Run, don’t Skywalk, to these five answers for your ‘Last Jedi’ questions

Don't call me a mindless philosopher, you overweight glob of grease.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

There’s nothing like the sound of a John Williams score and the sight of a Sith-red Star Wars logo to get your heart rate up in the morning — if you’re a fan of a galaxy far, far away, that is. And boy, have Jedi wannabes had some new info to keep us up at night this week. That’s because Star Wars Celebration 2017 was in Orlando this weekend, making me wonder how hard it would really be to dig a tunnel straight to Florida.

If you’ve got questions about what the heck is going on in that The Last Jedi trailer, missed the announcements and need to catch up or just want to hear some hot takes, keep reading. Many Bothans died to bring us this information.

What was that my boy Luke said in that trailer?

The first trailer for Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, (which I’ll remind you, is plural), was really what you’d expect of a first trailer: flashy scenes of space battles and training montages, things we already knew would be in the next movie. There are just a few nuggets of information to chew on for the next however-long-Disney-and-Lucasfilm-want-us-to-suffer.

The main nugget here is, of course, Luke Skywalker’s line at the end of the trailer: “I only know one true thing: It’s time for the Jedi to end.” Many on the internet jumped to condemn this, but I don’t have a bad feeling about it. There’s so much larger context to consider. For one thing, we don’t know when this line is said; presumably, it’s at the very beginning of the movie, when Luke is likely still upset about his failed new Jedi Order and being alone on this rock. In this case, Rey has plenty of time to change his mind. It also could be not the real Luke saying it, as we see Rey run out of what is likely a cave strong with the Force, and if you remember The Empire Strikes Back, you remember that these places are hallucination-filled.

Another important thing to consider is that this doesn’t imply that Luke is somehow bitter or pessimistic at all. In the broad span of Star Wars, the Jedi Order is actually not that great! Upon first watch, it’s easy to interpret it as simply Jedi are good, and Sith are bad. But every iteration of the Jedi Order has ultimately failed. What made Luke successful in the original trilogy was going against major tenets of the religion, namely that you shouldn’t develop connections to others, and that you should bury your emotions deep down. In fact, this exact philosophy is what turned Anakin Skywalker to the dark side.

Luke may be saying that this old, clearly corrupt version of the Jedi must end. Or, he really could be saying that the Jedi have to end instead of reform, no matter what. Either way, he’s not saying “being good is terrible, and the dark side is cool now” — he’s saying light side users need to operate under much less harmful tenets.

What other stuff should I know about the trailer?

Get ready for some more Jedi lore. One scene shows Rey running her hands over an ancient tome with the Jedi symbol on it. There’s a pretty good chance that this is the Journal of the Whills, a poetic text that focuses on the Force and the Jedi, kind of like a way cooler Iliad. It’s one of George Lucas’ original ideas that found itself confirmed in canon just recently.

The Force Awakens novelization by Alan Dean Foster, the same author who penned the novelization for A New Hope years ago, begins with this excerpt, stated to be from the Journal of the Whills:

“First comes the day

Then comes the night.

After the darkness

Shines through the light.

The difference, they say,

Is only made right

By the resolving of gray

Through refined Jedi sight.”

The Guardians of the Whills also popped up in canon with Chirrut Îmwe and Baze Malbus in Rogue One, so there’s definitely canon support for this theory. Plus, current writers have been on a trend of using some of Lucas’ OG ideas recently, like Vader’s edgelord castle on Mustafar that we saw in Rogue One.

Some other interesting parts of the trailer: If you listen closely, you’ll hear distorted audio clips from the original trilogy, like Leia Organa’s famous “Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope” playing when she appears on screen. Also, the burning mask will have people arguing for months, but I’m placing my tent in the “It’s Kylo Ren’s helmet” camp because the size of the eye slit. (Yes, I do have homework that I’m avoiding.)

Also, one thing we didn’t see in the trailer was Kelly Marie Tran’s character, who was revealed after its release to be Rose, a member of the Resistance. She’s the first prominent Star Wars character to be played by an Asian woman, she’s a maintenance worker for the Resistance, she gets pulled into an adventure with Finn (according to director Rian Johnson during the Last Jedi panel), and I love her already.

Wow, watching that trailer reminded me how much I love Rey. Do I really have to wait until December to see her be a badass again?

Luckily, no! One of the biggest announcements at the Celebration was Star Wars: Forces of Destiny, an animated miniseries geared toward younger fans that stars the series’ awesome female characters. All of my favorite women will be included, from the well-known Leia, Padmé Amidala, Rey and Jyn Erso to the lesser-known Ahsoka Tano, Hera Syndulla and Sabine Wren. Dave Filoni, who directed and wrote The Clone Wars and is currently directing and writing Rebels, the other animated Star Wars shows, is also helping to create Forces of Destiny. So, not only will they be canon, they’ll probably be pretty good. Star Wars has really been owning its abundance of amazing female protagonists lately, and I’m loving it.

(Speaking of awesome Star Wars women, Captain Phasma fans will be getting a novel and a Marvel comics miniseries about what happened to her between The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi!)

Speaking of Rey, do we know who she’s related to yet?

Not yet, but apparently her actress, Daisy Ridley, thinks we do. In a wild interview from Celebration weekend, she tells ABC News, “I didn’t know that when Darth Vader said ‘I’m your father’ people didn’t believe it, they didn’t believe that it was true, and it was interesting because at the end of The Force Awakens I thought everyone was going to be like, ‘Oh cool, that’s been answered,’ but it hasn’t, and I think that even though a lot of questions are answered in The Last Jedi, I think it’s still that thing of discovery.”

That’s confusing as heck, Daisy. I still think Rey is a Kenobi. Watch the video yourself to come to your own conclusions, and see the face of Mark Hamill, who plays Luke, in a state of pure fear that the Disney cops will assassinate her for pushing the envelope of her nondisclosure agreement.

What’s next?

Looking to the future, I’m hoping and praying that the next big announcement we get is an Ahsoka Tano movie. She’s one of the best characters in the entire franchise, but fans who only watch the movies don’t know about her (yet). However, there’s just enough info out there for me to piece together a conspiracy theory that that will soon change.

The official Star Wars account and Filoni (who developed the character and has supervised the two Star Wars shows she’s been in) have both followed actress Rosario Dawson on Twitter. Dawson has stated in the past that she’d love to play Tano, the former Padawan of Anakin Skywalker. Filoni only follows around 50 people, mostly people that he worked with for Star Wars, so that gives me hope. Plus, Dawson has recently liked several tweets that say she’d make a great Ahsoka, or ask her to tell us if she is going to play the Togruta. Here’s to the possibility of my favorite alien kicking ass on the big screen with her two white light sabers soon.

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