The Last Jedi- Who? What? Why?

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So the title for Star Wars episode eight was released yesterday, and the internet, unsurprisingly, went wild with speculation and anticipation for what already sounds like a very brooding chapter of the new Star Wars trilogy.

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‘The Last Jedi’… What does it mean? Who is the last Jedi? Why are they the last? All these incredibly obvious questions have been asked and answered all over the inter-web, and many, many people have come forward with their ideas. But here’s mine, for what it’s worth.

We learned in The Force Awakens that, after the defeat of the Empire, and his final battle with Vader and the Emperor, Luke attempted to create a new Jedi Order. We don’t yet know much about what this Order was like, whether it was as blindly stupid/arrogant as the old Jedi Order, or whether this was a new-age of the Jedi with new teachings and new beliefs. However, something obviously wasn’t all too right with the way things were going, because Kylo Ren decided he should slaughter everyone and everything. Great right? Imagine you’re Luke Skywalker; you’ve restored peace to the galaxy, and you’ve brought “balance” to the force, and now your bratty little padawan-nephew decides that “balance” is overrated and that black leather is a really cool look.

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I imagine you’d be pretty gutted after seeing everything you’ve rebuilt destroyed, and all your pupils slaughtered, just because you went wrong somewhere with Ben Solo. And so Luke’s self-exile does seem fairly reasonable when you consider the carnage that his nephew caused.

This blame that Luke’s placed upon himself, and the similarity between Kylo-Ren and Anakin Skywalker’s turns to the darkside, makes me think that Luke tried to rebuild the old Jedi order we saw in the prequels. This was the order that taught its members to swallow their emotions and discouraged romantic attachments, which was precisely what pushed Anakin over to the darkside; the users of which are consumed by their emotions rather than controlling them. I think Luke believed that this was the way the Jedi order was supposed to be, probably thanks to the knowledge provided to him by Lor San Tekka (You know… the old guy at the start of TFA), but obviously he made a mistake and history ended up repeating itself in Kylo Ren’s betrayal.

So he gave it all up and retreated to the first Jedi Temple, which is where Rey finds him at the end of The Force Awakens.

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Now, after all that preamble I can explain where I think the title “The Last Jedi” comes into it.

Luke Skywalker is the last Jedi. Yes I’m aware that it might mean Rey, and that Jedi can be used as a plural, but in my theory Luke is the referred-to Jedi.

At this point he’s had enough of everything, and he’s spent the last 6 years trying to figure out what went wrong, what he can do, and what is going to happen now. When Rey finds him, I think he’s going to be very reluctant to train her, and to begin with I think he’s going to flat-out refuse, but eventually something will change his mind. Maybe learning about the death of Han will be the trigger, or maybe he might be visited by his old mentors Obi-Wan and Yoda in the form of Force Ghosts? Perhaps we may even see the return of Qui-Gon Jinn? Anyway, whatever convinces him to train her, he won’t train her in the traditional philosophies of the Jedi, and I think that together they’ll learn what balance truly means when it comes to the force.

An example of this is the journey that the character of Kanan is currently on in Star Wars Rebels– he is realising that to follow the light and dark sides of the force exclusively brings unbalance, and that to be truly in tune with the force you have to walk the line between the two.

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This isn’t a new concept, in the old expanded universe there was a group known as the Grey Jedi, who did essentially the same thing, but this appears to be the direction that the writers are taking when it comes to force-wielding characters in the canon.

So Luke won’t train Rey to be a Jedi (they’re overrated anyway), he’ll train her to be the first in a new order of force users; an order that focuses less on the clinical approach to the force that the old Jedi had, and instead a more spiritual connection, like Maz Kanata (hint-hint) and The Bendu (Star Wars Rebels). It will be this balance that will allow Rey and Luke to overcome Kylo and the Knights of Ren (great band name), because while Ben Solo is passionately dedicated to the dark-side now that he’s committed patricide, Rey will be able to tap into her emotions but not let them consume her. Luke did the same thing at the end of Return of the Jedi, allowing him to defeat the evil in his father and destroy the Emperor.

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So anyway that’s my two cents, take it or leave it, but I really do hope that this is the direction they’re headed in, because it addresses a lot of the Jedi Order’s flaws, explains why Luke allowed another fall of the Jedi, and also prevents history from repeating itself… again.

(On a side note, I now really want The Bendu to make an appearance as Luke’s new mentor, just to have more Tom Baker and that fantastic character)

But what do you think? Am I right? Is the meaning of the title either so simple it doesn’t need explaining or so obtuse that mere mortals couldn’t deduce its true symbolism? Have I thought about this too much?
(Yes, you have. I like it and it would be interesting to see, but I think you have over-thought it. The two of them will be the “Last Jedi”…. at least for a while- Ben)

Please let us know!

Star Wars Rebels Mid-Season Trailer Review

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Lewis: Alright, so a trailer for the second-half of Rebels season three dropped out of nowhere this week…

Ben: It was a surprise considering it is starting again on Saturday, but what a trailer.

Lewis: I know right? I don’t think it was as good as the trailer for the first half, but this gave us so much information and stuff that it’s a little difficult to sift through it all.

Ben: There was a lot going on- so many different action sequences that have been thrown together.

Lewis: A ton of characters both new and old as well, and a lot of references. But the action sequences looked absolutely fantastic, especially the scene with the Ghost flying through Star Destroyers.

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Ben: Is it me or does it seem a bit more backs against the wall now? I feel like the tone is beginning to match the grittier Rogue One rather than the kids’ show we had before.

Lewis: For sure, it looks like they’re on the back foot for most of this half-season. Like you said, it does seem to match Rogue One in its tone, which makes sense since the show is getting closer and closer to the film timeline. But then again, trailers don’t always match the final product…

Ben: Yes that is true, but I would really like it to follow the Rogue One pattern and get a bit grittier. At the end of the day it is a kids’ show but it’s going to have to change a bit to match the rest of the canon.

Lewis: I’m sure it will, it’s already been moving in that direction, and since Dave Filoni has said we might be seeing the Battle of Scarif in season four I think it’s going to keep building in terms of grittiness.

Ben: I think we are going to see quite a big leap in time- from memory season 1 of Rebels was set about 4 years before A New Hope and Rogue one ends about 10 minutes before it.

Lewis: I think it was five years but tomato/tomato. As for where it is now, I think it’s 2 years away, but there’s a time jump of at least 1 year between each season, so it’s feasible that we could see Scarif in season 4.

Ben: That’s fair, the second half of this series looks like the rebels are beginning to band together, but as long as they don’t just group together by magic I am fine with it. Rebels does have a tendency to make things just happen.

Lewis: I think Thrawn will attack Chopper base and force the rest of the Rebellion to save the Ghost crew’s cell, or they’ll have to evacuate to Yavin or something.

Ben: I think it will be a while before Thrawn attacks a Rebel Base; he is still waiting and analysing. But what you have said makes sense to me.

Lewis: Shall we talk about some of the reveals?

Ben: That is the next step- which one first? Saw Gerrera?

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Lewis: I think we should start with Saw, considering his importance at the moment

Ben: So we see a Robot leg-less Saw in the trailer with the voice of Forest Whitaker, which is a nice touch for continuity.

Lewis: Forest Whitaker is back, baby. I’m excited to see his relationship with the rest of the Rebellion, and we might get to see what drove him into madness/isolation. It looks like he’ll be around for more than one episode.

Ben: I expect we will see the disagreements he has with the rest of the Rebel leaders, since that would give his Rogue One appearance a bit of context. We get to see a Hologram of Mon Mothma, but you know who I want back- Wedge. It makes sense for him to come back now.

Lewis: Well we get to see Mon Mothma on the bridge of the Ghost too, along with another new guy and someone in a flightsuit who I think is Sato’s nephew. As for Wedge, there’s a short clip of him standing with Hera under a bombardment. I think Saw will definitely be one of the more interesting parts of these episodes.

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Ben: I thought I saw Wedge in the trailer, but I’d forgotten about that kid- didn’t even see him. As for Saw, it might even be the disorganised nature of the Rebellion and their disagreements that give Thrawn his opening.

Lewis: Our friend Pete thinks Kallus will end up giving up the location of the base somehow. Whether it’s deliberately or by accident, I think that’s a pretty safe theory, since Thrawn was keen to exploit the spy rather than silence them.

Ben: That is a pretty solid shout, I’m not sure he would do it accidentally- he is too smart for that, but I think Thrawn could trick him by giving him a false lead or torture it out of him… Torture might be a bit dark for a kids show though.

Lewis: I think Thrawn could definitely out-smart Kallus like you said, but I think his confidence in his abilities will be what eventually leads to his defeat. Unless of course the Rebels have someone who is even more capable (which is unlikely). Anyway, so we’ve seen the return of Saw Gerrera, Wedge Antilles, Mon Mothma, Tarkin, and a few other minor characters, I suppose apart from Sabine’s story arc with the Darksaber, there’s just one more thing to discuss…

Ben: Indeed, shall we start with the Darksaber stuff first though?

Lewis: We can, I mean there isn’t too much to be said. Looks like Sabine is being trained in swordsmanship by Kanan, and they’re trying to get Mandalore to join the Rebellion under Sabine’s rule?

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Ben: Looks like she is going to have to sort her Mum out along the way, but it could make for an interesting side story that supports the Thrawn and Maul stories.

Lewis: Indeed, nice bit of characterisation. I’m gonna throw a theory out here- Maul kills Sabine, and Ezra kills Maul.

Ben: Do you think so? I am not sure, but it does make sense because we don’t see any Mandalorians in episodes 4, 5 or 6 (excluding Boba Fett).

Lewis: Exactly, and I think the loss of Sabine would a) give Ezra a boot over to the Darkside-ish, b) cause the Mandalorians to distance themselves from the rebellion, c) provide a really interesting conclusion to Maul and Ezra’s story. I think it’ll all go down on Tatooine, and she’ll be fighting Maul with the Darksaber and it won’t go well. But yeah, that’s my prediction for the day.

Ben: I buy into that, you have convinced me, well done sir. Speaking of Tatooine, we get one more character reveal- Obi Wan/Ben Kenobi is back. This isn’t exactly a shock because it has been hinted at a few times, but what do you think about the old Ben?

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Lewis: Hell yeah he is! “You’re in the wrong place…” What a guy.
He looks frickin’ sweet to be honest, the voice is great, he looks a bit old and worn down, but he can still do the pose. I’m very excited for his appearance.

Ben: I got goosebumps a few times during this trailer, but Ben coming back was the major one. And because of the position in terms of the timeline we still have room for the Obi-Wan solo film.

Lewis: I think it’s what the fans have been waiting for. Everybody loves Obi-Wan, and if the rumours about his appearance in episode 8 are true, then this and that could be an attempt on Disney’s part to gauge interest in a solo film before officially announcing it, as well as giving some of the newer fans a refresher on his character.

Ben: Exciting times ahead- I am really looking forward to the next half of this series.

Lewis: It does look like it’s going to be a good one, I wonder if we’ll see Luke at all? Maybe in the distance?

Ben: I think by this point Ben has had to distance himself, perhaps we will see the domed roof and the twin suns, but that might be a bit too contrived.

Lewis: I’m sure we’ll get a glimpse of him one way or another. Well, apart from saying how awesome this all looked, again, I don’t think there’s much else to talk about? (Apart from Thrawn kicking some butt)

Ben: It looks a training scene with him kicking the crap out of some droids. Speaking of droids we do see a fair few old Clone Wars clankers.

Lewis: We do, looks like there is going to be a lot of Easter eggs and fan service in these next few episodes.

Ben: I will no doubt like pretty much all of it.

Lewis: Shall we wrap up there?

Ben: I think we have covered everything, it basically looks like the Rebels get a kicking at the hands of Thrawn, the Darksaber is used, Mandalore hangs in the balance and Obi-Wan is back.

Lewis: I think that’s a decent summary, and I’m sure there are tales of daring-do in between all this as usual.

Ben: I look forward to it.