What to expect from Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
The countdown to Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi is in the single digits and still there are many questions and theories swirling in the minds of fans. Mysteries and speculation run rampant among the crowds of those who have a tight grip on thier pre-sale tickets.
Clever trailers that layered tense monologues over both thier associated and unrelated scenes have left much of the story to the imagination. Also, the trailers focused heavily on three main character arcs, but left us only with the briefest of images of many others, and new characters to be introduced are even more elusive where facts are concerned.
It is hard to say with certainty what lies in wait for fans and characters of the iconic space opera, but The Nerd Recites is willing to face the music and the possible spoilers ahead.
The end of the Jedi
Rey desperately wants to understand herself. She has so many questions about her family, her history, her abilities, and what she is meant to do with whatever knowledge she may gain. Rey has come seeking Luke’s help, but she won’t exactly be satisfied with his reluctant answers.
Luke came to Ach-to for answers as well, but the Jedi texts he found there have turned his perception of the universe and his role in it on its head. Luke once thought that he was meant to become a Jedi in order to help the Rebellion restore peace and freedom to the Galaxy. But he became convinced that the best thing for everyone and everything he cares about is to remove the Jedi, including himself, from any involvement.
The force has a will of its own, and it pulls at Rey, drawing her back out into the Galaxy to find a more willing tutor and connection to her family. Luke will learn from Rey in the time he spends with her, that he cannot sit back and wait for the end. He must fulfill his destiny by ending the duality of the force, and sacrifice himself to restore balance.
The dark side
Snoke and his army of would be Imperials are bloodied from their last battle with the Rebellion, but by no means have they been broken. It’s clear from the many large scale battles we have seen in trailers that their fleet is still quite formidible even without the dreaded Starkiller Base, and that they are actively campaigning to crush the Rebel Forces in every sector of the Galaxy.
Kylo Ren has proven his dedication to the First Order and rid them of an enemy with one stroke of his lightsaber. It’s a crushing morale blow for the Rebellion, and it doesn’t appear to be sitting too well with the tormented Kylo Ren either. Or perhaps he is just frustrated with not being able to give his master the one person he truly wants: Rey.
Rey is coming to face Snoke at an extremely dangerous point in her Force training. Kylo Ren might serve Snoke but he also has his own reasons to reach out to Rey. Viewers are sure to find out what those reasons actually are, and will watch Rey wrestle with a choice between light, dark, and grey.
Stepping back from the Force-sensitive characters, we find a real war is going on throughout the Galaxy, full of laser blasts, gun ships, and espionage. Finn’s last encounter left him gravely injured and he wants more than ever to escape to the outer rim with Rey and hide out the rest of the war. He doesn’t want to be a hero, but that exactly how Rose sees him.
Rose Tico is not a star in the Rebellion – she’s just a greasy mechanic doing whatever she can for the cause. She leaps at the chance to take a mission with Finn to the casino metropolis of Canto Bight, and her high expectations and energy infuse Finn with a desire to re-engage with the rebel forces.
On the mission to Canto Bight the two discover they need an expert slicer (a computer hacker in Star Wars vernacular) and only a mysterious man by the name of DJ has the necessary skill set. DJ has no alliances with either the First Order or the Rebellion, he’s a profiteer of war that no one can truly trust, but Finn and Rose will just have to hope for the best and put the mission and their lives in his hands.
Things are heating up for the Rebels. The breaking of the Republic has the scattershot resistance on the run from the First Order. General Leia is mourning the loss of Han Solo- murdered by their own son, whom she is now convinced to have fully been seduced by the dark side of the Force. Perhaps that is why she has bonded with Poe.
Leia sees the potential for a great leader in the ace pilot and has taken him under her cloak as a surrogate son, encouraging him to look beyond the battlefield to see the future of the Galaxy. But as Poe struggles with the new pressures he is being groomed for, the two may be headed for an ideological clash.
The pressure and strain of all the external forces working against the Resistence have formed some fractures inside of it. They may find themselves nearly broken by the end of this chapter, just as they once did when the Empire struck back against them so many years ago in that Galaxy far, far away.
The Last Jedi promises to be a dark and nail biting experience as it pulls back the veil on so many story elements and character connections we have only been able to guess at. Whatever theory you subscribe to only has a few more days worth of life before it becomes fact or fantasy.
Image credits: Lucasfilm, Walt Disney Pictures