Entertainment Weekly

WHEN LIGHT FALLS

LUKE SKYWALKER RETURNS IN STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI, BUT NOT AS A BEACON OF HOPE, SETTING REY ON A PERILOUS COURSE THAT COULD ALTER THE BALANCE OF POWER IN THE GALAXY.
Daisy Ridley as Rey

THERE ARE ALWAYS TWO SIDES TO EVERY CONFLICT: light and dark, good and evil. Which one is which depends on where you stand. But sometimes those sides intersect; one can cross over into the other, and it’s easy to lose sight of where you want to be.

The story of Star Wars: The Last Jedi (out Dec. 15) will be one of dualities, of loyalties fractured and new alliances formed. Some partnerships, like the ex-stormtrooper Finn and the Resistance mechanic Rose, could inspire valor and bravery. Others, like the separated siblings Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa, may restore hope that is dimming in each other, while the novice Force-wielder Rey and dark side acolyte Kylo Ren could end up pushing each other astray, depending on who is stronger.

While that may seem unlikely, the second act of every story is where the heroes (and villains) are tested—and tempted. As writer-director Rian Johnson (Looper) picks up the narrative after 2015’s The Force Awakens, his job is not to protect these characters but to put them in harm’s way.

“There’s a history in Star Wars of the attraction between the light and the dark, whether it’s the story of Anakin and his seduction to the dark side, or even with Luke,” Johnson says. “Even though you never really believe he’s going to go over to the dark side, the whole revelation of ‘I am your father’ has to do with Vader and this darkness that [Luke] thought he could just dismiss as ‘That’s the bad guy. I don’t have any of him in me.’ Suddenly he realizes, ‘No, I come from him. I have quite a bit of him inside me.’ ”

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