Since I first saw The Force Awakens I like many Star Wars fans have been counting down the days until the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. When people ask me why I am so excited about this upcoming Star Wars film, I always say there are a number of reasons such as seeing more than a brief glimpse of Luke, Rey continuing to learn about the Force and her capabilities and discovering more about Supreme Leader Snoke amongst others. However whilst those are genuine reasons I think it is becoming increasingly clear for me and for most Star Wars fans that there is one factor that more than any other that is generating unparalleled excitement for this latest Star Wars film. You have probably guessed that I’m talking about the intrigue and excitement that arose from the pivotal line in The Force Awakens, and arguably the whole Star Wars saga, the four words that would forever change the way we think of this galaxy far, far away.
When Bala Tik – one of only two Scotsmen in this galaxy along with Ewan McGregor – uttered the now immortal line “Tell that to Kanjiklub.” I knew then that nothing in this universe would ever be the same again. Han Solo clearly felt it as we saw the fear on the face of this man who has faced the likes of Darth Vader, Boba Fett and Jabba the Hutt. Seeing the great Han Solo so fearful at the mere mention of Kanjiklub was unsettling, to say the least. However, that was nothing compared to the shock and shiver of fear we all felt when the immensely powerful Supreme Leader Snoke acknowledged the rise of Kanjiklub saying: There has been an awakening… have you felt it? That Kylo Ren also acknowledged he had also felt it seemed to suggest that Kanjiklub’s rise to power was felt by a number of the greatest powers in the galaxy.
Snoke clearly recognised that the battles between the First Order and the Rebellion, between the Jedi and the Sith and between good and evil has now been reduced to mere sideshows following the awakening of Kanjiklub (now my favourite club BTW narrowly beating Liverpool Football Club and Club Tropicana into second and third place respectively). There was always a danger – my biggest fear initially about the focus of episode 8 – that Rian Johnson would choose to focus this film on Luke, Rey, Kylo, Finn etc in the belief that Kanjiklub would likely overshadow the rest of these characters and the ongoing Skywalker saga. This is understandable as for many it was hard to focus on the rest of The Force Awakens once we had been introduced to the now almost mythical Kanjiklub. Thankfully and in a move that more than any other shows that Star Wars is in very safe hands with Disney it has become apparent from off the record briefings and set whispers that episode 8 will increasingly focus on the continuing rise of Kanjiklub.
Intriguingly one of the most exciting – and extremely smart – things about the marketing for The Last Jedi is how they have avoided direct references to Kanjiklub, presumably to ensure the hype doesn’t get out of hand and to hold the best bits of the film back for those who don’t want it spoiled.
However, despite the great efforts they have made to keep the Return of Kanjiklub (I would pay big money to watch that spin-off movie if and when it happens) under wraps they have also recognised that they had to whet our excitement with at least a hint towards The Last Jedi revealing more about Kanjiklub. Whilst we already know from The Force Awakens that Kanjiklub are now a major force to be reckoned with in this galaxy they have also given us a further glimpse of the full power of Kanjiklub with the trailer showing Luke chillingly referencing the sheer power of Kanjiklub saying “I’ve seen this raw strength only once before. It didn’t scare me enough then. It does now”. Luke’s words are both ominous and exciting. Ominous for Luke as a character facing this new incredibly powerful threat and ominous for the continuation of Star Wars as the Skywalker saga but exciting for all those who like me want to see Star Wars taking bold steps in new directions such as the continuing saga of Kanjiklub.