Today, Disney and Lucasfilm released the first trailer for Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (along with this wicked poster). We finally got to hear the first words spoken by Luke Skywalker since 1983’s Return of the Jedi: “Breathe. Just breathe. Now, reach out. What do you see?”
Rey replies: “Light. Darkness. The Balance.”
The Balance. Hmmmm…..
We then hear Luke say: “It’s so much bigger.”
After a montage of amazing footage, we are then treated to one last line of dialogue from Luke: “I only know one truth: it’s time for the Jedi…to end.”
This line adds some more intrigue to the already ominous title of the film, but does nothing to help clear up who the Last Jedi are. But it might shed some light onto Luke’s journey as a character.
Let’s go back to The Phantom Menace. Yes, yes I know, but try to stop shitting all over for the Prequels long enough to hear me out (after all, whether we like it or not, they ARE canon). In Episode I, it is explained that there is a Jedi prophecy of one who will bring Balance to the Force. One who was born of the Force. (At one point, the rumoured title of Episode I was even The Balance of the Force.) We are introduced to a young Anakin Skywalker, who had no father, who’s mother claimed was conceived by the Force. He was trained as a Jedi at the insistence of Qui-Gon Jinn, much to the disapproval of the majority of the Jedi Council.
When Anakin turned to the Dark Side, it was thought that all hope was lost. By becoming Darth Vader, Anakin actually swung the majority of the power of the Force to the Dark Side.
Ultimately, Anakin did redeem himself. He did this in three ways:
- By refusing to turn his son to the Dark Side;
- By destroying the Emperor; and
- By turning back to the Light side, renouncing Darth Vader and becoming Anakin Skywalker once again.
But did he actually fulfill the Prophecy? Did Anakin bring Balance to the Fore?
I always thought so. Luke may have been the hero of the Original Trilogy, but the saga has always been about the rise, fall and redemption of Anakin Skywalker. Luke was the catalyst that ultimately allowed Anakin to redeem himself.
But maybe Anakin brought Balance to the Force not by destroying the Emperor; maybe he brought Balance to the Force by fathering Luke and Leia?
Maybe Luke (and Leia, we know very little about Leia’s Force abilities) is/are the key to bringing Balance to the Force. Maybe the Jedi must end because the unending cycle of shifting power between the Jedi and the Sith is in actuality what’s throwing the Force off-Balance. Maybe after all those years in exile on that island, Luke has transcended both the Light and the Dark and has truly found Balance. A Balance that is “so much bigger” than the trivialities of the Light versus the Dark. Maybe he even had help from his father, much like how he had help from Obi-Wan.
The poster shows the Skywalker lightsaber, wielded by Rey, turning from blue to red (mirroring the constant struggle between the Light Side and Dark Side that has plagued the Skywalkers). Does this mean Rey will be plagued by a similar struggle? We know Ben Solo (Kylo Ren) has Skywalker blood in him (his mother is Leia) and literally expresses his concern about feeling “the call to the light”. We don’t know who Rey is but the Skywalker lightsaber “calls to her” as Maz explained in The Force Awakens. This struggle between Light and Dark may be why Luke feels the Jedi need to end. Maybe he is trying to spare his daughter from the struggle that consumed his father and nephew and almost consumed him?
I think maybe Luke has (or is going to) continue his father’s quest to TRULY bring Balance to the Force, and where he failed with Ben, he will try and ensure he doesn’t with Rey. I highly doubt Luke has turned to the Dark Side.
All of this being said, maybe I’m looking into this way too much, and the filmmakers simply edited together a great trailer to pique our interest. Well, consider my interest piqued. December can’t come soon enough….