Is there a nod to “Star Wars Ring Theory” in The Last Jedi teaser?

The teaser trailer for The Last Jedi is full of surprises. We’ve no doubt been digging through images and clips for weeks trying to figure out what it all means! However, there is one thing that nobody has spotted yet. It just might be an easter egg that makes a subtle nod to the Star Wars Ring Theory. Read on for more.

We love the Star Wars Ring Theory, and we’ve talked about it more than a few times and in the context of The Force Awakens before it came out. A lot of people agree that TFA parallels Episode IV in many ways. We even wrote a “ring theory” article suggesting that TFA might bear more resemblance to Return of the Jedi.

According to Star Wars Ring Theory, the movies of the episodic Star Wars saga mirror each other in a specific pattern, of the form A,B,C,C,B,A. In other words, ANH is paired with RotS, and so on:

the “Star Wars Ring Thery” from the Prequels Strike Back

In some of our other articles, we’ve pondered how the sequel trilogy will fit into this “ring”. Now I’d like to take a look at The Last Jedi. A lot of people took note of the bookshelf in the TLJ teaser trailer, and pointed out that there are 8 books, and there have been 8 Star Wars movie so far. But nobody said this: If you label the books in the order of the Episodic films, the size of the books corresponds to ring theory!

It stood out to me that the third and fourth books are shorter, and both sort of an off-white color. It hit me that if ANH and RotS are mirrors in the “ring theory”, and these two books sort of stand out as a pair. The others aren’t as clear-cut, but I notice that the second and fifth, corresponding to AotC and ESB have a black binding and are abotu the same height and possibly thickness. Finally, moving out the two remaining books are about the same height. However, it looks to me like the sixth book, corresponding to RotJ is inverted, with the pages facing out. I could be wrong about that point, but that’s what it kind of looks like. It could also be just lighter in shade due to the ray of light beaming on the books. If book VI is inverted, then it sort of reinforces the idea that the two trilogies are “mirrored” in many places where different events are inverted, or flipped in meaning or time when they occur in the films.

The last two books, VII and VIII could correspond to TFA and TLJ (IX isn’t a film yet, so isn’t presented). If this is the case, then it looks like the sequel trilogy isn’t intended to form any symmetries with the prequels and original trilogy. They sort of stand aside as their own thing. Is the same true of the movies?

Rian Johnson recently tweeted back against the notion that TLJ was a copy of ESB. He tweeted this point recently by sort of dismissing the notion that TLJ was a copy by ironically saying it was:


That said, the Ring Theory does not propose that the films are “copies” each other. It says there are parallels and mirroring. To address this very point, in an interview with Josh Horowitz, Rian Johnson answers a question about “echoing” by saying:

Sort of by necessity, because it’s the middle chapter of a three-part story, and so it’s going to be the one where you slow down a little bit, and kind of dig into the characters, and figure out. OK, you’ve had this spectacular set-up, you’ve met these characters, and you care about them. This is the part where we kind of define them. 

At this point, it seems like a “not necessarily”, and sort of tones down the claims of echoing. However, Rian Johnson goes on to say:

Because of that, by necessity, there are definitely going to be echoes of one of the best middle chapters of all time, Empire Strikes Back. But, it’s also wholly unique because you have different characters…

So there is definitely a possibility of some sort of parallels of ESB, but don’t expect the whole thing to be one big mirror. However, nobody expected it to completely mirror ESB, but could just have some parts where the paths of Rey and others line up with similar situations in ESB. I mean, there has to be Rey training with Luke. Even if it’s different, any way this is done almost can’t help but harken back to Luke training with Yoda in some capacity, if only by virtue of them both being Star Wars. The question is, will Rey leave her training to go save her friends in the same way that Luke did to save Han and Leia? For example, could Finn get into such trouble on Canto Bight that forces Rey to leave Ahch-To to go save him? Or will we have a completely different situation?

At this point, I don’t think we can pick out just any scene from ESB and expect it to have an echo. Over the next eight months, probably some info will trickle in and we’ll get a bigger picture. Until then, we’ll be right here with you speculating!

Follow me on twitter @davestrrr and stay tuned to for updates!