We've finally caught our first glimpse of Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, courtesy of the banner that Lucasfilm/Disney are featuring on all the #StarWars8 merchandise. This key art depicts Rey, Finn, and Poe Dameron in slightly different versions of their costumes — Rey's outfit is darker, Finn is wearing a shirt that looks rather Jedi-like underneath the jacket Poe gave him, and Poe's new helmet is black.
Most notably though, is Rey's new hair. Moving away from her iconic three-bun hairdo from #TheForceAwakens, Rey's hair hangs loose around her shoulders in a shorter cut, though half of it does seem to be pulled into a bun at the back.
At first glance, this new image doesn't confirm much of anything at all, though it does hint that Rey will continue to fight with the Skywalker lightsaber — and that Luke won't take it back. However, it's the buns (or lack thereof) that are really interesting, and may confirm a popular fan theory...
Rey's Not Waiting For Her Family Any More
In #StarWars, costume design is crucial to establish plot points. In the case of The Force Awakens, many people noticed that Rey did not change anything about her appearance since she was abandoned on Jakku as a child — her clothes and even her hairstyle remained the same as she grew into adulthood. Fans made the logical assumption that Rey decided to keep her adult appearance similar to her younger self so that her family, should they return, would still recognize her.
As The Force Awakens progressed, Rey learned that she had to let go of her past, and that her family would never come back for her. It was a poignant story that tugged at our heartstrings, and Rey's journey to overcome this was a lovely part of the movie.
Now, The Last Jedi art shows us a Rey who has truly taken her first steps into realizing her Jedi destiny — and the fact that she has changed her hairstyle proves that she no longer cares if her family recognizes her.
Or at least, that's the interpretation I'm going with, and it's the only thing we can know for sure at this point. Of course, some fans will take this as proof that Rey has found her family already — in the form of her oft-theorized father, Luke Skywalker.
Personally though, I think that's still a bit of a stretch. The only thing Rey's new hairdo proves for sure is that she, as a person, has moved beyond childish denial of her abandonment.
Though initially it was difficult for Rey to even leave Jakku for fear of her family returning and not finding her there, now she's ready to embark on an adventure that's all her own, regardless of who, or where, her family is. And isn't that a more compelling story than the now-repetitive "I am your father" routine?