Lucasfilm insiders have long insisted that the best movies don't answer all your questions. In fact, the Lucasfilm Story Group has often tended to leave a lot of unresolved mysteries, largely so they can explore them in other media. As a result, the Star Wars franchise includes tie-in comics, novels and even the upcoming Star Wars: Battlefront II game. Excitingly, the Campaign Mode of Battlefront II is actually canon.
From the outset, Lucasfilm has insisted the Campaign Mode actually sets the scene for The Last Jedi. Until now, we'd thought the focus would be on how the remnants of the Empire became the First Order. It turns out the most crucial revelation actually involves Luke Skywalker himself.
Here's How Luke Skywalker Found The Jedi Temple Of Ahch-To
Lucasfilm's novels have already set the scene for the years immediately after Return of the Jedi. We know that Luke dropped out of the spotlight after the victory at Endor, seeking to reform the Jedi Order. First though, he launched a quest to learn everything he could about the Jedi. Unfortunately, he soon learned that the Emperor had been terrifyingly efficient when it came to wiping out all trace of the Jedi. As a result, Ken Liu's novel The Legends of Luke Skywalker shows Luke instead approaching other Force sects, learning what he can from them.
And then, of course, we have Palpatine's Observatories. These were dedicated to mapping the galaxy's Unknown Regions, an area of space where Palpatine sensed a vast dark side power — most likely Supreme Leader Snoke. Chuck Wendig's novel Aftermath: Empire's End revealed that Jakku itself was one such Observatory, and hinted at ancient Jedi and Sith artifacts kept at the site. No surprise, The Legends of Luke Skywalker included one tale of Luke heading to Jakku in the immediate aftermath of the Battle of Jakku, no doubt fascinated to learn of the Observatory.
According to Games Radar, the Jakku Observatory wasn't the only one Luke tracked down. Battlefront II will see Luke visit the aquatic planet of Pillio, deep in Imperial territory. There, he'd wind up entering into a brief and uneasy truce with the Empire's Inferno Squad, and together they'd infiltrate another Observatory.
Inferno Squad's Del Meeko was on a mission to destroy everything in the Observatory, but he failed to destroy a compass. It's the compass seen in the trailer for The Last Jedi, and ultimately guided Luke to Ahch-To. Amusingly enough, in yet another indication of just how closely Lucasfilm monitor their canon, the compass appeared in The Legends of Luke Skywalker too. There, we were told it had been given to Luke on Pillio, our first mention of the planet.
Many Questions Are Left Unanswered
This compass is clearly one of the most fascinating, albeit subtle, connective threads tying the different #StarWars media together. Back in May we heard reports that the compass would play an important role. Making Star Wars got an exclusive look at Luke's Ahch-To gear, and while most of it was survival equipment, the compass stood out:
"The compass is a box with a blue marble-like orb on the top. I believe Luke Skywalker moves his hand over the blue orb and the box opens up to reveal the compass inside the box. The interior of the box has metallic dials with Aurebesh writing inside denoting some “space” version of North, South, East, and West with a needle to point the way. The prop is probably the most beautiful piece of craftsmanship I can think of for a Star Wars film. It has a very old look to it but the inside is almost steampunk or like something mystical from Naboo."
They reported that it was important, and that's clearly the case. It seems this compass will be what guides Luke to Ahch-To.
But that raises more questions than answers. Firstly, if Palpatine had the compass that would lead him to the first Jedi Temple, why is it still standing? In the absence of other evidence, we can only assume that you need to use the light side of the Force to use it.
The second question is even more intriguing. By all accounts, the #BattlefrontII sequence is set only four years after the events of Return of the Jedi. The novels have already established that Luke didn't go on his hermitage until decades later. He's still wandering the galaxy during Claudia Gray's Bloodline, which is set six years before The Force Awakens. So why did it take Luke so long to go to Ahch-To?
This is always the way with #Lucasfilm. All media are carefully watched over by the Lucasfilm Story Group, who weave a remarkably consistent narrative through the novels, comics and even games. The compass is evidently an important part of their long-term strategy, and we can expect to learn the answers to some of these questions in aftermath of #TheLastJedi.
Are you planning to play Star Wars: Battlefront II? Let me know what you think of it in the comments!