Star Wars: The Last Jedi was a thrill ride of a movie, there’s no denying that. Now, a month later, let’s look back on Lucasfilm’s latest film in the saga and address some plot holes. These are plot holes that I’ll try to help moviegoers make sense of by bringing information from collected works such as the novels, visual dictionaries, comics, and TV shows. Moreover, some of these statements range from canon fact, to some mild theories backed by the Star Wars canon, while some answers are just backed by common sense. Let’s take a closer look at Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
*Editor’s note: Spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi incoming*
1) THE CONNECTION BETWEEN KYLO REN AND REY
Early on in The Last Jedi we find that Kylo Ren and Rey share a connection in the Force, allowing them to see each other clearly despite being light years away from each other. It’s revealed by Supreme Leader Snoke that he was the one responsible for bridging their minds. Shortly after realizing this, Kylo killed Snoke and then asked Rey to join him in creating a new order for the galaxy, but Rey denies him.
The last moment the pair share in the movie is sensing each other in the Force on Crait. Rey on the Millennium Falcon and Kylo looking over Han’s dice before that Force projection disappears from his hand. Some speculate that the Resistance is doomed if Kylo can still see Rey in the Force. By doing so he could still attempt to track them down. I’d argue otherwise. I think that the connection, at least to the degree of being able to see each other as clear as day and speak with one another, is lost.
Kylo, in the first instance he learns of his connection to Rey, tells her, “You’re not doing this, the effort would kill you.” To make that much of an exertion in the Force is too much to handle. We know Snoke was a master of the dark side of the Force, and we can certainly believe he was the one responsible. Aside from confessing it, the visual dictionary for The Last Jedi asserts that “Snoke’s physical skills may have faded, but his Force-aided abilities to persuade, manipulate, and perceive are tremendous.” I don’t believe Kylo is powerful, or practiced enough, to restore this type of connection. This is supported by Kylo, again ruminating, “Why is the Force connecting us?… This is something else.” Meaning Kylo was not making an effort to establish a Force bond with Rey. I’m sure each can sense tremors in the Force, but that connection is lost. I think the film visualizes this when the Falcon’s ramp closes on Rey; that flinch that Ren gives off in the next scene symbolizes the closing of that connection.
2) THE REBEL RING
Halfway through The Last Jedi, Finn and Rose go to Canto Bight to track down the master code breaker. They’re instead arrested, freed by DJ, and with help from the orphans who take care of the fathiers, escape the city. Right before that, a frightened orphan boy attempts to sound an alarm, but Rose shows a ring with the Rebel insignia within, calming the boy. I can’t believe it, but, by the end of the film, some ask where the orphan boy’s ring came from. Saying that Finn didn’t have a ring, and Rose is never seen giving it to the boy even though he’s seen wearing the ring at the end of the movie. Come on, it’s easy to see that Rose passed it along as a peace offering. The spark that will light the fire, after all. Now that brings us to the next one.
3) THE FORCE-SENSITIVE ORPHAN
This one seems to puzzle a few people. It’s how the orphan boy was able to use the Force to nudge a broom into his grasp. I’ve seen people argue that unless a child had some sort of training, they couldn’t possibly be able to use the Force in so small of a capacity. Another absurd thing I’ve seen is that the orphan would also needed to have come from a lineage of Force users to do that. Well, neither is true. There are many Force practitioners in the galaxy. The most prominent are the Jedi and Sith, but there are also the Force Priestesses and the Nightsisters seen in The Clone Wars.
Let’s take the Jedi. The Jedi Order strongly held onto the notion that the future of their order lay in Force-sensitive children and would thereby seek them out in an attempt to bring them to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant to be with their true family: the Jedi. In fact, in the Clone Wars show we learn that the Jedi Council kept a list of confirmed Force-sensitive children in the galaxy contained in a Kyber memory crystal accessible only through a holocron. Furthermore, a Force-sensitive could manifest abilities, making their connection with the Force known by any number of ways. The most common is telekinesis, or seeing things before they happen, as was the case when Qui-Gon Jinn discovered Anakin Skywalker and his aptitude for podracing.
In other words, the orphan boy’s using the Force to grab a broom is equivalent to an infant developing their motor skills by crawling before they start walking. After the Galactic Civil War, the cosmic Force became dormant for many years and only awakened in a time of disorder. Snoke alluded to this when meeting Rey, “Darkness rises and light to meet it. I warned my apprentice that as he grew stronger his equal in the light would approach.” In regards to the Star Wars saga, there’s really nothing shocking about a random boy grabbing a broom. If anything the beauty of including the ring and the fact that the boy is Force-sensitive is, again, symbolic that the “spark” of rebellion against tyranny can exist even in nobodies and that Rey may not be the last Jedi either.
4) HOLDO’S SACRIFICE
Some wonder why Vice Admiral Holdo couldn’t have jumped into a transport with Leia and just programmed the Raddus (the Resistance cruiser) to jump to hyperspace through the Supremacy (Snoke’s flagship) remotely. This is where some common sense comes into play. Holdo was smart to stay behind. She acted as a contingency should the escaping transport plan fail, which it did. She said it herself right to Leia’s face, “In order for the transports to get away, someone has to stay behind and pilot the cruiser.”
There was no way one Resistance cruiser was going to foil an entire First Order armada. But even a spark of hope could give the Resistance a chance. Holdo lived and died by those words. On top of that, you have to admit, it wasn’t until after Holdo remained solo on the bridge of the Raddus did she find out that the First Order stopped tracking the cruiser in favor of tracking the transports, thanks to the failure of Rose and Finn to keep that communique from the Resistance between only them, aboard the stolen ship from Canto Bight, only for DJ to be within earshot of and subsequently use that information for a big payout from the First Order. Anyway, the Raddus needed to keep up the ruse of being in a slow chase to let the transports try to escape unnoticed. Entering hyperspace requires setting coordinates at the ship’s console to initiate the ship’s hyperdrive. Holdo already accepted her fate by this point, so her visually appealing sacrifice didn’t go in vain.
6) THE FIRST ORDER’S PURSUIT
On that note, some wonder why the First Order didn’t just use all the weapons they had at their disposal to take out the few Resistance ships in space. General Hux even asked this. With a limited amount of fuel and heading in one direction, why not just end them? The officer on deck with Hux already hinted at why. The Resistance figured out that jumping to hyperspace again would deplete their fuel reserves. Instead, they diverted the Raddus’ power into the deflector shields. As the officer remarked, the Resistance can make their shields impenetrable to their weapons, but they have nowhere to go. It would be just a matter of time before their fuel completely burned out. A hologram even displays on the bridge of the Star Destroyer showing what can be described as a bubble, indicating the expanse of the Raddus’ deflector shields.
7) HOW IS ASTRAL PROJECTION NOW A THING IN STAR WARS?
Luke’s confrontation with Kylo Ren at the end of The Last Jedi was suspenseful. To Kylo’s surprise, he found that Luke was not physically present on Crait, but projected himself in the Force all the way from Ahch-To. Some people were peeved to find out astral projection by a Force user just became a thing, when that isn’t true at all. Not to be confused with Force spirits like Obi-Wan and Anakin, who retained their identities after passing away into the cosmic Force, there has been another confirmed canon example of astral projection.
That was in Star Wars Rebels when Ezra Bridger meets Yoda in the Jedi Temple on Lothal. Of course we know that Yoda has gone into self-imposed exile on Dagobah, but he appeared to Ezra in the temple on Lothal to provide advice. The young Jedi seeked Yoda’s counsel in whether it was right for a Jedi to fight or protect his friends. Just as Luke was still living when he created a Force projection of himself, so too was Yoda when he appeared to Ezra. The Last Jedi made it sound like a Force projection is very dangerous to achieve, but it stands to reason that Yoda, being hundreds of years old, the Grand Master of his time, had some time to practice and even master dangerous elements of the Force. After all, it’s Yoda who absorbed and negated the effects of Force lightning. He’s that powerful.
8) ANAKIN’S UNBROKEN KYBER CRYSTAL
A lot of people wonder why it was only the casing of Anakin Skywalker’s lightsaber that was destroyed when Kylo Ren and Rey each Force pulled it from opposing directions, rather than the Kyber crystal within. Therein lies the answer. Kyber crystals can be very resilient. Being found within a planet’s crust, they can hold under high temperatures and intense pressure. Moreover, they’ve even been known to survive lightsaber misfires due to a damaged power grid in the saber.
The more recent Darth Vader comics have shown just how pliable the crystals can be. Kyber crystals are attuned to the light side of the Force. If a Sith wants to create a saber with a red blade, they must corrupt, or “bleed”, a Kyber crystal. This is something Vader accomplished by using the Force to bend a crystal to his will and dominated it. The process is extremely volatile, and appears that more force is exerted in this manner than in opposing Force pulls.
Did you notice in the flashback sequences that Kylo Ren’s lightsaber hilt looks nearly identical to the one he used as a Jedi? Ren’s lightsaber emits an unstable blade due to a cracked Kyber crystal within the hilt. It’s possible that he used his same Jedi-obtained Kyber crystal and attempted to corrupt it the same way Vader did by channeling anger, hatred, and malice into the crystal. Perhaps the process was faulty and resulted in a bled, but cracked, Kyber crystal, lending to the fact that Snoke found Kylo highly favorable due to his ideal balance between light and dark. In other words, Kylo wasn’t wholly consumed by the dark side when he attempted to create his red blade. Perhaps he modified his existing lightsaber to include a crossguard in order to vent the excess unstable energy. That aside, Kyber crystals can hold under a lot of duress. I don’t think a Force pull would do it. The lightsaber fell under the stress, but the Kyber crystal held in spite of it all.
The beauty of Star Wars is that we can be left to our own devices to connect the dots. There’s a big difference between understanding, respecting, and interpreting the canonicity of Lucasfilm’s epic saga and wishing The Last Jedi, and the things that transpired in the movie, should have gone the way we thought they should have gone. Hopefully the article pointed out some interesting concepts or lines of thought. That’s what makes Star Wars such an enjoyable thing to pick apart. And when I say pick apart, I mean to study, and not necessarily trash.
For more on Star Wars: The Last Jedi, you can read our review, and see some questions we had for the film a couple of months before its theatrical release. Remember, the Force will be with you. Always.