The Last Jedi is going to be a dark Star Wars movie. If the ominous red font used in the title—a Star Wars first—isn’t an obvious enough sign, the cast and director Rian Johnson have all but declared that this would be the case. Of course, everybody involved with the movie has been careful to avoid spoilers of any sort, but especially anything that would reveal which characters in this dark movie could go to the dark side. Yes, someone probably will.
Think about it. The end of the original trilogy hinged on whether Luke Skywalker would join the dark side with his father, Darth Vader, and hooded Steve Bannon. Then the three prequels were about Anakin Skywalker’s slow, sand-averse descent into Vaderdom. Neither of these outcomes was particularly surprising—of course Luke wasn’t gonna cave, and we knew where Anakin was heading—but they were compelling, and we kept watching, even through the dreaded prequels.
This is what makes this new Star Wars trilogy so damn exciting: There’s some real mystery! Theories abound as to who, if anyone, could break bad, though there are certainly a couple of front-runners: Rey, she of the mysterious past, and Luke, who looks like The Most Interesting Man in the World if he got lost at sea for two decades. But there are other candidates we shouldn’t gloss over, either.
Before the nation collectively watches The Last Jedi this weekend, here are some of our theories about who could go dark. Let’s begin with the front-runners (and yes, I know some of these characters don’t technically count since they weren’t in The Force Awakens and thus can’t technically turn to the dark side, but just stay with me):
Odds: Higher than I wish they were.
Fans have been predicting Rey’s turn to the dark side for the better part of the past two years. And in the latest trailer, Luke ominously says of Rey, “I’ve seen this raw strength only once before. It didn’t scare me enough then. It does now.” (He’s talking about his evil dad.) Plus, Kylo Ren appears to extend his hand and offer a possible allegiance to Rey.
It’s very likely that Johnson (or whoever put the trailer together) is trying to fake out the audience with some deceptive editing, but let’s face it: Our heroine is an enigma. We know next to nothing about Rey’s past, she has an inherently powerful connection to the Force, and was tempted by the dark side in a lightsaber battle with Kylo Ren in The Force Awakens, according to the film’s script (J.J. Abrams definitely could’ve made that more clear, though). We know Rey will encounter the mysterious Supreme Leader Snoke in The Last Jedi; it could be a catalyst for her transformation into an unexpected, tragic villain.
If the Space Captain Ahab vibes weren’t enough of a tell: Luke has been through some shit since we last saw him. Kylo Ren, Luke’s nephew and former pupil, destroyed his Jedi temple and killed most of his students. In the Jedi trailer, Luke appears to give Rey the cold shoulder when she arrives on Ahch-To. He intones, “It's time for the Jedi to end.”
It would be one of the more subversive and shocking twists in Star Wars history if The Last Jedi committed to Luke turning to the dark side, though this might be a bit too bleak for Disney’s taste. And while we shouldn’t take any pre–Last Jedi interviews at face value, Mark Hamill has assured fans that Luke isn’t a villain. “Luke has lost confidence in his ability to make good choices,” Hamill told Disney Rewards magazine in its winter edition. “It haunts him to the core. But he hasn't gone to the dark side. This isn't an evil version of him. But it's still an incarnation of the character I never expected.”
Odds: The Poe-mance should be safe.
Wait, Finn? The guy who started out as a Stormtrooper and then defected? The dude who the internet wants to ’ship with Poe Dameron? The traitor? This Finn?
OK, Finn is probably firmly entrenched among the good guys. However, the last time we saw him, he was recovering from a near-fatal lightsaber blow from Kylo Ren. That wasn’t fun! Perhaps, instead of going back to Ren and the First Order, Finn decides to leave the conflict altogether in a moment of cowardice. Remember: He almost did just that in The Force Awakens until everyone witnessed the First Order using the Starkiller Base to destroy Hosnian Prime. Not a straight-up dark side heel turn, but nobody would consider Finn a good guy if he jumped ship.
Still, the odds of this happening are slim. One of the coolest shots in the latest Jedi trailer sees Finn go head-to-head with Captain Phasma—and that’s definitely not one of Johnson’s fake-outs.
Odds: Not high enough to reshuffle the Internet Boyfriend rankings.
The other half of the internet’s Poe-mance and the coolest (and best) pilot in the Resistance seems like the ultimate good guy sidekick. And he is! Dark Side Poe is an obvious Hail Mary.
But imagine how devastating this would be. Poe might be the most beloved new character in the franchise. Oscar Isaac is constantly near the top of the Internet Boyfriend rankings. And that’s why Poe’s turn would be such an effective twist; it’s the darkest thing a dark Star Wars movie could do to its fans. The biggest problem is that there’s no way to have Poe’s heel turn make sense, but maybe Rian Johnson could figure out a way to make it work.
Odds: RRWWWGGH (low)
Think about what Chewbacca has experienced in his life: In Revenge of the Sith, Palpatine’s Clone Army commits Wookie genocide on Kashyyyk—something that felt glossed over in the movie, but is extremely upsetting. Now Chewie is experiencing, for the first time in who knows how long, life without his BFF Han Solo (RIP).
Is this enough to make Chewbacca go bad? Probably not on its own, but a scene from The Force Awakens might’ve pushed Chewie over the edge. Remember when General Leia Organa hugged Rey—someone she barely knew—after Han died, instead of lifelong friend Chewbacca?
Seriously, what the hell? J.J. Abrams regrets the horrible decision, but it’s canon. The Resistance doesn’t deserve you, Chewie.
Odds: As high as the tallest building in Cloud City.
Some facts about porgs:
- They have teeth.
- Their babies, which are called porglets, look like a dim sum meal that came to life.
- John Boyega, who is living the Star Wars, thinks they are “really, really freaky” in a pack.
- They can fly.
Murder.— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) July 21, 2017
I guess this wouldn’t technically count as a turn since no porgs were in The Force Awakens, but porgs are definitely evil.
The Ice Fox
Fact: The best villains look fabulous (Elle Driver in Kill Bill, Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns, Cate Blanchett in Thor: Ragnarok, Game of Thrones’ Ice Dragon, Cruella de Vil). This is where the Ice Fox (technically called a Vulptex) comes in.
Assuming this isn’t an elaborate marketing scheme for the next Pokémon Go update, the Ice Fox is arguably the most fabulous Star Wars creature we’ve ever seen. To waste its villainous potential in The Last Jedi would be a sin of biblical proportions.
So there you have it. Rey could go the dark side—Luke is another candidate—but porgs and the Ice Fox are unquestionably bad guys. We apologize if this was, prematurely, a huge Last Jedi spoiler.