Years after its release in 2017, fans are still talking about the twists and turns in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. When Luke says, “This isn’t going to go the way you think,” he’s really not kidding. The Last Jedi, which was written and directed by Rian Johnson, takes us to unexpected places and subverts our expectations every step of the way. While many fans expected Johnson’s movie to answer our most burning questions left over from The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi actually introduces quite a few mysteries of its own.
In fact, there are those in the audience who are still asking one question in particular: who is the Force-sensitive boy working the stables in Canto Bight? Many of you may simply refer to him as the “Broom Boy,” but this character has a slightly deeper history than meets the eye.
Thanks to Star Wars: The Last Jedi – The Visual Dictionary, we know that the boy’s name is Temiri Blagg (played by Temirlan Blaev), although he’s credited as “Stable Boy” in the movie. Temiri is an orphan sold into indentured servitude by his parents in order to pay a gambling debt. It’s impossible not to see the parallels between Temiri’s story and Rey’s initial origin story in The Last Jedi that was later rewritten in The Rise of Skywalker.
StarWars.com describes Temiri’s daily life under the servitude of his extremely ugly and cruel master, Bargwill Tomder: “Temiri Blagg leads a forlorn existence in the shadows of Canto Bight’s wealth, caring for fathiers in stables ruled by the iron-fisted groom Bargwill Tomder. Temiri dreams of a better life somewhere among the stars. When two desperate Resistance fighters cross his path, he must make a crucial choice.”
When he’s not helping Finn and Rose Tico to free the fathiers and escape the guards on Canto Bight, Temiri is with his friends, Arashell Sar (Sarah Heller) and Oniho Zaya (Josiah Oniha), telling epic stories he’s heard about the Jedi and the heroes of the Resistance.
“Travelers from distant worlds bring them fragmented tales of adventure that excite their young imaginations,” reads The Visual Dictionary.
This is why the final scene of The Last Jedi features Temiri and his friends playing with a makeshift doll of Jedi Master Luke Skywalker at the Battle of Crait. Luke’s final heroic act has become a legend and lit the spark that will eventually unite the galaxy against the First Order’s tyranny. The final scene, one that serves as a sort of coda to the rest of the film, is meant to show that hope has not been lost in Luke’s absence and that the Force can be found in the most unexpected of places.
While the Prequel Trilogy featured countless Force users, both the Original and Sequel Trilogies have presented the ancient energy as a rare, elusive power only a select few possess. But where the original films only gifted the Skywalkers with Force abilities, the Sequel Trilogy democratized the Force to characters a bit more. We see this most clearly in The Rise of Skywalker when it’s teased that both Jannah and Finn are Force-sensitive. In fact, in The Last Jedi, Rey doesn’t have a famous lineage either – Johnson’s movie explains that she’s the daughter of alcoholic junk traders who sold her for drinking money – and neither does Temiri (to our knowledge). Yet they’re both able to wield the Force.
Little else is known about Temiri years later – and it might very well be that he has no further significance in the story beyond this coda in The Last Jedi – but there’s always the potential that he is destined for greatness. We can surmise from watching him longingly admiring the sky, just as Luke and Rey did before him, that he craves adventure and an escape from the planet to which he is shackled.
The very last shot shows Temiri holding his broom like a lightsaber, imagining himself a Jedi like the great Master Skywalker. In the end, that is Luke’s legacy – passing down what he has learned through his heroic actions in order to inspire a new generation. Like Luke and Rey before him, Temiri could be the galaxy’s next great hero. A new hope.
Unfortunately, we don’t get to revisit Temiri’s story in The Rise of Skywalker, which is already too jam-packed with other storylines and plot threads to tie up to say much about our beloved Broom Boy. Speaking recently on the These Are the Actors You’re Looking For podcast (via IGN), Blaev revealed how he felt about not getting a chance to reprise his role for The Rise of Skywalker.
“I wasn’t sure because it could have been, yes, (the director) would’ve continued my story, how Rey would have trained me or helped me in some way,” Blaev said of whether he expected to return for the saga ender and how he imagined Temiri’s story could’ve continued. “But then at the same time, am I really that important? Am I someone big or am I really just a boy, a lucky boy in a galaxy far, far away?”
Revealing that he’s been a Star Wars fan since age 7 and that his favorite movie in the saga is Attack of the Clones, Blaev said that he would have loved to appear in The Rise of Skywalker, but ultimately understood why Temiri wasn’t a bigger part of the story.
“A lot of people were asking me [about returning], and I said, ‘We’ll have to wait and see if I get called back. But I guess I kind of understand why it happened.”
Of course, the beauty of Star Wars is that it’s an ongoing story about different generations of heroes. That means that there’s always the possibility that our beloved Broom Boy will show up in a future story, older and ready to put his budding Force powers to the test. Until then, we’ll just have to live on the memory of the stunning final scene of The Last Jedi.