89Two years ago, I made six predictions for the new Star Wars trilogy produced by Disney and Lucasfilms. With Episode VIII, The Last Jedi coming out this weekend, I thought it was time to revisit those old theories and add a few new ones. I'm planning on posting long-overdue reviews for The Force Awakens and Rogue One in the next few days (additionally, Star Trek Beyond by the end of the year), but first things first.
Let's revisit my old predictions (BEWARE SPOILERS)
1. Han Solo dies. Add a big check to that one. Though you could see it coming (and at the hands of Kylo Ren), it was still heart-wrenching, especially powered by Harrison Ford's performance and the beautifully done last moment where Han touches his son's face before dying.
2. Luke is hiding from Kylo Ren. This is partially right in that Luke is hiding, but whether it's like Yoda and Obi-Wan waiting until the right time is up for debate. Luke's motives for disappearing are still unknown and will likely be revealed in The Last Jedi.
3. Kylo Ren was Luke's apprentice who fell to the Dark Side. Pretty much a no-brainer.
4. Rey is Han and Leia's daughter who was hidden away to protect from Kylo Ren. This is most likely false, at least Rey being Han and Leia's daughter. While The Last Jedi is likely to reveal Rey's parentage, that's not meant to shape her background as much as why she was hidden away.
5. Finn is Lando's son. With Billy Dee-Williams nowhere in sight for the sequels, this is probably false.
6. Kylo Ren is Han and Leia's son. I had predicted this to be "the whopper" that would be revealed in Episode VIII. I was only half right as it was revealed halfway through The Force Awakens and it was better for it; it added emotional depth to the movie as well as gave Han a well-realized character arc.
Overall, my predictions weren't too far off the mark, with only Number 5 being way off kilter. Unless, of course, something is revealed in the next two films which I'm not expecting to see at this point. Without the inclusion of Billy Dee Williams and Han Solo now killed off, Finn being a Calrissian would be nothing more than fan service and would add nothing emotionally to the overall picture.
So now, comes time for my predictions for The Last Jedi. I'm making these based on things that I've read in interviews and bits and pieces of the movie taken from the trailers.
1. Luke is in self-imposed exile and doesn't want to be found. In The Force Awakens, Han tells Rey and Finn that following Kylo Ren's betrayal and the destruction of his New Jedi Order, Luke walked away from everything and went searching for the First Jedi Temple. Leia also says that she feels foolish for thinking she could convince Luke to come back. This suggests that Luke isn't waiting to be found my the next generation of Jedi, but instead has turned his back on everything and everyone.
2. Luke has abandoned the ways of the Jedi. In the first trailer, Luke says that he's learned one thing; "The Jedi must end." This is pretty big. If Luke did find the First Jedi Temple, it seems that he must have learned something there for him to come to this conclusion. That doesn't mean Luke has fallen to the Dark Side, though.
3. Rey is a Skywalker. It's been long-established that the main Star Wars saga is the stoty of the Skywalker family. With Rey being the main heorine of the new trilogy, it's logical to assume that she's a Skywalker. Han's attitude towards Rey shifts when he learns her name in The Force Awakens and Maz says that Anakin's lightsaber is calling to her, supporting the theory that Rey is likely Luke's daughter.
4. The Resistance is defeated. One of the rumored titles for Episode VIII was The Fall of the Resistance. While this may have simply been a red herring, it's entirely possible that the climactic battle glimpsed in the trailers will see the Resistance delievered such a devastating blow that it will collapse. This will definitely put our heroes in quite a quandrary at the start of Episode IX.
5. Rey destroyed the Jedi Temple. One interesting thing to note about the glimpses we've gotten in both TheForce Awakens and trailers for The Last Jedi is that the scenes depicting the fall of the Jedi and the destruction of the temple take place at different times. When Kylo Ren and the Knights of Ren stand over the bodies of Luke's New Jedi Order, it's raining. But when Luke looks upon the burning ruins of the Jedi Temple, it's not. This suggests that these two events could be independent of one another.
In The Force Awakens, Rey is revealed to be very strong in the Force, especially for someone who hasn't received any training....that we know of. In The Last Jedi trailer, both Luke and Snoke speak of "raw power". It's possible that they are both speaking of Rey. We still don't know why Rey was hidden, though it could be to hide her from Kylo Ren and Snoke. However, it's possoble that she may have been hidden to protect everyone else. Luke says he wasn't scared of this raw power the last time he saw it, but he is now. Perhaps he hid Rey because he wasn't sure he could teach her how to control it? Perhaps he was worried that this uncontrollable power could turn to darkness?
6. Kylo Ren isn't totally loyal to Snoke. One thing that makes Kylo Ren interesting is that he's struggling with being tempted by the Light Side of the Force. Killing Han Solo was supposed to seal his fall to darkness, but Han's final warning to Kylo that Snoke wants him for his powers could resonate with the younger Solo. His struggle with both Light and Dark will likely continue, with Kylo possibly considering betraying Snoke.
7. Finn is captured by the First Order and sent away for "re-education". All these movies "rhyme" with each other, as George Lucas likes to put it. Anakin blows up the Trade Federation in The Phantom Menace just as Luke blows up the Death Star in Star Wars (aka A New Hope); Anakin loses his arm, Luke is hand. So if anything will rhyme between The Empire Strikes Back and The Last Jedi, it'll be Finn being captured by the First Order in the third act, setting up his rescue in Episode IX. The twist will be that the First Order will try to brainwash him and make him one of theirs again.
8. Luke dies to save Rey. This is a tough one for me. I grew up playing Luke Skywalker, pretending that my glue stick was my lightsaber. I would love to see Luke survive to Episode IX and walk off into the sunset following the new generation's final victory. However, I don't see that being possible. Before her untimely death, Carrie Fisher was to be the focus of Episode IX, just as Han was in Thr Force Awakens and Luke in The Last Jedi. A big reason JJ Abrams didn't have Luke appear in The Force Awakens was because every time they brought Luke into the picture, he took over the film. That would happen again in Episode IX. The only solution is to kill him.
It's obvious from the trailers that Rey finds herself in quite the predicament while confronting Snoke. One of the interesting tidbits I've read about Snoke's possible background is that he feeds off of Force users. While this isn't confirmed, I could see an interesting outcome in The Last Jedi. Rey isn't going to defeat Snoke but she will probably escape. But at what cost? I predict Luke will give sacrifice himseld to Snoke, allowing Rey to escape. In the process however, Snoke drains Luke of his Force using abilities.
The Last Jedi premieres this weekend. I guess we'll see what happens.