“Luke Skywalker has vanished.”
As far as opening crawls go in the Star Wars universe, few compare to that of The Force Awakens, which began by placing Mark Hamill’s Jedi Master on the other side of the galaxy. In fact, it’s only during the closing moments of J.J. Abrams’ franchise revival that Luke re-emerges – no thanks to Daisy Ridley’s Rey and her quest to return that iconic Lightsaber to its rightful owner. And that’s where Star Wars: The Last Jedi begins.
Picking up where things left off on the far-flung planet of Ahch-To, The Last Jedi will see Rey begin her Jedi training under the watchful eye of Luke. But as writer-director Rian Johnson tells Good Morning America (via Screen Rant), Luke Skywalker’s lengthy absence will have huge ramifications for the story and his newfound relationship with Rey. He’s one of the greatest Jedis ever to have lived, so why would Luke consciously walk out on Leia, Han, and the Resistance during their most desperate hour?
As Johnson reveals to GMA, it’s this mystery that helped get his creative juices flowing on the set of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and fans have stipulated that Kylo Ren and his reign of terror is the true reason behind Luke’s self-imposed exile. It’s a seismic event that has only been teased via flashback hitherto, but it looks certain that Rian Johnson will shed light on Luke’s fallen Jedi Academy in a few months’ time.
Do we have some sense of what Rey wants from Luke? To me, the big enigma was what’s going on with Luke Skywalker. Why is he on that island? He knows his friends are in trouble, he knows the galaxy needs him. Why would this hero that I grew up with have put himself in exile? To me, it was like if we could crack that nut then we have something to start working with and then that will inform what their whole relationship is.
Before Ron Howard introduces the young Han Solo and Colin Trevorrow whisks viewers back to that beloved galaxy far, far away with the untitled Episode IX, Star Wars: The Last Jedi will light up theaters on December 15th of this year. That’s a mere two weeks from the one-year anniversary of Carrie Fisher’s death, and fans can readily expect a heartfelt tribute to the late, great actress once the credits roll.
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