Star Wars: The Last Jedi aka Episode VIII dropped its final trailer and official poster earlier this month in a blaze of hype that the world hasn't seen since... two years ago when Lucasfilm did the exact same thing for The Force Awakens. Like TFA, Episode VIII has kept nearly all of the movie's plot points under wraps, leading fans to come up with all sort of ideas, including the latest The Last Jedi theory about Luke.
Luke Skywalker has been a bit of a mystery since the new trilogy began. All three of the original heroes of the 1977 trilogy were recast in their original parts in The Force Awakens. But while Han Solo took on the Obi-Wan Kenobi role in the first film, right down to dying at the hand of the Darth Vader-wannabe character Kylo Ren, and Leia was the wise all knowing General in charge of the Resistance, Luke was... not actually in the movie much at all.
Luke was so not in the movie, he didn't appear until the final closing seconds, when he turns around to see Rey, who has traveled all the way across the galaxy to find him, presenting him his long lost lightsaber.
With so little to go on, fans have hung on every moment we've seen of Luke in the trailers. We assume he's fulfilling the Yoda role from The Empire Strikes Back, but so far this new trilogy has toyed with our expectations.
The first trailer had Luke stating there should be no new Jedi, they should die out. The second shows him as a bit of a hapless Yoda, unable to handle the calm and cool abilities of this would be student Rey, and basically refusing to teach her anything.
The trailer closes with the suggestion that Rey will instead turn to the Dark Side and Kylo Ren for her education, a concept that horrified fans across the globe.
But if Rey and Kylo are teaming up, does that make her the evil character? Fans aren't so sure. Their idea is that it is Luke who is evil, for giving into his fear, as Yoda always warned him about, and refusing to believe. That is why he fails.
As for their evidence? It's right there in the brand new poster that turned up two weeks ago.
Like most of the Star Wars posters, this is one that gives us a montage of the character's faces. Rey and Kylo are mirror images of each other, two half trained Jedi, one light, one dark. Poe and Finn are also mirror images, the former Storm Trooper of the First Order, the former pilot of the Resistance, now both raised up to higher levels in their quest to take down the would-be Empire.
Leia sits front and center, the wise face in the chaos around her. And Luke looms above them all, his eyes unreadable from underneath his Obi-Wan like hood.
But when you compare and contrast this poster to the seven that came before, a terrifying pattern emerges.
The Villains Are Always Looming At The Back*.
(*Yes the meme marker spelled villains wrong. Memes don't come with spellcheck.)
The meme is not wrong. In Episode I, it's Darth Maul who hangs over the proceedings. In Episode II, Anakin's fall-to-come wraps around everything, enshrouding them in darkness. Episodes III-VI, Darth Vader always gets the top and back spot. (Though in Episode III he's a bit off to the side, since he's only just entering the picture.)
Episode VII gives that slot to Kylo Ren, the latest Skywalker to turn to the Dark Side. And Episode VIII.... gives that spot to Luke.
Could this be an indication that Luke's weakness makes him the bad guy in this installment? Will Rey's choice to join with Kylo pull him toward the light? Will the two together join to defeat Luke's insistence that the Galaxy live their lives in fear?
Star Wars: The Last Jedi arrives in theaters Dec. 15, 2017. Tickets are on sale now.