Somehow we are only four months away from Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which means the Hype-Beast is now waking from its summer slumber. It went into a relative hibernation after Star Wars Celebration, but with the last Tatooine-hot days of the year upon us, Entertainment Weekly has roused the attention of the creature, leading to a deluge of exclusive photos and interviews. Over the next few days, EW will slowly release their horde of goodies for the rest of us to dissect, starting this a piece on how Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker and Daisy Ridley’s Rey will interact.
When audiences last saw Luke and Rey, she had just arrived on the island chain known as Ach-To, home of an ancient Jedi Temple, where Luke had sequestered himself away for reasons unknown. Rey, armed with Anakin Skywalker’s lightsaber, presented the family heirloom to Luke as an apparent peace offering/train-me-please gift. Unfortunately for the plucky Jakku scavenger, the last living Jedi has no interest in an apprentice. Probably because the last one went on a murder-spree and then joined the First Order. According to the EW article, that rejection will hit Rey right in her abandonment issues.
When Luke rejects Rey, Daisy Ridley says her character becomes deflated. “She’s so hopeful to everything. And obviously there’s a hint of, ‘What the hell?’” After all, this is a first for the budding Jedi since leaving Jakku. “Regardless of everything else, she’s been welcomed. No one ever really turns away from her,” Ridley explained.
This leads to an interesting dynamic. EW is careful not to spoil any of the plot, but Ridley hints Rey would much rather be tutored under another Star Wars icon: Han Solo. Despite his gruff demeanor, Han Solo has a gooey, sweet center that is basically catnip to orphaned children looking for a stand-in father figure. Ridley speaks to that difference in personality when talking about on Rey’s mindset while on Ach-To, “’Oh my God, this other man that I lost within a couple days was somewhat of a father figure. Now he’s gone, and instead I’m with this grumpy guy on an island who doesn’t want me here.’”
The story has come full circle. Han Solo is Rey’s Obi-Wan, not Luke. But here’s the thing about hero worship of dead mentors; it’s easy to deify them. Han Solo is gone. He can never disappoint Rey. He can never hurt her or let her down. He’s forever frozen in carbonite as the perfect mentor, an illusion no one who has spent a significant amount of time with the bounty hunter would buy. To paraphrase from another sci-fi franchise, Rick and Morty, “Han Solo isn’t a villain, Rey. But she shouldn’t be your hero, either.”