Theories on the Force and Predictions for the Last Jedi
We are already wrist-deep in the innards of December and The Last Jedi arrives in theaters in just two days!
I’m very excited. With the next addition to the Star Wars Saga soon to enter our lives, I thought today we could take a quick look at the Force as a Magic System. We will talk gritty details in the future; for now, I want to focus on how the Force plays into the movies and make a couple of predictions for things to come.
Star Wars is an amazing universe whose stories and adventures enraptured me my entire life. While space battles, alien races, and multitudes of droids are fascinating, it is the Force that has always held my attention. You know, the magic.
Just to be clear, I don’t mean Jedi. I mean the Force.
The Jedi are an organization of beliefs, teachings, and principles, as are the Sith. The orders themselves have little influence over how the magic works or what it can do. I love dissecting how things work, but the more time I spend developing and working with the 4 Stages of Building Marvelous Magic, the more details and nuance I see in my favorite systems.
This journey leads me to the following conclusion.
The Force Has Personality
The more I watch and learn, the more certain I become the Force is more than simply a source of power. It possesses an attitude, judgment, and goals. I’m not convinced that the Force is a sentient being living among the stars and meddling in the lives of mortals, but I’m convinced it has more agency and intent than we might think.
Hear me out.
The series is filled with idioms such as “May the Force be with you” and “Feel the Force flowing through you.” From the beginning, characters in tune with the Force feel the flow of power through the worlds and achieve seemingly impossible tasks. These events are even more prevalent in recent Star Wars movies such as Rogue One and The Force Awakens. Even the title The Force Awakens is indicative of this hidden nature.
Over and over again, the Force as a source of guidance. It directed Rey to Luke’s lightsaber, guided her while flying the Millennium Falcon, and even enhanced her aim the first time she ever held a gun.
Many people were upset by her seemingly unprecedented skill. How did she learn deft mental manipulation so quickly? How could she, as an untrained scavenger, stand a prayer in a saber duel against even a novice Sith? It all makes a great deal more sense if the Force is channeling through her and aiding her every move.
The strongest support I have for this theory lies within the Force itself. Through the movies, we can see it evolving.
We are all familiar with the standard Force abilities: Push, Pull, Jump, Force Choke, Force Lightning, and so on. This time around, we are seeing all new things as the Force continues to change. Kylo Ren demonstrates the growth in the Force by catching blaster bolts midair and paralyzing opponents with a thought.
All of this and more indicates the Force isn’t the rigid system of abilities or skills we always thought it to be. Which leads me to my next point.
The Force Wants Balance
Sure, not much of a shocker when I state it like that. From the first showing of Episode 4, Lucas established notions of “bringing balance to the Force” as well as disturbances and shifts within it. That covers part of the picture, but only part.
Never, in all of the movies, has the Force ever been truly balanced.
Without members of both light and dark practices, the universe is still, very much unbalanced. It just happens to be unbalanced in the way we like. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think the Sith need to return in equal numbers because that would be horrifying. All I’m saying is that the goal of balance has never truly been achieved, and the Force set things in motion, from as far back as Episode 1, to rectify that.
It seems to me, the Force is aware of this endless, ineffectual cycle and is seeking to reach a new kind of balance. The Force guided Anakin’s birth, the Jedi Council’s demise, and Palpatine’s rise and fall. Every step necessary taken was directed by the Force to bring the universe to a fresh start.
The Force is trying to break the endless cycle and achieve a new kind of balance with itself throughout the universe and within the people connected with it. Look at the events between Episode 6 and Episode 7. When Luke tried to rebuild the Jedi, an organization set firmly on the light side, a pupil snapped to the dark side, killed the other pupils, and joined the First Order.
What I think we are looking at is the birth of a new order. I think we are seeing the rise of the Grey Jedi. This is not a new concept, and there are lots of different takes on what this term means. When I use the term, I’m referring to Force users guided by the Force learning and practicing everything it has to bestow without drifting too far toward the dark or the light.
I sincerely feel and hope we are moving towards a larger change in the Star Wars universe. None of the now cannon characters have been so well poised to discover the balance between the dark and the light as the ones we’re watching now. Kylo Ren struggles to uphold the ideals of the dark side, confessing to temptations from the light. With the trailers we’ve seen for The Last Jedi link video we see Rey seeking training from darker sources as well.
Both are positioned marvelously to receive training in both sides of the art and address all sides of their personality. When Rey is able to understand and forgive her family for abandoning her, and Kylo Ren is able to gain forgiveness for his misdeeds, the two will be able to cast off the trappings of the old structures and truly bring balance to the galazy. Which is what it has wanted and been striving for all along.
I Can’t Wait to See If I’m Right
What about you? What do you think is coming in the series? Do you agree with my theory, or have you found some glaring holes? Regardless, I’d love to talk about this more in the comments below, so drop by and let me know what you’re thinking.
Just remember: we all love Star Wars and if any discussions become hostile or insulting, they will be removed. We should have fun talking about this, not start a war over it.
That’s all for today. I really hope you enjoyed my theory and I can’t wait to hear what you think. We’ll talk again in two weeks.