In the Star Wars franchise, novelizations can be tremendously important. After all, we leave each episode with so many questions about individual scenes, and the books shed light on things that were a bit unclear on screen. Oftentimes, the books also have complete sequences that were not in the actual movie.
These Star Wars novelizations are considered to be canon unless they are specifically contradicted by the films. Now, The Last Jedi‘s novelization has been released, and it’s quite significant. Some passages have massive implications on where the story is heading in Episode IX, and one revelation in particular completely changes our perception of Luke in the movie.
Here’s a look at the most significant things we learned in the Star Wars: The Last Jedi novelization.
10. Han Solo’s funeral takes place right before the movie starts
A lot of fans expected to see Han Solo’s funeral in The Last Jedi, but it did not happen. However, it’s there in the novel. The funeral takes place right at the beginning before the Resistance begins evacuating D’Qar; so if the scene were in the movie, it would be the very start of the film. Admiral Ackbar informs Leia of Han Solo’s death, and she subsequently holds a brief memorial in the forest.
During this ceremony, Leia has a wooden figurine that she places on the ground; it’s something Han carved before the Battle of Endor. Leia delivers a few words about how Han would hate this ceremony because he had no patience for speeches or memorials. She remembers him as a brave man who always hated bullies and was not afraid to stand up to them, including during his youth on Corellia — something that could come up in Solo: A Star Wars Story. And she says that even though Han fancied himself a scoundrel, he wasn’t, and he was always willing to fight for freedom.
Next: This helps explain that big Leia scene.
9. Luke taught Leia about the Force
It was surprising to see Leia use the Force during The Last Jedi. We hadn’t really seen her do so before, other than in small ways like telepathically communicating with Luke in The Empire Strikes Back. This naturally raised the question: was Leia trained in the Force sometime between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens?
Well, not formally, but Luke did teach her some things. According to the novelization, Luke relayed all of the teachings of Obi-Wan and Yoda, explaining to his sister that the Force had guided her all her life.
The book adds that Luke “wanted to teach her how to access the Force consciously; after that, it would be up to her.” Clearly, Luke succeeded, as Leia uses the Force to sense the emotions of those on board the Raddus.
Next: Could this be how Leia dies in the next movie?
8. Leia suffered from ebullism, hypoxia, and solar radiation
The novelization goes into greater detail about the medical issues Leia encountered after being blasted into space. As Leia is in her coma, C-3PO explains her condition to Poe Dameron, saying that she has suffered from ebullism, hypoxia, and solar radiation.
This might just be an added detail thrown in for no reason of great significance. But some fans are pointing to this as possibly foreshadowing how Leia will die: it will happen off screen due to these medical complications. While she ended up recovering in the movie, maybe there were some longlasting issues that will come up down the road.
Having Leia die in this way definitely wasn’t the original plan, but it could be a way for J.J. Abrams to explain her absence in Episode IX.
Next: This makes us sympathize with Kylo Ren even more.
7. Kylo felt that Leia and Han thought he was a monster
In the movies, it still hasn’t been made exactly clear what Ben Solo’s childhood was like. But the novel gives us a better idea. In one chapter, Leia flashes back to Ben being a kid, running around with his father’s gold dice and saying that he would one day be a pilot. But Ben was a “churning storm in the Force,” and he would have frequent tantrums, using the Force to break objects around the house.
Ben himself then recalls his parents having worried conversations behind closed doors about his anger, conversations “in which they talked about him like he wasn’t their son, but some kind of monster. They were frightened of him, he realized.” Ben seems to think that his parents sending him to Luke was a way of getting rid of him because they were scared. It’s unclear if that’s really true, but what’s important is that it’s what Ben thinks, and that may have been part of what led him to the Dark Side.
Speaking of scenes that make us sympathize with Kylo, the novel also reveals that he would have used the Force to stop the missile that blasted Leia into space if he wasn’t so surprised.
Next: This sheds some more light on the mystery of Rey’s parents.
6. Rey seems to further confirm that Kylo is right about her parents
Since The Last Jedi was released, fans have been debating whether Rey’s parents really are filthy junk traders who sold her off for drinking money like Kylo said. Could he have been lying? Might his vision of the past have been misinterpreted?
The book doesn’t exactly answer these questions, but it does give us a bit more to work with. First of all, when Kylo tells Rey that he saw the truth about her parents, Rey senses he isn’t lying. “Rey stared at him, but there was no lie in Kylo’s eyes,” the book states.
Then, during the actual scene of Kylo telling Rey, the novel suggests that Rey knows what Kylo is saying is true. “Rey tried to find the strength to deny him, to shove him away,” it says. “But he was right. She did know the truth — and it was the same as her greatest fear, the one that haunted her for so long.”
One theory about the scene was that when Rey says “they were nobody,” she’s just voicing what she fears to be the case. But this novel seems to suggest a separation between the two: Kylo Ren is saying what’s true, and it happens that the truth lines up with Rey’s worst fear.
Next: If you ship Rey and Kylo Ren, this is sure to get you excited.
5. Kylo smiles at Rey when she boards the Supremacy, and he wonders if she cares for him
Here’s one tidbit that’s sure to be music to the ears of Reylo shippers. When Rey arrives in her escape pod aboard the Supremacy, Kylo Ren smiles at her.
“The stormtroopers behind him stood ready, but he just smiled at the sight of Rey crammed into the pod’s tight confines,” the novel says. “His smile faded at the sight of his uncle’s lightsaber.”
Later, during the scene in which Rey and Kylo Ren take the elevator to Snoke’s throne room, Rey senses confusion, pain, loneliness, longing, and sorrow in Kylo. She soon realizes that “Kylo’s churning emotions weren’t just about himself. They were also about her.”
Yet another moment Reylo fans will love comes after Kylo wakes up in Snoke’s throne room following his fight with Rey. He notes that Rey left him alive, “almost as if she cared for him.”
Next: Some key Snoke backstory that was missing in the movie
4. Snoke’s knowledge of the Unknown Regions helped him rise to lead the First Order
We still don’t have the full Supreme Leader Snoke backstory we’ve been hoping for, but the novel provides a lot more information about him than the movie did.
As we’ve learned from other canon books, the novelization talks about the fact that the remnants of the Empire fled into the Unknown Region following their defeat at the Battle of Jakku. According to this book, though, the Imperials were not prepared for the “terrors of the Unknown Regions.” They came close destruction there, and it was Snoke who saved them.
Apparently, Snoke’s vast knowledge of the Unknown Regions helped the Imperials. This allowed him to rise up, even though he was the last person they would have expected to lead them. The book also states that as the First Order rose, they dismantled “hermetic kingdoms of the Unknown Regions.”
Next: This part of the book teases a connection between Luke and Snoke.
3. Luke and Snoke may have met at some point
Speaking of Snoke, the book seems to imply that Luke and Snoke have connected with one another at some point.
In one chapter, the book states that Snoke kept a close eye on Luke Skywalker, and once Skywalker “endangered Snoke’s design,” it became essential for Snoke to act. And so Snoke “had drawn upon his vast store of knowledge, parceling it out to confuse Skywalker’s path, ensnare his family, and harness Ben Solo’s powers to ensure both Skywalker’s destruction and Snoke’s triumph.”
This first part of the sentence is being interpreted as meaning that Snoke and Luke have connected in some way, whether it’s in person or via The Force. This could have happened during the decades in which Luke was attempting to learn more about the Force and find artifacts, as depicted in Star Wars Battlefront II.
Next: The meaning behind one of the last shots in the movie
2. Rey no longer has any compassion for Kylo at the end of the movie
This is probably the reveal of the novel that has the biggest implications for Episode IX. At the end of The Last Jedi, we see Rey and Kylo Ren share one last look via their Force connection before Rey shuts the door of the Falcon. What is Rey feeling in this scene? Has she finally concluded that Kylo Ren cannot be redeemed? Is she disappointed in him but still holds a sliver of hope that he’ll turn to the light side?
Well, the novel reveals that Rey no longer has any compassion for Kylo Ren at the end of the movie. It also seems to confirm that the Force connection between them has been severed.
“There was no hatred in her eyes, as there once had been,” the novel explains. “But there was no compassion, either. A moment later Rey severed their connection, leaving Kylo alone in the gloom with his father’s dice resting in the palm of his upraised hand.”
Next: This completely changes our perception of Luke in the film
1. Luke was planning to go with Rey before he found her with Kylo
When Luke barges in on Rey and Kylo touching hands, it wasn’t exactly clear why he was entering the tent at that exact moment. Did he have something specific he came to say? Did he sense Kylo’s presence?
Much to our surprise, the novelization reveals that at this point, Luke had changed his mind about everything and was ready to go with Rey back to the Resistance. Making his way over to her tent in the rain, he shouts, “Rey, you were right. I’m coming with you.” He realizes that his grief and guilt got in the way of him seeing that the Resistance needs him, and he’s inspired by the fact that Rey believed in him even when he gave her no reason to. However, Luke then walks in on her touching hands with Kylo Ren.
In the movie, it comes across like Luke did not realize the error of his ways until he spoke with Yoda. But actually, Luke was fully prepared to go with Rey earlier, all thanks to Rey’s actions; it was only when saw her with Kylo that he changed his mind again and needed a Yoda speech.
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