Star Wars: The Last Jedi is less than three months away. The plot of the film has been kept tightly under wraps, but the teaser released at Star Wars Celebration still has fans speculating. Lucasfilm has yet to announce when an official trailer for The Last Jedi will drop, but Mark Hamill has hinted at a possible date. To satiate the plausible wait time for that to happen, I’ve assembled a list of 10 things I’d love to see addressed in The Last Jedi. This is merely what came to mind first, and I’m sure I could easily come up with a dozen more questions. Accompanying each question is a brief history lesson to detail its importance. Star Wars lore is that good, let me tell you. That being said, spoilers for various Star Wars media, including the films, TV shows, and novels, abound.
Rae Sloane was a naval officer of the Galactic Empire. Her efforts in preventing an assassination attempt on Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader saw her shatter the glass ceiling of the Empire’s military force. By age thirty, she had earned captain status and command of the Star Destroyer Ultimatum. As shown in the events of the Aftermath trilogy of novels, soon after the downfall of the Empire, Sloane was appointed to the rank of Grand Admiral by Fleet Admiral Gallius Rax. Rax sought to make Sloane the new face of the Empire’s might and sent her to make peace talks with the New Republic.
Sloane and Rax had opposing views regarding the future of the Empire. Where Sloane was adamant about pulling the Empire’s forces together and establish order once again, Rax, who wanted the same by a different means, was secretly trying to carry out the Emperor’s contingency plan. The intent of the plan was to destroy both the remnants of the Empire and its enemies in one fell swoop on the planet Jakku, should the Emperor come to a premature death. Palpatine deemed no one worthy of ruling his Empire. Sloane eventually learned that Rax also wished for her destruction. During the Battle of Jakku, Sloane confronted and ultimately killed Rax, thereby preventing Palpatine’s contingency plan from being carried out.
Sloane, along with General Brendol Hux, his son Armitage, and a group of child soldiers (who would be the first new stormtroopers), fled to the Unknown Regions. There they met with the last remaining Super Star Destroyer, the Eclipse. Sloane recanted to General Hux that the surviving leaders of the Empire would start over. That it would be “our first order. To begin again. And to get it right, this time.” With that, the First Order was born.
It would be years before the First Order would return to charted space, but what we learn from the Phasma novel is that Rae Sloane is still acting as Grand Admiral. Phasma takes place 10 years before The Force Awakens, so it’s entirely possible that Sloane’s story has yet to wrap up. I’m confident we’ll see her return in some shape or form. However, an appearance on the silver screen in The Last Jedi would be amazing for this battle-hardened personal favorite.
Remember when Luke threw down his lightsaber in defiance in Return of the Jedi; refusing to give into the Emperor’s demands to kill his father? Well, as seen in the victory celebration on Endor, Luke’s lightsaber clearly hangs from his belt so it was never destroyed aboard the second Death Star. Rey has taken ownership of Anakin Skywalker’s lightsaber, which Luke previously lost on Bespin, and we haven’t seen any promotional artwork or stills from The Last Jedi that would indicate Luke still has his green bladed saber.
It could possibly be that Luke is in a state of flux in the Force, and even as a Jedi. After the collapse of the new Jedi Order, Luke went into hiding on Ahch-To. In his confinement, Luke may have even stowed away his Jedi tethers to do some serious thinking. It’s no longer a surprise that he wants the Jedi to end, or perhaps become something more, something “so much bigger,” as he tells Rey in the teaser trailer.
Rey’s arrival now spurs Luke to come out of hiding. Surely conflict is headed his way. Supreme Leader Snoke, and Kylo Ren, strongly seek to destroy Luke and any chance of the return of the Jedi. A lightsaber is an elegant weapon, and I would love nothing more than to see Grand Master Luke Skywalker ignite his brilliant green saber once again.
Politics in Star Wars tends to get people to roll their eyes. But you know what? I love the political intrigue in the saga. Not all wars are fought on the battlefield. One of the best examples of this was how Palpatine orchestrated a war between the Galactic Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems. He pulled all the strings as both the Supreme Chancellor of the Republic and as the figurehead of the separatists, Darth Sidious. On top of that, Palpatine slowly manipulated the Jedi Order to its downfall, thus achieving the ultimate revenge of the Sith.
The First Order has yet to fully showcase its political might, but we have already seen agents acting on its behalf. In the Bloodline novel, Lady Carise Sindian is an acting senator in the Galactic Senate of the New Republic, twenty years after its inception.
Unbeknownst to many of her peers, she is secretly working on behalf of the First Order. What’s interesting is that in Bloodline, the First Order is nothing more than a whisper; a monster lying in wait until the time is right. Sindian is also responsible for destroying Leia Organa’s political career. When elections were being held for the position of First Senator, or basically Chancellor, of the New Republic, all eyes fell upon Leia. Sindian came to possess irrefutable evidence that Leia was the daughter of Darth Vader, and allowed this information to leak to the public. The majority of the senate was appalled, and turned its back on Leia.
In The Force Awakens, the First Order successfully destroyed Hosnian Prime, which was the planet that the Galactic Senate, at the time, made its home. With, seemingly, no political competition, the First Order is free to institute its governing body to take over the matters of law and order in The Last Jedi.
For the last two years, fans have speculated over the identity of Supreme Leader Snoke. There have been intriguing theories, and some outrageous ones, but I’d wager to believe that Snoke is an entirely new character to the saga. That being said, what is he, and what is the importance of the character before the formation of the First Order? Curiously, in The Force Awakens novel, Snoke told Kylo Ren that he witnessed both the rise and fall of the Galactic Empire.
We also know that Snoke is a practitioner of the dark side of the Force. Many years before the collapse of the Empire, Emperor Palpatine sent many of his Imperials into the Unknown Regions. It’s said that Palpatine felt an enormous surge of dark side energy from the far reaches of the galaxy. Extremely few Imperials have returned from exploring the Unknown Regions. Could Snoke be the embodiment of the dark side energy that Palpatine once felt?
The First Order was not started by Snoke. We know this because Rae Sloane and surviving Imperial leaders met in the Unknown Regions to begin anew. In The Force Awakens, Leia tells Han that “it was Snoke” who seduced Kylo Ren, the former Ben Solo, to the dark side. Ben Solo’s immersion into the darkness happened years before The Force Awakens, so we know that Snoke had to have emerged in some way, shape or form. Again, in the novel, Snoke sought out Solo because he believed he was the perfect embodiment of light and darkness, perhaps due to the Skywalker family’s legacy. Han Solo told Ren, in their final moments, that Snoke would destroy Ren when he had no further use for him. Let’s see what Snoke is after, and how he intends to get it.