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BTS The Whills

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by bstnsx704, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. Placeholder

    Placeholder Jedi Knight star 4

    Jan 30, 2013
    He has a muscly son out there somewhere :D
  2. Yunners

    Yunners Jedi Master star 2

    Mar 30, 2006
    Are you sure he isn't in fact a she? :)
  3. darklordoftech

    darklordoftech Force Ghost star 6

    Sep 30, 2012
    Since the Saga is what R2 is telling the Whills. could R2's emotions be distorting events?
  4. darthfettus2015

    darthfettus2015 Jedi Knight star 3

    Nov 15, 2012
    i think the whills maybe us....or whoever the audience is. If you watch carefully R2 is present at a lot of the most vital story points, i like to think of the whole saga comming from his projector, i always thought as a child R2 escaped a destroyed galaxy and reported the story as a warning to another galaxy
  5. darklordoftech

    darklordoftech Force Ghost star 6

    Sep 30, 2012
    perhaps so. Then again, don't be surprised if Episode IX ends with GL finding the Journal of the Whills.
  6. darklordoftech

    darklordoftech Force Ghost star 6

    Sep 30, 2012
    I wonder if the Whills have enemies called the Whon'ts.
  7. Darth_Nub

    Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 26, 2009
    Apologies for something that might be considered necroposting, as well as shamelessly quoting one of my old posts, but I figured it'd be more appropriate for this forum given the rampant speculation everywhere regarding these shots in the new trailer for Episode VIII: The Last Jedi:


    And just for the record:


    A religious sect called 'The Guardians of the Whills' has already came up in Rogue One, Qui-Gon's cut dialogue from ROTS points to such 'Whills' being far more powerful and intelligent than the Jedi, now we hear Luke Skywalker himself saying that it's time that the Jedi must end - so whaddya all think? Will this legendary journal finally make an appearance - perhaps before being scanned and then shredded by R2-D2? Might Qui-Gon Jinn be making an appearance in Ep IX?
  8. bstnsx704

    bstnsx704 Jedi Master star 3

    Mar 11, 2013
    Thanks for the post, actually forgot I made this thread. Definitely thinking along the same line as you -- the Whills weren't mentioned for nothing in Rogue One, and I'm right with you in thinking that we may finally be seeing that aspect of the mythology of the Force creeping into the forefront in the films (and, at the same time, setting up a lot of this ancient history to be further explored in an Old Republic trilogy of films once this trilogy wraps).
  9. Sluice Friggins

    Sluice Friggins Jedi Knight star 2

    Oct 23, 2015
    Plus the poem quoted directly from the Journal of the Whills that opens TFA novelization. When I first read it, I thought, "oh, what a nice homage to George" but now, I think, in the words of Luke Skywalker - "it's so much bigger." And the thought of those ancient texts being shredded makes me wince. As for Qui-Gon, if I had to guess, they'll possibly save him for a Kenobi movie. I don't believe we've seen how old Ben learns to Force Ghost.
    Homergreg and Ord-Mantell70 like this.
  10. Darth_Nub

    Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 26, 2009
    What I'm curious about is the extent to which these 'Whills' might relate to whatever GL may have had in mind for the SW Saga - largely around the time of ROTS, when he seemed to have resurrected the idea, despite eventually rejecting their inclusion entirely (I'm pretty convinced that they weren't a part of his thinking during the OT, past the couple of drafts in which they were mentioned in the prologue - he claimed early on that their concept simply became part of the Force).
    Should they become a part of the ongoing story, will these beings be new creations, or will there be a connection to something that was developed before George Lucas sold SW to Disney, if such an idea was ever taken beyond the mere name?

    TFA resurrected a few long-dead, often regarded as dubious, ideas that were considered for ROTJ as early as 1979, and which Gary Kurtz brought up now and then over the years, long before (or, rather, after!) the trilogy of Eps VII-IX was seriously considered - Han dying in a raid on an Imperial base, Leia leading a Rebellion in tatters, and Luke wandering off on his own, like a lone samurai, or Clint Eastwood in a spaghetti western.
    All these elements came to pass, albeit one episode later, and it surely isn't any coincidence that Lawrence Kasdan, co-writer of ESB - at the very time such ideas for 'the third film', i.e. ROTJ, were being tossed about - was also one of the screenwriters of The Force Awakens.

    Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, however, is another matter. At a quick online glance, the only credited writer of this work-in-progress is Rian Johnson, also the director. He has a few worthy credits, but hardly the sort of body of work that would suggest that LFL and Disney would completely entrust him with the Skywalker legacy.
    What's this next movie going to be based upon, and who's really supplying the source material? And to get back to the topic at hand - just who's deciding how (and if) the mysterious Whills fit in? Will they be just another cheap little nod in-name-only to old concepts, or perhaps a tantalising glimpse at what may have come to pass if GL had charged on with the SW Saga through the 1980s and 1990s non-stop?
  11. Ord-Mantell70

    Ord-Mantell70 Jedi Master star 3

    Mar 9, 2009
    Yes, it's definitely in the realm of possibilities that the Whills and the legendary Journal of the Whills will be dealt with in the next episodes.

    But, I don't know...Somehow I think they would already have introduced the concept in the first ST movie (TFA). Just like it happened in TPM for the PT (the Sith, the rule of two, the prophecy of the Chosen One).

    Didn't know it was mentioned in Rogue One (didn't see it) and TFA novelization. But indeed it might just be a simple nod to old fans...

    PS : Just love that Prologue from ANH novel...Thanks to Darth_Nub
  12. Darth_Nub

    Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 26, 2009
    I wasn't actually aware that the TFA novelisation opened with a quote/poem from the JOtW, but here it is:
    "First comes the day
    Then comes the night.
    After the darkness
    Shines through the light.
    The difference, they say,
    Is only made right
    By the resolving of gray
    Through refined Jedi sight."
    ―Journal of the Whills, 7:477
    IMHO, this smacks of blatant fan-service, not anything relating to stories yet to come -
    and if new stories reveal that the way of the Jedi has become redundant and must end, as Luke says in the trailer (with the path of the Whills perhaps being shown to be the true path to enlightenment/wisdom/etc), then its obvious reverence for the wisdom and insight of the Jedi is somewhat contradictory.
    I'd say Alan Dean Foster just came up with it as a little flourish, and a nod to the last SW novelisation he wrote - way back in 1976.

    The film of Rogue One does introduce an order called 'The Guardians of the Whills', but from a glance at the Wook, it almost seems that it's confined to the location featured in Rogue One (yet another old element from early drafts appears, but it's one that's been used ad nauseam in the EU and TCW):

    OK, maybe just some more fan-service, with the legendary name being given to an organisation that mightn't have any further relevance (much as the EU once used the 'Son of Suns' title and prophecy for a relatively insignificant character).
    However, that little shelf of books appearing in the very first trailer for Episode VIII - in a film series in which actual books have never appeared (I think?) - just screams 'Journal of the Whills', and I'd imagine that any writers associated with the films would be itching to include the legendary tome.
    With GL well and truly out of the picture - and having disowned the Whills, anyway, to a certain extent - might Lawrence Kasdan, or even Gary Kurtz, have been able to provide the new filmmakers with some old backstory?
  13. Ord-Mantell70

    Ord-Mantell70 Jedi Master star 3

    Mar 9, 2009
    I didn't even notice it was a shelf of old books. Just thought it was an entrance to some place. Didn't realise that hand was touching a book either !

    Don't remember seing any books onscreen in the previous films indeed. Even in backgrounds.

    Now I understand all those speculations much better...
  14. Nibelung

    Nibelung Jedi Padawan star 2

    Apr 18, 2017
    Here's a thought: the Legends EU repeatedly makes the point that Palpatine was very much afraid of some threat from outside the galaxy, some alien race that he believed would end civilization in the GFFA as we know it.

    This seems to me to have been the original departing point for the idea of a Sequel Trilogy (as suggested by George Lucas in Alan Arnold's Once Upon A Galaxy, and distinct from the idea of an ST that follows on directly from ROTJ.) In the same interview Lucas says the third film in the OT would end with Vader's death -- but the Emperor would apparently escape, to return in a new trilogy set 20 years or so in the future.

    The Yuuzhan Vong and other "alien invaders from beyond" plotlines in the EU appear to have been dim reflections of this idea, as do the remote, far-flung Chiss from Grand Admiral Thrawn's backstory.

    What if the plot of the ST as such was that, with Palpatine gone for 20 years, the New Republic has begun to establish itself... when the extra-galactic aliens whom the Emperor so greatly feared finally invade, like the Boskonians of the Second Galaxy in Doc Smith's Lensman books?

    This is a warlike species (perhaps blue-skinned, red-eyed, with armor made of sharpened animal bones) who don't sense and aren't subject to the Force, like ysalamiri, maybe because their blood lacks the proper Force-carrying bacteria, or maybe because they evolved Force-insensitivity as a protective measure in the prehistory of their home planet ages ago. Whatever the reasons, these warriors cannot be defeated by Jedi power, and the New Republic fears its own destruction.

    Amid this threat a charismatic young leader arises, one who says all the right things and commands popular support in the Republic... the Emperor in a new guise, reborn with a different face. Seeking power once again, to fight the one thing he fears most: people whom he cannot control.

    And what is the name of this species the Emperor so fears? Might it, perhaps, be the Whills?

    I wonder.

    But in any case, for their own reasons, the invaders are just as frightened of the Republic as the Republic is of them. And fear cannot stand in the face of love.

    This concludes my presentation. Thank you for your attention. :p
  15. darth-sinister

    darth-sinister Manager Emeritus star 10 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 28, 2001
    The Whills weren't something to be feared. They were basically beings that existed on almost another plain of existence.

    "Originally, I was trying to have the story be told by somebody else; there was somebody watching this whole story and recording it, somebody probably wiser than the mortal players in the actual events. I eventually dropped this idea, and the concepts behind the Whills turned into the Force. But the Whills became part of this massive amount of notes, quotes, background information that I used for the scripts; the stories were actually taken from the ‘Journal of the Whills’."

    --George Lucas, "Star Wars The Annotated Screenplays", page 6.
    Nibelung likes this.
  16. Nibelung

    Nibelung Jedi Padawan star 2

    Apr 18, 2017
    I agree!
  17. Darth_Nub

    Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 26, 2009
    Bumping this old thread, as a certain question has been answered by TLJ:

    The books in TLJ are clearly not the Journals of the Whills, they're old Jedi religious texts - books that Yoda himself is happy to see go up in flames, and which Luke grudgingly admits he hasn't gotten around to reading. Their destruction is eventually used as both a humourous moment and an illustration of their ultimate worthlessness. "Read them, have you?" "Well, I..."
    If 'The Journal of the Whills' as we understand it - a huge, authoritative text chronologing the entire history of that galaxy far, far away - had a place in the existing SW universe, it wouldn't have suffered such a fate, nor would it have occurred before the story was over, which it isn't.

    That doesn't mean that the Whills - beings that were referenced in deleted scenes from ROTS and then Rogue One - won't have a part to play in ongoing SW stories. It's a concept yet to be mined that could appeal to both the old-school fans for its connection to the GL era, and to newer ones looking for something a bit more out there than sulky 'knights' in robes fighting with swords and a few telekinetic tricks.

    The Journal itself - well, that's an old idea that GL ditched a long time ago, he claimed that the Whills were replaced in the story by the Force itself, but he did resurrect them briefly for ROTS, despite, ultimately, deleting the scene with Qui-Gon's ghost which referred to the 'Shaman of the Whills'.

    Then there's that old idea, mentioned somewhat tongue-in-cheek, that R2-D2 is the real keeper of the Journal of the Whills. He's still around at the end of Episode VIII, same as he always is.
    While there's been some very official talk about another SW trilogy being made once Episode IX (can you believe it's happening???) is done, all indications point towards it being set in entirely different era, most likely the ancient history of the Republic, and won't relate to the current Saga. Ep 9 could be the chronological end of the history of the GFFA, for now, at least.

    I've always pictured the ending of Episode IX being a silhouette of C-3PO and R2-D2 walking off together into a sunset. There's no reason to think that it couldn't be preceded by some princess/noble/VIP/general - or even a Whill - putting some very important information into Artoo first. As you can see from my avatar, it's how his importance was portrayed in the first place.
  18. jajje

    jajje Jedi Knight

    Jul 16, 2013
    Regarding the books inside the tree:

    I believe it's revealed at the end of TLJ that the books are stored aboard the Falcon - they can briefly been seen (I think) when Finns is getting a blanket for his mechanic girlfriend. I guess we're meant to understand that Rey brought the books with her when leaving Luke's planet. And Yoda's was all in on it...
    Homergreg likes this.
  19. Darth_Nub

    Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 26, 2009
    I do remember seeing them when Finn grabs the blanket, but wasn't 100% sure they were the same ones, it was a very brief glimpse.
    Even so, if Yoda had pulled a swifty on Luke, rescued the 'sacred Jedi texts' and had them delivered to the Falcon (probably via Chewie, who Yoda did previously know from ROTS), I still don't think they're related to the legendary Journal of the Whills. They're just old relics from the foundation of the Republic and the Jedi Order, there's no reason to think otherwise. If they were something else, something more valuable, Luke would have noticed during his exile. More likely they're just a gift for Rey in Ep 9.

    Unless, of course, the cranky 'caretakers' on Ach-To were responsible for updating these texts...?

    Nah. As Freud said, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Take a look at how much speculation has been going on for the mere two years since TFA about Rey's parentage. Luke's daughter, Luke's clone, Obi-Wan's grand-daughter, Kylo Ren's little sister. How many guessed that her parents were junk dealers who sold her for drinking money?
    It does work, she didn't have to be the heir to some sort of legendary Jedi family, she's just a promising new Force user with very humble beginnings, same as Luke once was considered to be, and who Anakin might have once been.

    I think the old Jedi texts are just old Jedi texts, and nothing more.

    Given the mention of the Whills in Rogue One, I'm not discounting the possibility of these mysterious beings appearing in some later film, but I think the nine-episode 'trilogy of trilogies', which could also be called the 'Skywalker Saga', will finish off without their involvement, unless they appear in one of the very final scenes as a bit of a nod to the story's origins.
  20. jajje

    jajje Jedi Knight

    Jul 16, 2013

    Yeah, you're most certainly right that those books weren't the Whills. And also according to Yoda they're nothing but page-turners... :)
  21. Arawn_Fenn

    Arawn_Fenn Force Ghost star 7

    Jul 2, 2004
    Though it's presumably non-canon now, "The Tenebrous Way" had Tenebrous knowing something about the contents of the Journal.
  22. Darth_Nub

    Darth_Nub Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 26, 2009
    I looked that up, and was intrigued to find out that it was written by Matthew Stover, who wrote the novelisation of ROTS - thought that connection might have given a bit more credence to a mention of the Journal, given the deleted Whills content in ROTS (not sure if it was in the novel, though). Could Stover have been privy to information from GL himself?

    Unfortunately, the reference to the Journal of the Whills in The Tenebrous Way (a short story published in SW Insider #130, January 2012) is very minor, and I'm inclined to think that it's something that slipped through the cracks, rather than ever being treated or approved as canon. Those short stories in the Insider and the old SW Galaxy Magazine always struck me as little experiments that the fanbase could take or leave as they wished. There's also the fact that ten months later, Disney would acquire LFL and the SW franchise, and all existing canon past the films was to be obliterated. Just how many knew about this in January I don't know, but I doubt GL himself would have been paying much attention to such material, even if it did touch upon such a sacred element.

    Here's the relevant section from the story (which is basically Darth Tenebrous dying, trying to cheat death using the Dark Side, and so on):
    OK, so next to nothing about the Journal itself, it seems to be more about the fact that the good old 'Chosen One' prophecy existed in another culture.
    What doesn't make a great deal of sense is how a Sith Lord who died in 67 BBY came across a copy of the Journal of the Whils, which, from its only other 'canon' reference (in the 1976 SW novelisation), appears to be a historical text written many years, perhaps centuries, after the events of the SW Saga. It'd be like a reference to the New Testament appearing in one of the Gospels themselves, or the 'Red Book of Westmarch' in Fellowship of the Ring.
    There's also the question of how and why a Sith might get a hold of this text from beings that the Jedi themselves appear to have ignored. The suggestion from Qui-Gon's deleted ROTS scene is that he came into contact with a Shaman of the Whills after he died - or that he did beforehand and didn't bother to tell anyone how to attain eternal life.
  23. VadersLaMent

    VadersLaMent 2017 Celebrity Deathpool Winner star 10

    Apr 3, 2002
    I was hoping Snoke was a renegade Whill. Alas,
    he is dead although it's possible he may survive to a new body in much the same way Palpatine does in Dark Empire. Killing him so abruptly though does keep in line with the idea of "out with the old and in with the new".
  24. MeBeJedi

    MeBeJedi Jedi Grand Master star 6

    May 30, 2002
    There's good reason you didn't....Lucas said long ago that there are none in the SW galaxy, along with bras.