Star Wars is the closest thing I have to a religion. I know that might sound crazy to some people, but Star Wars is why I fell in love with movies. The Music, The Mythology, The Themes, The Characters. It makes me want to believe in something greater than myself. To aspire to be better. Star Wars speaks to the incredible power of storytelling and the very real effect it can have on our lives. I know I’m not alone. The Force is strong with many of you.
Today all the fuss is about the release of the first trailer for director Rian Johnson’s Star Wars Episode VIII The Last Jedi. So, to myself and all the other Star Wars “believers” out there, the first trailer for a new Saga film is a big deal. For you casual fans out there, the Saga films are the movies that have “Episode” in the title. They’re part of the generations long story of the Skywalker family that chronologically started with Episode I The Phantom Menace up to 2015’s Episode VII The Force Awakens. Separate from the Saga films are the “A Star Wars Story” films. Stand Alone movies that don’t necessarily have an effect on the larger Saga story, but take place in the Star Wars Universe. Like last December’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
First, why don’t you take a look at the trailer for Star Wars Episode VIII The Last Jedi and I can give you my thoughts:
First of all, I don’t think ANYONE saw this coming! Holy Shit! WHAT A REVEAL!!!
OK, OK, Calm down. I’m only kidding… OR AM I???
All in all, this was a solid teaser and that’s what it was, a teaser. Anyone following this blog knows that I hate a trailer that gives the whole damn movie way (See: https://thebestdamnblogwithpaulwright.com/2017/04/06/spider-man-homecoming-the-lost-art-of-the-teaser-trailer/ ). I feel like this teaser’s mission was to intrigue and I think it did its job. This wasn’t one of the best first trailers a Star Wars movie has put out, as I pointed out in my aforementioned article, The Force Awakens had a masterful Ad campaign. But there was still a lot to like here. I really like how this looks like a Rian Johnson film. I noticed a few cinematography similarities to his previous films, which is good thing because he’s a phenomenal director. The music caught my attention as well. It seemed like a really cool blend of the classic musical ques and some of the better work John Williams did for The Force Awakens. I also liked seeing Rey putting some time in with her lightsaber training.( I could forgive it in Episode VII because it made sense story-wise, but I NEED me some EPIC lightsaber duels in The Last Jedi!)
So, there was lot of interesting imagery and dialogue in this trailer. And get ready because Paul has theory! (Probably not a very good theory but a theory nonetheless) Now, I haven’t gone back to The Force Awakens in the time since this trailer dropped, so there could be one line of dialogue that destroys my theories. But this is just for fun, so I’m just throwing some interesting potential ideas out there.
OK, here we go: The line everyone will be jumping on here, myself included, is Luke saying “I only know one truth, it’s time for The Jedi to end.” This line is interesting for a couple of reasons. Luke, more than any other Jedi, acknowledged the darkness within himself and made peace with it. Most of the Jedi from the Prequel Trilogy seemed to view emotion as something to be locked away, not to draw strength from as The Sith do. Burying ones emotions away doesn’t seem like a very healthy way for a group of warrior monks to live.
Much of the beliefs held by The Jedi Order before The Fall of the Republic and The Rise of The Empire seemed questionable at best. Like why the Hell did the Jedi have to be celibate? If I was a Force wielder and found out I couldn’t get laid for decades, I’d be all “Sign me up for the Dark Side please!” Some of the most successful and well-adjusted Jedi like Luke Skywalker and Kanan Jarrus from Star Wars: Rebels, seemed to view their relationship with The Force in more human and less black and white terms. One of the things about the Prequels that I think some people miss is that, it isn’t just the story of The Fall of Anakin Skywalker; it’s also the story of the Failure of the Jedi. They were judgmental and short sighted and their mistakes caught up with them.
It seemed like Luke understood this in the Original Trilogy and perhaps the knowledge he’s acquired in his time in exile has confirmed those ideas. We hear Luke ask Rey what she feels. She says “Light… Darkness… The Balance.” And Luke replies “It’s so much bigger.” What if Luke has learned that things aren’t as simple as The Light and The Dark Side? For the Universe to find balance in The Force perhaps the time of the Jedi must come to an end?
Now here’s my more “Out There” theory, what if Luke is being more specific when he says “It’s time for the Jedi to end.”? The Jedi have always been called The Jedi Knights, Kylo Ren is the leader of the order called The Knights of Ren. In The Force Awakens, we don’t learn much about them and we never hear them specifically identify as Sith. What if the Knights of Ren have become some perverted version of The Jedi Order? One which must be destroyed for there to be balance in The Force? It could certainly be a cool switch-a-roo, Luke and Rey acting as a noble version of The Sith battling a corrupt Jedi Order. I’m sure there are 100 holes in this theory that I’m missing and the next trailer will probably blow this theory to smithereens, but half of the fun of a new Star Wars flick is the crazy theories and speculation.
Regardless of how it turns out, I’m thrilled to have a new Star Wars film coming down the pipe! Please feel free to tell me I’m nuts in the comments below. (But go easy on me, I have a fragile ego)
MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU!