Posted on Sunday, April 16th, 2017 by Ethan Anderton
Following the release of the teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, there were plenty of details for fans to obsess about in the new footage (check out our trailer breakdown for a closer look). But perhaps the most shocking part of the trailer comes from the end when we hear Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker say, “I only know one truth. It’s time for the Jedi to end.”
This detail about the movie has been there this whole time in the title The Last Jedi, but at the same time, fans have also been wondering who the title is referring to. It was thought that the international titles revealed that the title was plural, either referring to Luke and Rey (Daisy Ridley) or maybe Luke and either some Jedi who are still alive, or the Jedi who were killed by Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and the Knights of Ren. But it turns out, the title isn’t plural.
In a recent interview following the premiere of the teaser trailer, director Rian Johnson seemingly confirmed the title is specifically referring to Luke Skywalker, which may provide some insight into what we can expect from the Jedi master in this movie. Furthermore, with Luke Skywalker coming to the belief that the Jedi must end, Mark Hamill doesn’t rule out the possibility that our hero takes a turn to the dark side. Find out more after the jump.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) April 14, 2017
Who is The Last Jedi?
Rian Johnson notes that he’s been amused by how much analysis and discussion there has been about whether The Last Jedi is singular and plural. He never thought about that detail when he came up with the title (perhaps because he already knew), but even in pondering the question, he found it to be an “uninteresting” one. Still, he clarified that in his mind, the title is singular.
That raised the question as to who this singular last Jedi would be. The interviewer at ABC News in the clip above assumes that Luke Skywalker is the last Jedi, and Rian Johnson goes along with it nonchalantly, saying, “If you say so.” That could indicate that he’s not really confirming that the title refers to Luke, but he goes on to refer to something from the previous movie:
“They say in The Force Awakens that [Luke] has gone to find the last Jedi temple and Luke’s the last Jedi.”
There’s always the chance that Rian Johnson is just playing it cool and reiterating what was said in the previous movie or making assumptions as if he were an audience member who doesn’t know what he knows now. But if Luke Skywalker really is the singular last Jedi as the director seems to confirm, then why does he appear to be training Rey in the teaser trailer?
Is Rey Training to Be Something Beyond the Jedi?
Throughout the Star Wars saga, there has been the discussion of bringing balance to the Force. The Jedi believed in a prophecy predicting that someone would come along who would bring balance to the Force, which is why Qui-Gon Jinn freed Anakin from Tatooine and brought him to the Jedi temple on Coruscant to be trained in The Phantom Menace. He believed it until his death and tasked his padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi with completing his training so that the prophecy might come true.
When Anakin Skywalker turned to the dark side in Revenge of the Sith, Obi-Wan lamented that he was supposed to bring balance to the Force, not leave it in darkness. But in reality, having both the light and the dark side is where balance lies. It could be argued that pushed Anakin to the dark side was the archaic rules of the Jedi that decreed he deny his feelings for Padme, and hide his anger deep within him, something that we know is not healthy for anyone’s mental or emotional state. Sure, one could argue that’s what made the Jedi wiser than the average citizen, but if there is nothing to oppose them, how can balance exist?
Perhaps Luke has figured out that the Jedi aren’t as righteous as he was led to believe. In the teaser trailer for The Last Jedi, we hear Rey mention “light” and “darkness” and then coming to “balance.” But then we hear Luke whisper, “It’s so much bigger than that,” just as we see Rey swinging Luke’s old lightsaber on the mountainside of Luke’s island where we met him at the end of The Force Awakens.
When Luke says it’s time for the Jedi to end, maybe he’s referring to the ancient beliefs that have become antiquated and have created more harm than good in the years since the first Jedi came to be. Therefore, his training Rey may be to help her to become something more than a Jedi, more than a Sith. Whatever that is, we don’t know, but it likely won’t be an easy road. As for what that will accomplish for the galaxy in the long run, that remains to be seen.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) April 14, 2017
Luke Skywalker’s Journey
If Luke Skywalker believes that the Jedi must end, is there a chance that he’s taking a turn to the dark side? The interviewer with ABC News doesn’t seem like someone who’s all that familiar with the lore and mythology of Star Wars. She assumes that if Luke Skywalker things the Jedi must end that he wants to destroy them like many Sith have before. But that’s a rather two-dimension way of looking at what he says, as we just explained in the previous part of this story.
However, in some capacity, Luke’s perceived change of heart about the Jedi could be considered a turn to the dark side. Perhaps that’s why when he’s asked if Luke makes a turn to the dark side, he merely says, “It’s possible. Anything is possible.” That’s definitely a non-answer to a question that he simply can’t answer. But when we think about what Daisy Ridley said during The Last Jedi panel regarding the difficulty of expectations one has when they meet their heroes versus what actually happens, it’s not hard to determine where Luke’s head is at when they meet. While Rey may be expecting to meet this Jedi master who will teach her to be the hero she’s always dreamed of being, it’s likely not as black and white for Luke Skywalker anymore as it was when he was trained by Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda.
If Luke Skywalker is the last Jedi, could we be looking at the end of Mark Hamill’s time as Luke Skywalker? If he sends Rey on this path to becoming something great than the Jedi and the Sith, what will become of Luke Skywalker after that? Fandango asked if The Last Jedi will be the last we’ll see of Luke, a question that Mark Hamill couldn’t answer even if he wanted to, and he sidestepped with a smirk saying, “To be determined.”
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