Leave a Comment
The Jedi Order's had a rough time of it over the last half century or so in the Star Wars universe. First, nearly all the Jedi were wiped out by Order 66, a crusade initiated following the corruption of Anakin Skywalker, one of their own. A few decades later, Anakin's son Luke tried to rebuild the Jedi Order, only to have his work be destroyed by his nephew Ben, a.k.a. Kylo Ren. Now with the first trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi out, we know that Luke holds one truth to be evident: that the Jedi must "end." We'll have to wait until Star Wars: The Last Jedi's release on December 15 to find out what he means by that, but going off what we know so far about this movie, as well as taking into account events depicted in The Force Awakens, it looks like a big change is coming for the Star Wars saga. Something that will turn the tables on how Force-users in this galaxy far, far away will be handled moving forward.
First off, I think we can all agree that Luke Skywalker is not advocating for mass slaughter of the Jedi again. That's not his style. So what does he mean when he says the Jedi must end? Well, let's take a brief look at the history of this order in the Star Wars universe, at least where the movies are concerned. First, you have the Jedi Order. As Obi-Wan Kenobi said in A New Hope, for over a thousand generations the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic, although expanded material (books, comics, etc) has since revealed that they were active in ancient times, too. Twice now their kind has been nearly wiped out in less than a century, and with Rey having found Luke on Ahch-To at the end of The Force Awakens, some speculated that these two might try to re-establish the Jedi Order...again. But just look at the title of the movie. Even though we now know The Last Jedi is plural, it's nonetheless clear that there will be few Jedi in this movie, and listening to Luke's words, we suspect that he's either realized or will realize during these events that the Jedi Order needs to be abandoned for good.
Consider the Sith, who, as far as we know, are off the table at this point in the Star Wars saga. Most of their kind were destroyed approximately a millennia ago, and even though the Rule of Two kept their order alive between then and the Empire's rise, with the death of Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine, it appears that their kind have finally been permanently destroyed, although perhaps future Star Wars material will prove this wrong. Regardless, now the main Dark Side users are the Knights of Ren, whose leader, Kylo Ren, was trained by the mysterious Supreme Leader Snoke. Even though the Sith are gone, that didn't stop select individuals from finding away to harness the Dark Side of the Force, thus keeping it "alive." Perhaps Luke has realized that in order for the Light Side to stay "alive," recreating the Jedi Order isn't the solution. He, Rey and any other Force-sensitive allies who join them will need to travel down a different path and form a new group of benevolent Force users.
While we generally think of the Jedi as the "good guys," it's important to remember that they weren't perfect by any means. In fact, looking at the Prequel Trilogy, it's obvious they had a superiority complex, automatically assuming they knew better than everyone else. No doubt their arrogance played a role with clouding their vision of dangers targeting them. It also didn't help how detached from emotion they were. We still haven't seen how exactly Luke Skywalker went about training his small group of apprentices post-Return of the Jedi, but it can be assumed he made some adjustments compared to how the Jedi did things in the ol' days. For one thing, Luke doesn't completely let go of emotion. However, he still held on to aspects of the old ways, and in order to properly defeat the Knights of Ren and ensure that the galaxy will have Force-sensitive guardians for generations to come, he now knows that this has to be accomplished in a different way. That would line up with the rumor about him having found something that "puts into question everything he thought he knew about the Force."
The Force is a constant in the Star Wars universe, and even when the Empire was killing the Jedi, that didn't stop Force-sensitive beings from being born. Some of them may have even been able to passively use this mystical energy without any training. Now it looks like a new era is about to unfold, and while Luke will be training Rey in The Last Jedi so that she can hone her Force abilities, it appears he has no interest in traditional Jedi ever coming back. For The First Order, the Knights of Ren and any other threats associated with them to be put down, the past needs to be left behind so that the future will be bright. Luke's goal of ending the Jedi may not be fully accomplished until Episode IX, but assuming he's successful, this idea of his may truly be a new hope for the entire galaxy; Force users unburdened by the restrictions of the Jedi so they can more efficiently protect the innocent.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be released in theaters on December 15. What do you think of our interpretation of Luke Skywalker's words? Have we hit the mark or are way off base? Give us your thoughts in the comments section below.