SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for director Rian Johnson's Star Wars: The Last Jedi, in theaters now.
Director Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi was one of the most anticipated films of the year. The follow-up to J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the movie had the tough task of bridging the gap between the first entry in a new trilogy and the climactic conclusion.
Naturally, a healthy rumor mill developed around The Last Jedi, with veteran Star Wars fans and newcomers alike pouring over teasers, trailers, magazine covers and interviews, all looking for the single, overlooked detail that might reveal the film’s most secretive plot points. Message boards and Discord channels burned bright with round-the-clock extrapolations. A new costume design or a misinterpreted quote had the power to send rumormongers into a tizzy, each time stoking the flames of speculation anew.
The results were, to say the least, staggering. If there was a thing that could be theorized about The Last Jedi, make no mistake: it was theorized. Some rumors managed to tower over others, though, either because they were highly believable, or fans wanted to believe them. Whatever the reason, lots of people thought the following five rumors were all but assured. Sadly, they all turned out to be false… for the most part. So, what were these big rumors that just couldn’t be put down, and how did they eventually crumble?
Rumor: Luke Turns to the Dark Side
Early images of Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi revealed a new look for the Jedi languishing in self-imposed exile. Gaunt and garbed in dark robes, many thought Luke had turned a new, extremely evil leaf. After all, his attire mirrored that of the late Emperor Palpatine, whose black robes and withered face created a terrifying visage that haunted the Rebel Alliance throughout the original trilogy. It would have been a major twist if the eponymous last Jedi was only the last of his kind because he had turned to the Dark Side.
A cool premise for fan fiction, but not the way Rian Johnson decided to go. It turns out Luke is still terrified of the dark; he’s downright baffled when Rey gravitates to the Dark Side of the Force in her first training session. The closest Luke gets to turning Sith is in a flashback that sees him realize Ben Skywalker has been tainted by Supreme Leader Snoke’s influence. He has a momentary crisis of conscience and nearly strikes down his apprentice, leading to the creation of Kylo Ren. Despite that, it’s clear Luke has not gone full Dark Side.
Rumor: Kylo Ren is a Resistance Agent
Everyone wants to hold out hope that the bad guy will turn in the end. Some even theorized that Kylo Ren was a deeply embedded member of the Resistance, trained by Luke Skywalker to mask his true intentions so that he might gain access to the most powerful man in the galaxy -- Supreme Leader Snoke. Rumors said the son of Han Solo and Leia Organa would turn at the last moment and pledge his fealty to the Resistance, teaming with Rey to take down Snoke.
Things sure turned out differently, huh? It turns out that Kylo Ren had no interest in serving Snoke, but only because he wanted to rule the galaxy himself. He is the one who ends up doing in ol’ Snoke and his praetorian guards, but immediately pivots to new emperor mode, inviting Rey to rule the galaxy alongside him. Now that’s one heck of a deep cover.