Disney dropped the first trailer for Star Wars: Episode 8 – The Last Jedi on Friday. The highly anticipated footage, which debuted at Star Wars Celebration in Orlando, Florida, has revealed some major details about the upcoming film. It has also raised numerous questions.
The action-packed trailer showed The Force Awakens protagonist Rey (Daisy Ridley) training with Luke (Mark Hamill) on Ach-To, the remote island where the previous film left off. There were battles on land and in space, a glimpse of General Leia Organa (the late great Carrie Fisher), a mysterious tome, and Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) walking through a burning structure.
Though the trailer didn’t reveal who “the last Jedi” is, it did end on quite a shocking note. “I only know one truth,” Luke Skywalker says.
“It’s time for the Jedi to end.”
What did Luke mean?
First, it should be noted that Luke has more lines in this short trailer than he did in all of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, where he was only onscreen for a few seconds and was mute the entire time. The trailer was clearly intended to show that The Last Jedi will be a very Luke-centric film, which should be good news for fans who were expecting the beloved character to get more screentime in Episode 7.
But what did he mean by “the Jedi [has] to end”? Is Luke Skywalker throwing in the towel? Wasn’t he supposed to be the future of the Jedi Order?
Perhaps Luke lost faith after he trained a new generation of Jedi, including his nephew, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), only to lose them to the Dark Side. Maybe he thinks there’s no point in trying to fight against the First Order. Are fans about to meet a grizzled, defeated war hero lamenting on his losses and regrets?
But maybe Luke has a point.
As startling as his statement is, a closer look at the events throughout the course of the Star Wars series shows that there might be a perfectly good reason for the Jedi to disappear. Balance has always been a key concept in Star Wars and, as the Hollywood Reporter suggests, the existence of the Jedi (the good guys) may have given rise to a counterforce, the Sith (the bad guys).
This course-correcting can be seen in how Luke (lightness) trained and made Kylo Ren (darkness) powerful. Kylo’s actions, in turn, helped bring out Rey’s (lightness) Force nature. The Jedi may be working to quell the darkness in the Star Wars galaxy, but they may also be creating more evil simply by existing. Luke Skywalker could have come to this conclusion during his self-imposed exile on Ach-To.
But if Luke intends to put an end to all Jedi, what happens to Rey? Will the disappearance of the Jedi lead to the rise of a new order? And will Rey be its leader?
Where is Kylo Ren?
Kylo Ren appears briefly in the Star Wars: Episode 8 trailer. He’s still wielding his infamous crackling lightsaber and now has a scar from when Rey slashed his face in their climactic lightsaber fight in The Force Awakens.
However, it’s the image of Kylo’s Episode 7 mask, which was probably destroyed along with Starkiller Base, that is more striking. Why is the Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer showing fans the broken headgear?
Perhaps this is a hint that Kylo Ren, having killed his father, is no longer hiding who he truly is. Some have theorized that this is a step towards moving back to the Light Side of the Force and fighting the First Order alongside Luke, Rey, Poe (Oscar Isaac), and the rest of the Resistance. Others have taken this further, suggesting that Kylo is the “last Jedi” and that he is the true protagonist of Episode 8.
Star Wars: Episode 8 – The Last Jedi hits theaters Dec. 15.
[Featured Image by Lucasfilm]