The Star Wars Celebration panel day 2 focused on the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi. With the first trailer for the movie making its debut, and a whole host of cast members present, the panel was the cause of much excitement and speculation.
Josh Gad played host, welcoming Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy and The Last Jedi director, Rian Johnson, to the stage. They were joined by Daisy Ridley, newcomer Kelly Marie Tran, John Boyega, and Mark Hamill. Fans have been waiting for any real clue as to Luke Skywalker’s role in The Last Jedi, since his appearance at the end of The Force Awakens didn’t really give much away.
The panel dropped a fair few hints, with Ridley teasing fans about Rey’s initial meeting with him, saying she has certain expectations in what she might be getting from Luke, then adding “It’s always difficult to meet your heroes, as they might not be what you expect.”
Presumably, the expectations that Rey has, is that Luke will return to the Resistance, and also take her through her Jedi training, but the trailer seems to hint that he’s unwilling, when he utters the soon to be immortal line:
“It’s time for the Jedi to end.”
That opens up a whole world of questions; why does he think that, and what is the cause behind it? Has Luke turned dark, or is he hovering somewhere between the light and dark sides? The trailer also seems to suggest that Luke is going to train Rey, regardless, so how does that come about? When Hamill took to the stage, he stressed that he thinks the story is about more than just his character:
“Its not Luke’s story anymore, but I think he’s an important part of the overall arc of the saga. Again, there’s a lot of mystery about him, even within the film, so you kind of have to fill in your own backstory.”
However, Kennedy said that Hamill was being modest, adding: “He is so significantly important to the new film.”
So in what capacity? The logical expectation would be that Rey tells Luke of all that’s happened, and he returns to his sister’s side to fight the Dark Side, but this is Star Wars, and there wouldn’t be much of a story to tell if everything was linear, without any twists and turns. At the very least, even though Luke may well end up back with the Resistance, we can expect some kind of tumultuous journey to get there (and we’re not just talking about him getting off that island).
Luke has good reason to be living so remotely, and, presumably, good reason to believe that the Jedi should end. Taking a look at the poster that was released to coincide with the trailer, it seems as though Luke might be connected in some way to Kylo Ren, other than being his uncle, that is. It also looks like Rey is either the connection, or the divide between the two.
Of course, the panel were giving nothing away regarding the nature of Luke and Rey’s relationship; Ridley didn’t even crack under Gad’s questioning, but, as he pointed out, “what kind of character doesn’t know their own last name?” While Ridley might know already, the rest of us will have to wait until December to find out.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be released on December 15th 2017.