Entertainment Weekly reveals that Rey will encounter a dark and despaired Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi…
Entertainment Weekly dropped an unexpected, but welcome, bomb on us with the release of the first two, of many, covers for their upcoming issues covering Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
If we weren’t hyped enough with that alone, fans will be in for a real treat with some major reveals by Entertainment Weekly regarding the state of Luke Skywalker and how Rey will play a part in helping him face the demons of his past that are still haunting the old Jedi Master.
*Minor spoilers ahead. Proceed with caution*
In the final minutes of The Force Awakens, Rey is able to finally track down the elusive Jedi Master Luke Skywalker on the ocean planet of Ahch-To. With an uphill climb through the trenches and ruins of an ancient Jedi Temple, Rey ascends to the top to find Luke deep in thought.
The only thing she can think to do is to reach into her traveling bag and give back the lightsaber that started Luke’s hero journey in A New Hope. Her extension is more of an offer, not only to give him back the ancient weapon of his father Anakin Skywalker, but a plea for Luke to join her, his sister Leia, The Resistance, and the galaxy in their fight against the Dark Side which has risen from the ashes of the old Empire that Luke had once defeated nearly 30 years ago.
Photog credit: Lucasfilm
One would think that Luke would be willing to join the fight once again and help not only the galaxy but his sister’s struggle against the darkness of the rising First Order. According to Mark Hamill, who’s played the farm boy from Tatooine since the late 70’s, Luke apparently wants nothing to do with this responsibility.
"The fact that Luke says, ‘I only know one truth. It’s time for the Jedi to end…’ I mean, that’s a pretty amazing statement for someone who was the symbol of hope and optimism in the original films. When I first read it, my jaw dropped. What would make someone that alienated from his original convictions? That’s not something that you can just make up in an afternoon, and I really struggled with this thing.”"
Doing my best Yoda impression: The farm boy we once knew, gone he is, consumed by great loss and conflict. If you are expecting the same hopeful and naive Luke from the original trilogy, you won’t find him in The Last Jedi. It’s ironic that Luke was once upset at Han Solo in A New Hope when he left the fight for selfish reasons. Now about 34 years later, Luke not only has left the conflict but apparently, he lost all hope and his sense of purpose. But what kind of pain would cause this once optimistic man to fall into a state of apparent neglect and passivity?
According to Rian Johnson, the writer, and director of The Last Jedi, a key aspect of the sequel will be the reason behind why Luke is on the ocean island in the first place and why he is content in staying put, even with all the despair going on in the galaxy.
"“The very first step in the writing of this was figuring out why he’s on that island. We know that he is not a coward. He’s not just hiding because he’s scared. But we also know that he must know his friends are in danger. He must know the galaxy needs him. And he’s sitting on this island in the middle of nowhere. There had to be an answer. It had to be something where Luke Skywalker believes he’s doing the right thing – and the process of figuring out what that is and unpacking it is the journey for Rey.”"
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
L to R: Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill)
Credit: Jonathan Olley/ILM/© 2017 Lucasfilm Ltd.
Enter Rey — played by Daisy Ridley — who’s own hero journey will bring her face to face not only with the Jedi Master but with more rejection. Remember, Rey was left on the desert planet of Jakku by her family and has not seen them since. Ridley states that theme will be expanded upon in The Last Jedi. Rey will play a crucial role in helping Luke rediscover the hero he once was, but apparently, that task will not be easy. She will be met by a Luke who is not pleased with the disruption of her presence.
"I don’t think one girl, who he doesn’t know, turning up with a lightsaber is gonna make him go, ‘Oh, s—, yeah, of course I’ll get back into the action. She’s so hopeful to everything and obviously there’s a hint of, ‘What the hell?’ Oh my God, this other man that I lost within a couple days was somewhat of a father figure. Now he’s gone, and instead I’m with this grumpy guy on an island who doesn’t want me here."
Did Ridley just say that? Luke does not know who Rey is? Or is that a play on words because he does not recognize her? Be prepared to flooded by an internet galaxy near you, with a Sarlacc pit full of new Rey theories. If we didn’t have enough of those already!
Leave it then, to the master of teasing fans — Mark Hamill — to add to the confusion by saying, “But does he not know her?”
Mr. Hamill, why do you play with our geek hearts?
We can make our heads spin with theories on the connection of Luke and Rey that would continue driving us nuts. A more important question is what event was so tragic that Luke would refuse to help fight the darkness that he once swore to destroy? Hamill said that Luke’s failure after Master Yoda had told him to pass on what he learned really hit him hard.
Imagine spending about 25 years of your life’s work dedicated to re-establishing an order that brought hope and peace to the galaxy. Then in a blink of the eye, it is destroyed by someone in your own family, once again.
"Luke made a huge mistake in thinking that his nephew was the chosen one, so he invested everything he had in Kylo, much like Obi-Wan did with my character. He is betrayed, with tragic consequences. Luke feels responsible for that. That’s the primary obstacle he has to rejoining the world and his place in the Jedi hierarchy, you know? It’s that guilt, that feeling that it’s his fault, that he didn’t detect the darkness in him until it was too late.”"
Photog credit: Lucasfilm and Entertainment weekly.
Kylo Ren may be more like his grandfather than we thought. Imagine having the pressure of being called “The Chosen One” and the burden that must be to bear? Anakin Skywalker could not handle that pressure and apparently his grandson (the former) Ben Solo could not either.
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Hamill said having the backstory of Luke’s path in the thirty years between Return of the Jedi and The Last Jedi was crucial in his own understanding of the man that Luke has transformed into over the years. Even though the fans may not get every tidbit in the upcoming film (can we say books and a TV series please?!) Hamill went through a crash-course on exactly what Luke had been up to during that huge gap from his early 20’s to his late 50’s in becoming the seasoned Jedi Master.
"“There’s massive amounts of backstory that is left to your imagination and I couldn’t do my job without figuring out what that was. Since it’s not really important to the main story as a whole a lot of it is just for my own process. I talked with Rian about it and went into this elaborate scenario of what happened to Luke after the end of the Return of the Jedi.”"
We can only hope that Rian Johnson uses the art of a flashback, or a similar Force-back vision style that J.J Abrams used in The Force Awakens, to give us fans as much of Luke’s history as possible.
The hype train just keeps on rolling and join the ride with us until The Last Jedi drops in theaters December 15th, 2017.