Hold onto your robes, Darth Revan fans: The Last Jedi may have just teased the famous Force User in the new Star Wars canon. The operative word being “teased,” since the actual story of Luke Skywalker’s return makes up the bulk of Episode 8‘s runtime. We won’t be spoiling the events of the film for anyone who has yet to see it, other than saying that Luke spent years researching the ancient Jedi Order before beginning his voluntary exile on the island of Ahch-To. And apparently, that included research into the followers of Revan – the great Jedi Knight who fell to the power of the Dark Side.
It’s one of the easier to miss Easter Eggs in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, so to make sure that fans spot it for themselves, we’re calling it out. And for those new fans of the Star Wars series who may not know the story of Darth Revan, Darth Malak, and the soldiers who fought at their side in the Knights of the Old Republic – there’s no better time to learn it.
Because a tease like this isn’t usually made without a reason, or a hint at stories to come.
The Clue To Look For
As we mentioned before, the fact that Luke has more than just his X-Wing on the small island on Ahch-To proves there’s more to his story than was previously given. Over the course of the film, and his general views on the Jedi, it’s revealed that Luke dove into the history of the religion following the fall of Ben Solo. Aside from seeking this exact island (since it’s where the first Jedi temple was built), Luke made sure to gather a collection of ancient books and writings along the way. But that’s not the only memento he kept with him.
Keep your eyes peeled when seeing inside Luke’s home, and you’ll spot a handmade pendant of leather carrying a special object. It’s the red crystal used inside every Sith lightsaber, mounted inside a metal cradle as a “trophy” of sorts. Most viewers may assume that it’s the power source of Darth Vader’s lightsaber – a reminder to Luke of the darkness that consumed his father (or a relic too valuable to fall into ignorant hands).
But the canonical name of the object, as revealed in Star Wars: The Last Jedi: The Visual Dictionary, reveals a different past. The gem is still a “fragmented Sith lightsaber crystal,” but it didn’t belong to Luke or his father. It’s a “recovered Jedi Crusader pendant” – which refers to only one corner of Star Wars canon.
Revan, The First Jedi Crusader
The term “Jedi Crusader” might sound fairly generic, but the lack of actual “crusades” waged by the monks makes it a specific term in the bigger picture. Those who played through the original Knights of the Old Republic video game know this story already. Around 5,000 years before the Star Wars movies the Mandalorians became a galactic threat under the leadership of a new “Mandalore the Ultimate.” Conquering worlds in honor of the ancient Mandalorian Crusaders, these “Neo-Crusaders” were just the kind of growing, military threat that the Jedi… completely ignored. But not one: one young Jedi Knight promoted armed resistance and revanchism (the act of re-conquering Republic worlds and territory).
He would come to be known as Revan because of his charismatic campaign, and his followers the Revanchists. But to the galactic masses, his opposition to Mandalore gave him a different title: the Jedi’s very own “Crusader.” The story that followed is generally seen as one of the most acclaimed, compelling, and important ones to come from the Star Wars Extended Universe. Told in video games, comics, and novels, the life of Revan and the impact he had on the galaxy was one of the most painful to see erased as non-canonical Star Wars “Legend.”
Until Luke Skywalker went digging into the history of the Jedi… and came out with a trinket with Revan’s name on it.
What Does a Canon Revan Mean For The Movies?
As painful as it was to see the hundreds of novels, comics, and games scrapped, it was easy enough to understand why: give the filmmakers freedom to tell any story. And it didn’t take long for fans to spot how Star Wars movies were inspired by the Extended Universe. As the canon has expanded, writers have worked more and more of the legacy into it. Most recently, Star Wars: Rebels confirmed the Mandalorian Wars took place in the Jedi’s history – the very same conflict in which Revan fought. But they stopped short of any other details, only saying that “the Jedi won”… without addressing the Jedi by name or mission.
That seems to be changed with The Last Jedi, and it makes perfect sense, given the story of the film and franchise. As a powerful, heroic Jedi who turned to the Dark Side, his surrender to evil would be a fitting study for Luke. Given his experiences with his own father shortly before his death, and the corruption of Ben Solo, the fact that Revan returned to the Jedi Order also resonates.
So just how much weight should fans put into this nod to the Jedi Crusader, Revan? Well there’s no question Knights of the Old Republic deserves a movie… but we think appreciating the reference is all fans should do for the time being.
Header Image: Entertainment Weekly
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