Knowing that The Last Jedi references the prequels will not ruin your experience of seeing the film. Don’t worry, Jar Jar Binks does not make a surprising return, but there are two interesting turns-of-phrase straight from the prequel trilogy which fans might find jarring.

Very light spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi ahead. However, if you don’t want to know anymore than this headline has revealed, turn back now.

There are two nouns spoke aloud by Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi which are totally surprising to hear, if only because they seem to come from the revisionist version of Lucas’s prequels, rather than the rough-and-tumble sequel trilogy. Still, just as Kylo Ren referenced a “clone army” in The Force Awakens, the latest Star Wars also mentions stuff from a time before Darth Vader. But this time, the person dropping the prequel references isn’t Kylo Ren. It’s Luke Skywalker.

In The Last Jedi, Luke Skywalker says the word “lasers word” and makes a reference to “Darth Sidious.” The latter is the formal Sith name for the Emperor, while the former is a knock-off term for a lightsaber used by Anakin Skywalker in The Phantom Menace.

From a canon perspective, it’s sort of interesting that Luke even discovered that the Emperor went by the name Darth Sidious at all. In the film, the books Luke has access too aren’t historical accounts of recent history, they’re scared Jedi texts from like a bazillion years ago. So, how did he find out about the Darth Sidious thing? Does he know his mom’s name was Padme now, too?

Qui-Gon Jinn with a "laser sword' in 'Episode I: The Phantom Meance'

And the laser sword thing is even crazier. In the scene in which Luke uses the term, he’s being sarcastic and even a big pejorative. But why? Is a “laser sword” something only the common folk of the Star Wars galaxy call a lightsaber? Did Luke, growing up on Tatooine know the term “laser sword” before Obi-Wan taught him these things were called “lighsabers.”

We think of lightsabers as an elegant weapon, fora more civilized age, but calling them “laser swords” makes them sound inelegant, uncivilized and pulpy as hell. But hey, maybe that’s the point.


Star Wars: The Last Jedi premieres in theaters on December 15. Check out all of Inverse’s coverage on the film right here