When I left the theater, I couldn’t understand why I was so conflicted after clearly enjoying The Last Jedi. I clapped, I laughed, but at the end I felt empty about it. I began to debate with my sons all weekend why it might be ok in the end, but every argument fell flat. After three days of trying to justify the decisions made by Rian Johnson in my own mind, I finally realized why The Last Jedi might arguably be one of the best Star Wars film ever made. With a strong confirmation of my theory from the Youtube user “Star Wars Theory”, I feel confident I am on to something.
This will be a SPOILER FILLED ARTICLE. Turn back now lest ye be tainted.
First let me explain why I was originally so disappointed. JJ Abrams set up a new generation of questions for Star Wars fans. Who was Supreme Leader Snoke?, How did he come into power?, Who were Rey’s parents?, Who destroyed Luke’s Jedi Academy?, Who are the Knights of Ren?, and why did Luke leave a map with a deactivated Artoo who sprung back to life when Rey showed up? If not Luke, WHO provided the map? While critics say Star Wars fans got worked up over nothing, I say don’t pose the question if you don’t plan to answer it. Continue reading though, I don’t think the questions were actually ignored, nor thrown out.
In The Last Jedi we learned that Luke contemplated assassinating his nephew apprentice Ben Solo to destroy the darkness he saw growing in him. After all, he had already defeated that same darkness only 30 years ago in Vader to bring peace. When Ben awoke to his uncle with a drawn lightsaber, he knocked Luke out and burned everything Luke had built to the ground. It turns out Luke knew this was a lapse of judgement that he would forever regret. As far as blatantly answered questions, this is as far as “The Last Jedi” goes.
Some might say Rey’s parentage was answered, I have my doubts. If it was answered truthfully by Kylo Ren, I’d be surprised. There is still more to learn about Rey. Remember, in the beginning of TLJ Snoke broke Kylo down to bring him further into the darkness by bullying him. Kylo told Rey what she needed to hear to give in to her fears and join him (Rian Johnson has all but confirmed this). At this point in the film, someone we all know has been self-exiled from the Force and coincidentally Rey can’t see her own parentage. Kylo has known her lonliness and desire for a parent since TFA. In the words of Yoda “remember the cave”, Rey only saw herself alone, which is her worst fear. If Rey’s parents were nobody, she would have a memory that I believe the force could easily show her. I’m still pulling for a Skywalker or Skywalker/Solo family relationship. I wouldn’t be surprised if ReyLo are siblings.
The Last Jedi was completely about redeeming the power of the Force and I didn’t see it at first. From the very beginning we see Snoke as a hologram, literally wiping the floor with Hux from who-knows-where in the galaxy. Later we see Force Ghost Yoda call down Lightning to burn a tree and he physically bonks Luke on the head with a cane. Then we see Rey and Kylo touching hands through a Force connection supposedly facilitated by Snoke, with Kylo bringing water back from Ahch-to through the Force. In the end we see Luke in a Force projection, Kissing Leia on the head and handing her the dice from Han’s Millennium Falcon. There is a Force-induced pattern here.
When Luke came to Crait to help Leia’s struggling resistance, he was younger looking, he also carried the blue lightsaber that we all saw destroyed only a few minutes earlier in Snoke’s chamber. He didn’t disturb the ground on Crait, but he did touch Leia. Remember Snoke in “The Force Awakens”? He had scars on his face in the hologram that he did not have in person. Yet the hologram on Starkiller base was just days before. He never touched anything in the room except for Rey’s face (Like Luke with Leia/ Kylo and Rey). Everything he did was a mind trick. I believe that includes his death.
In the photo above see Snoke’s head wound in the Hologram is more gaping, He has open wounds below his lips, his left eye is more scarred and stretched as is the right side of his mouth. He looks healthier and younger in the hologram as opposed to his “Real Life” self.
In “The Force Awakens” Snoke told Hux to bring Kylo Ren to him to “complete his training”. How does a dark side user complete his training? They kill their master. What better way to make Kylo think he had done this? Snoke says many times that he has access to Rey and Kylo’s minds. In fact he orchestrated a stronger relationship with Rey. Is it unreasonable to think after tearing Kylo down that Kylo would want to kill Snoke instead of the girl who cares for him now when he feels totally destroyed by his master? Wouldn’t Snoke see those thoughts? In addition, this force connection was still in place after Snoke’s “death”. As for Snoke’s identity, I don’t believe he is dead so there is more of the Supreme Leader to come. If Snoke is actually dead however, he could still be a factor in the newly defined Force. Rian Johnson’s Sith Ghost concept art is a good foundation for that theory.
NOTE: I don’t believe the Rey/Kylo force connection was only because of Snoke, I believe it is a connection he strengthened or nudged to happen. Notice Luke and Leia’s force connection is shown very close to the first time Rey and Kylo connected.
We are told from the very beginning of Star Wars that if Ben Kenobi is struck down that he would be more powerful than Vader could possibly imagine. In forty years we have only seen a force ghost speak. This movie opened a new door for the Force ghosts to exist and affect the real world. JJ Abrams has said that Episode 9 would bring all of the movies together, and under the working title being “Carbonado” another word for “BLACK DIAMOND” (which is something Snoke has in a ring on his finger), it may be possible we see more from the population on the other side of the Force than we have ever seen before. Remember Luke’s last words to his nephew, “See you around kid”. Luke is now more powerful than we could possibly imagine, and he can still affect the physical world, because Yoda proved it to him (and us) on the island.
NOTE: Yoda tells Luke “WE” can not let Rey be pulled to the dark, will the force ghosts be helping Rey?.
While there are still questions, there is time to answer them in Episode Nine. At this point we are set up for some amazing things to come maybe even from Force Ghost Luke himself, but with the second film in a trilogy usually being the downer act, it seems Rian Johnson has performed the greatest Jedi mind trick on us all. He gave us an amazingly fun movie that is so tricky we may not really get it until the series is done. Not only that, but we feel distraught like we should after the second act. We have so much more to talk about now.
- Pay a visit to: “Star Wars Theory” What Really Happened to Snoke