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Star Wars: Who Are the Last Jedi?

by  in CBR Exclusives, Movie News Comment
Star Wars: Who Are the Last Jedi?

As if the franchise faithful hadn’t already been spinning theories about the meaning of behind “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” it was revealed on Friday, through official localized translations, that the Jedi of the title is indeed plural. While that undoubtedly confirmed the suspicions of many fans, it also opens the door for even more speculation: If there are more than one “last” Jedi, then who are they?

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From what we already known at the conclusion of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” Rey tracked down Luke Skywalker, and is poised to bring the Jedi out of self-imposed exile to help the Resistance fight the First Order. Going into “The Last Jedi,” there’s no doubt Rey will have expanded her knowledge of the Force. Beyond that, however, we’re still left with that nagging question of the identities of those last Jedi. Here are some theories:

The Trilogy: Luke, Rey … and Kylo Ren

star wars: the force awakens

There’s a definite possibility the Jedi referred to in the title are simply the ones we already know: Luke, Rey and, yes, Kylo Ren, who, while not a Jedi, could be viewed as the last one prior to the arrival of Rey. And, because Kylo isn’t a Sith, he could technically be considered a Jedi, given his training by Luke Skywalker and his struggle between the Light and Dark Sides of the Force.

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If the title indeed refers to Luke, Rey and Kylo, we can likely expect significant revelations about all three: From Luke, we may learn about his deeds following the fall of the Empire and the events that led to his self-imposed exile, including his work with Kylo and his failed attempts to rebuild the Jedi Order. For Rey, it could mean more clues about her parentage. For Kylo, it’s details about his fall from grace and split from parents Han Solo and Leia Organa, and, through him, more about the mysterious Supreme Leader Snoke and the pull of the Dark Side.

Knights of Ren

star wars: the force awakens

To this point, little has been revealed about the Knights of Ren, some sort of elite unit founded by Snoke and led by Kylo, who adopted his name based on the group. But who’s to say Kylo was the only one of Luke’s former pupils who defected to Snoke? Could these Knights of Ren be the last Jedi trained by Luke?

Now hear us out, because here’s where it gets interesting. Given that Snoke and Kylo aren’t Sith, and therefore apparently don’t abide by the Rule of Two, who’s to say this group isn’t Force-sensitive? All we’ve really seen from them is the Rey-vision of the Knights standing in the rain amid a number of unknown corpses. Just as the Jedi their order, it’s entirely possible Snoke followed their example and founded a sect of Dark Side adherents. After all, the group seems to work independently from First Order military operations, which is akin to the same manner the Jedi often conducted business separate from that of the Republic’s government. The independence of the Knights of Ren may contribute to the friction, and the rivalry, between Kylo and General Hux.

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Of course, it’s quite possible the unit consists of mercenaries who specialize in tracking down and killing Force-sensitive users, and nothing more. But if that was really the limit of the Knights of Ren’s scope, then why would the filmmakers keep the details a mystery? Just what is it that makes them special? The fact that Kylo is their leader was acknowledged by Snoke, who implied it isn’t an easy task to head such a group; the Supreme Leader stating that confronting his father was the greatest test Kylo had faced since then. Given that the First Order under Snoke appears more advanced, and operates a lot differently, than the Empire, it would certainly make sense for him to employ multiple Dark Side users.

Others Still to Be Named

star wars: the force awakens

Of course, it’s possible “The Last Jedi” may be characters we haven’t met yet; it could even refer to some of Luke’s other former pupils. After all, we don’t know for how long he sought to rebuild the Order, or how many students he recruited. That group could be the last Jedi Luke trained before whatever events resulted in his self-exile and apparent pursuit of the First Jedi temple.

The title could just as easily be a bit of misdirection, and lead to something much bigger — like the gathering and strengthening of Force-sensitive users to join Luke and Rey’s cause, igniting a search for “the last Jedi” of the galaxy.

There is certainly evidence for more Force-sensitive individuals out there. Deleted scenes and details from “The Force Awakens” revealed that Maz Kanata is Force-sensitive, and she appears to possess a lot of knowledge about the Force and perhaps even the Jedi. Snoke himself said that’s been an awakening in the Force. So who’s to say Rey is the only one to realize her latent abilities?

What if there are more Force-sensitive people out there? There even be some secret Jedi in hiding. Even Emperor Palpatine’s Jedi Purge wasn’t 100 percent successful, as smoldering embers remained within the galaxy. Such an interpretation would mean a massive undertaking from Luke and Rey, making for a prime opportunity to rebuild what Luke lost.

The second film in the new “Star Wars” trilogy, and the third in the revived franchise, “The Last Jedi” is written and directed by Rian Johnson (“Brick,” “Looper”). Opening Dec. 15, the film stars returning actors Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie and Andy Serkis.

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