Doctor Aphra is probably one of the more intriguing new characters to the Star Wars universe, at least among those that we haven’t seen on screen. Let’s take a moment to contemplate how she could play into the sequel trilogy. Potential spoilers below.
First off, let me give a thanks to CatfishJohn who at Celebration Orlando first told me the theory that Doctor Aphra’s exploration into the archaeology of the early Jedi could connect to Luke Skywalker’s search for the first Jedi Temple on Ahch-To.
Chelli Lona Aphra is a relatively new comic book character from Marvel. She is a doctor of archaeology and, along with her father, explores temples looking for some ancient Jedi artifacts. She has a sidekick wookiee and two droids that bear some resemblance to R2 and C3P0, (BT-1 and 0-0-0 respectively), but with sort of a darker tone because they worked for the Empire along with Aphra.
The First Jedi
It is unlikely a coincidence that Luke went to look for the first Jedi Temple, and Doctor Aphra and her father also looked for artifacts related to very early eras in the history of the Jedi order. In the second issue of Doctor Aphra, Aphra and her father discuss the Ordu Aspectu. The Ordu Aspectu were a splinter group off the Jedi order, long before the events of The Phantom Menace. Weird thing is, these guys literally disappeared (as in *poof* they vanished), and then became something…else. It’s unknown what exactly happened to them. On the way to the ancient site of the Ordu Aspectu, Aphra and her father find some ancient remnants of the First Jedi Order.
They also encounter a crystal cave in this Temple on Yavin IV. There are a lot of suggestions that there will be one or more caves in The Last Jedi, so there’s a chance we’ll see something similar to the crystal cave seen above. Check out our previous article on caves in The Last Jedi, and another speculative piece on Rey finding a kyber crystal.
Lastly, there is a lot of confusion on the part of the main characters as to the nature of the Ordu Aspectu. The stories provided from Aphra and her father about the Jedi offshoot provide a different account of their history. One depicts them as more on the light side, while the other depicts them as more on the dark side. Therefore, there is a possibility that the Ordu Aspectu actually practiced something closer to a “balance” of light and dark, leading to their story to give both impressions. It’s certainly intriguing to think that this group could be the basis of Luke’s desire for balance.
Doctor Aphra spent some time working for none other than Darth Vader, and she was first introduced in the Darth Vader comic book. Given that Kylo Ren has in the past showing a lot of interest in Darth Vader artifacts, and there are persistent rumors that he will continue searching for artifacts in The Last Jedi, there is a possible connection to Aphra. Aphra not only knew Vader, but also specializes in finding artifacts. So there is a possibility of some sort of crossover there, but not sure what. For example, could we hear that Aphra had once searched for an artifact that Kylo Ren eventually finds?
In a series of crossover comics starting this Month, Doctor Aphra will meet Luke Skywalker. In fact, the two of them will have some back and forth that sounds a lot like Han and Leia’s dance they did leading up to Empire Strikes Back. When I heard this aspect I couldn’t help but wonder if Luke and Aphra were destined to be together. Of course I’m not the first to have this idea. Many sites out there have posted similar ideas a long time ago. I may be late to the party, but I really like the notion that Aphra could be the new canon’s version of Mara Jade. For example, they both worked for Darth Vader, but eventually met up with the crew of the Millennium Falcon. Time will tell if Luke and Aphra become more than just squabbling friends, but seems unlikely now that it is confirmed that Doctor Aphra dates women, or at least has bad tastes in women. It wouldn’t be impossible, because she could be bisexual. But it does raise the question of why they would introduce the character of Doctor Aphra if not for bigger purposes in the Star Wars saga.
Aphra and Luke may not get together, but who knows what’s possible. However we also have to consider if Aphra is Rey’s mother. For example, consider Rey’s skills at climbing and searching for valuable Imperial technology on Jakuu. If Aphra is Rey’s mother, it would be really cool if it was Aphra’s skills as an archaeologist that taught Rey what she knows. Maybe even Aphra ends up searching for artifacts on Jakuu and raises Rey there. After all, Rey had never seen anything like the green of Takodana, suggesting that she has lived on Jakuu all her life. Beyond that, Doctor Aphra is a morally ambiguous character to say the least. She straight up shot a dude for an artifact that she subsequently sold for money. She is precisely the kind of person that could leave her daughter behind if she needed to. The possibilities for storytelling along these lines are huge. For example, Aphra could have ended up on Jakku to look for the fabled anceint civilizations that the Empire looted. This would make sense for an archeologist to be interested in such as thousand year old item.
Besides these connections, we definitely know that Aphra meets Luke. It’s possible that discussions with Luke led him to be interested in seeking out the first Jedi temple. At the very minimum, it appears that they introduced Doctor Aphra so that they could present some stories about the first Jedi. These themes will no doubt also be present in The Last Jedi, but it remains to be seen what role Doctor Aphra will play. My money is it will be a substantial one.