In the first trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Luke Skywalker said, “It’s time for the Jedi to end.” Does this mean Episode VIII is the end of the Jedi Order as we know it?
The Jedi Order falls twice in the span of seven movies. The first fall is in Revenge of the Sith when Emperor Palpatine orders his new apprentice, Anakin Skywalker to decimate the occupants of the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. The second fall happens off-screen and sometime between the events of Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. This Jedi Order is begun by Luke Skywalker, Anakin’s son and a trainee of the last of the great Jedi Masters, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda. But fate is a vicious cycle. Just as a Skywalker destroys the first Order, another one destroys the second. Ben Solo, Luke’s own nephew, slaughters Luke’s trainees.
After this second fall, Luke goes into hiding on Ahch-To. Rey finds him there in The Force Awakens and then, based on what we see in the first Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer, appears to train as the Jedi Master’s new apprentice. But looks are deceiving. One line in the trailer indicates that Luke might not believe in the need for Jedi anymore:
"“I only know one truth: It’s time for the Jedi to end.”"
I don’t believe Luke is voicing a loss of faith in the Force or is leaning to the dark side when he says the above quote. He’s actually on to something. Recall that in the first six Star Wars films, Anakin Skywalker brought balance to the Force only after he a) turned to the dark side and killed all the Jedi, and then b) turned back to the light side and killed Emperor Palpatine, the one remaining Sith lord. At the end of Return of the Jedi, the only Jedi the audience knows exists is Luke.
Now, consider what happens when Luke tries to start a new Jedi Order: A new dark side enemy rises up and the Order is once again destroyed from within. There cannot ever be a Jedi without a Sith around, it seems. Light cannot exist without someone or something making a shadow.
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So what does one do? One obviously can’t prevent anyone from feeling the Force or using it. One can’t eradicate all the evil in the galaxy, or all the light, for that matter. The one thing that can be done is the shutting down of a government-approved institution that requires all Force-sensitive individuals to learn how to use the Force in a potentially violent way. Without proper training, it is less likely that anyone will attain enough power to become a galactic threat.
The Jedi need to end because the Jedi are the beginning. The Sith came out of that institution, and so did Anakin and Kylo Ren. Without a Jedi Order or an Order of Force trainees of any affiliation, the temptation to use any knowledge of the Force one gains through training is immediately eradicated.
In summation, the reason the Jedi need to end is thus: In order for there not to be any Sith, there can’t be any Jedi, either.
That is, of course, after Rey and Luke defeat Kylo Ren and Snoke. Those two enemies are probably why Luke trains Rey as a Jedi, even though he thinks the institution itself needs to end. That defeat probably won’t happen in The Last Jedi, so we may have to wait till Episode IX to learn the fate of the Jedi as we know them.
Do you agree that the Jedi need to end? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi enters theaters on December 15, 2017.