Why The Grey Force Could Be The Key To 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'

Here's everything you need to know

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There's a line in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith that's always kind of bothered me. During the fateful battle between Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, the master tells his former student and friend: "Only a Sith deals in absolutes." It's an odd thing for a man to say, whose Jedi order only deals in two sides of an amorphous, all-consuming, and ubiquitous power. There's the light side and the dark side—two absolute competing ideals of the Force. But as with anything, shouldn't there be a spectrum in which the Force exists? Certainly there are are a number of people who are Force sensitive, but not full-blown Jedi or Sith (Leia Organa, for example).

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It would seem only fair that there's something that exists between the light side and dark side of the force. And, it turns out, that this is an idea—if we want to get into theoretical Force studies—that has been explored in the Star Wars universe. A number of entries into the Star Wars expanded universe—including comics, novels, and games—have dabbled with the theory of the Grey Force.

Since the release of the first trailer for The Last Jedi, fans and scholars of everything Star Wars-related, have argued that the Grey Force might be the key to Episode VIII.

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What is the Grey Force?

Thanks to the pretty clear nomenclature of everything in Star Wars, the Grey Force is exactly what the name suggests: It's neither light nor dark. As the Star Wars wiki describes:

The Grey Force was a religious view that claimed there were no sides to the Force. Instead, the Grey Force was a combination of the light and dark sides. Therefore, users utilised both light and dark side Force powers, but with much greater control. The ability to control the Grey Force was rare, as it required students to perform long hours (sometimes even days) of meditation.

Where does the Grey Force appear in the Star Wars films and extended universe?

The Grey Jedi go back to the Old Republic thousands of years before the events of the major Star Wars films and the formation of the Jedi Order. As it's told in Bioware's Knights of the Old Republic, among these first Grey Jedi were Jolee Bindo and Revan, who had complicated relationships with the Force and were at times on the Light side, dark side, or neither. This sect of Force users has appeared in a number of Star Wars comics, games and novels, including one called The Last Jedi, which is unrelated to the film. And speaking of films, there's yet to be any mention of the Grey Force in the Star Wars movies. Some people do believe Qui-Gon Jinn is a Grey Jedi, based on the assumption that a Grey Jedi is simply someone who disagrees with the Jedi council, but even that seems like a stretch.

What does this have to do with Star Wars: The Last Jedi?

Most of the speculation on the Grey Jedi comes from some of Luke Skywalker's mysterious statements in the early trailers for The Last Jedi, in which he says "it's time for the Jedi to end" and his retreat from the light side of the Force. As many fans have theorised, Skywalker has become disillusioned with the Jedi and their ability to defeat and contain the Sith. Perhaps his retreat to solitude was to study a different path, a middle path after his Jedi Academy failed. Consider the Jedi's obsession and prophecies of bringing balance to the force. If that person is indeed Skywalker, then perhaps neither light nor dark is the balance that the universe has been waiting for.

Additionally, given the description of the Grey Jedi and their long hours of solo meditation, doesn't that sound like something that lines up with Skywalker's forced solitude? This also helps explain Kylo Ren and Rey's close connection as they try to navigate their own paths and relationships with the Force. Given their scenes together in the new trailer, maybe they need to learn each other's side in order to truly become grey.

And, this is simply my own theory, but perhaps there's more to come from the Grey Jedi from Rian Johnson, who wrote the upcoming instalment of Star Wars. Disney has given him control over the upcoming new era of Star Wars movies, and if this is an idea he'll introduce in Episode VIII, maybe it's something he'll go into depth with in his own series. Certainly, many fans are interested in learning in learning about some of the ancient history of Star Wars, and some have even guessed that the era of The Knights of the Old Republic would be good fodder for new movies unrelated to the Skywalker saga.

From: Esquire