Yesterday at Celebration Orlando the first theatrical trailer for Star Wars Episode VIII The Last Jedi was revealed to an ecstatic live crowd as well as an audience of over 30,000 on the Facebook live broadcast of the event. After watching the trailer several times I’ve come to certain conclusions about the direction the Star Wars is going including some answers to the questions surrounding the meaning of the title The Last Jedi. In this article we will discuss why it is necessary for the Jedi Order to end and why Rey must commandeer a new order of Force wielders to preserve true balance in the Force.
***Note I have not read any other theories or assumptions on other sites since watching the trailer. These are just my assumptions.***
Let’s begin with the opening of the trailer–we obviously know from the ending of The Force Awakens that Rey has gone to a remote island on a distant planet to seek out Luke Skywalker who has gone into hiding. We see that Luke has accepted his lightsaber and has undergone the task of training Rey in the ways of the Force.
Judging by her physical duress and exertion we understand that Luke’s training is rigorous both physically and mentally. There isn’t much seen of his curriculum at work but what is clear is that he is stretching Rey’s knowledge and understanding of the Force in ways she never could have imagined.
This would be reminiscent of Luke’s training with Yoda on the planet Dagobah in the sense that Luke already had a precursory understanding of the Force and its workings but it was Yoda who indoctrinated him with the deeper principles and meaning behind what it means to be a Jedi. At first look this seems to be Luke’s objective as well–but what is most key about this trailer is Luke’s final words:
“It’s time for the Jedi to end.”
Why would Luke Skywalker, the last remaining Jedi, make such a startling statement? How could he turn his back on the principles, doctrines, and spirituality that has governed his life since he was a teenager? How could he put an end to the last bastion of peace and order that the galaxy has turned to since the days of the Old Republic?
To answer this question we must first examine why the Jedi Order existed in the first place.
The Jedi Order was founded to preserve peace and stability in the Galactic Republic. As you know the Jedi existed for nearly a millennia fending off threats to the Republic that primarily came in the form of the Sith, the Dark Side wielders of the Force.
Throughout Star Wars lore we see that there is a titanic struggle between the Dark Side and the Light Side of the Force and that a Prophecy proclaimed that one day The Chosen One would come “to bring balance” to the Force. As we all know the Chosen One was Anakin Skywalker who went down a dark path, killing most of the Jedi but through the power of redemption fulfilled the prophecy by destroying the Emperor and himself leaving Luke Skywalker to be the last Jedi.
In other words, The Chosen One brought balance to the Force by destroying the Jedi and the Light Side as Vader and then destroying the remnants of the Sith and the Dark Side (The Emperor and himself) as a redeemed Anakin which left Luke to embody the balance between the two sides.
Now here’s where things get interesting. We don’t know all that transpired between Episode VI and Episode VII such as all the reasons why Luke went into hiding but what I believe is that Luke has come to the conclusion that the balance between the Dark Side and the Light Side of the Force rests within him and therefore the Jedi must no longer exist.
You see, the Jedi represents only The Light Side of the Force and the Sith only represents the Dark Side of the Force. Therefore to be a Jedi does not represent a balance but rather a disproportionate view of the Force. Therefore it seems likely that Luke is training Rey to embody a balance between these two perspectives by becoming the first Gray Jedi.
This theory stems primarily from a quote from Rey pulled from the trailer. Luke asks her, “What do you see?” alluding the idea that she is in some sort of Force induced vision. She responds “Light and darkness…a balance.”
Luke then replies, “It’s so much bigger.”
This seems to be very a huge indication that Rey is to be the first Gray Jedi, an embodiment of the balance between the Light and Dark Side of the Force. This concept has been discussed and written about in Star Wars lore and fan fiction but we’ve not seen it enter into the cinematic universe yet. To best describe what a Gray Jedi truly is we must examine the creeds of the Jedi and the Sith, and then what the creed of a Gray Jedi would look like.
A Jedi’s creed goes like this:
There is no emotion, there is peace. There is no death, there is the Force.
A Sith’s code goes like this:
Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me.
The Gray Jedi Code would attempt to merge these two schools of thought into a more balanced perspective. The Gray Jedi creed would look something like this:
“There must be both dark and light. I will do what I must to keep the balance, as the balance is what holds all life. There is no good without evil, but evil must not be allowed to flourish. There is passion, yet peace; serenity, yet emotion; chaos, yet order. I am a wielder of the flame; a champion of balance. I am a guardian of life. I am a Gray Jedi.”
This is why I believe Luke Skywalker is bringing the Jedi Order to a screeching halt, making him the last Jedi. He recognizes that being a true Force wielder is about the balance between the two perspectives and that with balance comes peace. Rey will be the first pupil to embody this philosophy and will use it to overcome this new seed of darkness sown by Snoke into the heart and mind of Kylo Ren.
Another strong evidence of this idea is the cinematic poster released just minutes before the revelation of the trailer.
As you can see Rey’s lightsaber divides the face faces of Luke Skywalker and Kylo Ren, reaching out into both of their worlds and perspectives to where it does not look so much like a separation of ideologies but rather a merger of doctrine to promote a true balance of the Force.
We’ll see how this theory develops as more gets revealed with further trailers and leaks but this certainly seems to be the direction Star Wars is going and should make for some exciting developments in the future. What are your theories? Let us know in the comments and as always thank you for reading.