Excitement is building for The Last Jedi, with fans eagerly anticipating some major plot twists. The trailers seem determined to build that sense of anticipation, with the first closing with Luke declaring it's time for the Jedi to end, and the second seeing Rey and Kylo Ren form an unexpected alliance.
But is there yet another twist in the tale? Is it possible one major Star Wars character is about to fall to the Dark Side? IMAX has just revealed a theater standee for The Last Jedi, and it offers a tantalizing hint...
What Can It All Mean?
The standee's design will be familiar to anyone who's seen the latest posters, featuring a range of Star Wars characters, with speeders rushing through the sands of Crait at the bottom. At first glance, it seems to be divided into two halves — Light and Dark. On the Light Side, you have Rey taking center stage, with a whole host of supporting heroes around her. On the Dark Side, there's Kylo Ren and Captain Phasma. Surprisingly though, both sides feature Luke Skywalker.
Luke's presence on the Dark Side is particularly shocking when you note that Supreme Leader Snoke doesn't appear on the standee. The second trailer included a brief scene of Snoke torturing Rey, one that immediately reminded fans of Luke being brought before the Emperor in Return of the Jedi, so we'd have expected the mysterious Force-user to be a major Dark Side figure in this movie. Instead, IMAX teased another image of Luke Skywalker.
The image will also be immediately recognizable to fans. With his hood raised, and cloak rendered in a dark color scheme, Luke is visibly reminiscent of the Emperor himself. Is it possible IMAX is teasing Luke's fall to the Dark Side?
Never Tell Me the Odds
Luke's story is one of the most intriguing aspects of The Last Jedi. He's been in self-imposed exile on Ahch-To, ignoring the fires of war that burn across the galaxy once again. Luke wouldn't be the first Jedi Master to sit out a dark time, but at least Obi-Wan and Yoda had good reason. Instead, Luke seems simply to have lost hope, and one of the few pieces of dialogue we've heard is him declaring that the Jedi have to end.
Rey has headed to Ahch-To to persuade the living legend to return to the galaxy, and take up the fight against the First Order. Instead, the trailers suggest Luke insists on training Rey. The second trailer shows Rey revealing just how powerful she is during that training, and Luke's reaction is one of fear. That's a Dark Side emotion, and it just adds weight to the possibility Luke is under the Dark Side's sway.
Before we assume Luke's falling to the Dark Side though, it's worth noting that we have no idea what ancient Force-teachings Luke has been learning on Ahch-To. It's possible that the Jedi Master has abandoned the old light/dark dichotomy altogether, and that as a result he's become what #StarWars has traditionally called a "Gray Jedi." This is a Jedi who embraces both sides of the Force, committed neither to the Light Side or to the Dark. That would fit with Luke's presence on both sides of the standee. Meanwhile, it's also worth noting that this is only a standee. It may simply reflect Luke's prominence in the marketing campaign.
This standee is an intriguing hint, suggesting that the story of Luke Skywalker is about to take an unexpected turn. Is Luke falling to the Dark Side? Or has he transcended such limited views of the Force, abandoning that traditional dichotomy? Whatever the truth may be, The Last Jedi looks set to transform our view of the Force completely.