Goooood morning everybody!
So now that there are a whole bunch of trailers, T.V. spots and interviews out, I thought I’d do my analysis/predictions of where everybody’s going to end up in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. This is part one, the Main Four. Villains will be tomorrow, and the Old Fogeys on Sunday.
Most of this will be fairly high-level stuff, I won’t get down to the nitty-gritty. More beneath the cut!
Let’s start off our little analysis with the new Hero of the franchise: Rey.
Okay, so the title of this section should give you a pretty good idea of which way I’m leaning on the subject. And I have a few good reasons for that:
- “Luke and Rey are kind of the beating heart of the film, I guess.”-Rian Johnson, Interview with Good Morning America, July 18th, 2017. Star Wars Director Says Luke Skywalker & Rey Are The Beating Heart Of ‘The Last Jedi’
- “To me, it’s important insofar as it’s important to her,” Johnson says. “And I think it’s important to her in terms of what is her place in all of this? What’s going to define her in this story? She was told in the last movie that the answer’s not in the past; it’s looking forward. But she’s showing up on this island to talk to this hero from the past.”-Rian Johnson, Entertainment Weekly article. The Last Jedi: Rey takes her first steps toward uncovering her family history
- “Take the question of who Rey’s parents are: If you get the information — ‘Oh, it’s that!’ — who really cares? I know a lot of people care, but it’s interesting as opposed to impactful.
“Now, what is my place in the world? Where do I come from? Where do I belong? O.K., I understand what the weight of that is. We could play with those questions and their answers to have the biggest emotional impact on these characters.”-Rian Johnson, New York Times Interview. The Fate of ‘The Last Jedi’ Is in His Hands
Both of these, to me, suggest that Rey’s parentage is both going to be important, but not that complicated. Johnson, in the second quote, outright states that his only interest in Rey’s parentage is in how it helps Rey move forward, and doesn’t really care beyond that. The third quote highlights that Rian considers Rey’s parentage an interesting tidbit, a helpful answer to the question of ‘where do I come from?’ but not all that relevant in the grand scheme of things.
This is important because it drives home that while Rey’s parentage matters, it’s not the central or driving mystery of the plot. It’s a subplot, nothing more.
And if that’s the case, then the easiest, most predictable answer, the one that requires the least amount of effort to explain is the one that Rian’s going to go with. And that answer is, well, that she’s Luke’s kid. She looks like Luke, she is tremendously strong in the Force like Luke, she is a gifted pilot like Luke, Anakin’s lightsaber calls to her specifically, even over Kylo Ren (Anakin’s very confirmed grandson) and she goes off to train in the ways of the Force under Luke. While I admit there’s a plot hole or two in this theory (why was Rey left on Jakku? Who’s Rey’s mother?), it also requires the least amount of effort on the part of Rian, Daisy and Mark, allowing them to move onto things that Rian considers more important.
The first quote, then, underlines the argument by pointing out that Luke and Rey’s relationship is the most emotionally important part of the film. Not necessarily the most plot important, but the heart of the film. The part that makes otherwise-good actors do their fake crocodile tears thing at the Academy Awards.
Luke and Rey, therefore have a significant relationship. Again, the easiest way to do that is making them long-lost father and daughter.
Out of all the cast, Rey’s arc is the easiest to predict because it was the most clearly set up at the end of The Force Awakens. Rey goes off to become a Jedi under Luke Skywalker. Huzzah!
There might be a couple of twists, namely that Luke says in the trailer that it’s time for the Jedi to end. In that case, Rey will train to become the first of a new order of Force users to… serve and protect the galaxy? There’s a couple of reasons that I consider that dialogue in the trailers to be bogus:
- It’s totally redundant. If the Jedi Order ends, then they’ll just come up with a new order that does the same thing. It’ll be the Jedi in all but name.
- Lucasfilm and Disney make too much money off the Jedi name to ever seriously consider ending the Order.
- It kind of invalidates Return of the Jedi
So I think that line was created for the trailers only. However, it’s possible that it’s in the movie. In which case I see two scenarios:
- Luke means it, and Rey has to help him out of his depression and restore the Jedi Order.
- It’s a Secret Test of Character. This scenario is made somewhat more likely by Rey’s line in the newest T.V. spot: “Kylo failed you. I won’t.” Which suggests that Luke is testing Rey’s commitment to the Jedi in much the same way Yoda tested Luke all those years ago.
Either way, it won’t affect Rey’s arc too much.
Eh, no. Rey’s the new Hero of the franchise, following in Luke’s footsteps, and Star Wars is a fundamentally light-hearted, idealistic series. So it’s pretty unlikely that Rey will turn.
Be tempted? Yes, always. That, too, is a part of Star Wars.
Reach out to Kylo Ren out of her own despair and confusion? I’m not sure where, exactly, Rey and Kylo meet up again (I’ve heard a lot of rumours and I’m not sure what to believe), so it really depends on where she and Kylo confront each other. In the end, though, Rey is going to reject Kylo’s offer of assistance as she has before. He’s left too many wounds on her for her to trust him. Forgive him, maybe, but not until the next movie at the very least. And definitely not trust.
Definitely not in this movie. I’m highly doubtful that it’ll ever be in any movie, for which I remain eternally grateful.
But it definitely won’t be in this one. For two reasons:
- See above concerning the wounds Kylo Ren inflicted on Rey. He tortured her, kidnapped her, threatened and just generally creeped her out. And that was before he murdered Han Solo, Rey’s newfound father-figure. Before any relationship (platonic, sexual, romantic, whatever) other than ‘mortal enemy’ can begin, they would need to deal with those crimes. So, while I do think Rey will forgive Kylo in the end, it won’t be just yet. And even if she does forgive him, there’s no guarantee that will lead to any kind of relationship. In fact, it might very well end any contact between them. Because, contrary to what some on Tumblr will tell you, you don’t have to keep the people you forgive in your company. You can kick them out and never have anything to do with them again.
- Problem two is is Rian Johnson again. He claims that there will be no ‘Han and Leia-style romance.’ Now, a Han and Leia style romance is filled mostly with backbiting, insults, snark, and general teasing. In short, a lot of aggression and tension. Which any romantic relationship between Kylo and Rey ultimately would be, because they start out as, you know, mortal enemies.
Again, I think Rey will ultimately forgive Kylo his trespasses, but forgiveness doesn’t imply that a romantic relationship will actually form. And it definitely won’t in this movie.
On to Finn! I love Finn, Finn is awesome.
Probably dead, almost certainly not relevant to the story. That doesn’t mean he can’t pick up some adoptive parents in the meantime, but his parentage is probably going to get the exact same amount of attention as it did in The Force Awakens: fuck. all.
Much more interesting. I think Finn’s arc is a great example of what Rian Johnson meant when he talked about ‘being unexpected.’ Finn’s arc is so obvious, now that they’ve given the whole thing away, is incredibly obvious, such that we should have seen it at the end of the last movie, but it was completely unexpected (at least for me). So, what are my predictions?
Like I said, they’ve practically given it away:
- In several of the promos, Finn fights Captain Phasma. And from the way that fight is being shown, it looks pretty damned personal. Now, this is a fantastic idea: it gives Finn a personal villain all his own, one that anchors his arc and gives that villain something to do, maybe even a small arc of her own. Economical storytelling
- , that’s what we like to see!
- In an article in EW, John Boyega said: “It got really real for him,” Boyega tells EW. “And he just wants to get away and not be involved. His intention in the first place was to go to the Outer Rim. He was always brought back [in The Force Awakens,], but this is his chance to get away and perhaps find Rey and go off together. He’s trying to do that at first.” So, we know that Finn’s arc is more or less a continuation of his arc in The Force Awakens: he wants out of the fight, he’s not interested in killing or adventure, he just wants to go hang out with his buddy Rey. That’s his starting point.The Last Jedi: With Finn and Rose, a ‘big deal’ is redeemed by ‘a nobody’
- Finally, in a T.V. spot, Finn tells us that he ‘was raised to fight. For the first time, I had something to fight for.’ That, clearly, is his end point: he finds a reason to kick some space-Nazi ass.
So, that’s Finn. Again, a very obvious, simple arc, but one that was only one of many possibilities I saw at the end of The Force Awakens. And, given John Boyega’s skill as an actor, an arc that looks like it will be a very satisfying one.
Not in this film, though I think it will be endgame. There are two reasons it won’t be in this film:
- John Boyega himself said as much. There’s a couple of different ways to interpret his ‘they’re just friends’ comments, but either way they mean ‘not in this film.’
- Finn and Rey don’t appear to spend a whole lot of time together. Kind of hard to develop a romance when the people in said romance are on the other side of the galaxy.
Not in this film, probably not ever. At least according to John. Shame, but it happens. Next trilogy, maybe?
Again, probably not in this film. See above, with Johnson’s comments on romance. However, Finn has a certain magnetism about him (hence why he’s got three different ships already), so expect a lot of ship tease that the writers didn’t intend to be any such thing.
Poe! The Resistance’s greatest and most daring pilot! My talk about him will be brief, because I have only a few predictions about him and I’ve already mentioned at least one.
Here’s the problem with Poe. He’s kind of a late addition to the main cast, so his arc wasn’t as fleshed out as it was with the others in The Force Awakens. On the other hand, that gives Rian and Oscar Isaac a lot of room to maneuver, so it’ll be interesting to see what they do.
I heard a rumour that Poe’s going to get a little extreme, but I can’t source it and so I don’t know how true that is. He’s also apparently going to have some issues with Laura Dern’s character, but that’s kind of all I know right now. Other than that, I expect him to be the same brave, cocky fighter pilot he always was.
Our newest hero!
Again, I don’t have a lot of predictions here. She wasn’t in The Force Awakens, so there’s no set-up from a previous movie. She hasn’t been in a whole lot of advertising, so there’s nothing really from the trailers to go by. All I’ve really got is that article from EW, which calls her a ‘nobody’ and that she hero-worships Finn.
So, I’m going to say that she becomes a ‘somebody’ and learns that Finn is flawed, but good.
I know, bold right?
Tune in tomorrow for more predictions!