Fans have been waiting with bated breath for the newest entry in the Star Wars saga, namely Star Wars: The Last Jedi. As is common with fans of this series, speculation abounded, especially when the title was announced. What would happen? What did that title mean? Would Rey turn to the dark side? Would Luke fulfill Palpatine’s greatest desire and follow in his father’s footsteps? Would storm trooper armor finally do something other than look sort of menacing? Would they finally learn to aim?
The good news is that Star Wars: The Last Jedi is an awesome movie. It really is. It combines a little of the nostalgia of the previous movies, but doesn’t slam us over the head with references to the past like Star Wars: The Force Awakens did, as many a movie review complained about.
Now, full disclosure, we thought both new entries into the saga were awesome. Star Wars: The Force Awakens was a fun romp through the galaxy, though we did shed a tear when Han Solo died because… well, it’s Han Solo.
And Star Wars 8: The Last Jedi was just as fun. It showed respect to the world George Lucas created, but at the same time wasn’t afraid to take in a new direction.
Breaking Away from the Skywalkers
The first six movies centered on the Skywalker family and their powerful connection to the Force. In the original trilogy – before the prequels were made – the Skywalker family seemed to be the only people who had any connection to the force. They were the stuff of legend in a galaxy that Palpatine had beaten down. Even in the prequels, Anakin Skywalker was supposed to be one of the most powerful Force wielders in the galaxy. So, again, the Skywalkers were the stuff of legend, especially since Anakin was apparently a child of the Force.
The new movie still pays tribute to George Lucas’ vision and the Skywalker family continues to play a vital role in the galaxy, but they are no longer the sole saviors of said galaxy. Instead, we have a young woman who is, by Star Wars definition, a nobody. And this point is driven home in the new movie. We didn’t learn much of her past in the seventh installment and almost everyone was convinced she was a long lost Skywalker. Well, she isn’t. Rey is no relation to the Skywalkers. She is not part of the legendary family, yet she still has incredible power. It is even intimated that her raw power is stronger than Luke’s. This is quite apparent from the seventh installment when she manages to beat back Kylo Ren, who has clearly been trained extensively in the use of the Force, even if it’s the dark side. She is a complete novice yet manages to hold her own against him.
The Villain Is a Skywalker
Not only have they broken away from the Skywalker family as the saviors of the galaxy, but they’ve gone one step further by casting a Skywalker as the central villain. Kylo Ren is the result of Ben Solo’s corruption at the hands of Snoke, the Supreme Leader of the First Order.
Some hold out hope that Kylo Ren will be redeemed, just like Darth Vader was. And it is a strong possibility it will happen because the entire Star Wars saga is about hope and second chances. It has always shown us that no matter how many mistakes you make, you can still come back from it. There’s always hope, which is why we firmly believe that Star Wars will continue to be incredibly popular.
Now, we’re just going to have to wait for Star Wars 9 to discover whether Rey’s faith in Ben Solo will be realized and Kylo Ren will come back to the light. We really do hope he will, but it will be a long and difficult journey after all he’s done. Regardless of what direction the filmmakers choose to take the story, though, we have faith it will be awesome.