The Last Jedi theories died so hard (start the Episode IX speculation)

There was lots of red in The Last Jedi, from the blood-coloured soil of Crait, to Snoke’s crimson throne room. And while critics were in raptures – Rian Johnson is an auteur after all – a lot of hardcore fans were left, well, seeing red.

After watching the film on preview night, I came soaring home like Princess Leia through space. VIII had laughs, lightsabers and a brooding Adam Driver.

Yes, it felt like Star Wars. The sequels have humour in common with the originals, after skipping a generation with the prequels. Levity is actually good in a movie like this.

The only thing I hated was Luke’s treatment. I understand from a franchise perspective why his story had to end, but did they have to make him so repulsive? As I wrote before, the only way they could have made him more disgusting would have been to have him hit on Rey.

At least I’m consoled that Luke got a badass final send-off scene: “See you around, kid.” I mean, I still don’t like Rian’s choice overall, but a month after the release I can sympathize with people bewildered by sections of the backlash. Frankly, certain fans needed to get their heads out of their half-cocked theories.

Take Rey’s parentage. Sure, before Awakens, I thought Padmé-lookalike Rey could be Han and Leia’s kid (sadly for them, it was Kylo), and that Kylo was a Vader-obsessed loser (lol true) wanting to continue the bloodline with Rey (also true).

But if trailers hinted at Rey’s Skywalker identity, it was only to protect the Ben Solo reveal. Half an hour in, a wide-eyed, guileless Rey turns to Finn and says: “Luke Skywalker. I thought he was a myth.” Neither Han nor Leia knew her, plus there was that intriguing romantic tension with Kylo.


Kylo sticks his throbbing red lightsaber past Rey’s trembling open mouth. “Why, Kylo, it’s HUGE.”

I watched Flashback Rey and thought: “That kid’s old enough to remember who her parents are.” When Rey told BB-8 her parents would be back, “one day”, you can tell from Daisy’s delivery that Rey was in denial. As Maz said: she already knew the truth.

So going into VIII, I was quietly confident who her parents weren’t. The thing is, there were people who believed Palpatine wasn’t Darth Sidious right up until Revenge of the Sith, so of course some fans were capable of insisting Rey was either Kylo’s twin, or Luke’s child with an unknown woman – perhaps Obi-Wan’s daughter!

‘Cousins fighting’ never struck me as having the pathos of duelling father and son, but these theories got really entrenched. People were so certain, so presumptuous, and ‘Reylo’ shippers got attacked (“Yuck – they’re related!”).

To be fair, some people just wanted an in-universe explanation for Rey’s precocity.  But even if Rey were a Kenobi or a Snoke-Kardashian, it wouldn’t explain why Anakin’s lightsaber called to her and gave her visions, or how she used mind tricks like an old pro.

I didn’t rule out (I actually hoped for) a mystical reveal at the heart of VIII that never happened. Rey, Luke, Kylo and Snoke have all now produced unfamiliar feats (not forgetting Leia’s interesting display of her own latent abilities), so we’re simply seeing the Force wielded in new ways to serve the story.

Much else remains the same. When I first saw Return of the Jedi, I couldn’t believe the Emperor got thrown down a shaft. Physically damaged and protected by his guards, Supreme Leader Snoke was a powerful non-human Force user, and like the Emperor, he could be killed.

Yet fan fires were really stoked with Snoke, and like Rey’s parentage, certain theories – he was Darth Plagueis (and/or a force-sucking vampire from beyond the known galaxy, chained for millennia) – were certainties. But it was never about Snoke, just like the originals weren’t about Palpatine. The story is about Rey and Kylo, and in order for Vader’s heir to fulfil his capacity to get worse, he had to smoke Snoke.

I’d buy a ticket for Episode IX just for Driver’s performance alone. If rumours of a time jump are true, we might get a more mature and in-command Kylo Ren – although given his unpredictable nature, it’s up in the air.

Abrams will be back, book-ending the trilogy, although people hoping he’ll roll back the Reylo romance, or still insisting Rey is a Solo(!) might be in for further disappointment. Perhaps there was some explanation for the Kylo-Rey connection held back from Jedi (Rey did make off with those sacred Jedi texts), but I’m not going to hold my breath.

At the moment there are only two theories I’m prepared to stick my neck out for – the good guys will win, and there’ll be another incarnation of the Death Star.

3 thoughts on “The Last Jedi theories died so hard (start the Episode IX speculation)

  1. raistlin0903

    I agree that part of the fan theories were outrageous. And some people just went to the extremes with spreading the hate for this film, even downright verbally attacking fans that did enjoy the film. That is where I draw the line. I really didn’t like the film. I’ve seen it twice now, and the second time, knowing what to expect, I really kept an open mind for it. I’m sorry to say I did not change my original thoughts for it. There are just too many things that don’t make sense. I don’t care about the fact that theories did not come out. I care more about the fact that so many things were just left unresolved. Why set up Snoke as the ultimate bad guy, and having him killed without revealing a thing about him. Rey’s parents being nobodies is something I could accept. But not the things she can do with the Force without any training whatsoever. Leia flying through space as Supergirl (lol), Holdo not revealing her plans to anyone, and as such putting everyone in danger…the list goes on and on…
    But I did love Kylo. He was one of the things that I really liked about the film. But…I’m still a Star Wars fan…and will head to the theatres again for Epsiode IX. I’m also glad to see that people also have embraced the movie, and enjoyed it. This was a great and well written post! Well done 😀😀

    1. Lindsay Acland Post author

      I don’t think any theories – when it comes to Star Wars – are necessarily outrageous. Are reincarnation, Force-vampires or Rey being Luke’s kid sillier than telekinesis or ghosts? I’m not sure.

      I did feel after TFA that Daisy Ridley was right – her parentage was kind of a non-issue. It was fairly obvious she wasn’t a Skywalker/Solo, but people couldn’t get it out of their heads. What was outrageous was the anger and the attacks online!

      Snoke was uninteresting to me in TFA. Yet before TLJ, they hyped him a bit, but ultimately he’s just a guy like the Emperor – not the main character or that important in that particular story. I laughed when he got lightsabered because it was such a Kylo Ren move.

      It isn’t a masterpiece is it? I haven’t seen anyone defend the Super Leia thing (WTF was that?!). Canto was boring, and I don’t think they really know what to do with Finn now. But I just abandon my critical faculties and go “La la la it’s a Star Wars movie so I’m happy!!

      But yes I can see what you didn’t like about it. I too thought Rey being so good at Jedi stuff so fast was significant, but apparently, for the time being, it isn’t. That was why I said there might be something held back for IX, (but I won’t hold my breath)! 🙂

      1. raistlin0903

        Haha, no I am not holding my breath either. Though JJ hopefully has some nice suprises still in store. One can never know 😀😀
        And lol, I guess you are right that it can never get too outrageous when it comes to Star Wars theories. I at one point thought that Rey might have some Palpatine blood in her lol 😂😂

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