First and foremost, if you haven't already, check out my spoiler-free review of Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi on YouTube from last Thursday. That said, if you haven't already seen the movie, well, what the hell are you waiting for? What kind of Star Wars fan are you? In all seriousness, the following post will indeed include spoilers, as it will feature seven questions I have coming out of the movie. And in so many words, I thoroughly enjoyed the latest chapter in the Star Wars saga.
I actually wasn't as hyped for this installment as I was for The Force Awakens, but I found it to be an improvement. In fact, I feared The Last Jedi would merely be a transitional film since it falls between The Force Awakens and Episode IX, but then again, The Empire Strikes Back was brilliant and that came after A New Hope and before The Return of the Jedi. These next seven questions are not at all criticizing The Last Jedi, but rather looking at things I hope are answered in the next installment or at least addressed. Without further ado, let's get started!
1. Who the Hell Was Snoke?
Supreme Leader Snoke pretty much took over the role of The Emperor starting in The Force Awakens. However, he was hardly shown or talked out about in that film. He briefly appeared as a larger-than-life hologram when talking to Kylo Ren (as seen in the picture above), but that was about it. Of course, he had more screen time in The Last Jedi, but it's strange we didn't really get to know much about his background whatsoever before (remember, spoilers ahead) he was killed by Kylo Ren.
Don't get me wrong, I thought that scene was definitely dope (as the kids would say), because I absolutely did not see it coming and it automatically makes Kylo the big bad guy in the franchise. But I felt there was quite a bit left to be desired when Snoke was assassinated, and not in a good way. I'm not saying he should have been revealed as The Emperor reincarnated (though I would not have complained if that was the case), but it was an underwhelming ending to a character with so little development. Books might fill in the blanks later on, but as far as the movies go, I have no clue who Snoke was other than someone for Kylo to kill to build credibility as a villain.
2. Was Rey One of Luke Skywalker's Students Unknowingly?
I was talking to a friend immediately after seeing The Last Jedi and they brought up the theory of Rey potentially being one of Luke Skywalker's students that wasn't killed by Kylo Ren when he went berserk. After thinking it over, that made total sense to me. That isn't to say it will or necessarily should happen, but it would be a fairly logical explanation for why she already possesses the Force. I'll discuss soon why it seems you don't technically have to be a Jedi in order to use the Force, but this theory would mean that Rey's mind was wiped at some point between being at the Jedi school and the life she eventually lived.
After all, why would it be brought up that were students who survived Kylo's slaughter at the school? Why not just say that Kylo killed everyone and he was the sole survivor? Again, that doesn't make it obvious that Rey was among those who made it out alive, especially since she has zero recollection of that whatsoever, but it would be a nice way to tie up that loose end. However, unless Luke comes back as a ghost in Episode IX to inform her of her possible past, I'm not certain how she would discover she was used to be one of his disciples.
3. Rey and Kylo Ren Aren't Actually Related, Right?
Darth Vader revealing to Luke Skywalker in The Empire Strikes Back that he was his father was such an iconic moment in not only the Star Wars saga but cinematic history because virtually no one could have ever expected that. It was the perfect cliffhanger heading into The Return of the Jedi, but this new trilogy needed to have a different twist that got people talking. After all, The Force Awakens felt like A New Hope in many ways, which was fine, but they needed to move away from that same formula and not do the what everyone expected: revealing Rey and Kylo Ren are siblings.
That was the first thought in everyone's minds in The Force Awakens during their first few encounters, and that theory was further fueled when they did that thing with the Force in The Last Jedi where they could communicate despite being a great distance away from each other. We already know Kylo is the son of Han Solo and Leia, which to me, was a cool enough twist. We don't need to find out in Episode IX that he has been related to Rey this entire time, because it simply isn't necessary and is just way too predictable. We aren't out of the woods yet with this one, but I feel like if this was going to be the case, it would have been revealed in The Last Jedi.
4. Do You Have to Be a Jedi to Use the Force?
This was another question that came up while I was discussing The Last Jedi with a few friends after everyone had seen it, specifically after it was brought up that the kid we see at the very end of the movie subtly used the Force to pick up the broom. In my opinion, that answered this question, but we still don't know for sure. I don't recall Leia using the Force all too much in the original trilogy, or during The Force Awakens, so it was slightly surprising to me when she was able to return to the ship in the middle of space after being blown up in The Last Jedi (a stupid scene, I thought).
After all, she is the daughter of Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker, so that would make sense. That said, she isn't technically a Jedi, so I think that should put the theory to rest that you absolutely have to be a Jedi in order to use the Force, along with the aforementioned scene with the kid in The Last Jedi. His parents likely aren't Jedis, much like Rey. Yes, Kylo Ren very well could have been lying to her when he said that her parents were "junk traders" or whatever, but I'd like to think that was the truth and Rey was right: everyone has/can use the Force, but some are more sensitive (or more powerful) to it than others.
5. Have We Seen the Last of DJ?
It's interesting that Benicio del Toro's character, DJ, was hardly brought up by fans after the release of The Last Jedi. To tell you the truth, I almost completely forgot about him myself until I sat down to write this post. However, del Toro was so excellent as DJ that I really hope we haven't seen the last of him in the Star Wars universe, and I don't think we have. Just look at the role he played in the movie. As an underground codebreaker, he broke out of prison with Finn and Rose and helped them against the First Order before going into business for himself once they were caught.
From what it seemed, he was never in cahoots with the First Order, and the only reason he double-crossed Finn and Rose was because he was offered a large sum of money to give up the Resistance's plan to stop them. After being called a traitor by Finn, he basically said something along the lines of "Business is business" and walked off. I thought he would end up helping Finn and Rose, but nope, he was never to be seen again. That ship ended up getting destroyed, so while you could assume he died, I truly believe he'll be back in Episode IX, similar to what Boba Fett was to the original trilogy.
6. Who Will Ultimately Be Finn's Love Interest?
Finn has been quite the player so far in the latest Star Wars trilogy, at least as far as romance goes. None of this has been confirmed, mind you, just pure speculation on my mind and my interpretation of his interactions with Rey and Rose. As far as Rey goes, Rey was playing hard to get at first in The Force Awakens, but they got pretty close by the end of the movie, especially once Finn came to her aid against Kylo Ren and nearly died. You would think that relationship would be expanded upon in The Last Jedi, but they didn't come in contact at all until the conclusion of the film.
Finn spent the better part of The Last Jedi alongside Rose, a maintenance worker who spotted him attempting to flee from the Resistance because he wanted to ensure Rey returned from her mission safely. Thus, Finn and Rose weren't on the best of terms at first, but they too became good friends as The Last Jedi progressed. In fact, Rose sacrificed herself to save Finn, kissing him before she passed out. She's not dead, though, and I'm sure she'll have an equally important role in Episode XI. Does Finn feel bad for her, or does he love her back? And if so, what does that mean for him and Rey, who looked a little jealous when he was tending to Rose in the final few minutes of The Last Jedi? Find out in the next episode of Love and Star Wars!
7. How Will General Leia Organa Be Written Out of the Franchise?
Star Wars fans, and pretty much everyone around the world, were heartbroken to find out that Carrie Fisher, who plays Princess Leia in the franchise, had passed away shortly after Christmas in 2016. Along with all the mourning, it begged the question of what this meant for her future in the franchise and how or even if she would be written out. It was revealed that her parts in The Last Jedi had already been filmed, and as it turned out, she was in the entire movie (though she did almost die at one point).
It looked like she'd be a prominent character in Episode IX considering both Han Solo and Luke Skywalker are both gone, but that won't be the case apparently. It has been said that the director(s) will not want to use CGI, the same way they did for her and Grand Moff Tarkin in Rogue One. I totally respect that (and fans would probably poop all over it, anyway), but how do you explain her absence then? That is my biggest question coming out of The Last Jedi and what I am most curious to find out in Episode IX, but either way, I pray these next two years fly by so we can (hopefully) get all these answers in the next chapter of the storied saga.