The Last Jedi - Star Wars - Episode VIII

This contains no spoilers of any kind! A war orphan with supernatural powers convinces a disgraced Jedi Master to teach her the ways of The Force, but when she learns his dark secret and is tempted by the Dark Side, she must decide for herself which path to follow.

cover art by: Richie Montez

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2. Chapter 2


A large ringed moon rises behind Rey as she slowly creeps up onto a rocky outcrop and spies Luke entering a badly eroded and overgrown stone temple.


Torchlight flickers in the distance as Rey, both excited and fearful, sneaks through a long arcade. It opens up into the Hall of Knights. With no sign of Luke, she ventures into the grand rotunda. She looks up, mesmerized, as the moonlight shines in through an oculus that makes column shadows radiate out like spokes. Rey moves into the center and takes it all in. She feels something deep within her, something unfamiliar. As the feeling intensifies, she gives in and lets its warmth and comfort wash over her.

LUKE: That's the Force flowing through you.

Rey looks toward Luke's echoing voice as he descends a grand stairway, moving in and out of light.

LUKE: Like people, a place can have a strong connection to the Force.

REY: It's beautiful.

She steps away from the center and collects herself.

LUKE: There have been many Jedi Temples, but this was the first. Now it's a shrine to honor the Jedi legacy.

REY: (sarcastically) A shrine or a mausoleum?

Luke sighs with annoyance.

LUKE: The Jedi are extinct. Nothing can change that now.

REY: You can revive it. You're a Jedi Master.

LUKE: I'm not. I violated my oath. The murder of the Jedi Knights and the destruction of the academy is the result of my negligence and failure. Everyone suffered because of it.

REY: You can't blame yourself for the actions of the First Order.

Luke's thoughts go dark.

LUKE: I pushed him to Dark Side.

Luke uses a quick Force push to extinguish the torches.


Dense vines and tree canopies already envelop the bright, new Jedi Academy. In the lush forecourt of the institution, young Jedi practice their skills on native plant species. Luke oversees their techniques while he lectures.

LUKE: The Force connects all living things.

A flower blossoms for a young human girl, 15, as Luke passes.

YOUNG BEN SOLO, 10, with a long black braid and the only student with a red accent on his tunic, shows off.

His tree sprouts branches, leaves, blossoms, and produces fruit. He glances around with arrogant pride. Luke approaches with a look of disappointment. He plucks a fruit and hands it to Ben.

LUKE: A Jedi does not coerce, but inspires. One cannot demand another's faith.

Luke leaves Ben with that thought. Ben grumbles, hurt by Luke's dismissal. He takes an angry bite of his fruit, but the bitter taste makes him cringe and spits it out.

REN, 8, a frail, blue-eyed boy, shutters as he tries to grow his small, wilted plant.

Luke kneels next to him.

LUKE: Relax and clear your mind.

The boy sighs and closes his eyes.

LUKE: Reach out with your feelings. Connect with the seedling, like a friend.

Ren opens his eyes and lifts his hands. Luke covertly raises a finger. The stalk straightens and the bud billows. Ren's heart swells with excitement.

LUKE: Good.

Luke backs off and lets Ren take over. The petals open and turn out but then shrivel. The leaves wilt. Ren's eyes fill with tears.

REN: It's dead.

LUKE: It's not dead. Let's try again.

REN: I can't do it.

LUKE: Patience, young Ren. You've taken your first step into a larger world.

A shadow sweeps over the pair. They look up to see Ben and SNOKE, 50s, wealthy, well-dressed, but pale.

SNOKE: Your nephew here is quite the Jedi. I've no doubt he'll become a great Master.

Luke stands.

LUKE: Perhaps, if he can learn self-control. Ben poorly masks an indignant look.

SNOKE: I only wish my son had half his talent.

LUKE: It comes easily for Ben. However, the true essence of a Jedi is not their command of the Force, but their restraint.

Luke musses Ren's hair. Snoke plucks Ren's seedling from ground. He looks at it with disgust and tosses it aside.

SNOKE: Restraint is not a problem for Ren with such little command of the Force.

LUKE: Some don't develop their abilities until much later in life. I didn't develop my mine until I was nineteen.

SNOKE: Perhaps Ben could help with his training during the reprieve? (to Ben) How would you like to come and vacation with Ren and me on Spira?

Ben's eyes light up.

BEN SOLO: Spira? I wanna go. Please, Uncle Luke. Please.

LUKE: But you haven't seen your parents once this session.

BEN SOLO: Mother's busy with the New Republic and Han, well, he's never home. I'd spend my entire vacation with Threepio trying to teach me to speak Bocce.

REN: Please, Master Luke.

Luke glances toward-


A subtle sneer grows on Snoke's lips. Ben kneels next to Ren, who lies dead on the patterned rug of his ornate bedroom next to a glowing red lightsaber. The slice that crosses through half his body smokes.

BEN SOLO: It was an accident.

SNOKE: It's not your fault, my son. He was weak. But now you must learn the ways of the Force, as my people know it. It's tradition.


A torch ignites a pyre. Snoke tosses the torch into the rising flames. Ben and Leia hold hands as Luke joins them at the front of the large gathering. Snoke stands alone. Ben moves toward Snoke, but Leia doesn't let go of his hand. Ben turns to her with a look of dismissiveness in his eyes. His hand slips from hers and he crosses over to Snoke. Luke watches through the flames as Ben offers his sympathies. Snoke embraces him like a long lost son.


The flames of the pyre dissolve into the hearth fire reflected in Rey's eyes.

REY: You can't give up because of one mistake.

LUKE: Obi-Wan is dead, Han is dead, my father is dead, the future of the Jedi is dead, and I created a Sith Lord who leads an enemy far more ruthless than the Empire ever was. That's a pretty big misstep.

REY: But, this is exactly why we need you. You have to try.

LUKE: An old friend once said, 'Do or do not, there is no try.' I will not make things worse.

REY: What? That's ridiculous. Whoever said that is an idiot.

Luke gives her startled look of bewilderment.

REY: If you don't risk failure, you'll never succeed at anything. I'll be your apprentice. Be a Master once again. I'll never turn to the Dark Side, I promise you.

Luke can't help but be touched by her tenaciousness. His heart warms and he feels the call back to the light. He closes his eyes and reaches out toward her.

LUKE: The Force is strong with you. Perhaps, even stronger than with me.

He opens his eyes again, undecided.

LUKE: But, I am not convinced. Besides, you are too old begin the training.

Luke turns back toward the fire.

REY: Too old?

LUKE: Tell Leia that you tried your best. She'll understand. It's a shame. You would have made a powerful Jedi.


A dense forest surrounds the resistance base and the landing field with a neat row of X-wings.

POE and BB-8 stand on the back of their signature black and orange X-wing.

POE: Let's add redundant power couplings to all four phase transducers.

BB-8 gleefully bleeps an acknowledgment when a squad of old, battle-scarred X-wings screams past fast and low. Poe looks up with a jolt as BB-8 squeals in fright.

POE: Those are old T-65s.

Klaxons blare and the base goes on alert.

POE: Come on, Bee.

Poe slides down the ladder and hits the ground running. The X-wings circle the base in formation. Soldiers with blasters line up in defensive positions. The fighters descend upon the tarmac. Poe runs upstream through the river of fleeing pilots and right through the defensive perimeter.


POE: Hold your fire!

The pilot rises from the cockpit and removes his helmet to reveal WEDGE ANTILLES. He looks down at the armed men who surround him and puts his hands up half-heartedly.

WEDGE: Whatever my wife told you, I swear it was an exaggeration.

Poe reaches the group and waves to Wedge.

POE: Captain Antilles!

WEDGE: Poe! It's good to know I haven't been completely forgotten.

More fighters fly by.


Tie Fighters escort a TIE Avenger from the ocean planet toward the menacing Star Destroyer.


An old withered hand, laced with mechanical tendrils partially overgrown with translucent flesh from years of dependency, injects an opaque black fluid into an IV drip. The black fluid creeps along the tube and into AL-2112'S vein.

AL-2112: No. NO. NO!

AL-2112, on a table and dressed only in his black body glove, writhes in pain and pulls violently at his restraints. He goes limp and his face changes from fearful to ghostly.

Kylo, unmasked but in his black armor and cloak, watches along with DR. GRAFT, a geriatric clone trooper assisted by a tentacle-like exoskeleton that extends to every extremity.

Dr. Graft examines AL-2112's eyes and checks his vitals.

DR. GRAFT: This derivative has proven to be the most promising, with ninety-three percent effectiveness and a mortality rate of only seventeen percent.

GENERAL HUX barges into the lab. Kylo turns to address him.

GENERAL HUX: You may be the Supreme Leader's Hand, but I'm the commander of the military.

KYLO: What are you babbling about, Hux?

GENERAL HUX: Your unauthorized use of State property and personnel.

KYLO: Has General Organa been captured?

GENERAL HUX: That does not excuse your actions, and do not think for a moment that her presence here is anything short of a Resistance ploy.

General Hux sees AL-2112 on the table.

GENERAL HUX: What's going on? Release that man.

General Hux pushes past Kylo and releases AL-2112's restraints. Dr. Graft moves to stop him, but Kylo holds him back. As one restraint opens, AL-2112 grabs General Hux by his throat and angrily squeezes it.

KYLO: Blind devotion without question or hesitation isn't enough. Droids are a testament to that. We need soldiers driven by passion and a genuine desire to succeed at any cost or sacrifice.

General Hux gasps and tries to free himself. After a moment, Kylo waves his hand and AL-2112 releases him. General Hux falls to the floor and wheezes.

KYLO: Start with the 501st Battalion. If all goes well, we'll administer injections to the newly acquired cadets on Raithal.

DR. GRAFT: I need more time to test viability.

KYLO: Test them in the field.

GENERAL HUX: (in a raspy voice) These are my men!

KYLO: Yes, your men. Your men who robbed us of our victory on D'Qar. I am forced to compensate for your incompetence and lack of discipline.

GENERAL HUX: One man, out of thousands! One man!


FINN, still in his leather jacket, pulls gingerly at a twisted nest of wires under the holographic projector.

FINN: I got it.

Sparks shoot out of the panel. ADMIRAL STATURA waits impatiently as the projector flickers.

FINN: I got it.

Finn jabs his hand inside, then slowly pulls out a hairy, rat-sized spider. Its legs flail about angrily. He slides out and a hand is offered to him. He grabs it, and POE helps him up.

POE: Hey, Finn, how are you fitting in?

FINN: Oh, you know. I'm just doing my part to further the cause.

Finn shows off the spider to Poe. Poe flinches. Finn tosses the spider, but it scurries back into the console.

Wedge enters as big as life. The staff crowds around him to shake hands and dish out praise.

FINN: Who's that?

POE: That, my friend, is Wedge Antilles. He's the leader of Rogue Squadron and my trainer back when I first joined the Republic Defense. He's gone toe to toe with more Death Stars than even Luke Skywalker.

The staff parts as Admirals Statura and ACKBAR greet Wedge.

ADMIRAL STATURA: I heard you retired, but I could never bring myself to believe it.

WEDGE: Yeah, it's true, it's true, but two weeks alone with Iella-

They all laugh because IELLA ANTILLES is an unpleasant person.

ADMIRAL ACKBAR: What brings on this unexpected visit?

WEDGE: Unfortunately, I'm here with troubling news. Where's Princess Leia?

ADMIRAL STATURA: She's on a diplomatic mission.

Wedge holds up a data device.

WEDGE: This can't wait.

Statura, Ackbar, Wedge, Poe, Finn, and TEMMIN "SNAP" WEXLEY, gather around the holographic projector. Wedge sees Snap and lights up.

WEDGE: Temmin, I hardly recognized you.

He gives Snap a hug/pat.

SNAP: It's good to see you too, Wedge.

WEDGE: Temmin here saved my life back on Akiva. Look at you, a resistance pilot. Your mother would be proud.

POE: And this is Finn.

Wedge shakes his hand with a big warm smile.

POE: He's the stormtrooper who defected from the First Order.

Wedge's grin turns disingenuous as he withdraws his hand.

FINN: Poe tells me you're quite the legend.

WEDGE: (acidly) Yes. You're lucky to be alive.

Finn shifts uneasily and feels even more like an outsider.

ADMIRAL ACKBAR: Let's see this news you bring.

Wedge stops Admiral Ackbar from inserting the data device.

WEDGE: Admiral, do you think it wise to have a- civilian present?

POE: Sir, Finn has more insight into the First Order than any of us.

ADMIRAL ACKBAR: His actions have proven his loyalty.

Poe reassures Finn with a hand on his shoulder.

WEDGE: (under his breath) A loyal traitor.

Admiral Ackbar inserts the device and brings up a cropped region of the galaxy with red-tinted swaths.

WEDGE: The First Order has overrun the New Territories and Northern Dependencies. Their attacks are focused on New Republic members.

Poe points to blue markers.

POE: These are the New Republic starships? There's only one per system.

WEDGE: (hesitantly) Yes, barely enough to hold the line.

SNAP: Where are the Star Destroyers?

WEDGE: No Star Destroyers, only fighters, and ground forces.

FINN: They've got a lot of stormtroopers, but they're not the Empire. There is no way they could grab and hold this much territory.

POE: That's not their objective. Every member of the New Republic is entitled to protection by the Republic Defense.

WEDGE: I believe the First Order's intention is to isolate each Star Cruiser then overwhelm it with a fleet of Star Destroyers.

ADMIRAL ACKBAR: If that's true, their ground forces must be just large enough to draw in the New Republic.

SNAP: Without the Republic Defense, there'll be no one left to stop them.

FINN: (awkwardly defiant) Except for us!

ADMIRAL ACKBAR: We don't have the resources to fend off the First Order alone.

Wedge barely contains his excitement.

WEDGE: I have a plan to stop them.

He points, and the map zooms in on the Bilbringi system. It shows the Prominence starship in orbit.

WEDGE: If we assist the Prominence at Bilbringi with a fast, coordinated strike, we can end the skirmish quickly.

A second starship appears next to the Prominence with starfighters.

WEDGE: Then together we hop from system to system eliminating the invading forces and picking up additional Star Cruisers until the fleet is reunited.

The map zooms out. A line extends from system to system and the red zone fades away along the path. Admiral Statura strokes his chin.

ADMIRAL STATURA: I'd like to get General Organa's opinion on this.

WEDGE: We need to move on this. Time is not on our side.

ADMIRAL ACKBAR: (reluctantly) All right. Finalize your plans.

FINN: Sir, instead of wiping out these forces indiscriminately, we could give them a chance to surrender. We would take fewer losses, faster victories, and possibly gain allies.

Everyone gives Finn an astonished look.

POE: What?

FINN: Sir, these forces are isolated from their command, essentially abandoned. They may be open to surrender. We'd save a lot of lives.

WEDGE: Stormtroopers don't defect.

FINN: I did, and I'm no different than any other stormtrooper. There have to be others who want out. And, with all due respect, sir, the stormtroopers you fought were clones bred to serve and die. Today they're made up of real people. Many are torn from their families to serve against their will.

This stirs Admiral Statura.

ADMIRAL STATURA: How much dissent is there?

FINN: (sheepishly) I only knew one other, and he was killed on Jakku. No one else dares talk about it, but we all feel it.

WEDGE: Sir, we don't have time for this.

ADMIRAL ACKBAR: I agree. Poe, ready your squadrons for the assault.

Wedge casts Finn a disparaging eye as they depart.


Finn rushes to catch up to Poe's angered pace.

FINN: Poe, wait up.

Poe spins around.

POE: What were you thinking?

Finn stares at him dumbfounded.

FINN: I was only trying to help.

POE: Those are senior members of the Resistance. You can't talk to them like that. They deserve respect.

FINN: If I can't talk, why am I there?

POE: (exasperated) Look. Just... do what you're told.

FINN: Like a stormtrooper. How is it that they trusted a notorious smuggler with secret missions, but I'm only trusted to sweep the floor?

POE: Han's missions weren't exactly sanctioned. These men have been fighting stormtroopers since they were born. It's going to take some time for them to see you as I do.

FINN: By that time, you'll be a hero, Rey will be a Jedi, and the war will be over. And I'll be the guy who fixed the holographic projector.

Poe grabs Finn's shoulder reassuringly.

POE: Hey... I'm already a hero.

Finn lets out a small chuckle.

POE: And so are you. We wouldn't be here otherwise. Don't forget that. Now, please, for me, stay out of trouble.

Poe disappears into the briefing room.


Sunlight creeps across Rey's face as she sleeps on a cot. She squints and opens her eyes. Alone, she wraps up in a blanket, her breath forming clouds. She shuffles toward the fireplace and finds a hot breakfast. On the mantle sit Luke and Anakin's lightsabers. Curious, she reaches out for Luke's lightsaber, but she remembers what happened last time and hesitates. Throwing caution to the wind, she grabs the hilt-


We hear Force lightning crackle and Luke's cries of pain. The room darkens into a starfield that tilts down onto a forest clearing on the moon of Endor. Darth Vader, his breath slow and rhythmic, stands engulfed in flames. He raises his arms out, beckoning. A newborn's cry echoes from behind.

LEIA (V.O.): (teary) So beautiful.

Rey turns away. The stars and moon are now outside an open bedroom balcony. The moonlight silhouettes MARA JADE SKYWALKER'S naked body propped up on an elbow in bed.

LUKE (V.O.): (in a whisper) No one can know.

Behind Rey, a warm light grows like a rising sun and partially lights Mara's face, smooth white skin, and flaming red hair.

KYLO (V.O.): Traitor. Liar. Hypocrite.

Rey turns toward the light to find herself outside of the moisture farm on Tatooine where Luke grew up. Mara now stands before her, dejected, as a hot breeze rustles her skirt and hair. Her arms cradle her pregnant belly.

HAN (V.O.): You're safe here.

Smoke and flames grow behind her. The house is on fire-


LUKE (O.S.): I trust you slept well.

Rey snaps out of her trance and turns with a start. Luke hangs up his cloak and notices the surprise that lingers in Rey's eyes. She turns back around and tries to cover.

REY: Um, yeah. Never better. I didn't know Jedi skills included cooking because this smells delicious.

Luke sits at the table and pours two cups of caf.

LUKE: I've been thinking about what you said at the temple.

Rey joins him, and he gives her the first cup.

LUKE: I believe you're right. I may no longer be a Jedi Master, but I can still train Jedi.

REY: You are a Jedi Master. You're only a failure if you don't learn from your mistakes.

Luke looks at her in surprise. Rey's presumptuousness embarrasses her.

LUKE: (jokingly) Perhaps you should be the master, and me the padawan.

REY: Forgive me, Master Luke.

LUKE: Never apologize for the truth, but be diplomatic in your delivery.

Rey sips her caf. It's not good.

LUKE: Why do you want to be a Jedi?

REY: I hoped it would help me find my parents. Maz says I should give up on them.

LUKE: Maz is usually right about these things, but not always. I've never known the Force used to find someone. My sister and I do share a connection that can span the galaxy. Do you know if your parents are force-sensitive?

Rey eyes him suspiciously.

REY: I don't remember much, but maybe.


Finn wipes clear a strategic plan from a transparent tactical screen. He finds a particularly stubborn spot and scratches at it with a fingernail.

IG-88: Touchstone to Specter Base.

Finn approaches the empty comm station and presses the comm button. A hologram of IG-88 appears, his head askew.

FINN: Go for Specter Base.

IG-88: The mission has failed. General Leia has been captured, a trap set by the First Order.

Finn waves down MAJOR TASLIN BRANCE. Major Brance sees the hologram and hurries over.

MAJOR BRANCE: I'll take it from here.

Finn moves aside as Major Brance puts on a headset.

MAJOR BRANCE: Touchstone, what's your status?


Threepio holds a tray of instruments for the 2-1B surgical droid in the dimly lit recovery room. Three men lay in bed, and a fourth floats in a Bacta tank.

THREEPIO: ...worshiped me, quite understandably, as a god. Despite their taste for human flesh, I managed to convince them that it was in their best interest-

Finn pokes his head into the room.

FINN: Can I borrow him?

He grabs Threepio and pulls him out into the corridor. From inside the medical bay, the patients cheer.

THREEPIO: What's the meaning of this? I was in the middle of an amusing anecdote.

FINN: (in a hushed tone) I need your help for a secret mission.

THREEPIO: What mission? I haven't heard of any secret mission.

Finn shushes Threepio.

FINN: Because it's a secret mission.

THREEPIO: But why must I go? I'm not a soldier. This seems highly irregular.

FINN: I- WE need someone who is smart, experienced, and knows their way around the galaxy.

THREEPIO: I see. It is true, there are few who come close to my-

FINN: Great. Meet me at the Falcon. I'm getting us a pilot.

Finn takes off down the corridor.

THREEPIO: But- but, where are we going?


Poe leads Black Squadron from the atmosphere and toward a large collection of starfighters and the ECHO OF HOPE, an old but heavily armed Star Cruiser.

POE: As soon as we arrive at Bilbringi, go directly to the planet. Do not engage the enemy around the Prominence, Kare'. Let Echo of Hope handle them. Okay, sound off.

ODDY MUVA: Black Five, standing by.

L'ULO: Black Two, standing by.

SNAP: Black Four, standing by.

JESSIKA PAVA: Black Three, standing by.

KARE' KUN: Black Six, ready to get it on!

Poe grins as his squad cheers over the comm.


From his command chair, Admiral Ackbar watches Black Squadron as they take the lead through the transparisteel window.

POE: Black Squadron in position.

ADMIRAL ACKBAR Prepare for the jump to hyperspace, on my mark.


The diverse species of starfighter pilots in the collection of squadrons, including the SULLUSTAN NIEN NUNB, psyche themselves up as Admiral Ackbar counts down.

ADMIRAL ACKBAR: Three... Two... One... Mark.


Each squadron streaks away, followed by the Echo of Hope.


Chewbacca and Finn jog up the ramp. Threepio chases after them in wonder as they head toward the cockpit.

THREEPIO: Where's the pilot?


Chewie sits in the left seat and Finn in the right. Finn straps in and Chewie starts the engines.

THREEPIO: Chewbacca can't fly the ship.

FINN: Sure he can. (to Chewbacca) Right?

Chewie grunts and shrugs. Finn turns to Threepio.

FINN: See?

The Falcon drifts forward and drags its front landing gear along the tarmac. The front end lifts and the ship climbs, barely missing treetops but smashes into the Resistance antenna array.

THREEPIO: Now look what you've done, you oversized Ewok. You said you could fly this thing.

Chewie barks back defensively.

THREEPIO: Well, then you should have brought Artoo. I'm no astromech.

The Falcon wobbles off into the sky, landing gear still down. Finn white-knuckles the console while Chewie frantically steers and works the controls.

THREEPIO: You'd best turn around before you get us all killed.

FINN: We can't go back. They'd hang us.

THREEPIO: Hang us? Are we fugitives? Blast my trustful nature. How am I always the one to get mixed up in these things?

FINN: Someone needs to rescue Leia from the First Order.

THREEPIO: A stormtrooper, a Wookiee, and a protocol droid, it sounds like the beginning of a bad joke. Do you even know where she is?

FINN: Not exactly, but I'm working on it. It's what Han would have done.

Chewie gives a sad moan in agreement.

FINN: I do know that she was last seen with a mercenary that looks like a caf machine.

Chewie growls a suggestion.

THREEPIO: The Daystar Casino? Have you lost your Wookiee mind?

Chewie barks a retort.

THREEPIO: Yes, and bounty hunters, spice dealers, Hutt gangsters, Black Sun, all of which despise the Resistance almost as much as the First Order.

FINN: Well, then it's a good thing we're fugitives. Hit it, Chewie.

The engines rev up but cut out and send the ship tumbling end over end. It rights itself, raises its landing gear, and jumps to hyperspace.

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