As we inch closer to the release of Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, we may not have a trailer yet, but after select footage was shown to #Disney shareholders, some plot details have been revealed. Aside from little snippets, we did learn of Luke Skywalker's first words — and he has no idea who Rey is, so take from that what you will.
Now, a final scene has been revealed, courtesy the LA Times' Daniel Miller, who was present at the shareholder screening.
This may not seem like much, but this one shot contains a wealth of knowledge — and it ties into multiple rumors we've heard about #StarWars8 exploring the nature of the Force.
Mystical Secrets, Cryptic Hints
It seems as though this shot was taken from an important sequence in The Last Jedi, possibly as Luke Skywalker trains Rey, or maybe at a tense moment later on.
At first glance, this moment — as represented in the above concept art — just looks like a tense scene for Rey, paired with an interesting light effect. Yet in #StarWars everything means something. These golden orbs are in fact an important part of Force lore — and we've seen them before.
The first time the golden orbs appeared in the Star Wars canon was in Season 6 of the animated show Clone Wars, when Yoda sought out Qui-Gon Jinn's wisdom on Dagobah. Although he didn't manifest as a Force Ghost, Qui-Gon did speak to Yoda, directing his journey via mysterious floating orbs of light.
These orbs later appeared in Star Wars: Rebels, when Ezra explored the Jedi temple on Lothal in the Season 1 episode "Path of the Jedi". In both instances, the characters were in locations that were strong with the Force, and the lights acted as something of a guide. It's difficult to say whether the orbs themselves are sentient creatures, a manifestation of the Force, or if a Jedi (alive or dead) is creating the lights in order to communicate.
Despite this uncertainty, however, it's very clear what Rey's scene with the orbs means for Star Wars Episode VIII.
Rey Explores The Force
We already know that a large part of The Last Jedi's plot will focus on Luke Skywalker and Rey exploring the mysteries of the Force, thanks to multiple rumors and hidden hints. Lucasfilm are very, very good at what they do, using the animated TV shows and new Star Wars tie-in novels to weave together an intricate plot, with clues that have huge implications for the main saga movies — as long as you're paying attention. With that in mind, it's no surprise that The Last Jedi will make full use of these previous hints.
Way back in early 2016, apparent leaks revealed that Star Wars 8 may reveal the origin of the Force itself. While many of the claims in this report were fairly outlandish, the Force lore details were corroborated (in a way) by later official hints. Specifically, mysterious Force-sensitive birds known as Convorrees will appear in The Last Jedi — this revelation was especially significant for fans of the animated shows, as these birds tend to appear during tragic or tense moments, seeming to guide characters towards their fate. Put that together with this new revelation of Rey communing with the mysterious glowing orbs, and you've got a bonafide Force plot.
In fact, both the orbs and the Convorrees seem to have a connection to the enigmatic Whills — hugely powerful creatures that exist beyond the realm in which Star Wars takes place. The Whills have a long history in the Star Wars extended canon, as George Lucas originally intended the movies to be structures as excerpts from the Journal of the Whills, meaning they're telling this story.
The Last Jedi's Destiny
Until recently, the Whills were confined to extended Star Wars media (both the non-canon EU/Legends, and the new canon) — but Rogue One changed everything, introducing Baze Melbus and Chirrut Imwe as Guardians of the Whills.
It seems certain that this was in part a set-up for The Last Jedi, and fans are already speculating that Rey may chose to become a Guardian of the Whills instead of a Jedi.
So far, all we have are a collection of disparate clues that add up to something very interesting — but without further information, the only conclusion we can draw is that Star Wars Episode VIII will delve into Force lore, probably as part of Rey's training with Luke.
Yet, it does seem like the Star Wars canon is building towards something bigger than mere Jedi training, and it could be that The Last Jedi will ultimately redefine what we think we know about the Force, leading the characters into a plot far greater than a simple skirmish between galactic powers. However this all plays out, so far even the little we know about Episode VIII positions it as one of the most interesting Star Wars movies yet — and it may well change the saga forever.
Tell us in the comments: What do you think these subtle hints mean for The Last Jedi?
[Header image by Sarayu Ruangvesh]