WARNING: Potentially major spoilers
The Opening Scenes of The Last Jedi
What will the first scene of The Last Jedi be? Although some might believe that it’ll be between Luke and Rey, I think not.
Just like we don’t meet Luke immediately in A New Hope and Rey immediately in the The Force Awakens, I think we’re going to have to wait a bit to see Luke and Rey. The simple reason why is that once we get to their story, the film is going to want to spend some significant time with them.
Instead of Luke and Rey, I believe the first shot of the movie will be of Kylo Ren in an elevator, followed immediately by a meeting between Kylo and Snoke:
The reason this will be the first scene is that every other shot we’ve seen of Kylo Ren in the trailers has been with his mask off, including a sequence that I believe is the second in the movie. While Kylo just showed immense loyalty to Snoke by killing his father, I think Snoke will be very displeased with his apprentice for losing a lightsaber duel with a mere “scavenger.” This lack of compassion from the only person close to Kylo will likely only increase Kylo’s anger.
In order to further Kylo’s training, I believe Snoke will have him fight the Praetorian Guards in this scene. We were given a hint about this in the behind the scenes reel shown at Star Wars Celebration:
Whether Kylo wins or loses this fight is unclear, but what is clear is that he seems to be quite angry after this meeting with Snoke:
Notice he is in the same elevator he took to meet Snoke, but here he has his mask off. I’m not sure if he is upset because he lost the fight with the Praetorian Guards, because Snoke was upset with him, or a combination of both, but I believe this is the last scene we will ever see Kylo with his mask on. If I had to guess, then I’d say that Kylo does lose his battle against the Praetorians for two reasons. The first is that it’ll set up the Praetorians as a serious threat for the rest of the movie, and the second is that I think Rey will fight the Praetorians later in the film (see the image below) and win. Thus, Kylo losing against them and Rey winning will provide a nice juxtaposition between the two characters and continue to fuel Kylo’s rage.
After this meeting between Kylo and Snoke, I believe the second scene will be a space battle between the First Order and the Resistance. At the end of The Force Awakens, the First Order knows that the Resistance base is on D’Qar. Therefore, I think it will be attacked and the Resistance will have to evacuate:
To prove himself to Snoke, I believe Kylo will lead this battle and try to kill his mother:
Though some have speculated that Kylo doesn’t have it in him to kill his mother, I do believe that he’ll take the shot. I think that Rian Johnson will establish very early on that Kylo is indeed evil, and that there will be no redeeming him. Even though I don’t think Leia will be killed here, I do believe she will be seriously injured per the rumors. This will set up a rivalry and power struggle between Poe (Leia’s representative) and Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern):
This confrontation between these two characters will occur after what remains of the Resistance has escaped the Battle of D’Qar. Holdo will address the survivors and perhaps advocate for the Resistance to go into hiding, while Poe will push back and say that they need to bring the fight to the First Order: “We are the spark that will light the fire that will bring the First Order down.”
Finn and Rose’s Mission
How do Finn and Rose fit into this battle? Well, as we know, Finn starts the film in a coma from his fight with Kylo Ren in The Force Awakens:
However, at some point either before or after the battle, Finn will wake up:
Apparently, Rose will have to convince Finn to stay involved in the fight against the First Order. However, soon after she does, I believe he and Rose will be given their mission to “infiltrate the First Order” by either Leia, Holdo, or Poe. What exactly will this mission be? Well, I believe the mission will be to infiltrate Snoke’s massive new command ship the “Supremacy,” destroy it, and in the process hopefully assassinate Snoke. Apparently, the Supremacy will be the biggest ship ever built in the history of Star Wars:
Moreover, in the Battle of D’Qar, I believe the Resistance will get a taste of just how powerful this gigantic ship is, as it can be seen in the background of the fight:
After seeing the destructive power of the First Order’s flagship, I think the Resistance will make it a top priority to destroy it. In that sense, the Supremacy will serve as a kind of Death Star (for better or worse) without directly repeating this overused plot point. Since the Supremacy is also Snoke’s mobile headquarters, destroying it also gives the Resistance a chance to kill the First Order’s leader:
So how does Canto Bight, the luxury casino planet that Finn and Rose find themselves on, relate to this mission?
I believe that in order for Finn and Rose to sneak aboard the Supremacy so they can destroy it, they need proper First Order credentials. Since the Empire has been burned plenty of times in the past by having people dress as stormtroopers or Imperial officers (for example, Luke and Han in A New Hope and Jyn Erso in Rogue One), I think the First Order has tightened security. This is where “DJ,” the character played by Benicio Del Toro, comes in.
I believe that he is located on Canto Bight and he can help Finn and Rose get the necessary credentials to sneak on to the Supremacy. According to John Boyega in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, DJ is a “slicer” or computer hacker:
“We just need a codebreaker and he’s the best in the galaxy.”
Consequently, DJ may be able to hack into the First Order’s computer system and get Finn and Rose the proper credentials. I suspect Finn and Rose will have to break DJ out of jail in order to enlist his services, which will then lead to some kind of action scene on Canto Bight culminating in an escape on DJ’s ship:
We know DJ is not the most reliable ally of the Resistance (Boyega said he is “very dodgy and is only in it for financial gain. He doesn’t fight for any side.”), and so he may betray our heroes at some point. However, it is clear that Finn and Rose do make it to the Supremacy at some point:
After setting explosives, I believe they are caught and sentenced to die:
There have been many rumors about “Executioner” stormtroopers, and I believe we saw an image of them in the behind the scenes reel shown at Star Wars Celebration:
I think that the specific location of Finn’s (and maybe Rose’s) execution will be in the hanger of the Supremacy, which we saw in the recently released trailer for The Last Jedi:
A public execution would make clear to other stormtroopers that there is zero tolerance for traitors. However, before Finn can be executed, I believe he or someone else will set off the explosives. In the image below, you can see the same hanger above on fire:
While I’m not sure if Finn is able to destroy the Supremacy, I believe his sabotage will, at the very least, help out an old friend! More to come on that in the next section. In any case, I think Finn kills Captain Phasma or is able to escape from her, as we see pictures of Finn on Crait, where I think the final battle of the film takes place:
Luke and Rey on Ahch-To
After the Battle of D’Qar, I think The Last Jedi will transition to Luke and Rey. The first scene between them will pick up exactly where The Force Awakens left off, as Rey will offer Luke his lightsaber:
Having this scene take place immediately after the Resistance is decimated at the Battle of D’Qar will significantly raise the stakes of Rey’s plea to Luke that he rejoin the fight against the First Order. Moreover, it will make Luke’s initial rejection of Rey’s call to adventure even more painful.
I think that in The Last Jedi, Luke will begin the film in a very dark place. Besides being subject to a series of incredibly traumatic psychological events throughout his life (e.g., having his guardians burned to death, discovering that his father is an awful person, sensing that his former student, Kylo Ren, murdered his best friend, etc.), I believe Luke is having a crisis of faith in the Jedi philosophy. The reason is that he has seen or heard about first-hand many of its failings. For example, Darth Vader emerged from the Jedi Order of the Old Republic, and Kylo Ren emerged from Luke’s new Jedi Order. So, why did Luke abandon the fight against evil and retreat to Ahch-To in an attempt to find the first Jedi temple? Well, according to director Rian Johnson, it wasn’t because Luke is a coward. When asked whether fleeing made Luke a coward, he said:
“I didn’t want it to. There has to be a good reason that makes sense to him – and to some degree makes sense to us.”
The reason, I believe, is that Luke is trying to end the destructive cycle of Jedi turning to the dark side and destroying peace. In order to do this, Luke thinks that the Jedi philosophy needs to be completely scrapped and replaced with something else. That’s why he says:
“I only know one truth. It’s time for the Jedi to end.”
Therefore, I believe that most of Luke and Rey’s time in The Last Jedi will be spent trying to gain a better understanding of the Force. While Rey will initially be disappointed that they aren’t rushing back into the fight, I think Luke will convince her at some point that it is necessary in order to achieve long-term peace. How will Luke and Rey gain a better understanding of the Force? I think they will do so by seeking out the first Jedi temple, which Luke has not yet found. Reportedly, Luke has a compass in The Last Jedi, and I believe he is using the compass to try and find this temple. Eventually, he and Rey will find the first Jedi temple, which isn’t a massive and ornate building like in the prequels, but a simple tree:
In this ancient temple, they will find the mystical Journal of the Whills, which contains the original beliefs of the first Force users:
These ancient texts will reveal some profound truth about the Force, which will provide guidance to Luke and Rey. My guess is that it has something to do with being more compassionate and embracing love and friendship. While the Jedi of past (like Yoda) claimed to be all about compassion, in practice their philosophy was quite cold. For example, they took children away from their parents, forbid Jedi from sexual relationships, gave Anakin no comfort when he said he sensed that someone he loved was going to die, lied to Luke about who his father was, and encouraged Luke to sacrifice his friends in The Empire Strikes Back and murder his own father in Return of the Jedi. Luke made similar mistakes, as he took Ben Solo away from his parents (or, at least, accepted that arrangement at Han and Leia’s request) and lied to Ben about who his grandfather was (or, at least, never told him). I believe that Luke’s journey in this film will lead to him developing a new philosophy about the force, and that he will truly be “The Last Jedi.” For more on this, see my in-depth article on Luke here.
Although Luke will initially not be pleased that Rey is joining him on this journey and initially refuse to train her, he will come around at some point. Nevertheless, the relationship between them will undoubtedly be rocky, and at some point Luke will become spooked about Rey’s power and worry that she will turn into another Kylo Ren:
“I’ve seen this raw strength only once before. It didn’t scare me enough then. It does now.”
At the end of their journey on Ahch-To, I believe Luke and Rey will be confronted by Kylo Ren and either the Praetorian Guards or the Knights of Ren. This confrontation has been rumored by Making Star Wars, which is very reliable, and we’ve seen hints of it in the trailers. For example, we see an image of Rey running intensely on Ahch-To, perhaps in an effort to join a battle:
There’s also several pieces of dialogue that suggest a fight between Kylo and Rey at some point in the film. In the recently released trailer, Kylo says:
“Let the past die. Kill it if you have to. That’s the only way to become what you were meant to be.”
My theory is that all of the dialogue in this trailer is directed at Rey, and it only makes sense that this line is since the only character whose destiny appears to be in question is Rey. Moreover, dialogue from recently released action figures also points to a confrontation between these two characters:
Rey: “You’re going to pay for what you did.”
Kylo: “You will bring Luke Skywalker to me.”
We have also seen visual evidence that Kylo will have a lightsaber match with someone in The Last Jedi:
Although it’s possible that the fire in the background is from the explosion on the Supremacy, I believe it’s from a different source. As rumored by Making Star Wars, I think Kylo and his entourage will burn down the force tree/first Jedi temple that houses the Journal of the Whills. Furthermore, it appears that Kylo is outside rather than in a ship in the image above, which bolsters this hypothesis.
The result of this battle on Ahch-To will be Luke defeating some of Kylo’s entourage, but Kylo taking Rey captive (again…).
The Final Act of the Film
I believe that Kylo must take Rey captive because we know at some point she ends up in Snoke’s throne room on the Supremacy:
Though I don’t currently have a theory for what exactly happens in this scene besides Snoke trying to convert Rey to the dark side, I do have a theory for how she escapes. If I have my timeline right, then Rey must end up on Crait for the climatic battle of the film:
How does she escape Snoke? Well, my theory is that the explosion set off by Finn gives Rey an opening to escape with him. Having not been together the entire film, this would be a fun way to reunite the characters.
I do believe that Luke Skywalker will also join the entire gang on Crait as well. After Rey is kidnapped by Kylo Ren, I think he will want to try and save his quasi apprentice. Additionally, I think he will sense danger to his sister, Leia, and know where to find her. This is hinted at by The Last Jedi Topps cards, which give a plot outline of the entire film. One of the plot points on the cards is referred to as “heroes united.” So, I do think we will get the much-anticipated reunion between Luke and Leia.
However, I don’t think the reunion will last long, as the First Order and Kylo Ren are coming to attack:
Unfortunately, I don’t believe this fight is going to end well for the Resistance. Besides being the middle chapter in a trilogy, which is normally the darkest, the Topps cards also have a plot point referred to as the “the Millennium Falcon flees.” Therefore, I think the First Order will win the Battle of Crait, and that most of our heroes will be forced to evacuate on the Falcon:
Though it’s hard to fathom, I do wonder if Kylo will kill Luke on Crait. I could certainly see a scenario where Luke covers the escape of Leia, Rey, Finn, etc. and sacrifices himself in order to save them. It would absolutely be tragic to have Luke come back into the fold only to be killed off, but his sacrifice would help other heroes live to fight another day, and the knowledge Luke gained from studying the force on Ahch-To would be passed down to Rey. If this were to happen, then Luke might literally be the last Jedi that ever lives.