star wars the last jedi trailer 19 jedi temple destruction

Were the Jedi Wrong?

This all comes down to the question, then, of whether the Jedi were fundamentally wrong in their ways of understanding the Force, balance, and the chosen one, and many things seem to indicate that. One of the first novels published the new canon, Tarkin, revealed that the Jedi may have indeed been corrupted from within. The Jedi Temple on Coruscant was constructed over the remains of a Sith shrine, and the indication is that the Jedi were clouded by the dark side’s power there over the course of hundreds or thousands of years (incidentally, that same temple would become the Imperial Palace, the seat upon which the Emperor ruled the galaxy, again showing its importance to Force users, and striking a remarkable balance). If they were being corrupted, that could extend to all things, including prophecy. It could also be why there were so ironically fearful of all emotion, including love and what that attachment could bring to people (namely, a door to the dark side).

star wars the last jedi trailer 18 kylo ren

Rise of the Jedi

This is where we get into some speculation and less fact. We don’t know much at all about Luke Skywalker’s time spent between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. We know that the Church of the Force (back to Lar San Tekka!), including the Guardians of the Whills and others, kept much of the Jedi teachings and information alive through oral history and in secret – but also that it would make those teachings even easier to be distorted. We know from the comic Shattered Empire that Luke was actively seeking other Jedi sites and Force artifacts to try to better learn his craft; as the sole living Jedi, he had no one that could teach him directly (though at least a couple of non-Jedi Force wielders, including Maz Kanata, were running around the galaxy at the time). We know that he took other Force wielders under his wing as Jedi-in-training, including Ben Solo. We know that Ben Solo was turned to the dark side by Supreme Leader Snoke, but thanks to the Visual Dictionary of the Force Awakens, we know that very interesting reason for that recruitment.

“The Supreme Leader believes Ren to be the ideal embodiment of the Force, a focal point of both light and dark side ability,” Pablo Hidalgo of the Lucasfilm story group wrote in the book.

This very well could be the most important single sentence in all of the non-film canon material thus far, as it indicates that Snoke and Kylo Ren have no intention of bringing back the Sith, and that Snoke wants Ben Solo/Kylo Ren because he embody both sides of the Force.

So, in saying “It’s time for the Jedi to end,” what if Luke has simply come to a conclusion similar to that of Snoke? The idea being, in order for there to be balance in the Force, truly, since it comes from, flows through, and binds all living things, they must have balance within themselves? If we follow this assumption, then Luke could simply mean that the teachings of the Jedi as they were need to end, and the Jedi need to be reborn in a new, more balanced fashion. That’s speculation, but with the introduction of the Church of the Force, the Guardians of the Whills, the Mortis gods, the Bendu, non-Jedi/Sith Force users like Ahsoka and Maz, and the merging of the Holocrons, it’s very clear that Star Wars is emphasizing balance more than ever before.

So is Luke’s line basically, “The Jedi are dead, long live the Jedi,” with a new understanding of what it is to be one? We’ll find out this December when Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits theaters.

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