Guardians of the Whills Might Have Been in 'The Force Awakens'
Lor San Tekka’s existence in Star Wars was brief. In The Force Awakens he helped Poe Dameron out on Jakku with the location of the elusive Luke Skywalker, and was promptly killed by Kylo Ren for his betrayal. Thats about it. But in that brief time you got the sense that Lor San Tekka had a seriously vivid history, not only with Kylo Ren, but also with the Force. And now a new post in the official Star Wars social media account’s “Did You Know?” series might have given us a deeper look into this desert planet hermit. He could be a Guardian of the Whills.
The social media post says, “Though the Jedi became all but extinct under the Empire’s rule, followers of the Church of the Force continued to worship their ideals,” with regard to San Tekka. According to Wookiepedia, the Church of the Force was an underground faith composed of loosely-affiliated worshipers of the Force. Members of the faith believed that the Jedi Order had to return in order to preserve balance in the Force.”
In the post-Return of the Jedi context the Church seems to line up exactly with the newly canonized Guardians of the Whills, the mysterious order of the Force that included Chirrut Îmwe and Baze Malbus from Rogue One as members. It makes sense if you think about why there was a little name switcheroo.
The Guardians were the Force-sensitive non-Jedi who helped protect sacred Jedi sites and preach the power of the Force while the Jedi were in full effect. With the rise of the Empire, they were left to fend for themselves like Baze and Chirrut do on Jedha. The Jedi all but extinct and nothing more than a myth by the time the events in the original trilogy roll round. The Guardians of the Whills may have been suppressed when The Force Awakens happens in the greater Star Wars timeline, but were given a little semantic change. They’re now the Church of the Force.
It remains to be seen whether the Guardians of the Whills or the Church of the Force will be able to bring the Jedi back in the upcoming Star Wars movies. With the latest episode called The Last Jedi, that might be a tall order.