The Last Jedi has been out for over a month and it’s finally starting to marinate, meaning all of its ideas and hidden Easter eggs are starting to be discovered and analyzed. And as I’ve thought about this film and all of its scenarios I realized this is the first Star Wars movie that I feel didn’t have a concrete villain and that’s exciting. We can’t have franchises with one-dimensional villains in all of its movies (I’m talking about you Marvel) because that is what makes a franchise boring. If you can predict the outcome of every movie then what’s the point in watching it? Well, Rian Johnson didn’t take that approach. In fact, he killed off the one-dimensional villain in the movie, Supreme Leader Snoke, to give Kylo Ren the top baddies spot and make him a more complex character. Genius!
Rian Johnson also muddied the line between good and evil in the film by making the good characters look bad at times and the bad characters look good. I love the trend of these grey Star Wars movies. Rogue One blurred the lines of good and evil and The Last Jedi took that concept to the next level. So, because of that, who ended up being the true villain of The Last Jedi? Here are the three people in the film that had villainous tendencies in the movie.
Luke was depicted on posters and in trailers and tv spots as possibly being the secret villain of the movie and while he wasn’t truly evil in the film he did become, if you really think about it, one of the villains of the movie and this is why?
It’s simple. He created Kylo Ren! Yes, we understand that Snoke was toying with Ben Solo’s mind from either afar or in person but, like Rey told Luke, his decision to turn to the Dark Side wasn’t made yet. When Luke looked into his sleeping nephew’s mind and saw the death and destruction he was going to commit in the future he reacted off of instinct, igniting his lightsaber to kill him. And then he realized what he was doing and stopped.
Was he really about to kill his sister’s son, his own nephew? What was he doing? But it was too late. Ben Solo saw him about to murder him and that was the final straw that took the young Jedi padawan over the edge. Was it a truly evil act, no, but it set in motion years and years of pain and suffering throughout the galaxy and Luke ran away like a coward.
He didn’t face his sister and tell her his mistake. He didn’t try to right his wrong and stop Kylo Ren from razing the galaxy. He hid on a planet no one could find, cut himself off from the Force, and decided to die with the secret instead of confronting everyone like the old Luke would have.
I understand that he totally lost confidence in the way of the Jedi but because of his mistake he created a monster and that’s terrible. He did redeem himself by saving the Resistance at the end of the film and that’s why I believe he’s not the true villain of the movie. And the fact that Yoda didn’t forsake him means that he definitely wasn’t totally in the wrong for his decisions.
We all know Kylo Ren is evil. That’s not even hard to figure out. Rian Johnson, however, made our view of him much more complicated by humanizing him and showing him as a victim instead of just being a mindless, one-dimensional villain. You could see the world from his point of view and, frankly, I understood the reasoning for his monstrous choices.
For the majority of The Last Jedi he wasn’t depicted as the villain but instead as a person with feelings and emotions. For a while I thought he was going to turn good because of his interactions with Rey and their mutual understanding. And then when he killed Snoke it seemed like he had converted to the Light and he had fully embraced the Ben Solo side of him again. Unfortunately, that was short-lived because he really is an evil person and after that his true colors were revealed.
I don’t know if I can say he was the true villain of the movie simply because, like I said earlier, the majority of the movie depicted him as a relatable victim to the world around him. He felt betrayed by his parents who had given him away to his uncle instead of trying to understand and love him like normal parents should. And then his uncle tried to kill him! Those experiences would definitely make you a little cuckoo. And now he feels that Rey has left him behind as well after he started putting his trust in her.
I don’t know where he’s going to stand mentally in Episode IX but hopefully he won’t be too angry. *shrug*
When you think of Poe Dameron the thought of villain doesn’t immediately come to mind but if you really think about it his actions in The Last Jedi were kind of villainous. In the first ten minutes of the movie Poe was depicted as the heroic pilot that he is but he soon becomes a problem as he ignores Leia’s orders and continues trying to destroy the First Order’s Dreadnought when she clearly said not to. Because of his unloyal act a lot of people died for no reason other than his fame and glory and that’s disturbing.
Then when he had to subject to Admiral Holdo’s leadership he decided that she was incapable of leading the Resistance and hatched a plan, with the help of Finn and Rose, to find away to cut off the hyperspace tracking. But if you think about, because Finn and Rose’s mission went awry, thanks to the traitorous DJ, the First Order were able to discover the rebels trying to get to Crait. That led to hundreds of more unfortunate Resistance members dying. If Poe hadn’t authorized that secret plan underneath Holdo’s nose maybe the Resistance would’ve escaped unscathed and wouldn’t have been caught. And, on top of that, Poe led a mutiny because he thought was SO great. He was so out of line that Leia literally shot him. That’s pretty bad.
I believe that the true villain of this film was Poe Dameron. His actions nearly wiped out the entire Resistance and even though he realized his mistakes and got it together by the end of the movie his actions aren’t excusable. Just because he’s got a remarkably handsome face and because he’s a nice person doesn’t mean he should be patted on the back for what he did. His actions were worthy of being court-martialed, that’s how bad it was, and hopefully J.J Abrams will recognize that.
Now I still love Poe Dameron despite his leadership problems and I’m glad Rian Johnsosn confronted him with the obstacles that he did. It would make a lot of sense if in Episode IX J.J Abrams made him either a general or some high position of the Resistance and there were people in the rebellion movement who didn’t trust him because of his past trangressions. Then he would have to prove himself as the greatest leader the Resistance has ever seen and that would be a fantastic arc for the beloved pilot.
Well, this is how I feel about these three characters in The Last Jedi. I would never have imagined that I would have an exciting post like this which searches for who the true villain of the movie is but Rian Johnson’s complicated storytelling made this possible and I LOVE that. What’s hilarious, however, is it took women to corral these three strong-minded men because we, as women, are that awesome. 🙂
Who do you think was the true villain of The Last Jedi? I would love to hear your thoughts on this fascinating topic. I thank you for reading and I hope you have a magical day. May the Force Be With You.