“They were filthy junk traders. Sold you off for drinking money. They’re dead in a pauper’s grave in the Jakku desert. You come from nothing. You’re nothing. But not to me.”
When many heard these words in The Last Jedi, they saw a turning point in the Star Wars saga. No longer was it a tale of legacy, of “mighty Skywalker blood”, but instead a story of how the Force could be found to belong to all, and even a “nothing” like Rey could be attuned powerfully to the Force. It was a sentiment that stirred many people jaded with Star Wars.
It was a sentiment that has been present in many parts of Star Wars, both canon and Legends, both recent and old. Today I come to praise two oft-derided things, the Jedi Academy trilogy and The Phantom Menace. Rey, though a great example of a Jedi and a great counterpoint to Kylo Ren, was far from the first Jedi whom Ben Solo might have called “nothing”.
In the Jedi Academy trilogy, when Luke Skywalker seeks out those Force-sensitive people who have not been purged by the Empire, he goes to faraway and obscure places to find them. Although Luke does initially frame this as looking for Jedi descendants, he also states that he seeks those known as miracle workers, or the incredibly lucky. He later explains:
“Everyone can use the Force to some extent, but a few have a stronger innate talent.”
He also says:
“Reach out and feel your mind, feel your body, feel the universe surrounding you. The Force stretches around and through everything. Everything is a part of everything else.” Read More