This month’s episode of Hyperspace Theories marks our final show of speculation before the release of The Last Jedi, which no doubt will bring months of analysis – and future speculation – to the Star Wars fandom galaxy. Excitement and anticipation abounds!
Before turning to the imminent Episode VIII, though, Tricia, B.J., and Kay first consider the recent announcement that Lucasfilm has hired Rian Johnson to develop more Star Wars films. “In shepherding this new trilogy, which is separate from the episodic Skywalker saga,” the press release said, “Johnson will introduce new characters from a corner of the galaxy that Star Wars lore has never before explored.” We share our thoughts on the possibilities offered by this new direction in Star Wars movies, as well as how they may relate to the other films in development at Lucasfilm. In addition, the announcement clarified Johnson’s role in the trilogy of films as “the first of which he is also set to write and direct.” We express our hope that the remaining two movies will provide opportunities for more diversity in the screenwriting and directing positions in the Star Wars franchise, especially in light of the commercial and critical success of Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman and Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok.
Promotion for The Last Jedi has been in full swing, with more hints about the direction of the story and characters. We break down our thoughts on the international trailer, which takes a more story-driven approach than last month’s U.S. trailer, as well as additional footage seen in various television advertisements for the movie and the cover story on The Last Jedi in the Thanksgiving week issue of Entertainment Weekly. Tricia shares her insights from the media preview of the newest version of the Star Tours ride at Walt Disney World, which includes the battle sequence on Crait as well as several characters from the movie. While a variety of new glimpses from the film have emerged, we conclude that most of the story’s key developments and secrets remain hidden. Fortunately, it’s time for The Last Jedi speculation to end.
It seems clear that the nature of the Force, the light side and the dark side, and the role of the Jedi in the galaxy will be significant themes in The Last Jedi. With that in mind, our worldbuilding segment considers some of the recent lore and themes about the Force revealed in other materials, including Star Wars Rebels.
Finally, the storytelling segment evaluates a prominent trend in recent Star Wars publishing: the use of in-universe storytelling as a mechanism to tell fun Star Wars tales without pinning down specific facts or events as any form of objective truth. Delilah Dawson’s novel Phasma, for example, has a frame story with an unreliable narrator, leaving open the possibility that any part of the story could be incorrect or misunderstood by its participants. Similarly, The Legends of Luke Skywalker by Ken Liu uses a frame story – deckhands on a ship sharing the tall tales they have been told about Luke – as a mechanism to deliver some fantastical adventures for the Jedi Knight. At the same time, each tale in the book illustrates a core aspect of what makes Luke an heroic figure in the galaxy, showing that even the most outrageously improbable legends still have a grain of truth at their core. The anthology From A Certain Point of View also contains a number of short stories that likely don’t hold up as having actually happened, at least the way they’re told in the book, but nevertheless contain key themes and morals to the story that fit right in with the Star Wars galaxy.
- The Last Jedi international trailer (YouTube)
- “Directing The Last Jedi” (YouTube)
- The Last Jedi television ad: “Awake” (YouTube)
- The Last Jedi television ad (15 seconds) (YouTube)
- The Last Jedi television ad: “Heroes” (YouTube)
- The Last Jedi television ad: “Kylo Failed You” (YouTube)
- The Superweirdo Behind “Thor: Ragnarok” (New York Times feature on Taika Waititi)
- The Rise of Rose: How A Badass Nerd Became The New “Star Wars” Lead (Buzzfeed)
- The Last Jedi: Venture into the Star Wars galaxy with four new EW covers (Entertainment Weekly)
- 14 new Star Wars: The Last Jedi images from a galaxy far, far away (Entertainment Weekly)
- Kylo Ren vs. Rey: In The Last Jedi, the danger is becoming allies instead of enemies (Entertainment Weekly)
- Hyperspace Theories: Twitter @HyperspacePod
- Tricia Barr: Twitter @FANgirlcantina; email Tricia@fangirlblog.com
- B.J. Priester: Twitter @RedPenofLex; email Lex@fangirlblog.com
- Kay: Twitter @Geek_Kay; email Kay@fangirlblog.com
Tricia Barr's novel, Wynde, won the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Ebook. She was also part of Silence in the Library's successful all-female creator science fiction and fantasy anthology Athena's Daughters, which is available now. For excerpts and tales of her adventures in creating a fictional universe, hop over to TriciaBarr.com.