Why I’m Worried About “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”

The trailer for the new “Star Wars” movie was released yesterday…

…and I am worried.

Why?

This line:

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

You only know one truth?

Really?

What about the truth that there is — or was, because he’s dead now — good in Vader?

Did you forget about that?

Image result for luke skywalker there is still good in you
Return of the Jedi (1983)

My first impression of The Last Jedi is:

Moral relativism, like a kouhun, is creeping into the “Star Wars” saga.

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“…very poisonous.” — Jango Fett

Other lines in the trailer that add to this creeping feeling:

“Light. Darkness. A Balance.”

“…is so much bigger.”

On the one hand: “Balance” has always been a theme in “Star Wars.” More than once, characters have talked of the importance of bringing balance to the Force.

Image result for the grey Jedi code

On the other hand: The Last Jedi seems to be going beyond balance — going beyond the Light Side and the Dark Side of the Force, to uncharted territory.

And that makes me raise a skeptical eyebrow.

Image result for raise an eyebrow gif

Why?

I mean, what’s wrong with expanding one’s worldview, no longer limiting oneself to notions like “Good” and “Evil”?

Well: If Good — i.e., Light — is just one point of view, not a state of being to strive for…

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Rogue One (2016)

…and it is essentially no different than Evili.e., Darkness — like Luke is teaching Rey that it is, if their dialogue is anything to judge by — “…is so much bigger.” — than I consider that ironic.

Why?

Because: Another “Star Wars” character also taught their apprentice that Good was merely one point of view:

Image result for good is a point of view anakin
Revenge of the Sith (2005)

The message is clear:

In the “Star Wars” universe, moral relativism is a tool of Evil. A tool of the Sith. A tool of the Dark Side.

Yet the same education that Palpatine gave Anakin is the same education Rey is receiving from Luke. Only this time, such an education is not treated as a trap — i.e., a means to cause one to fall to the Dark Side — but as gospel.

Image result for the last jedi

In conclusion:

The Last Jedi teaser trailer comes across as an attempt by Disney to show how hip it is by asserting that there is no Good and Evil, and no absolute truth — or, rather, only one truth.

It flies in the face of Disney’s most recent “Star Wars” movie, Rogue One, where notions of Good and Evil existed, and the line between them was clear:

“The Force moves darkly near a creature that’s about to kill.”
~Chirrut Imwe

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And it flies in the face of Luke’s previous experiences: How can Luke only know “one truth” when it was truth — “…there is good in you.” — that redeemed his father? You think he would remember that.

Did Disney watch the movies they paid $4 billion for?

Now:

I thought The Force Awakens (2015) would suck. And I was so happy to be wrong.

I wasn’t hyped for Rogue One. But then:

Image result for darth vader rogue one

My point is: I like Disney’s “Star Wars” movies.

But, if the teaser trailer is anything to judge by, The Last Jedi will be the first of Disney’s “Star Wars” movies that makes me do this:

Image result for luke no gif

Thank you to T. Martin for inspiring me to write this post:

Unsurprising cynicism (towards Star Wars)

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13 thoughts on “Why I’m Worried About “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”

  1. Your welcome! I’m honored to inspire!

    I remember you saying on a Decent Films Facebook post when the title was revealed that it reminded you of the plot of KOTOR II.

    Turns out it has more in common with KOTOR II than I feared.

    1. It’s been a while since I played KOTOR II, but:

      The one preaching moral relativism — Kreia — was revealed to be a Sith lord.

      And you got Light Side points and lost influence on her if you refused to listen to her.

      So the game, through Kreia, was preaching moral relativism, but it didn’t want you to agree with her.

      Rey, though, seems to be going along with what Luke is telling her.

      1. That game was also villainizing the Jedi almost as much as it was villainizing the Sith, like it was agreeing with Kreia’s view of the Jedi, and there were a lot of ambiguous situations that should have gotten you Dark Side points but didn’t.

        Even so, I agree that The Last Jedi could be more problematic in this regard than KOTOR II is.

  2. I’ve seen this argument, and I’ll just say… let the trilogy play out. Just because a character says something in a teaser trailer doesn’t mean that it will turn out to be true. In fact, it’s a good likelihood that – being the second movie in the series – it’ll turn out to be a big mistake that will be fixed in the third movie.

    Luke’s not Yoda, and he’s feeling directly responsible for the death of the Jedi – again. It’s a good likelihood that he’s gone done a bad path himself.

    Trust the force, Tim. 😉

      1. That would be nice.

        But I’m still concern about that book that appears to teach balance in the Force

  3. I agree that this is where they’re headed. This move away from good and evil in favor of championing both together, has been all over the animated series that Disney is producing. For me, the idea that what brought the Jedi down– what essentially noble and selfless figures like Obi-wan and Yoda were missing– was to get in touch with their dark sides, is a deal breaker. I will have to walk away from STAR WARS, with which I’ve had a lifelong love. If Rey is meant to balance the force by tapping into the hate, aggression, and rage that Sidious tried to coax out of Luke in ROTJ, and that’s going to be held up as virtue, I have to bail. That would be a tragic betrayal of our most popular public mythology.

    Yoda had it right: once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will, as it did Obi-Wan’s apprentice.

  4. Star Wars was always Zen Buddhism in SciFi clothing. As story, they’re fun. But there is little sense in criticizing a piece of ‘art’ for not ‘teaching’ what it was never purported to teach. Of course, if people come away from a film, or in this case, a franchise, and proclaim THAT as the ultimate truth, then there is more than the film that is at fault. The ‘fault’ is within us. It always has been and it always will be.
    Blessings! -Mark

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