When Luke Skywalker says “the Jedi must end” at the end of the new Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer, just what the heck is he talking about? As noted by Collider, as much as any of the amazing visuals seen in the new Star Wars trailer released at Star Wars Celebration, these closing words by Luke are certain to engender endless speculation among Star Wars fans about where the most current trilogy – and the Star Wars universe as a whole – might be heading.
There are already a lot of theories about what Skywalker might mean by saying the Jedi must end. Let’s examine both the plausible and implausible ones and consider their merits.
The Jedi Must End So the Sith Can Win?
Has Luke Skywalker turned evil? And has he gone so far over to the dark side that he’s contemplating destroying the Jedi entirely – like his father before him? This seems extremely unlikely, given what we see going on in the rest of the trailer.
Well before the bit at the end where Luke suggests the Jedi must end, the very beginning of the trailer appears to start out with Luke training Rey in the ways of the Force. It seems unlikely that an evil, Sith Lord Luke would be training Rey to be a Jedi if he plans to get rid of the Jedi and replace them with Sith. Of course, he could be training her to be a Sith.
Jedi Mind Trick/Trailer Sequence Trickery
Appearances can be deceiving, especially when it comes to movie trailers. Even though the trailer ends with Skywalker saying that the Jedi must end, for all we know all of the training actually takes place after Luke says this.
In other words, Rey might have been able to convince Luke Skywalker to get out of whatever funk he’s in and help her. So his statement that the “Jedi must end” could be nothing more than a trick to make us think Star Wars: The Last Jedi is going to be darker than it is.
Is It the Force Itself That’s the Problem?
If the Jedi must end, could Luke also be suggesting that the Sith must end as well? This might make sense, since most of the problems in a galaxy far, far away seem to be caused by the Force as much as they are solved by the Force.
In short, is Luke Skywalker suggesting that the never-ending battle between the dark in the light is what’s really screwing everything up? Certainly, it would be hard to argue that the Jedi haven’t made almost as many mistakes and caused almost as much tragedy is the Sith themselves. Again though, with us seeing Rey being trained by Luke this theory wouldn’t make much sense either.
Does Luke Want to Replace the Jedi with Something Else?
On the other hand, if Luke believes the original Jedi – and the new group of Jedi he apparently tried to train following the events of the first trilogy – were flawed in some fundamental way, perhaps by saying the Jedi must end he’s suggesting they be replaced with something better.
There’s no question that many of the things the Jedi believed – such as distancing themselves from others and not marrying or having children – ended up causing them big problems. For instance, if Anakin had been able to have an open and free relationship with Padmé, things might have turned out very differently.
Maybe Lucasfilm is planning to bring in the concept of the Gray Jedi from the non-canon history. The Gray Jedi were – in this non-canonical material – members of the Jedi Order who chose to walk a middle way between the light and the dark, with the ability to use both if necessary. So perhaps Luke Skywalker – in bringing up the idea that the Jedi must end – is really talking about a new kind of balance in the force in which there are no Jedi or Sith, just Gray Jedi.
[Featured Image by Lucasfilm]