Hey everyone and welcome to the Sarlacc Pit! I hope you can excuse my absence as I have just returned from my wedding and honeymoon, but I am back and ready to educate you all about some more Star Wars. I known that I have spoken a lot about “Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi” lately, but I want to once again return to the most recent addition to the Skywalker saga and discuss the Force abilities used in this movie. A lot of the abilities seen in “The Last Jedi” are not technically new to canon, but we saw a lot of new features to many of these classic abilities, and I think it would be cool to go over these. A few notes: first these abilities are not listed in any real order. Second, as far as I know a lot of these abilities don’t really have canonized names, so they may be listed other places using different names. Third: since “The Last Jedi” is still in theaters, there are not a whole lot of good-quality pictures available for this movie, so there will be very few pictures in this post, sorry. Finally: as usual, this post will have a lot of spoilers, so read at your own risk!
“It’s a power that Jedi have that lets them control people and…make things float.” – Rey, “Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi”
Let’s start with an oldie but goody. There were a few ways that the classic Force-telekinesis power was used throughout “The Last Jedi.” For example, Leia used this ability to pull herself back to her ship after being expelled into space (which we will talk about), Rey and Kylo Ren used this ability during their epic lightsaber battle against Snoke’s Praetorian Guards, Snoke and Kylo Ren both used this ability to beat up on General Hux, and, of course, Rey used this ability to lift some (read: a lot of) rocks. Telekinesis is the classic ability people think of when they say “use the Force.” It allows people to move objects with their minds, and was used to a good extent in this movie.
Telepathy/Third Party Connection
“You aren’t doing this. The effort alone would kill you” – Kylo Ren, “Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi”
This is another ability that we have seen in other Star Wars content. However, this movie takes the telepathy (the ability to communicate mentally with others) to a new level. Instead of just sending messages to each other, Rey and Kylo Ren were also able to see each other and physically touch despite being light years away. Now, this enhanced telepathy was due to the third party connection carried out by Snoke, who was connecting the two in order to use Kylo Ren to lure Rey to the First Order. Snoke, who had used telepathy in the past to communicate with Emperor Palpatine from outside of known space (see the Aftermath trilogy), was also able to connect Rey and Kylo across vast distance through the Force, which was pretty neat to see in this film.
“Ben, when we touched hands I saw your future.” – Rey, “Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi”
During one of Rey and Kylo Ren’s late night telepathy chats, Rey and Kylo were able to actually physically touch. Because they were both connected through a high-level Force ability, this moment led to brief insight, not only into each other’s pasts, but into their futures as well. Futures which both ended up coming true.
“Now reach out. What do you see?” – Luke Skywalker, “Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi”
Sensing life and the Force abilities in other is also pretty common in Star Wars movies. However, in “The Last Jedi,” this ability was used by Luke Skywalker to explain to Rey what the Force is. He has her close her eyes and reach out with the Force which allowed her to sense the life and energy of the beings on the island the two of them are on. This was a pretty cool scene and probably the best scene to watch for a good explanation of the Force.
During that same scene where Rey is using the Force to sense the life around her, she realized that she was completely incapable of sensing Luke, who had apparently completely cut himself off from the Force in order to prevent himself from being found. In the past, this ability had only been used by Palpatine to hide his Force abilities from the Jedi Order, so this is the first time we’ve seen a light-side user using this ability.
In the past we have seen Emperor Palpatine and Count Dooku use this ability to hurt their enemies or punish their subordinates, in “The Last Jedi,” Supreme Leader Snoke used it to punish Kylo Ren when he displayed a brief rebellious attitude. One cool note is that instead of a stream of lightning, this was a quick lightning bolt that he reflected off the floor to hit Kylo Ren with a bit of style.
To me, the biggest surprise of the movie was the return of Yoda as a Force ghost. Yes, we have seen him as a Force ghost before, but it’s still cool to see him return to chastise Luke about his unwillingness to teach Rey. Now, while we have seem this ability before, Yoda uses it with a bit more expertise. In the past Force ghosts have pretty much just showed up to give some quick wisdom, but this time Yoda was able to manifest well enough to physically whack Luke Skywalker with his walking stick, and was able to summon lightning in a pretty cool moment.
Okay, so far as this was a pretty controversial Star Wars movie, and there was one scene that has gotten a lot of negative remarks from critics and fans alike. At one point in the movie, Leia was commanding the Resistance fleet from the bridge of the command ship when the bridge was hit, expelling everyone inside into the cold void of space. This usually means instant death, however Leia, in a sudden awakening of more enhanced Force capabilities, survives and uses the Force to pull herself back to the ship. While surviving, she does fall into a temporary coma, but recovers by the end of the movie. This is a pretty crazy moment in the movie, and I am unsure of how this worked, but surely the ability to survive, even for a few moments, in space without proper gear is an ability only available to those strong in the Force.
Kylo Ren: The Supreme Leader is dead.
Hux: *Gasping for breath* Long live the Supreme Leader.
-“Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi”
We saw Kylo Ren go full Darth Vader for a moment in “The Last Jedi.” After betraying his Master, brutally defeating the Praetorian Guard alongside Rey, and then being rejected by the one person he thought would understand him, Kylo Ren declared himself Supreme Leader of the First Order. Hux, who had led the First Order military immediately argued that he should be the one leading the First Order, but his protests were cut short by Kylo Ren choking him with his mind. Classic.
Mind Probe/Thought Reading
“I see his mind, I see his every intent.” -Supreme Leader Snoke “Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi”
We saw a more forceful (no pun intended) use of this ability in “The Force Awakens” where Kylo Ren invaded Rey’s mind to find the location of BB-8. In “The Last Jedi,” Snoke used these abilities to probe Rey’s mind for the location of Luke Skywalker, and to sense the thoughts of Kylo Ren. Ren, used to Snoke being in his mind at all times, used this invasion of privacy against Snoke in the end, disguising his intentions to kill his Master as an intent to kill Rey, in one of the coolest scenes in Star Wars canon.
“See you around, kid.” – Luke Skywalker, “Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi”
Okay, this one also had a lot of people saying “What?” However, in recent tweets from Rian Johnson, this ability hearkens back to the days of Legends canon, as it is expressly detailed in the Legends book, The Path of the Jedi. At the end of the movie, just as all seems lost for the resistance, Luke Skywalker returns to the fight, complete with a new hair cut, a new outfit, looking about 20 years younger, and sporting his original lightsaber (that had just been destroyed). Luke Skywalker went and spoke to Leia before confronting Kylo Ren in an effort (succesfully carried out) to buy time for the few remnants of the Resistance to escape. He handed her a memento from the Millenium Falcon and went to confront his old student. Kylo and Luke faced off in an intense battle where AT-M6’s pelted him with blasts to no effect. Kylo Ren then took matters into his own hands, but it wasn’t until his lightsaber passed through Luke’s body that he realized his old Master wasn’t there at all. Luke was still on his island deep in meditation to create a Force illusion so powerful that those strong in the Force felt it as if Luke were actually there. The effort took up Luke’s remaining life force and he faded into the Force just after dropping his concentration. However, the Force doppelganger ability was so strong that the memento that “Luke” had given to Leia earlier remained and was physically present enough to be picked up till briefly after his death. This in itself seems to be an incredibly powerful ability, but when you take it into account that Luke was projecting this doppelganger from light years away it just goes to show how truly powerful of a Jedi Luke Skywalker was.
There were some pretty crazy uses of the Force in this movie, but I am even more excited to see how powerful Rey is in the next movie. Don’t forget, Yoda himself said “We are what they must grow beyond.” Perhaps he is speaking about Rey, becoming even more powerful than Luke or Yoda ever were. But we will just have to wait and see!
Next week I am going to do a run through of common weapons in the Star Wars universe, from blasters to vibroblades. As always, thanks for reading, and may the Force be with you!