Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi Final Thoughts/Predictions Before the Plunge

STAR WARS IS TONIGHT!!!!

As you can tell I’m just a wee bit excited. It’s hard to believe that we’ve had to wait two years since The Force Awakens to have our questions answered in this new and exciting saga and boy, what a lot of questions we have especially after seeing some pretty revealing trailers. There’s been a lot of possible outcomes swimming about in my head the past few days and I decided, “Hey why not? I’m just going to share these speculations and if I’m right, I’ll be worshiped and if I’m wrong well I’ll just join the club of everyone else who is theorizing about the movie.” Of course I’m going into this with the full knowledge that after I’m finished seeing the movie in about six hours this whole article could be for nothing but hey! It makes good reading and writing material for now! Thankfully I’m spoiler free (for once) and so are these predictions so let’s dive in!

There are two main scenarios that I can see emerging from this film both of them involving someone going to the dark side. But before I get into that let’s nail down one thing.

I believe that The Last Jedi is Luke. He’s the only Jedi that we know of going in and being that he has the title “Jedi” there must be some compelling reason to dictate why he is the last. This leads to my two primary theories–the first being that

A. Luke goes to the dark side

B. Luke is killed by someone else who turns to the dark side–namely Rey.

Let’s break down these two theories…

Theory One: Luke Turns to the Dark Side

I’ve already discussed this at length in the past…in fact it’s a plot line I’ve been rooting for since TFA and it fits into the narrative woven into the original trilogy. Here are some convincing reasons why Luke would have the motivation and backing to turn to the Dark Side:

1. Remember in Episode V when Luke entered the cave on Dagobah and had that vision where he fights Darth Vader? When he kills Vader in the sequence the face of the helmet opens and revels the face of none other than Luke himself. The meaning of this revelation is explained by Yoda in his admonition to Luke just before he abandons his training to rashly rescue his friends from Cloud City. He says, ” Only a fully trained Jedi Knight, with the Force as his ally, will conquer Vader and his emperor. If you end your training now… if you choose the quick and easy path as Vader did… you will become an agent of evil.” Well as we all know…Luke chose that path. Were Yoda’s words a prophecy? If so, Luke began his path to the Dark Side that day….justifying his anger and rashness in the name of saving his friends…very similar to Anakin’s reasoning during his turn–his slaughter of the Sand People, his love for Padmè and so on…We’ll go back to that Dagobah day in a sec….

2. In Return of the Jedi we see Luke employing a plethora of Dark Side techniques and rationale such as lying, leveraging his power in negotiations, a more aggressive lightsaber form (looks like Djem So)–even his clothing changes to an all black uniform. While his intentions remain good and well meaning in the film we can track subtle changes in his style, appearance, and actions that are indicators towards a subtle transformation to the Dark Side all in the name of the right thing. This is the Dark Side way. Remember Anakin’s reasons for joining the dark side were to keep his wife alive.

3. In Return of the Jedi there is a scene where Luke is standing by the Emperor’s side watching the destruction of the rebel fleet. As his anger builds he glances at the lightsaber resting near the Emperor’s hand. Palatine then says to him: “Take your weapon. Strike me down with all of your hatred and your journey towards the dark side will be complete.” If you remember, Luke at first rejects the temptation but then sure enough…HE DOES! Had Vader not intervened he would have killed the Emperor and his journey to the Dark Side (which the Emperor already sensed he was on) would have been completed. But he was at that point and there’s little reason to believe he didn’t reach that brink again. (There is a disclaimer to this point. I’ll post it in the comments)

4. Finally let’s go back to that scene on Dagobah when Luke, in spite of the counsel by Yoda and Obi-Wan, soars away to Cloud City. Remember as Yoda and Obi- Wan watch him depart Obi Wan says, “That boy is our last hope.” To which Yoda replies,

“No. There is another.”

Normally we have assumed that Yoda is referring to Leia his sister who would also have force capablities and could step into to fill the void her brother left if she had to. Vader baits Luke with this fact in Return of the Jedi. But this fact that Yoda points out turns out to be untouched in the rest of the saga as Leia does nothing with her force sensativity and is merely portrayed as the sister of the kid that “saved the galaxy”.  Bear with me now…what if Yoda’s words were in fact NOT an revelation of a current fact but a prophecy of things to come? What if Rey (who many suspect is the daughter of Leia and Han anyway) is the New Hope that will be able to reach out to or destroy if necessary a Luke Skywalker that has turned to the Dark Side–a theme that has run in Star Wars from the beginning?

From the trailer we see that Luke is ready and willing to end the Jedi Order. In the past I’ve speculated that he could be disbanding the order and philosphies of the Jedi Order and forging a new order of Gray Jedi. You can read that theory here. However he could be ending the Order because of his failures as a Master (i.e. the fall of Ben Solo to Kylo Ren) and sees no reason to make the same mistake twice with Rey (which we’ll discuss in a second.). As for the motivation to turn directly to the dark side…well…that’ll be hard for me to decipher. It’ll be some plot convention that will bring it about or perhaps an unknown revelation. Speaking of unknown revealtions let’s talk about my next theory….

2. Luke Skywalker is killed by a Dark Side Rey (or she’s an accomplice to the fact)

This may not be so much of a stretch as you would imagine. We know that Rey, unsure of her past and her newfound abilities has gone to a remote island to train with The Last Jedi, Luke Skywalker. From the trailer we see that he does train her but is hestitant to go too far into the training because of the potential he sees in her–the same potential he saw in Ben Solo before Snoke manipulated him. It’s very possible that Luke will abruptly end the training when he sees Rey advancing too quickly or too powerfully, not wanting to make the same mistake twice. As a result she flees his tutelage and seeks her path and her place in all of this elsewhere–which would motivate Snoke and Kylo Ren to seduce her to the Dark Side.

This is actually a common theme in Star Wars and the main reason why Jedi turn to the dark side–not just in the books but the movies as well? Why did Anakin allow himself to be seduced by Sidious? He wanted to protect Padme, yes, but primarily because he allowed seeds of doubt to grow within him regarding the Jedi Order’s intentions and character. Their perceived slights of him, such as refusing to grant him the title of Master among other things caused him to seek significance and power in other places, namely the dark side.

In order for Jedi to turn they must first learn to distrust the Jedi way.

This is why Rey turning to the dark side is not a stretch of the imagination. If Luke discontinues her training she will feel

  1. Bitter
  2. Abandoned
  3. Alone
  4. Betrayed

Her not being able to understand her “place in all of this” will motivate her to find her place in all of this and join Kylo Ren and Snoke against the common enemy, Luke Skywalker. This could lead to a final showdown against Luke where he is killed. We know that there will be some kind of epic showdown…we’re just not sure who…

Another theory that goes hand in hand with the Rey dark side theory is that Luke Skywalker is her father. It’s been a theory that I’ve rejected in the past (mainly because it’s so predictable) but if Rey learns that Luke was her father who abandoned her on Jakku then that alone could cause enough distrust and anger for her to leave him and join the dark side after he abandons her a second time and forsakes her training. This could easily motivate her to find family and belonging with Kylo Ren and Snoke.

So those are my two main theories. Beyond that though here some other predictions about what we may see this weekend that will answer our questions:

  1. Leia will have to be killed off. I imagine that Kylo Ren will do it based on the trailer in an effort to cleanse himself of the past and his weakness.
  2. Rey’s parentage will be revealed. As much as I hate to say it, it probably will be Luke which will fuel my “Darth Rey” theory. I’ve also discussed the possibility of her father being Obi-Wan. We’ll see.
  3. Expect to learn more about the Knights of Ren. We’ll probably see a flashback battle between Luke Skywalker and the Knights of Ren in which he is defeated and betrayed by Ben Solo, thus sealing his fate as Kylo Ren.
  4. We’ll finally learn the origin of Snoke. I can say with a fair bit of confidence that he won’t be Darth Plageius, but who even knows? No, I don’t think he’s Mace Windu. Yes that theory exists.
  5. I’m very much in the dark as what role Finn plays in all of this. His fate is shrouded in mystery but we’ll know more when this film is all said and done.

All in all I’m very excited. I’ve heard nothing but positive things and I know I’m in a wild roller coaster of a ride. As I said in the intro by tonight everything in this article will be proven one way or the other—as legit (in which case you will all sing my praises) or balderdash in which you will all pat me on the back for trying. Either way we’ll see you on the other side!

May the Force Be With You

 

 

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