UPDATE: With the recent revelation of the following scene from the 2019 D23 Expo, perhaps this ramble may have some relevance.
But the money shot came at the end with Rey, wearing a dark side style hooded cloak, igniting a red double-bladed lightsaber. But this one is different from Darth Maul’s in that the handle somehow folds in the middle and transitions from being a single blade to the double blade mode. The Emperor could be heard saying, “Your journey nears its end” during this scene.
I consider The Last Jedi to be an almost perfect entry into the Star Wars universe. Sure, it could have used a little less Canto Bight, and the actions of Rose in the third act were a touch too sappy, and—most obviously—it could have used a LOT more Luke and Rey (something the deleted scenes kinda make up for).
But ultimately it remains to be one of the most significant movies in this trilogy of trilogies if not only for introducing the all-too-real concept of war profiteering (a great point post Rogue One) into this universe, but also unashamedly encroaching the the philosophical aspects of the Force without resorting to midichlorians.
While many would simply denounce the movie for being completely divisive for the sake of it, the truth is The Last Jedi is quite possibly one of the most meticulous character studies in the Star Wars universe since the Expanded Universe’s I, Jedi novel. Displaying a more true to form Luke Skywalker, weathered and jaded by the realities of war as a young man thrust into such conflict would be, it also finally confirmed what anyone who’d watched the prequels carefully would already know: the Jedi are dicks. With their Sith-like devotion to absolutes in how they live and are perceived, the Jedi represented the far removed elite more than the simple guardians they thought themselves to be.
Throw in their excessive political influence and participation as generals in the Clone Wars, the Order were less like peace-seeking monks, and more like the knights of the Crusades—spilling blood where they felt justified.
One divisive aspect, however, rises above all others: the parentage of Rey.
It’s no surprise that fans have been outraged by the seemingly unimpressive lineage of our new lead protagonist. After all, Star Wars has delivered some of the most iconic family connections both on screen and page over the last 38 years.
If it wasn’t shocking enough that our beloved coming-of-age hero Luke Skywalker was the son of the single most intimidating villain of the galaxy, we were served with a second dose three years later when it was revealed that Leia was his twin sister, yet another child of Lord Vader. And while many would consider that pretty much the pinnacle of such revelations, Lucas upped the game with the Prequel Trilogy by first revealing that Anakin Skywalker, the once and future Darth, was a child of the Force, and then pulling a classic second dose by hinting that his birth may have been caused by the master of Darth Sidious… or Sidious himself.
With such epic lineage, it’s almost fair that fans are angry that Rey’s bloodline was pretty much given the shove.
While I had absolutely no issues with this (enough with the Skywalkers’ family drama fucking up the universe already!), rumours purporting that Kylo Ren’s revelation regarding Rey’s parents may not have been entirely true were quick to appear following The Last Jedi.
While these rumours were almost certainly the result of unhappy Star Wars fans (and Force knows, there are many), the eventual return of JJ Abrams to the director’s seat of Episode IX does lend some credence to the possibility of a soft retcon to the revelations of Episode VIII.
Meaning, once again, that the mystery of Rey’s parentage may matter. And the answers may lie in an entirely different Star Wars series.