The Last Jedi Trailer — Bringing Balance to the Force

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If you are like me, then you have probably already watched the first teaser trailer of The Last Jedi about 100 times. I just can’t get enough. This is exactly the trailer I was hoping for, and alludes to a resolution in the next two movies that I’ve been waiting for my entire life.

Are we finally going to understand what it means to bring balance to the force?

Prophesy of the Chosen One

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We are all familiar with the prophecy of the chosen one who was to bring balance to the force. There has been some debate as to whether Anakin Skywalker, or his son Luke, actually fulfilled this role. On the surface, it seems like this prophesy was fulfilled when Luke succeeded in helping Anakin reclaim his identity from Darth Vader, and destroy his master, Emperor Palpatine. The Sith were destroyed and balance could resume with Luke resurrecting the Jedi Order.

But there is a problem. I’ve never accepted it as a plot hole (because Star Wars doesn’t have plot holes), but I’ve always felt unsatisfied. Doesn’t “balance” refer to the equilibrium that is achieved between opposing forces? How would eradicating the Sith and the dark side of the force result in a balance of the force? Sounds pretty lopsided to me. I have been secretly hoping that the new trilogy would finally bring me some closure to what “balance to the force” actually means.

My hope started to grow as The Clone Wars TV series debuted the force wielders on Mortis, alluding that the force was much more than just the evil Sith and the righteous Jedi. My hope was fueled even more by the debut of Bendu in Rebels, a being that claimed to have a more profound understanding of the force by falling in the center of the dark and the light side. Now, after watching this trailer, my hope is rock solid that the new trilogy will achieve this long-awaited balance between the light side and the dark.

Trailer Breakdown

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The brief dialogue in the trailer strongly alludes to this resolution.

First and foremost we hear Luke telling Rey the words that took most fans breath away: “It’s time for the Jedi… to end.” Taken in context, this shouldn’t be all that surprising coming from Luke. After believing his father was a Jedi knight his whole life, Luke learned abruptly that his father had actually become the Sith Lord Darth Vader. Witnessing the destructive evil of the Sith first hand, he became intent on becoming a Jedi to oppose the oppression of the Sith. After succeeding in redeeming his father and destroying Emperor Palpatine, the obvious next move for him was to resurrect the Jedi Order. We don’t know many of the details, other than the fact that this ended in catastrophe as Ben Solo became Kylo Ren and destroyed all that Luke had built. Luke must have felt horrible. He had tried his best to do what was right, and it only unleashed another wave of evil on the galaxy. So he exiled himself, questioning everything he thought he knew about the Jedi and his destiny. I believe that he began to fear a never-ending cycle, like a swinging pendulum, of the balance of power oscillating between the Jedi and the Sith. He secluded himself to puzzle out a way to end the cycle of conflict to finally bring peace and balance — a goal that requires the evolution from the Jedi order into something… better.

Also, Luke and Rey’s conversation leading up to Luke’s final line also heavily foreshadow finding balance in the force. 

Luke: “Breathe. Just Breath. Now, reach out. What do you see?”

Rey: “Light. Darkness. A balance.”

Luke: “It’s so much bigger.”

It sounds like Luke is coaching Rey through an exercise of sensing through the force. But instead of the typical Jedi rhetoric we are accustomed to about embracing the light and resisting the dark, Rey instead sees a balance between the two. Luke’s response indicates that there is so much more to the force than the simplistic view of the light being good and the dark being evil.

Yoda’s Last Words

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Taken in this light, Yoda’s last words to Luke in ROTJ may carry heavy significance. He tells Luke, “when gone am I… the last of the Jedi will you be. Luke, the Force runs strong in your family. Pass on what you have learned, Luke. There is… another… Sky… walker.” Now of course we still don’t know Rey’s lineage, but my bet is that she is either Luke’s daughter, or Leia’s (identified early to be force sensitive and thought to be killed during Kylo Ren’s uprising). Either way, she is another Skywalker. And Yoda’s instruction to him to pass on what he has learned to the other Skywalker could refer to his training and teaching Rey. That would certainly make sense, because we know that he didn’t end up doing much to teach Leia much about the force, which begs to question why Yoda would have made it his dying request.

Perhaps in Luke’s self-imposed exile, he has learned that the balance that the galaxy desperately needs lies beyond the wisdom of the Jedi, and Rey is the key to achieving that balance.

—Written by Jacob Burdis

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  • Artem Bogoslovsky

    Good job, man, but there is a mistake: “other than the fact that this ended in catastrophe as Ben Kenobi became Kylo Ren and destroyed all that Luke had built”. Why Kenobi?) Maybe Solo?

    • http://www.twitter.com/jacobburdis Jacob Burdis

      Wow, not sure how that happened. Yes it is most definitely Ben Solo. Thanks for the catch.

    • Jacob Burdis

      Wow not sure how that happened. Yes it is most definitely Ben Solo. Thanks for the catch.

  • irondarwin

    Why does the Prophecy confuse you so much? Why are you convinced Lucas wasn’t correct when he showed us clearly in the movies and stated clearly in the commentary that Balance meant destroying the Sith and Anakin was the Chosen One because he rejected the part of him that was Vader and then killed Palpatine?