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Will Luke Skywalker admit the Jedi are a bad idea in The Last Jedi?

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In the highly-anticipated first trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, we get a lot of glimpses into the saga’s next chapter. Rey is training in the ways of the Force with Luke Skywalker on Ahch-To. General Leia is still leading the resistance. Kylo Ren is alive and angry, and the First Order, despite a crushing defeat at the end of The Force Awakens, is still terrorizing the galaxy.

Most importantly, we hear Luke speak for the first time, and he hints at a newfound relationship with the Force. For him, “it’s so much bigger” than the balance between light and darkness. Which leads to his most stunning confession:

“I only know one truth,” he says. “It’s time for the Jedi to end.”

Luke’s lines speak volumes about where the franchise is and where it might head. Up until now, the Jedi have been regarded as a powerful force for good in the universe. Their being nearly eradicated was one of the core reasons for why the Empire was able to take such complete control of the galaxy. They’re the good guys through and through.

But the idea that there’s something more to the Force that we don’t fully understand adds a whole new sense of wonder to the series. It also complicates how we should view the Jedi. The Jedi serve the Light Side, and the Light Side is goodness. Right? Why bring that to an end?

Maybe it’s never been that simple. The Star Wars mythos is littered with contradictions about the Force needing balance but the Dark Side needing to be fought and destroyed. Doesn’t serving just one side of the Force... unbalance things? It’s a concept that has been touched on in The Clone Wars and a handful of novels, but never fleshed out in the films.

And then there’s the fact that the Jedi have never truly been that good at their jobs. Fans have commented for years on how an organization like the Jedi Council was ineffectual at confronting the Clone Wars and mired in its own traditions. Even the Star Wars: The Clone Wars series commented on that fact, with Anakin Skywalker’s padawan Ahsoka Tano leaving the order entirely after the council wrongfully accuses her of a crime.

Maybe Luke, after trying to form his own order in the years before The Force Awakens, discovers that the Jedi and Sith as concepts are wrongheaded and ignore some higher truth about the Force. Maybe that’s why Rey’s lightsaber figures between him and Kylo Ren in the teaser poster: she symbolizes a new form of balance for the series. If that’s the case, it’s a massive turn away from the Jedi’s place in pop culture. We’ll find out more when the film opens on December 15th.