AS THE RELEASE date for Star Wars: The Last Jedi approaches at ludicrous speed, stories on the creation of the movie—and teases about what might happen in it, or even after it—are beginning to pile up on all sides of the information superhighway. Don’t know what to listen to or who to believe? Dear friends, just trust in the Force and keep reading.
Rey May Break the Force’s Status Quo
The Source: Daisy Ridley and her plot teases
Probability of Accuracy: File under “interesting speculation” more than “guaranteed certainty,” for now.
The Real Deal: Rumors have been circulating for a while that Rey is going to bring some kind of balance to the Force in The Last Jedi. That speculation got an extra boost last week when the actress playing her, Daisy Ridley, hinted on Good Morning America that Rey might break away from that whole Jedi-or-Sith thing altogether. “I think the thing about this film is it’s not so… The lines are less clear as to ‘good and bad,'” Ridley said, adding, “Rey is trying to find out about herself and about the universe. And those questions don’t entirely fall to the good, nor do they entirely fall to the bad. She’s trying to do her own sort of personal growth.” The kind of personal growth that would have once led someone to become a Grey Jedi, perhaps?
Little Hate Machine
The Source: The man responsible for the aliens in a galaxy far, far away
Probability of Accuracy: If you can’t trust BB-8’s dad, who can you trust?
The Real Deal: While Rey is busy finding herself in the new movie, it turns out that BB-8 is going to be doing something similar, thanks to the debut of its opposite number: the First Order droid BB-9E. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Neal Scanlan, head of Lucasfilm’s Star Wars creature shop, talked about the design of the new villain, and how his team made something so cute look so evil. “With BB-9E, we go back to literally the cold First Order sort of Empire version of what a BB unit might be,” he said, calling 9E’s look “much more cold, calculative, much more direct” than the cuddly BB-8—while promising a showdown that echoes classic moments of Star Wars past. “There’s a lovely moment between BB-8 and BB-9E, which tells that sort of parallel story of Vader and Luke,” Scanlan said. Wait. Is BB-9E the parent droid of BB-8?!? Is there going to be an emotional revelation?
Going for Snoke
The Source: Snoke’s alter ego, actor Andy Serkis
Probability of Accuracy: Again, this is more of a tease than an accurate prediction. And yet…
The Real Deal: And what of the main villain of the piece? Andy Serkis, who plays Supreme Leader Snoke, dropped a few hints about his character during a different interview with EW, suggesting that there’s a wounded man behind that malevolent, massive projection fans saw in The Force Awakens—and one who’s not too happy with his star pupil. “His training of Kylo Ren is not yielding what he wants,” Serkis said. “Therefore his anger towards Kylo Ren is intensified because he can’t bear weakness in others. Part of the manipulation is goading him with Hux and playing them off against each other.” What kind of man would do that? Serkis had an answer for that, too. “He’s terribly powerful, of course. But he is also a very vulnerable and wounded character. … He has suffered and he has suffered injury. The way that his malevolence comes out is in reaction to that. His hatred of the Resistance is fueled by what’s happened to him personally.” Huh. Could he have a legitimate complaint against the good guys? Daisy did say The Last Jedi was going to be more morally ambiguous…
The Wampa Protection Agency Is Active
The Source: The last Jedi himself
Probability of Accuracy: As certain as a shot made in the Death Star trench.
The Real Deal: It turns out that the moment everyone went, “Wait, what the hell is going on here?” In The Empire Strikes Back also left its star a little unhappy, as well, with Mark Hamill revealing on Twitter that, when it was being filmed, he didn’t know that Luke Skywalker was about to kill a Hoth Wampa. “When filming scene I was assured my lightsaber swipe toward camera (creature not on set) would simply singe fur 2 scare him off,” Hamill wrote, adding that he was “horrified to later see amputation & unnecessary cruelty—Wampa was HUNGRY (not EVIL)—Luke would never do this!” How upset is he, more than three decades later? His hashtag said it all: “#StillAngry2017” Oh, Mark. Just imagine how the Wampa felt!
The End of the Skywalker Saga
The Source: Two of those responsible for Episode IX in two years’ time
Probability of Accuracy: This almost certainly can’t be true…!
The Real Deal: For those who wondered if there was going to be another trilogy in the “Skywalker Saga” after 2019’s Episode IX, the answer might actually surprise you. Speaking with Rolling Stone, J.J. Abrams said, “I do see it that way,” when asked if that movie will be the final chapter in the saga. (Although, he added, “the future is in flux,” in case anyone is too scared.) Similarly, Daisy Ridley said that she doesn’t plan on playing Rey again any time soon after IX. “I am really, really excited to do the third thing and round it out, because ultimately, what I was signing on to was three films,” she said. “So in my head, it’s three films. I think it will feel like the right time to round it out.” Although she, too, leaves wiggle room in there, saying that she might consider returning in 30 years for another go-around if she’s wanted. “Who knows?” she asked. “I honestly feel like the world may end in the next 30 years, so, if in 30 years we are not living underground in a series of interconnected cells… then sure. Maybe.” Seems promising!
More Cantina Talk
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Is anyone not switching sides in The Last Jedi?
Nobody wants a Jabba movie, thanks anyway