A Star Wars: The Last Jedi IMAX display appearing in select theaters adds more credence to the theory Luke Skywalker has fallen to the dark side of the Force. The highly-anticipated sequel is once again making a bevy of headlines and dominating social media discussions thanks to the release of the full theatrical preview, which offered one surprise after another. After watching the trailer, it's safe to say The Last Jedi will not be a basic Empire Strikes Back retread, as it takes the story in exciting new directions.
The prospect of a Rey/Kylo Ren partnership would have been a big enough bombshell, but the footage also implied Luke pulls the plug on Rey's training after he becomes too afraid of what she's capable of. Though we've only seen snippets of Skywalker in Episode VIII, it's abundantly clear he is a very changed person when compared to the plucky Rebellion hero who never gave up on his father. Many had presumed Luke's mindset was this way because of the tremendous guilt he felt after Ben Solo turned to the dark side, but has Luke himself turned his back on the light?
The official IMAX Twitter account posted an image of an exclusive Last Jedi display that bears heavy resemblance to once-rumored theatrical poster designs. It's clearly broken in two - with the heroes of the Resistance depicted on the left, while the villainous First Order is on the right. Interestingly enough, Luke is the only character included on both, calling to question where his allegiances lie during Episode VIII. You can check out the post in the space below:
— IMAX (@IMAX) October 10, 2017
Star Mark Hamill has been quite vocal about how surprised he was when he read Rian Johnson's script, infamously saying he fundamentally disagreed with the way Luke was portrayed. Though the actor has been a proponent of "evil Luke" in the past, Hamill found it quite shocking Skywalker would want the Jedi to end in the actual saga. Luke's presence on the hero and villain stands suggests he is perhaps torn between the light and the dark, or has adapted a new path that allows for the free use of both depending on the situation. Canon materials like the novel Bloodline and the bookshelf seen in the trailer illustrate Luke has spent a number of years researching the history of the Jedi, and he may have learned that they cause more harm than good, shattering his lifelong beliefs. That would certainly be enough to push Luke towards the dark; when Anakin's faith in the Jedi Order was damaged beyond repair, he became Darth Vader.
The other noteworthy element to this display is that Rey and Kylo Ren are directly paralleled with each other, symbolizing their respective journeys in the film. In a way, the two are kindred spirits - powerful Force users who feel lost and are in need of guidance. Though they initially are following two separate paths to find their place in all this, the marketing makes it appear as if they meet halfway and unite. Their objectives in a possible team-up will probably remain a mystery until December, but all the new Last Jedi promotional materials have raised a fair number of new questions for fans to consider.
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019