Force Friday is in full swing, when all of the new Star Wars merchandise hits shelves, and fans are looking for anything that may drop hints for The Last Jedi. Although director Rian Johnson has insisted merchandise isn't going to contain any major spoilers, we're not so convinced — nobody seemed to have checked the trading card company Topps. Their card breakdowns actually seem to have given us a chronological run-through of the film's entire plot!
But in case that wasn't enough, the art on one of the Topps cards may have finally resolved a long-running #StarWars mystery — and discredited one particular fan-theory.
That's No Submarine
First of all, take a second to look at that gorgeous artwork. It's simply stunning, and it's not hard to draw a narrative thread out of it; the scene's clearly set during Rey's training, and she's looking down at an X-Wing that lies abandoned beneath the waves.
But what's an X-Wing doing on Ahch-To? Let's face it, we all know the answer to that one; Luke Skywalker had to get to the planet somehow. He evidently flew in his signature X-Wing, leaving poor Artoo behind to mourn his master's absence. And, having committed himself to a mysterious exile at the ancient Jedi Temple, Luke tossed his X-Wing into the sea.
I'm surely not the only Star Wars fan who feels the scene is deliberately evocative of The Empire Strikes Back, with Yoda training Luke by having him use the Force to raise an X-Wing out of the swamp. It looks as though we'll get a fun homage to that classic moment.
But This Is More Important Than You'd Think
Here's the catch. Until now, most Star Wars fans had assumed Luke Skywalker was the one who abandoned Rey on Jakku, where we found her in The Force Awakens. The popular fan-theory goes that Luke traveled to Jakku with Rey, and there met with Lor San Tekka. A member of the ancient sect known as the Church of the Force, Lor San Tekka was able to give Luke clues to the final location of Ahch-To. Desperate to get to the first Jedi Temple, Luke abandoned Rey on Jakku and headed off to the waterworld.
It made perfect sense. After all, in The Force Awakens Lor San Tekka was the one who gave Poe Dameron the final clue to Luke's whereabouts. That's why Poe was on Jakku in the first place. According to this fan theory, there was a simple reason Lor San Tekka knew where Luke was: he'd given Luke the directions!
And yet, it doesn't quite work. Because the Force-inspired flashbacks in The Force Awakens — Lucasfilm are calling them "Forcebacks" — showed that whoever left Rey behind was piloting a very different vessel. Take a look at the scene in IDW's graphic novel, for example:
That's no X-Wing. So, either Luke was in such a hurry that he abandoned Rey on Jakku but still had time to swap starships — or Luke wasn't the one to leave Rey behind after all.
Of course, right now all we know is that, as part of #ForceFriday, we've seen a tremendously cool piece of promotional art related to The Last Jedi. Topps is to be commended for such beautiful artwork, and it's sure to be so very desirable to Star Wars fans.
That said, we can presume this image hasn't just been dreamed up out of thin air — it's very likely to be based on a scene from The Last Jedi. And it raises intriguing implications, suggesting that one of the most popular Star Wars fan-theories may well be wrong.
Do you think Luke was the one who abandoned Rey?