We just got our first look at the official trailer for The Last Jedi. The look is stunning, crisp, mature, and although it looks very unique, it manages to still look very Star Wars. As with most trailers, several scenes in the trailer might not be what they seem. Today, let’s take a look at what could be called “Kylo Ren’s second test”. Spoilers and speculation below.
In The Force Awakens, Kylo Ren was told by Snoke that his path to the dark side required him to kill Han Solo. This was presented as a test for Kylo, when Snoke says
“Even you, master of the Knights of Ren, have never faced such a test.“
Kylo succeeded in this test, and killed his father as well all know. The trailer looks like Kylo is faced with a second test. We’re treated to some amazing piloting skills, reminiscent of his grandfather Anakin.
Then Kylo makes his way to what appears to be a resistance ship, presumably the one that Leia is in.
Meanwhile, Leia looks up toward presumably is the ships viewport, and she sees or senses Kylo. Recall in TFA, Leia said that she believed “there’s still light in him”.
The monologue from Kylo makes the point even more clear:
Let the past die. Kill it, if you have to. That’s the only way to become who you’re meant to be.
It isn’t hard to conclude that Kylo is prepared to kill his mother, who represents his past, in order to take his next step further into the dark side. Kylo has his thumbs on the trigger, prepared to blast.
Now, with all this said, I’m pretty sure there are two possible scenarios here.
The first is that Kylo can’t go through with it. Kylo is a conflicted character, more conflicted than practically any other Star Wars character, except maybe Anakin. Not firing at his mother would further demonstrate that Kylo is conflicted, and may not be the dark side juggernaut that Snoke thought he was.
The second possibility is that this is two different, unrelated scenes cut together for the trailer for suspense.
The reason why I don’t think Kylo Ren will kill Leia in The Last Jedi is because, it has been said that Leia was to have a larger role in Episode IX before Carrie Fisher’s passing. This point was recently repeated by Mark Hamill, saying that she was to be more prominent in Episode IX. Perhaps more importantly, it has been confirmed that her scenes in The Last Jedi will not be changed due to her passing, according to Bob Iger. This point has been confirmed by others. So therefore, there was never a plan for her to die in The Last Jedi.
Personally, I like the first scenario. He can’t go through it. This could be part of what Rian Johnson meant when he said that Kylo Ren and Rey are “two halves of our protagonist”, because we need a scene like this to make him seem more human, and more believable as a conflicted pawn in Snoke’s game.
Keep in mind that when Kylo killed Han, he felt a rush of weakness overcome him. From the novelization we have this line:
“Stunned by his own action, Kylo Ren fell to his knees. Following through on the act ought to have made him stronger, a part of him believed. Instead, he found himself weakened.”
So it’s likely that he won’t be able to go through this again. Either way, this movie looks amazing! How this plays out is anyone’s guess, but the speculation is half the fun.