Surprises are what keep a legendary franchise like Star Wars afloat throughout several decades of operation, and the series has surely built itself on quite a few of them. From the death of Obi Wan Kenobi to Kylo Ren's parentage, and of course the ultimate reveal of Luke and Vader's familial connection, the films always seem to have something up their sleeve. But nothing could prepare us for the end of Star Wars: The Last Jedi's teaser when it was released last Friday, as it closed with Luke Skywalker himself saying, "I only know one truth. It's time for the Jedi to end."
As perplexed as we are that Luke has been made to say something like this, it's a bold statement that's long overdue. While writer/director Rian Johnson loves stories about cycles needing to be broken, all in the name of a new, more fulfilling chain of events, hearing Luke declare that everything he once stood for must fall is something that didn't shock us for long. Call it intuition and call it decades of thought over the concept of the Jedi, but we think this turn of events is for the best for the following reasons.
The Sith/Jedi Conflict Is What Tore Apart The Galaxy
A continued cycle of dominance between the Jedi and the Sith is the most basic reason for why the universe of Star Wars has been in a state of upheaval for quite some time. Even when it's isolated to the era between The Phantom Menace and The Last Jedi, you can see that the power play between both factions not only caused the Sith and Jedi to duke it out amongst themselves, but they also were crucial to forming the Galactic Empire/First Order and the Rebellion/Resistance. You can't have one without the other, and both orders live to fight the other to the death. However, in the case of the Jedi, they kind of turned out to be the more damaging of the two sides.
The Strict Jedi Code Was Horrible To Begin With
When you're dealing with a power so unlimited as The Force, an absolute code can be harmful to whatever universe it occupies. The Sith believe in the acquisition of power, the defeat of their enemies and supremacy at all costs. They believe in order through strength, and strength through intimidation. It may not be the nicest of orders, but it's more personally fulfilling. Which is the exact opposite of the Jedi Order, which basically tells a person to suppress any emotion and cut off all ties to anyone outside of themselves and the Order. What's so hurtful about the Jedi is the fact that it is an extreme that's just as bad as the Sith, while at the same time leading to some self-inflicted pain due to withholding from emotional and personal connection. Say what you will about the Sith, but at least they let you be the best you possible... even if it's at the price of destroying the galaxy.
The Proper Jedi Training Program Doesn't Exist Anymore
Say you were able to make the Jedi Order in Star Wars a little softer when it comes to emotions and personal connections. The ways the Jedi train a Padawan aren't all that bad; in fact they're pretty damned effective. But as we've seen with Anakin, and to a certain extent Obi-Wan, proper guidance must be allowed to run its course. Without proper training, a Jedi can become confused by the Dark Side and be derailed into total Sithdom, which is the galaxy's most destructive bender as you're now without the discipline of a proper Sith as well. With Luke being confirmed as The Last Jedi, and with his own training not being completed during the Original Trilogy, the rise of the Knights of Ren was pretty much a given.
It's Time For The Grey Jedi To Take The Stage
This is the part where dyed in the wool Star Wars fans get to cheer, as the expanded universe of both past and future tales has used the concept of "Grey Jedi" to fulfilling ends. Believing in balance over all else, and acknowledging both the light and dark sides of The Force, the Grey Jedi don't believe in conquering one side or the other. Rather, they believe that both good and evil serve a purpose, but obviously they serve the means of the light side in a manner that's not overzealous. Considering the logo in the ruins we saw in The Last Jedi's trailer kind of looks like it symbolizes a "midpoint" between the light and the dark, we just might be seeing the Grey coming into the light. And if you ask us, it's perfect.
It Brings The Story Full Circle
Most importantly, the dissolution of the Jedi Order, and the fracturing of the vicious circle between good and evil is its own circular method of closure. Anakin Skywalker started the story of the Skywalker family with the universe prophesizing that he'd bring balance to The Force, and while he skewed things towards the darker side of the picture, that prophecy will be fulfilled in Luke. The son fulfils the promise of the father, and by neutralizing the massive conflict between both sides, he'll be balancing everything out. The Grey Jedi are the true balance to The Force, and after decades of trying, failing and ruminating over it all, Luke seems to have come up with the ultimate solution to the galaxy's biggest problem. At that point, you don't even need to continue the Skywalker saga after Episode IX, which would allow Star Wars to flourish as something else, if not give the series a definitive "end point" to work with.
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Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.