Potential spoilers below: the following feature is based on a piece of Star Wars: The Last Jedi promotional signage, an image of which has been officially released. That said, the speculation around it may be considered spoiler territory. If you are avoiding all such conjecture, click away and read a LEGO Star Wars review instead.
‘Light side or the dark?’, asked the official IMAX Twitter account, to coincide with the release of the Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer. It’s an innocent enough question, that comes around with every Star Wars movie – marketing campaigns showing the forces of light one one side and the forces of darkness on the other are not uncommon. But this particular standee adds a hint of controversy to the question.
That’s right, as well as appearing on the left hand, light side of this display, Luke Skywalker ominously sits on the dark side as well. In a space that fans might assume would be reserved for Supreme Leader Snoke, is the hero of the classic trilogy. Could Luke Skywalker’s role in Star Wars: The Last Jedi be more complicated than audiences are expecting?
Back at Star Wars Celebration in April, it was revealed that Rian Johnson was not giving fans what they had seen before from Luke Skywalker – it was confirmed in the first teaser trailer that the character would be reluctant to train Rey. Daisy Ridley confirmed that her character would not get the welcome that Rey expected at the end of The Force Awakens, saying, ‘as a lot of people know, it’s difficult when you meet your heroes because it might not be what you expect.’
The assumption among fans was that Luke Skywalker was perhaps distancing himself from the galactic conflict after the tragedy of losing his fledgling Jedi order, or perhaps seeking a new way to tap into the Force after becoming disillusioned with traditional notions of the Jedi teachings. But perhaps the change in Luke Skywalker is more fundamental, and at least part of his personality belongs to the dark side.
This promotional image certainly shows the character in a new way. Rather than wearing the white, earthy tones he is seen in at the end of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, he is wearing the black garb associated with the dark side. The acolytes of the Sith all wore black in the prequel trilogy, although it should be noted that Luke favoured black in Return of the Jedi – when he was firmly on the light side.
Is this why the LEGO Group has avoided a Luke Skywalker minifigure based on The Last Jedi? Would it spoil the movie’s reveal, that Luke Skywalker will have succumbed to the dark side? Hasbro has released a few Luke Skywalker action figures, but they are based on The Force Awakens outfit he will be wearing at the beginning of The Last Jedi… are all of the licensees holding back on a true The Last Jedi Luke Skywalker toy because of what it will expose? Will he even come packed with a red lightsaber or Force lightning accessory?
It gives fans plenty to speculate about in the two months wait until the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and the meaning of the ominous line from the first trailer is explained… ‘I only know one truth. It is time for the Jedi to end.’