Monday, December 11, 2017

Rampant Last Jedi Speculation

Welcome to the latest edition of Rampant Star Wars Speculation, with your hosts, Dean and Joe. Today we will be offering guesses, theories, and - you guessed it - rampant, wild, mostly unfounded speculation about what we'll see in The Last Jedi.

Spoilers ahead. Maybe.

Let's get to it.

My big question actually has to do with the poster- Luke looms large in the background, the spot where the villain typically is. Certainly the question of where he has been and what he has been up to looms over the first two entries in this new trilogy, but the question for now is: Does Luke turn to the Dark Side?

Dean: My money is on no. I think he is conflicted and uncertain. I hate to draw another line directly to Empire Strike Back, but look how he was then- uncertain how to proceed, under-trained, but knowing he must act. In fact, he never really received training after that. He faced Vader, Yoda died, and that was that. He could fight well, and use the force, but he wasn't trained too much as a Jedi. Now, his study, attempts to rebuild the Jedi, failure, and isolation have shown him the failings of the Jedi - hence the title. So I think this has more to do with him wrestling with his path (see the IMAX display featuring him on both the Dark and Light side).

Joe: I'll agree with you here. I can't see Luke doing a full turn. I can definitely see him wrestling with if he is on the right path and being unsure if he truly is following the Light Side after his academy (a New Jedi Academy?) was destroyed by Kylo Ren.

But a Dark Side turn? That doesn't seem like it would be part of Luke's journey, especially not after the son of Han and Leia turned. Kylo's frequent references to his grandfather are enough of that generational Dark Side turn that we don't need Luke to turn, too. This isn't Dark Empire. Probably.

My bigger concern, based on the trailers for The Last Jedi is that they're hinting at a Rey turn - which, let me tell you, would be a really terrible idea.

Let's speculate some more on Rey's parents!

Joe: I'm still going to roll with my far fetched idea of Rey being the daughter of Mara Jade. To quote myself from the first time we had this conversation

Do it like this: She was one of Luke’s students in his New Jedi Academy school thing that he founded after Return of the Jedi. She, with another student (or not, I don’t care), had a daughter. Ben Solo turned, killed that particular class of students, and Luke hid Rey on Jakku rather than take her with him when he ran and hid.

Dean: Gawd, I love that so much. Mara Jade is the best of the old EU. My problem with that is that I doubt they go that deep, though. The closer we get, the more I lean towards her being Han and Leia's daughter. There are a million signs that point to it, which have been covered ad nauseum at this point. It's not the most creative, to be sure, but I prefer it to her being Luke's kid.

Unless they bring in Mara Jade.

Joe: Force bless Mara Jade.

Porgs: Awesome or terrible?

Joe: Awesome. Next question.

Dean: Super awesome.

Where do you think Rey & Kylo end up at the end of this movie?

Joe: I think there's two real directions for Kylo Ren, and it really depends on whether or not they plan to do a redemption story for him at all. If yes, expect to see a couple of hints at said redemption. It wouldn't be a full blown face turn, but we will be able to see the shape of the turn. It would be Rey turning Kylo.

If no, and I would prefer that Kylo does not get a redemption given that he did straight up murder his father (Han Solo, remember?) in The Force Awakens, then expect to see a doubling down on his dark side turn. Possibly blowing up the planet Leia is on. That would also be one hell of a way to write Carrie Fisher out of the franchise. Spoilers, there is at least a 60 / 40 chance I'm going to cry at some point during The Last Jedi because of Carrie Fisher.

Rey is tougher. She's going to have a lot of questions about her heritage, why she was abandoned, and I don't think Luke is going to do her any favors. There might be a little too much of old Obi-Wan in him now. Hermiting really gets to a Jedi, you know. I think the movie will hint at a dark side turn for Rey, but I just don't see it happening. She's got too much basic decency running through her. More than most.

Dean: Much of the complaints about TFA were that is basically recycled A New Hope, which, yeah, a lot of the beats were the same (hey, if y'all want another Phantom Menace...), but this trilogy has a lot of grey to it... look at where we find Luke, previously this hero and beacon of light and hope. Snoke is not Sith, but he is dark. Kylo is conflicted the whole way, not just end like his fallen idol. So I think the end of this movie will reflect that, possibly with both of them closer to the middle, rather than extremes of light and dark. This will of course set up the reveal that Snoke is Revan in IX. (alternately, they may just go deeper into those extremes)

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What gets answered in The Last Jedi, and what questions will remain?

Joe: I expect we'll still be wondering who the hell Snoke is and never get a satisfactory answer.

Dean: I just said he's Revan! Or maybe not? IS IT THE 15TH YET?!!?!?