Since I can’t go more than two posts on this website without discussing Game of Thrones or Star Wars, we’re due for a post about Star Wars. Which is timely, since the title for the next film was unveiled this week: Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Since this is the internet, everyone’s putting in their two cents about what they think will happen, so let me do the same. No, Luke will not turn evil. He’s not necessarily going to die just because the film is titled The Last Jedi (but he still might). Rey isn’t a Jedi yet, (despite the fact that she uses the force and a lightsaber). So, in effect, Luke is the last Jedi. But this brings up the obvious point that all of Twitter raised. Why is this movie called The Last Jedi when two (chronological) movies ago we had The Return of the Jedi? I thought Luke was supposed to return the Jedi to their former glory? I thought he was supposed to usher in a new age of Jedi? Create a new council of Jedi? What happened with that?
The Knights of Ren happened. It’s not explicitly said in canon who the Knights of Ren are or what they’ve done, but it seems to be understood that they are a new order of Sith, led by Kylo Ren. The one time we see them, pictured in the screenshot above, it’s in a vision immediately preceded by the tunnel in Cloud City where Luke had his fateful “I am your father” duel with Darth Vader. It’s hard to tell in this shot, and it’s just as hard to tell in the actual film, but if you look, the Knights of Ren are standing in a field of bodies. The shot before this is a mechanical hand placed on R2D2 – in theory Luke.
So, no, it’s not overtly said anywhere in the film, but allow me to put some dots together – Luke was training a group of padawans to join in the light side of the force until Ben Solo betrayed Luke, and, along with the other Knights of Ren, organized a mutiny, killing all of the Jedi except Luke.
Luke, being the only one to escape, was overcome with guilt. This then gives a reason to why Luke was by himself for many years. He’s traumatized. He wants to keep a low profile. He’s taking a hint from Yoda. That’s why he isolated himself prior to The Force Awakens.
Does this idea excite anyone else as much as it excites me? What I think The Last Jedi might show us is Luke dealing with his fears in an unhealthy way – cutting himself off from the world. After his failure with Ben Solo, he doesn’t want to be a Jedi anymore. Here we have Rey going to learn from the great Jedi master – as we saw with Obi Wan, as we saw with Yoda – but this great master does not want to be a master. He doesn’t want to teach anyone in the ways of the Force, because the Force has brought him nothing but pain. If there’s one thing that detractors will say about The Force Awakens, it’s that it was too similar to the original film. Traumatized Luke seems like a great way to break away from the template that the previous films have laid out and do something really interesting.