WARNING: SPOILERS FOR STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI FOLLOW. THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE TO TURN BACK!
So, let's talk about The Last Jedi.
You've had your chance to hear everyone's opinions on the interwebs now...and boy.
Some hated the film, some loved it (I am personally in the latter group), but I think we can all agree that this movie took Star Wars in a completely different and unexpected direction. After The Last Jedi, everything we thought we knew about the characters and the Force is wrong, frankly.
We saw Leia use the Force to save herself from death, Luke's fall from Jedi grace, Rey's parents are nobodies, Snoke was suddenly killed, and...I could go on. So, I'm not going to debate whether or not all of this was how it "should have been." The question is now, where will the as-yet-unnamed Episode IX take us?
Let's start with Rey, and that shocking revelation that her parents were "nobodies." Her parents were the subject of endless speculation after The Force Awakens, and even I said that Kenobi ancestry was plausible in an earlier blog post. I will admit, I was somewhat disappointed in the fact that her parents were simply drunk scavengers at first. I mean, isn't that a bit anticlimactic?
As many this week have already pointed out, it's actually a refreshing plot twist. In the spirit of changing everything we thought we knew about the Force, The Last Jedi tells us that you don't have to be a "Chosen One" or have family members who are to be a powerful force (pun not intended) for change.
In fact, Snoke makes an interesting point that probably led to the demise of the Jedi of the Republic. In the film, he says, "Darkness rises, and light to meet it." His point was that he knew that someone on the Light Side would rise to meet the strong darkness in Kylo Ren. The Jedi tried to balance the Force themselves, when, in reality, it seems that the Force balances itself. To that end, we would expect Rey to be skillful in Jedi arts without, perhaps, the training.
At any rate, I digress. Some say that Kylo Ren was lying to Rey about her parents, and no doubt that will be the subject of endless speculation as well. Remember, though, Rey said that they were "nobodies" from her own lips (and we know that Rey's mind is not easily controlled). I think that this provides us a way to get out of Rey's past and see her power in the present and future.
Rey is powerful--there's no question there. The real question is, then, will a Luke Force-ghost refine her, now that he seems to have walked back his position on the Jedi? What role will she play in the recovery of the Resistance?
That leads us to the role Kylo will play in the next film. His master is dead, too, and he is now the somewhat erratic leader of the First Order. Will a Snoke Force-ghost guide him to "complete his training" as well? To successfully lead the organization that has now fallen to his hands, he will need some refinement, some sense of direction.
I seriously doubt any conversion for Kylo at this point after seeing his deeds in The Last Jedi, but he obviously sees Rey as an asset. Maybe he's given up on her after this movie, but many Sith don't see those who have fallen to the Light Side as unsalvageable, especially if they aren't trained. Perhaps we'll continue to see this Force mind-link take effect into Episode IX.
Snoke's death was perhaps the most shocking part of the film. Most of us expected him to have a major role through all three films, but he was suddenly, and seemingly simply, killed off in The Last Jedi.
Again, though, the concept of a Force-ghost comes to mind, or perhaps a reincarnated Snoke. We still don't know who this guy is and what his abilities are. We've never seen a Dark Side ghost in the Star Wars films, and we've only heard of one Sith who can beat death...but neither are out of the ball park of possibilities here. After all, how could such a powerful character really have been killed by his partially trained apprentice?
We saw his death happen, but the spiritual aspect of Star Wars keeps the idea of his survival, quite literally, alive. And, if Snoke's belief that "darkness rises, and light to meet it" is true, then the opposite must also be true. If light rises, darkness rises to meet it, too. The question is, who is/was Snoke's equal, and will someone rise to meet him--like, perhaps, a reincarnated Snoke?
At this point, it is hard to really guess what's to come in Episode IX...especially after the twists of The Last Jedi. I think it's pretty much guaranteed, though, that it won't be what we expect.
I'm a sci-fi/fantasy lover & writer who especially likes talking about Star Wars and futuristic tech. I like finding new things & finding the beauty in old things, especially in my "Everyday Snippets" series. I hope you'll join me on my blog and unleash your imagination!