‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’: Why Things Will Never Be The Same

Luke and R2D2 in Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Luke and R2D2 in Star Wars: The Last Jedi | Lucasfilm

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is still impacting fans, and there is a ton to unpack in this film. There were twists at every corner, big surprises, little nuggets of truth, and of course, a lot of stuff that will make die-hard fans cringe. If you have yet to see The Last Jedi and wish to do so without having a few key plot points spoiled, make sure to read no further! Simply bookmark this and come back to take a look when you are up to speed.

Several revealing plot points in The Last Jedi have massively altered Star Wars forever. There’s no going back and fixing this. We took a look at how the franchise has been altered, whether it be the past or the future, and whether this is bad or good.

1. Rey and Kylo are the future

Kylo Ren and Rey battling in The Force Awakens
Kylo Ren and Rey battling in The Force Awakens | Lucasfilm

It’s very clear in The Last Jedi that Rey and Kylo Ren have some sort of destiny story line between them. Although the movie hints at some sort of romantic future, which is pretty cringeworthy, it’s hard to see them becoming “Reylo” at any point in the future. Too much has happened and Kylo is just too far gone.

One thing director Rian Johnson does specifically well in The Last Jedi is steering us away from the redemption story arc for Ren. J.J. Abrams didn’t tease it too heavily in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, making Johnson’s move seem unnatural, so it works well and makes for a pleasant surprise. Sometimes people are just bad. What a very 2017 message. As for Rey, she’s struggling with still not knowing the Force all that well and having no one to teach her. But, there’s always hope, right?

2. Rian Johnson killed the past

Rian Johnson in an interview with Good Morning America
Rian Johnson in an interview with Good Morning America | ABC

The line of dialog, delivered by Kylo Ren and first heard in the main trailer, is to “Let the past die. Kill it if you have to.” When Johnson wrote that line, he knew what he was doing. He was letting the past die in Star Wars, and at points even actively killing it. Those who went to the theater hoping for references and throwbacks to the previous movies will come away disappointed, because Johnson has instead utilized every avenue to separate the future of the Star Wars franchise from its past.

Heading into Episode IX, Han Solo and Luke Skywalker are dead. We aren’t sure yet how Abrams – who will return to direct IX – will handle Leia’s story after the tragic death of Carrie Fisher, but we do know they won’t CGI her into the movie. For the first time since Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, we’ll be delivered a Star Wars movie devoid of Han, Luke, and Leia as a presence in the galaxy.

That doesn’t mean Luke can’t return, of course. Force ghosts are a real thing in Star Wars, and it would be a huge waste not to have the Jedi Master return to pass on some sort of wisdom to Rey in Episode IX, even if it’s only a cameo.

3. The end of Return of the Jedi is cheapened

The Force ghosts appear
The ending of Return of the Jedi | Lucasfilm

It’s hard to avoid how the current story line in the sequel trilogy dampens the excitement of the end of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. The Empire (and the Emperor) had been vanquished, with the good guys all surviving to celebrate with the Ewoks on the forest moon of Endor. Obi-Wan, Yoda, and Anakin even showed up as ghosts to smile on Luke, who had conquered the Sith and was on his way to re-establishing the Jedi as peacekeepers in the galaxy.

The Force Awakens made us aware that all of that had gone awry, with the First Order rising from the ashes of the Empire and Luke having gone into hiding after his own nephew turned to the dark side. The Last Jedi brings Master Skywalker back into the fold, but he gives Rey very little in the way of Force training and spends most of the movie completely outside of the character he became in the original trilogy.

It’s hard not to watch the end of Return of the Jedi now and think forward to the fact that Han, Luke, and Leia would all be gone and a new evil Empire would have an even stronger stranglehold on the galaxy. That’s kind of heartbreaking.

4. Luke Skywalker’s story arc takes a turn

Luke Skywalker
Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi | Lucasfilm

We’ve hinted that Luke’s story is a bit different from what we imagined. That’s putting it lightly. Mark Hamill made no secret of the fact that he disagreed with how Luke was used in The Last Jedi, although he did his best to publicly put trust in Rian Johnson as the visionary. In the end, Hamill was right to be skeptical. Who better to understand the DNA of Luke Skywalker than the man who plays him? In retrospect, Hamill’s comments should’ve been a major warning sign.

Luke grows up from a whiny, immature farm boy on Tatooine to become a mature and powerful Jedi, seeing the good in Darth Vader despite all the evil. He’s willing to bet his own life on the light remaining in his father. So suddenly, we’re to believe that this same Luke Skywalker would even briefly consider murdering his innocent nephew because he sees the darkness inside?

This, of course, turns Ben Solo into Kylo Ren. Luke runs away to hide on Ahch-To, a place he never does actually leave. If there is any one moment that perfectly exemplifies how Luke was changed at his core in The Last Jedi, it’s when R2-D2 plays the original “help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi” message. He has no interest in coming to anyone’s aid, even his twin sister who has lost her entire family in a fight against the evil First Order. Is that really who Luke Skywalker is? A coward?

5. Leia will be have to be written out without Carrie Fisher

Leia at the end of Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Leia at the end of Star Wars: The Force Awakens | Lucasfilm

Going forward, Fisher’s passing will necessitate the story being modified heading into Episode IX. J.J. Abrams will have his work cut out for him in that movie for a number of reasons, but primarily that it was intended to focus around Leia the way The Force Awakens did with Han and The Last Jedi with Luke. Now she’ll have to be written out, having survived the events of the most recent film.

Hopefully, Leia’s story will end in a satisfying way. As for The Last Jedi, we have no complaint about what happened with the galaxy’s most famous Princess. Some didn’t like her flying through space like Superman, but it was pretty cool seeing Leia reach out and tangibly use the Force for the very first time on screen. Going forward, the story will need to wrap on the sequel trilogy with only the new characters – and maybe a ghost appearance from Luke – to carry it.

6. This is no longer the ‘Skywalker saga’

Luke Skywalker - The Empire Strikes Back
Luke Skywalker in The Empire Strikes Back | Lucasfilm

The Skywalker twins are no more, and all that is left of the family line (as far as we know) is Kylo Ren. Will he find love, settle down, and continue the Skywalker saga by producing a child? Although there were romantic teases between Kylo and Rey, pushing them together romantically in Episode IX seems like a mistake that would undermine pushing him further toward the darkness in The Last Jedi.

It appears that this is the beginning of the end of the Skywalker saga. That in itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing. After all, we need to let the past die. But how we arrive at the end of the biggest element at the core of Star Wars is extremely important, and Johnson seemingly underestimated that fact. Part of it isn’t his fault, as nobody could’ve predicted Fisher’s passing.

But keeping Luke alive would’ve been easy and earned. He still had plenty of growth left, with the implication being that he would train Rey in the next movie.

7. Did the Jedi really end?

Luke Skywalker on Tatooine in Star Wars: A New Hope
Luke Skywalker on Tatooine in Star Wars: A New Hope | Lucasfilm

When Luke dropped the bombshell that it was time for the Jedi to end in the original trailer for The Last Jedi, people began speculating wildly about how and why he had come to that conclusion. Finally, we know the answer: Luke is disillusioned because he drove Kylo Ren to the dark side. In spite of that, he agrees to give Rey a few lessons so that she can go back and help the Resistance, leaving him in peace to mope and drink blue milk on his private island.

By the end, Luke comes back around with a little wisdom from an old friend. But since the movie ends with the death of the last Jedi, did the Jedi actually end? It would be kind of rough to do that in the middle of the trilogy, wouldn’t it? Rey is still out there, carrying nothing with her but hope, a broken lightsaber, and a handful of porgs. With nobody out there to teach her the ways of the Jedi, it’s safe to say that they did actually end.

That is, unless Luke returns as a ghost in Episode IX to help Rey learn enough to defeat Kylo. But even then, neither The Force Awakens or The Last Jedi ever gave the slightest hint that she was interested in passing on the knowledge of the Jedi. She just wanted to take down the First Order and Kylo Ren.

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