Is Star Wars: The Last Jedi trying to tempt Luke Skywalker to the dark side?
In the newest trailer, Luke (Mark Hamill) is fearful and paranoid. "I've seen this raw strength only once before," he says, seemingly to Rey (Daisy Ridley). "It didn't scare me enough then. It does now." Luke's speech is overlaid with the burning ruins of Luke's Jedi Temple, glimpsed briefly in The Force Awakens, which toppled when Ben Solo (Adam Driver) — better known as Sith wannabe Kylo Ren and son of Han (Harrison Ford) and Leia (Carrie Fisher) — fell to the dark side. Audiences were first teased with the disastrous results of Luke's attempted Jedi teachings during Rey's Force vision in The Force Awakens, and according to this latest trailer, we'll see more from that tragic night when The Last Jedi hits theaters.
Luke was probably talking to Rey, telling her that her raw, untapped power is reminiscent of the strength he saw in his lost nephew, Ben. The exiled hermit seems hesitant to go down that same path, and it might not be only because he's concerned of Rey's power — he's concerned about his own. Luke, likely the most powerful being in the entire galaxy, tucked himself away in self-imposed exile on the out-of-the-way Ahch-To, and Kylo Ren pursued him relentlessly — remember, the earliest moments of The Force Awakens introduced the masked villain in search of the map to Skywalker.
"Let the past die," Kylo says in The Last Jedi trailer. "Kill it, if you have to. That's the only way to become what you were meant to be." We don't know who he's talking to — and even if we did, it could be clever editing to mask secrets, because c'mon, most of that trailer was intentionally misleading — is he talking to Rey? We know she's obviously hung up on her past, and a big part of her character is not knowing who she really is or where she comes from, longing for the mysterious family that left her behind on Jakku.
Is Kylo talking to himself? Kylo has been struggling with his commitment to the dark side, and it was that internal conflict that pushed him to patricide. Or is Kylo talking to Luke, urging his powerful uncle to become what Kylo thinks he should be... something more along the lines of his grandfather and Luke's father, Anakin Skywalker-slash-Darth Vader? If Kylo wants to achieve the level of power of his grandfather or the still unseen heights that Luke has reached, it makes perfect sense for another dark side faithful to want to tempt Luke to the dark side. Doing so would mean tapping into near unlimited power.
Then there's that intriguing theater display that seems to hint at a potential darker turn for the Jedi Master... whatever The Last Jedi has in store for the farmboy turned space wizard, audiences won't know until the eighth episode of the legendary Star Wars saga hits theaters this winter. Directed by Rian Johnson and starring Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Lupita Nyong'o, Kelly Marie Tran, Gwendoline Christie, Domhnall Gleeson, Andy Serkis, Benicio del Toro and Laura Dern, Star Wars: The Last Jedi December 15.