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KungFuFerret

A question about fan perception of Force Users Post-OT

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So this was just a random thing that always confused me when it comes to the new trilogy, and how I see a lot of people talk about it, especially in regards to Force users.

I've seen countless posts, on this very site in fact, and other places, as well as seen video critiques that always seem to mention something that always confuses me.

When discussing the final shot of Last Jedi, a lot of people say stuff along the lines of "finally!  A story that takes the Force away from only being a Skywalker thing!  I'm so tired of everything being Skywalker only!"   Others talking about how that shot "opens up the field for stories about just about anyone becoming a Force user" etc etc.     Now, this confuses me, because the entire gist of the statements assume there was some Skywalker exclusivity to being a Force user, and I don't understand why they think that.   It's never been even hinted at, that the only people with Force capability were Luke and Leia, only that the JEDI were purged, which isn't the same thing.   Heck the first thought pretty much everyone had (and a lot of them went on to publish stuff in this line in the Legacy material), after Return of the Jedi was "ok so obviously Luke is going to start a new Jedi school, and teach other people how to become Jedi."  And in the novels and comics, games, and even the new trilogy, they do exactly that.   So those Force users obviously had to come from somewhere, as they weren't all Skywalker kids.  

So why is there the misconception that Star Wars is "all about the Skywalkers" when it comes to Force users?   Because it's just simply not actually supported by the facts of the decades worth of material.    I mean, sure the Skywalkers would be an integral part of any Force-Jedi story, post Return, because who else is going to teach the next batch of kids?   That's hardly the same thing as having "everything being about the Holy Bloodline".    

Now sure, there was a lot of material published ABOUT Luke and the OT cast, because they are fan favorites, but there was also tons about other people that had no connection to them at all, or only tangentially.

 

So...yeah I just don't get it.

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Probably just a translation error of sorts.

Forceeness and such was largely glued to Luke not because it was but because he was the main character of the OT. That's it. So when Broom Kid was featured so prominently, and unlike Rey can't still be desperately be theorized as Skywalker lineage, it basically felt like the series was really saying "Yep, anyone can take Force Sensitive Emergent or Exile now!"  We always knew that, but this was the first non-prequel on-big-screen post RotJ film that really said there's other Forcees out there not named "Skywalker" guess that's a thing.

Us Otaku kinda knew that there's probably other Forcees out there, but your average viewer probably always assumed that Luke and Leia were it.

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It should also be noted that the saga films themselves are specifically about the Skywalker family in particular. This could potentially result in some people assuming that any Force users after RotJ would have to be Skywalkers. 

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Some of my friends had that reaction and they know everything you mention.  I think it has more to do with "the story being told is moving away from Chosen One/Skywalker saga" than a perception of the way the setting functions.

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17 hours ago, KungFuFerret said:

So why is there the misconception that Star Wars is "all about the Skywalkers" when it comes to Force users?

Because they're the main characters. Sure, Obi-Wan and others feature heavily, but ultimately the two finished trilogies are about Anakin and Luke, respectively. So the issue was never that others can't be Force-users, it's that the focus was never on people not connected to the Skywalker boys.

 

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I think it depends on which section of the fanbase you're referring to.

Those of us involved in the RPGs (from WEG to FFG) know that stories and Force usage isn't limited to just the Skywalker clan, as we've been telling our own stories for years about individual heroes that have nothing to do with the Skywalkers yet have the ability to use the Force.

But for the much broader fanbase, especially those who've only seen the movies, the primary focus has been on the Skywalkers, from Luke in the OT to Anakin in the PT.  Prior to TLJ being released, there was a substantial camp of fans that convinced that Rey was a secret Skywalker due to her proficiency in the Force and Anakin's old lightsaber calling to her in TFA; even post TLJ there are probably folks that still think she's a secret Skywalker and are hoping for JJ Abrams to "undo" the "I'm nobody from nowhere" aspect of Rey's character that TLJ introduced.  Obi-Wan and even much of the Prequel-era Jedi were essentially supporting characters to Anakin's tale of rise, fall, and eventual redemption.

Rogue One and Solo are (thus far) the only Star Wars films to not focus on the Skywalker saga, with Vader being only tangentially involved in R1 and not a Skywalker to be seen in Solo.

Heck, for much of the old Expanded Universe that took place after RotJ, 90% of the focus was on the Skywalker clan, from Luke to Leia to Leia's kids, and had Disney not bought the franchise and done a canon reboot, I'm sure Ben Skywalker would have eventually stepped into his father's role as the great hero of his generation.

So for that substantial portion of the fanbase, to see this truly no-name kid just casually use the Force was a big deal, as here was indeed a nobody that that could use the same mystic powers that had largely been the province of one family for many of the films.

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In all fairness, I did firmly believe that not everyone can be force sensitive and there was the suggestion that only Luke could do it because of his linage; admit in a way that was less about family and more about love and compassion rather then sheer power levels (which is why Leia couldn't qualify, the destruction of her entire planet isn't something I imagine anyone would be capable of forgiving.). Why could no one else do it? Because it required commitment and instruction; two things the alliance had in short supply as the masters only showed themselves to Luke, absolutely no one else.

The idea of other force users doesn't surprise me, but what does surprise me is the suggestion that the Skywalkers somehow have the same potential as anyone else, that's clearly false as they had developed much quicker then their peers. I believe firmly that Episode 1-3 was just as valid to luca's vision as 4-6, so Luke and Anaikin just being more gifted to the extent of manifesting their gifts spontaneously also makes sense, a process that might require someone not destined for greatness years of training. Not every Jedi was equally as good, the many that died in the arena were a testament to that. Anaikin meanwhile was nearly as capable as his master as a mere Padawn, and Luke was able to hold out against Vader with minimal training for some time, then flat out humiliate him in their second encounter. Even Obi-Wan, despite having a decade of experience over his student was only at best his equal when they fought to the death; which was no mean feat but firmly highlights the stark difference between a model Jedi and a Skywalker.

So it isn't the suggestion that there are other force sensitives that surprises me; but rather star wars itself could be anything more then a skywalker story. I don't believe that has changed and if to expect anything else of Episode 9 would be odd.


Personally I still believe Rey is someone. My winning bet is that she is a clone of Luke Skywalker that was designed to be a weapon to be used against him; an eventual replacement for Vader if Luke didn't heel. Why? Because Kylo clearly knew who she was in the force awakens because his tone shifts dramatically when she is mentioned. Why? Because I imagine early on Kylo went out of his way to dispose of the lass as a potential power rival; yet couldn't actually go through with it. He still had too much compassion within him to truly become a monster. Is it a theory I subscribe to? No, but I really wouldn't expect anything else about a series of movies that are about the heroic journey, sacrifice and compassion. I cannot see the studio being brave enough to completely do away with the Skywalker legacy.

 

Would I like to see movies about other heroes? Yes! But I don't think those heroes will appear in the next movie.

Edited by LordBritish

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10 hours ago, LordBritish said:

Would I like to see movies about other heroes? Yes! But I don't think those heroes will appear in the next movie.

I'd wager that if we're going to see new Force-wielding heroes in a Star Wars film, it'll be Rian johnson's trilogy.  Episode 9 is (supposedly) the conclusion of the Skywalker saga/drama.

As for Rey, I think her story works better that she isn't anybody special, as it highlights that anybody with the right mindset and determination can become a hero.  With regards to her "quick mastery" of the Force in contrast to Luke (who did show similar leaps in power between ESB and RotJ) and Anakin (who benefited for millennia of Jedi training techniques), with Rey I feel it was a case of her mind was essentially a sponge, in that she didn't have the preconceptions about what the Force could or couldn't accomplish that Luke "unlearn what you have learned" had, or Anakin's "they're holding me back!" attitude (Legends did show the Jedi Order of that time to be pretty conservative and set in their ways, and thus not really prepared for an apprentice like Anakin).  If all Rey has to go on is stories about "Luke Skywalker did this amazing thing with the Force," and the government isn't actively suppressing such tales, she's got a much more open mind about what she can do with the Force, where Luke didn't even know about the Force until he met Obi-Wan due to his muggle upbringing courtesy of Owen likely squashing such stories as "silly nonsense."  Granted she did get quite the leg up thanks to that memory-sharing stint with Kylo in TFA (according to the TLJ novelization, she'd picked up all sorts of tidbits relating to using the Force from that exchange) in contrast to Luke or even Anakin; it's similar in a way to how Neo learned kung fu in The Matrix.

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2 minutes ago, Donovan Morningfire said:

I'd wager that if we're going to see new Force-wielding heroes in a Star Wars film, it'll be Rian johnson's trilogy.  Episode 9 is (supposedly) the conclusion of the Skywalker saga/drama.

As for Rey, I think her story works better that she isn't anybody special, as it highlights that anybody with the right mindset and determination can become a hero.  With regards to her "quick mastery" of the Force in contrast to Luke (who did show similar leaps in power between ESB and RotJ) and Anakin (who benefited for millennia of Jedi training techniques), with Rey I feel it was a case of her mind was essentially a sponge, in that she didn't have the preconceptions about what the Force could or couldn't accomplish that Luke "unlearn what you have learned" had, or Anakin's "they're holding me back!" attitude (Legends did show the Jedi Order of that time to be pretty conservative and set in their ways, and thus not really prepared for an apprentice like Anakin).  If all Rey has to go on is stories about "Luke Skywalker did this amazing thing with the Force," and the government isn't actively suppressing such tales, she's got a much more open mind about what she can do with the Force, where Luke didn't even know about the Force until he met Obi-Wan due to his muggle upbringing courtesy of Owen likely squashing such stories as "silly nonsense."  Granted she did get quite the leg up thanks to that memory-sharing stint with Kylo in TFA (according to the TLJ novelization, she'd picked up all sorts of tidbits relating to using the Force from that exchange) in contrast to Luke or even Anakin; it's similar in a way to how Neo learned kung fu in The Matrix.

Indeed and I share your general opinion, her open mindness in regards to her world view meant that she was able to adapt really rapidly to new circumstances involving the force. In some ways, her connection to the force adapted as she faced danger and the Kylo Ren thing topped it all off; she was able to learn a lot through his attempted mental manipulation just by being mentally much stronger then he was under those circumstances. I feel her story would have been fairly typical of a person rapidly learning within this harsh galaxy otherwise they would be destroyed by the weight of it all, Luke adapted rapidly under similar dangers. Best thing about it is that she still has a long way to go; to me at least she is very much a raw talent without much time to digest it all.

I just feel that isn't the story the studio is intending to tell. My musing is more based on what I suspect what the studio will do, and I feel J.J. will double down on the mystery boxes he developed within the force awakens. Either way, only time will tell, but I am hopeful it will turn out as you said.

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Well, we have seen other instances of novice Force users learning faster when they're in immediate danger, with Kanan even saying that Ezra learns far better in those sort of circumstances than he does in calmer, more controlled conditions.

It's akin to joke regarding Harry Potter, where day-to-day he's not all that bright or motivated as a student (he'll do just enough work to complete the given assignment), but you light a fire under that boy's hindquarters and his I.Q jumps a good 40 points 😁

Edited by Donovan Morningfire

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I think a big part of the problem is the failure on the franchise to acknowledge force traditions outside the Jedi. The movies it is all Jedi or nothing and I know the other properties cover these topics but end of the day it all comes back to the Jedi.

I would like to see in the next movie Rey learning from different force users, but it'll never happen.

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5 hours ago, MrTInce said:

I think a big part of the problem is the failure on the franchise to acknowledge force traditions outside the Jedi. The movies it is all Jedi or nothing and I know the other properties cover these topics but end of the day it all comes back to the Jedi.

I would like to see in the next movie Rey learning from different force users, but it'll never happen.

Palpatine? Maz Kanata, maybe?

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I think it's just for simplicity that the main saga keeps the Jedi=all-good-Force-users mantra. The novels and comics are a perfect place to insert bonus stories of Rey training with a different Force tradition, which I would also love to see. She could even start her own.

Heck, maybe Johnson's spinoff will be a Rey based sequel trilogy and we will see that on screen.

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