Monsters have been a recurring part of the Star Wars saga. From the “dianoga” from A New Hope, to the “bigger fish” of The Phantom Menace, our heroes have repeatedly encountered large dangerous creatures. The Last Jedi is certainly no different, and several details have emerged about a critical scene. Let’s take a moment to discuss, spoilers below.
Perhaps monster isn’t the best word…just a large living thing from another planet that to us as humans looks like a monster. Star Wars has tons of monsters, and George Lucas himself has stated that he always liked to have some sort of creature that the heroes encounter, I believe in the RotS director’s commentary. Let’s do a quick rundown.
A New Hope – Dianoga from the Death Star trash compacter,
The Force Awakens – The Rathtars
The Last Jedi will be no different. Going back to December of 2016, Making Star Wars released some info about Rey facing a sea monster. They stated then that fighting the sea monster was somehow part of gaining the respect and trust of the Porgs. However, a recent edition of The Cantina’s Resistance Podcast had a lot of discussion about this monster at the beginning, and in fact that episode of that podcast was a big inspiration for this article in fact. Star Wars News net provides a leaked photo of the monster costume without its head, and a drawing of what it looks like. The Vanity Fair behind the scenes footage shows Rian Johnson waist-deep in water in what looks like a cave scene.
Concept art The Force Awakens includes images with Rey swimming underwater to retrieve something. In one drawing, Rey swam around a sunken Death Star to retrieve the map to Luke Skywalker. Might they reuse this underwater Rey idea?
That scene with Rey gasping for air makes me wonder why. She isn’t covered in water, so I’m not sure if she just came out of the depths. But it seems pretty clear that Rey has just exited a cave at the beginning of the TLJ teaser, you can see it behind her.
With all that information together, it provides pretty good impression of what the scene from TLJ will look like. It isn’t hard to speculate that Rey will fight this creature in a cave underwater. We also wrote an article about caves in The Last Jedi a while back, and how they will play an important role. I can only dream that Rey’s adventure in the cave leads her to expose some amazing shots. As we reported a while back, they scouted some exotic cave locations for TLJ way back in February of 2016. Imagine a scene like the Naica crystal mines in Mexico:
It’s so tantalizing to speculate some sort of amazing series of cave tunnels under the island, with kyber crystals, porgs, and other creatures in her path. But I digress…Let’s get back to the Monster.
Readers of the site will know that I like to take the rumors and leaks out there, and try and connect stuff the best I can. One of the models that I work with is the notion that Star Wars is full of rings, mirrors and parallels. The saga is built on a structure, such that the movies of the different trilogies “rhyme”. This was George Lucas’ model at least. To quote George Lucas,
there’s a lot going on there that most people haven’t come to grips with yet. But when they do, they will find it’s a much more intricately made clock than most people would imagine.
I think the clock is the relationships between the original and prequel trilogies, with intricate mirroring and rhyming. I also think that the new film makers are aware of this. Because I think about these things, I didn’t mind at all that The Force Awakens has so many similarities to A New Hope. In fact, I would have been a little disappointed if it didn’t have that narrative structure, which by the way is the same as The Phantom Menace. I believe that Rey’s arc will have a lot of similarities to Anakin and Luke.
Now, I’m not saying that The Last Jedi will be some sort of remake of Empire. I don’t think it will be. Rian Johnson has made that clear. perhaps his quote says it best:
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 don’t expect an exact parallel, but I expect certain scenes to “echo” or possibly reflect these other scenes. There are two scenes in particular that come to mind for echoes when it comes to Rey and the sea monster.
The sea monster, I think, will have some parallels to the Wampa that Luke faced, and the Reek that Anakin faced. While Luke attacked the Wampa, cutting off its arm, Anakin used the Force to tame the Reek.
It’s perhaps interesting that Luke once took the more violent approach, and Anakin took a less violent way to deal with his monster, but perhaps less interesting when you consider Anakin lost his saber. Anakin probably would have done the same thing as Luke and cut off a limb of this beast. Perhaps this represents the path that they are on. Luke begins with these attack-focused tendencies, and Anakin began his journey more contemplative. The two of them diverged from there. The differences in these two methods could perhaps present a test for Rey. Will she use her lightsaber to cut or attack the sea monster, or will she try and tame it? We’ve seen this motif many times recently in Star Wars Rebels, with many Ezra scenes showing this same pattern. In this test, the sea monster for Rey will parallel both the Wampa cave on Hoth as well as the cave on Dagobah. She could be presented with a choice: attack the monster or overcome it with the Force. With the porgs being creatures on the planet that contains the first Jedi temple, it makes me wonder if they understand the idea that a Jedi never attacks, and will judge Rey by how she deals with this monster. Time will tell what happens with this, and the speculation is half the fun.