Or, Retcon of the Jedi.
The Emperor is dead. Overthrown by his chief henchman and Sith apprentice, Darth Vader. Fatally wounded during the battle, Darth Vader is helped through the corridors of the doomed Death Star II by his son Luke Skywalker. Weakened by The Emperor’s Force lightning, Vader collapses in the hanger bay. Luke forgets all of Yoda’s lessons about levitation and awkwardly drags his father to the base of the entrance ramp of….The Emperor’s personal shuttle. Vader breathes his last breath, and Luke is now the last Jedi.
The Death Star is seconds away from exploding and Luke loads Vader’s corpse into the shuttle and….and what? We know Luke escaped the destruction of the space station, flew to Endor, and burned Vader’s body, but then what happened? At this point we have limited details of Luke’s post Return Of The Jedi activities. At the time of writing, the answer to what Luke has been up to is still three months away. SPOILER TIME.
The reason I bring these things up is that I have recently finished the Aftermath trilogy, and it has revealed more details of the Emperors last order to his Imperial forces, oddly known as the first order. A quick recap in case you haven’t read these books. The Emperor has prepared a scorched earth contingency plan in case the Empire is in danger of defeat. The Sith Lord orders Sentinel droids be dispatched to key Imperial forces with orders to assault civilian targets like Naboo. These droids bear his image, and travel on specially prepared courier vessels with all kinds of Sith information in their systems. The Hyperdrive’s of these special vessels are programmed to travel hidden paths to the fresh start Palpatine has planned.
Luke then, is in control of The Emperor’s personal shuttle, and whatever lies inside the datafiles of Palpatines secret stash. What did Luke learn there? What effect did this trove of Sith knowledge have upon him? Did Palpatine ‘forsee’ this and prepare some last temptation for Luke to take revenge upon him from beyond? While this is a post of pure speculation, We do know a few things that have definitely taken place.
Lukes Jedi Academy failed, and presumably this is the building which burns down in the trailers for Force Awakens and Last Jedi.
The Academy Students are killed by The Knights of Ren, lead by Kylo Ren.
Luke has abandoned the Rebellion / Resistance and gone into hiding, and is found on the planet Ahch-to
Has Luke been tempted by the dark side knowledge from The Emperor’s databanks? Did Luke journey into the unknown regions to see for himself the Shipyards and legions of The First Order? Did Ben Solo’s betrayal, and transition to dark side adept Kylo Ren, cause Luke in his grief to seek answers from the dark side? The amazing ‘Legends’ story, Dark Empire, features Lukes apprenticeship to Palpatine, and his journey onto the path his father took before him. Can we expect to see something of this sort in The Last Jedi? The first act of Return Of The Jedi made it seem that Luke was already using The Force callously and dressing in an evil style.
Lucasfilm’s story group are busy establishing new continuity to replace the Expanded Universe (E.U.). With every new detail emerging there are potential consequences for the Canon we have come to know. Every change made ripples outwards and who knows what boats will be rocked. R2-D2 has been carrying the map to Luke Skywalker all these years after jacking into the Death Star. What else is he carrying inside his rusty innards? With the sheer creative horsepower of The Story Group, I’d like to think they are not just pushing forwards to lay a path to Episode X and beyond, but looking back as well. The desire to bring the unruly E.U. under control could well open as many plot holes as it fills in. We can only trust that Pablo, Kiri, Leland and Lord Filoni continue to tread carefully and make considered changes to the ‘reality’ we think we know.