Whether you loved ‘The Last Jedi’ or hated it, odds are it wasn’t quite the movie you expected it to be. And to some extent, that was the point. ‘The Last Jedi’ is a movie that delights in subverting its audience’s expectations at every turn.
Among the expectations that many fans had going into the film were answers to questions they had been asking ever since ‘The Force Awakens’ arrived in 2015. Questions like “Who are Rey’s parents?” If you’ve seen the movie, then you know that some of those questions were, in fact, answered (though as is to be expected, not everyone was pleased with the answers they got). Others, though, were ignored altogether.
Perhaps the most glaring of those omissions were those involving Snoke, Supreme Leader of the First Order. Snoke’s history (and the presumption in some corners that he might be a pre-existing character) set off a firestorm of speculation in the years between the two films. If nothing else, that history is fertile ground for future stories. So why was none of that addressed in ‘The Last Jedi’? During a recent BAFTA Q&A, director Rian Johnson at last took the opportunity to explain his approach:
“In this particular story, it’s much more like the original trilogy, where with Snoke if you think about the actual scenes, if suddenly I had paused on of the scenes to give a thirty second monologue about who he was, it would have kind of stopped the scene in its tracks, I realized. Even though it could have been interesting, something that fans were interested in, as storytellers, we have to kind of serve what the scenes need to be. It was a tough thing, even though I knew some fans were interested in it, I also knew it wasn’t something that dramatically had a place in this movie. Hopefully it can be addressed elsewhere, or even J.J. may address it in the next movie. But it’s not something that’s particularly interesting to Rey, so we kind of had to follow that through.”
In other words, it simply wasn’t the time or the place to get into those sorts of details. Of course, this being ‘Star Wars’, I’m sure we’ll get those answers eventually. If not through ‘Episode IX’ or a future anthology film, then certainly in some yet-unpublished novel. Just because we’re sure to get the answers we seek eventually, that doesn’t mean they’ll be coming anytime soon. I’d be surprised, personally, if they came any time before the 2019 release of ‘Episode IX’.
‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ was directed by Rian Johnson and stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern, and Andy Serkis. The film is now playing in theaters.