Luke Skywalker is one of the most pervading characters in pop culture, with his, frankly, bland journey from farm boy to war hero holding the attention of Star Wars fans across generations. The next installment in his story, the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi, will introduce the world to a different version of Luke than audiences have witnessed in the past. Luke actor Mark Hamill has said that Luke is a different person in The Last Jedi, and that we’ll all find some things out about our hero. As usual, Star Wars fans have some ideas about what those changes and things might be.
And some of you went really dark with this stuff. Like, seriously, what is wrong with you guys? Luke might be boring, but at least he’s good; at least assume that he’s been living in relative peace for the past 30 years in the Star Wars galaxy — minus that whole incident with his nephew turning to the Dark side and helping destroy his newly minted Jedi academy.
Here are the five most popular theories about Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
5. Luke Is Going to Die
After everything Luke Skywalker has been through, a lot of fans are guessing that he might finally meet his maker in The Last Jedi. Harrison Ford’s Han Solo was the first of the original trio to die, and The Force Awakens was dubbed “his” movie, as in Han had the biggest role of the original three characters: Han, Luke, and Leia. The Last Jedi is meant to be Luke’s movie, as he’ll play a large role. Because of parallel storytelling, many fans assume this means Luke will also die, taking another step toward handing the Star Wars galaxy over to the new kids on the block: Rey, Finn, and Poe.
But since Episode IX was meant to be Leia’s turn at the helm, Leia actor Carrie Fisher’s tragic, unexpected death in December 2016, kind of puts a damper on this theory. Lucasfilm has confirmed that Leia won’t be remade with CGI in Episode IX, and while Leia’s fate is unknown for The Last Jedi, it’s easy enough to assume that Leia will perish before her brother does on-screen. Luke will probably outlive them all.
Luke-o-meter: 30 percent chance of happening; parallel storytelling is important, especially in Star Wars, but Fisher’s death makes it seem unlikely that Luke will die in The Last Jedi, as two original character deaths would be overwhelming.
The Star Wars universe has always revolved around the Skywalker bloodline, so a ton of people in the fandom are determined for the latest trilogy to follow that trend. Hamill isn’t helping, as he gives “dad joke” a new definition, but there are also a lot of parallels between Luke and Rey, including being orphaned, Force-gifted kids on desert planets. Plus, Luke’s (originally Anakin’s) lightsaber calls to Rey from the basement of Maz Kanata’s bar in The Force Awakens, even though Lucasfilm has confirmed that the lightsaber is now, officially, Rey’s.
Luke-o-meter: 35 percent chance of happening; everyone’s so determined for Rey to be a Skywalker that it might happen due to sheer force of will.
3. Luke’s Severed Hand Is Rey’s Real “Father”
As much as this sounds like a bad joke, it’s also a legitimate theory in some corners of the internet. Really, the theory is that Rey is a female clone of Luke (despite looking nothing like him), made by some mysterious evil entity such as Supreme Leader Snoke’s First Order using Luke’s severed hand from the end of The Empire Strikes Back. Supposedly, back when Snoke saw the inevitable fall of the Empire coming up, he started planning his takeover and wanted a Jedi of his own to manipulate. Thus, he created Rey using the DNA of the last Jedi known to the galaxy. That would make both Luke and Rey “the last Jedi,” thus the title of the film. Upon losing Rey, though, after she was taken from Snoke and dropped off on Jakku, away from his prying eyes, Snoke manipulated Ben Solo to switch to the Dark side and become Kylo Ren.
Luke-o-meter: 20 percent chance of happening; Star Wars is weird and has a history of cloning, but it’s not that weird, right?
2. The “Gray Jedi”
Some fans online have suggested that Luke’s entire intent in The Last Jedi is to train Rey to be what’s called a “Gray Jedi” in the Star Wars universe. In the film’s first trailer, Luke says that it’s “time for the Jedi to end,” which some interpret as meaning that Luke no longer believes the extremes of the Light and Dark sides are to anyone’s benefit. The Gray Jedi — also known simply as “Grays” — most commonly walk the line between the Light and Dark sides of the Force, truly acting as a balance, with the ability to utilize the power of both sides.
The official poster for The Last Jedi features Rey situated between Luke (the Light side) and Kylo Ren (the Dark side), with her lightsaber shifting colors halfway up, which people interpret as proof for this theory. Luke also encourages Rey to reach out in the trailer, and, upon asking what she sees, her three answers are “Light,” “Darkness,” and “the balance.” Rey might be the true Chosen One, the one who really will bring balance to the Force once and for all.
Luke’s training could introduce an entirely new breed of Jedi to the world.
Luke-o-meter: 75 percent chance of happening; this is, without a doubt, one of the most realistic theories out there, and Rey acting as a unifying force between good and evil would be incredibly satisfying to watch.
1. Luke’s Going to the Dark Side
Luke has tapped into the Dark side before when battling his father, Lord Vader, in the original trilogy, but the darkest fan theory by far for The Last Jedi is that Luke will go full Sith by the end of the film, or at least by the end of the latest trilogy. Most of this theory is fueled by Luke’s line in The Last Jedi’s trailer about how “it’s time for the Jedi to end” as he’s silhouetted and looking a little more menacing than usual. People also just generally enjoy dark things, and what’s darker than a classic hero growing up, becoming jaded, and falling into the very thing he swore to fight against. Plus, it’s kind of in his genes to turn to the Dark side for a while before coming back to his senses.
Luke-o-meter: 40 percent chance of happening; this is the death of your childhood. Rian Johnson wouldn’t do us like that, right? Right?
Star Wars: The Last Jedi premieres December 15.