film's climax finds Luke creating an astral projection (not unlike a film projection) which serves to inspire future generations. The movie literally ends with kids playing with Star Wars action figures, as if to say that all we need from Lucas is his inspiration, not him doing anything new.
Where Did That Astral Projection Business Come From?
A lot of fans seemed to take issue with Luke's Force projection, but Star Wars used to be a franchise chock-full of wacky magical goings-on. Remember in The Empire Strikes Back, when Luke fights a psychic ghost in a haunted swamp cave?
How are people OK with haunted caves but not astral projection? Plus, from a certain point of view, it's nothing but a variation on the Jedi mind trick, only it fools the senses of everyone. Like a more extreme version of the power we saw in A New Hope, when Obi Wan magically conjures a sound effect to distract two Stormtroopers.
And as director Rian Johnson cheekily pointed out, there is precedent for that particular superpower in the 2011 book The Jedi Path. But then again, that book and all its contents have been tossed out of the Star Wars canon, along with the time Wookiee diarrhea led to the destruction of the Death Star.