Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi looks to have a lot of lightsaber action, something lacking in the most recent films. Daisy Ridley (Rey) and Adam Driver (Kylo Ren) are seen wielding the icon weapon in a behind-the-scenes look. When last we saw them, Rey and Kylo were finishing their training with Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) respectively.
Star Wars weapons
Rey traveled to Ahch-To, home to the First Jedi Temple, to return Luke’s lightsaber, the weapon of a Jedi. We see her training on the planet with her quarterstaff. Later scenes show her armed with a lightsaber but we don’t know if it’s Luke’s. Perhaps she will find the first lightsaber at the First Temple.
Ridley’s choreography reveals her parrying with a lightsaber in a 3 vs 1 fight scene. Could her opponents also be wielding lightsabers? It was originally envision as the weapon of choice in the Star Wars universe. Even stormtroopers favored them over blasters. In fact, they were used by Force-sensitive stormtroopers cloned from a dark Jedi named Sa Cuis in the short story “A Two-Edged Sword.”
Lightsabers use plasma that is capable of cutting through almost anything. However, there are many other melee weapons capable of withstanding them. Vibroblade and vibrosword made with energy dampening Cortosis ore were used by bounty hunters and the Empire in the animated series Clone Wars. Lightsabers can be deflected by energy weapons such as the electrostaffs used by General Grievous’ Magnaguards droids in Revenge of the Sith. The most recent example is The Force Awakens. The stormtrooper FN-2199 AKA “nines” uses a Z6 riot control baton to beat back Finn (John Boyega).
Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is also wields a lightsaber against multiple melee weapons. Those weapons are not necessarily lightsabers as previously mentioned. However, by their very nature anti-lightsabers weapons tend to be used by the dark side against Jedi. Therefore, it’s likely Kylo is engaging in battle with lightsaber wielding Jedi, who have essentially been exterminated. That suggests Luke and Rey team up against Kylo. Such a battle would be reminiscent of Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi fighting Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace.
A disturbance in the Force
Director Rian Johnson teased what sounds like a major character’s death.
“I’m hoping it’ll be a little shocking but I’m hoping it’ll feel real and honest,” he said.
Kylo is determined to sever all ties with his past life and complete his journey to the dark side. He already shocked everyone by killing his father, Han Solo (Harrison Ford). Perhaps he’ll do the same to his mother, Leia (Carrie Fisher). Another possibility is his uncle, Luke, who originally trained him to be a Jedi. Rey seeing Luke killed by Kylo, whose given name is Ben, would be like Luke watching Darth Vader cut down his master Obi-Wan Kenobi in A New Hope. It would be a great homage and bring Luke’s journey full circle.
Killing the ostensible big bad in only the second film of the trilogy might be the most shocking death of all. Kylo is just be a pawn of Snoke, who will reportedly have a much larger role in the Last Jedi. The character has previously appeared only as a hologram but he will finally appear in the flesh so to speak. Snoke will be portrayed by a gigantic 8 foot tall puppet with possible digital enhancements similar to Unkar Plutt in the previous film.
Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi release date: December 15, 2017