We are now one month away from the release of the new Star Wars film, “The Last Jedi”. It does not take much effort in a google search to find a wide range of thoughts, opinions, and wild theories based on the rumors, trailers, posters, and tweets that have been fanatically examined by the space nerds among us. While “The Force Awakens” gave us a good introduction to the new characters, and a deeply nostalgic high for classic fans, most felt it was a very safe and conservative entry. “The Last Jedi”seems to be hinting at the possibility of the polar opposite occurring. It feels angsty, risky, and dark. We have a grizzled, haunted and possibly even dark Luke. A conflicted Kylo, and a lost, disillusioned Rey. This is a movie that feels like its preparing to send us into a hurricane of shocking developments, as did “Empire Strikes Back”, so many years ago. From the startling reds in the posters and headers, to the shocking words from Luke Skywalker himself. “The Jedi must end”
Is the Jedi ending, or beginning anew wary of repeating old mistakes? Is Luke crazy, dark, and vengeful, or is he having a crisis of identity, that he will wake up from just in time to save the day? Is Kylo really being drawn into the light, unable to attack his Mother’s ship, or is this misdirection by Disney, as he slips deeper into the dark side? Is Rey really heading to darkness being disillusioned and rebuffed by Luke, or is she really embracing the light, and tricking Kylo? Who is the true villain of our story. Historically posters like the above, always show the villain looming over the heroes. Is Luke really the villain? Is Snoke? Is Kylo? Is Rey? Countless questions that will not have answers until December 15th.
On a personal note I have a sense of foreboding. For me ( I’m not the only one) nothing is more critical than the fate of Luke Skywalker. To understand why that is, I have to briefly give you context. In 1977 I went to see a brand new Sci Fi movie called Star Wars: A New Hope”. I was 7 years old, and came out of that theater in love with everything I had seen. Through the years afterwards I saw all three films in the theater, and then in 1991 began reading the new entries to the Star War universe in novel form. I ate up all the stories, especially the parts about Luke. I watched as Luke faced countless dangers, and yet remained true to the light as he rebuilt the Jedi from the ground up. He was like a Messiah, a beacon pointing to what my soul really thirst for… a savior of a universe that cared about the little people, and redeemed them. Later I would become a Christian, and realized everything I loved about Luke was a distorted mirror image of what I valued and needed in my own life. Distorted as it may be, my love for the fictional character of Luke Skywalker only grew. 40 years later I am still that kid in many ways, and I have an idealistic, rigid belief in who Luke Skywalker is, and anything that flies in the face of that is the enemy to all that is holy and sacred.
Here we see a picture of Luke with some sacred texts. Rumor has it that one of these is of the Guardians of the Whills. For those that don’t know, Chirrut , from “Rogue One” was a protector and worshipper of this force sect. Also Qui Gon Ginn learned from these Guardians, and through their teachings learned to stay in existence in the force, and not truly die. He taught Yoda and Obi Wan this as well. How will Luke use these teachings??
I have already articulated my disdain for the new histories of Han, Luke, and Leia. To me their new backstories are sad, tragic, and the damage that has been done, the opportunities that are forever lost is staggering. If you want to know more about those thoughts, I have two blog posts on this site that cover that. So now I go into “The Last Jedi” with fear and trepidation, wondering how badly will they ruin Luke before it is all said and done. I am even preparing a Disney boycott if Luke is ruined and marginalized any further. To me the fate of Star Wars hangs in the balance of the next two films, and I am hoping for the best, and preparing for the worst.
Why Is Luke so afraid of Kylo and Rey? Why would the most powerful Jedi in history be scared of their power? Luke to me possesses great power, compassion, and ultimate bravery. Why has Luke been gone for so long? From what I have read from new novels he has not simply been gone the last 6 years of the Jedi Order’s destruction but has been absent from Leia’s life for most of the three decades. Where has he been? What is so important? Is he just a beaten man, full of fear and regret? Or is he preparing to stop the evil “First Order” somehow? Luke was always the one to rush headlong into the fray to save his friends. His core self is to save his friends. He would NEVER leave them to fight in such dark times alone. What the Emperor saw as a weakness, was really Luke’s greatest strength. His faith and love for his friends and family. The one positive trait he got from his Dad. Anakin always was doing the same thing, rescuing Obi Wan, but he lacked his son’s innocence and strong moral core.
This image disturbs me a great deal. This is an image from the last trailer. Why is Luke buried in wreckage of the Jedi Temple? It’s laughable that Kylo is powerful enough to defeat Luke. Was it Snoke? Was The Knights Of Ren too much for him. Was he simply caught in a trap, to get him out of the way so they could kill off his fledgling Jedi? Safe to say if he was buried in a fight against Kylo or Snoke then this is an insult to Luke. I am left wondering what will become of Luke. Will he die in Episode 8? 9? How and why. What legacy will he leave? Will Rey get the glory of saving the Jedi and carrying on their flame? What about Luke Skywalker? Where is his glory? Where is his time to shine? If you say 30 years ago, well that is not enough for me. It would have been better not to have included Han, Leia, and Luke in these movies at all. If these are friends, I would hate to see what an enemy looks like. To further cement my concerns, Mark Hamill was very much at odds with this new direction taken by Luke’s character. He is not happy with how they have changed Luke. That my friends does not bode well.
So what will happen to our beloved characters? Disney appears, by their own poor decision making, to want rid of them like dead weight. Without the Big Three, Star Wars would be nothing. Sad that all they seem to care about now is the new characters. All this will soon come to light. You can bet I will be writing a blog about it. See you in a month.