Today we’re going to revisit some leaks about Luke in The Last Jedi. What could these details say about the story of the movie? Let’s find out, but beware of potentially major spoilers.
There is a famous legend about Albert Einstein being given a compass when he was 5 years old. Young Einstein was perplexed by the “invisible force” that pulled on the needle to get it to always point north. Some say that this simple device triggered a sense of wonder in Einstein–a wonder about the mysteries of the physical world and the forces within. This sense of wonder would drive Einstein to become a physicist and uncover some amazing mysteries of the cosmos.
The fundamental forces of the universe, such as electro-magnetism, are certainly amazing. In a galaxy far far away things are perhaps even more interesting, because while the real world sees forces that attract particles with charge or mass, in Star Wars there is a force that is created by all living things.
The Force of the Star Wars universe can be thought to have multiple directions as well, perhaps much like the North, South, East, West directions of the compass. In particular, the Force can be be broken down into Light, Dark, Cosmic, and Living.
While everyone knows that there is a light side and a dark side of the Force, there is also a “Cosmic Force” and a “Living Force”. Perhaps Qui-gon Jinn said it best:
A Force that consists of two parts. Living beings generate the Living Force, which in turn powers the wellspring that is the Cosmic Force” Qui Gon Jinn to Yoda in TCW: Lost Missions
Looking at it another way, the Cosmic Force deals with destiny, and the Living Force deals with the here and now. In the prequels, Qui-gon was focused on following instinct and living in the moment, while the Jedi on the council were concerned about the future, prophecy, and the Jedi code. In this sense, Qui-gon vs the council set up the distinction between the Living and the Cosmic Force.
Although we were told in the prequels about “midichlorians”, they are not the Force, but rather like an antennae that we use to interact with the Force, and part of how our bodies create the Living Force. The Force is still an energy field that exists independent of us and exists independently of the midicholorians. Kind of like how a magnet generates a magnetic field, and interacts with other external magnetic fields, but the magnet is not the magnetic field.
A while back, Making Star Wars leaked some details about Luke Skywalker’s gear in The Last Jedi. To me, all of these pieces of equipment have in common that they are ideal for navigating a quest on a planet. Luke has a backpack, a walking stick pictured above, an electric animal prod “zapper”, and a compass. Jason goes on to wonder:
is the compass mystical and “Jedi” in nature?
I agree and wonder the same thing, but I’m perhaps more quick to jump to the conclusion that the compass interacts with the Force for two reasons: story and metaphor. Let me explain.
I think in terms of the story, Luke was on a quest for the first Jedi Temple. I think it would be great if somehow this compass interacts with the Force, and points toward some sort of nexus point in the Force on the planet Ahch-To where the temple resides. On Earth, there is a mystical concept of “Ley Lines“, or lines forming a grid on the surface that are related to some sort of unknown energy field. Although ley lines don’t have scientific basis, some believe that there are sacred temples on the earth that are at junctions in these lines, and many monolith structures dot their path. It would be a fantastic bit of story telling to have a similar idea apply to the Jedi temples.
The metaphor is about Luke’s sense of direction. There are actually some recent rumors suggesting that Luke could in fact be a bad guy, and there is the quote from the teaser about “the Jedi must end” etc. Time will tell if these rumors pan out, but at least the fact that Luke has completely changed from wanting to become a Jedi to ending the Jedi suggests some conflict or at least a major shift in his thinking. If the compass interacts with the Force, then it could be a metaphor for Luke’s relationship with the Force and his “moral compass”.
We’ve written a lot on Kyber crystals. Check our articles here, here, and here. We’ve also written articles on the “caves” expected to be seen in The Last Jedi. Caves with caverns containing multitudes of kyber crystals. Like the image above, they did early scouting for location shots in caves that could be something like the Naica crystal caves of Mexico. We’ve now been introduced to Kyber crystals on video Star Wars content such as Rebels and Rogue One, and I believe this is part of a growing narrative theme. If the compass interacts with the Force, then I bet it does it through a kyber crystal-tipped needle. Just a theory.
The temple on Ahch-To just might be somehow linked to a kyber crystal cave. We’ve seen lots of caves in the behind the scenes reals, so there will definitely be a cave–the question is whether it will be connected to the Jedi and other aspects of the Jedi lore. Certainly one possibility is that if the compass leads you to the cave or to the temple, it could be due to an attraction to these crystals, or possible an interaction with fields generated by kyber crystals in the planet’s core. The compass would then be a cool plot point to guide our heroes on their journey.
Either way, I think this compass is going to be a great prop and a great piece of story telling. Time will tell how it all plays out, but the speculation is half the fun.