It’s official, writer/director Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII has a title: The Last Jedi. Since we’re all Star Wars fans and love to obsess over the most minute details about the galaxy far, far away, it’s time to obsess over a fairly big detail considering the new developments. Just who is the titular last Jedi?
This one is tricky, and is no doubt obscure on purpose (Thanks Rian Johnson). But we’ll speculate anyway.
The word “Jedi” is plural and singular, so it’s a bit of a toss-up with who to pinpoint as the ultimate Force-user(s) the title refers to. Much like learning to harness the power of the Force, figuring out what this title means isn’t immediately easy.
The knee-jerk reaction would be to think that it’s Luke. Yoda’s last words to Skywalker in Return of the Jedi were, “When gone am I, the last of the Jedi will you be.” In between the fall of the Empire at the end of that movie and the beginning of The Force Awakens, we know Luke tried to train new Jedi, including Han and Leia’s son, Ben Solo. But some weird Force shenanigans happened and made Ben veer towards the Dark side to embrace the same powers that drove his grandfather, thus making Ben Solo into Kylo Ren. As far as we know, Luke remained the last of the Jedi when he fled.
Also, The Force Awakens features explicit references to Luke as the last Jedi. It’s there right in the opening crawl:
And Snoke even refers to Luke as the last Jedi when telling Kylo and General Hux that they need to find BB-8:
But fans will also no doubt remember that The Force Awakens referred to the subconscious Light side of the Force that emerged in Jakku scavenger Rey, leading literally everyone to speculate on what that meant in relation to her mysterious parentage. When she showed on the secluded island of Ahch-To with Luke’s old lightsaber in tow, she offered it up to the exiled Jedi as if to initiate her Force training. If the title refers to Rey alone, that would seem to indicate that Luke Skywalker won’t live beyond Episode VIII.
Actress Daisy Ridley sowed some retroactive doubt about this considering she said she didn’t think Rey was or wanted to be a Jedi in an interview from 2016. “I don’t know if I am a Jedi I don’t think I am,” she told MTV. “We’ve had this debate as to whether Leia is because she uses her Force powers. Just because she’s not like, ‘Oh I’m going on an adventure’ like Luke doesnt make her any less Forceful.”
But then again, the grammar of the title means it could also be both of them or more, including Kylo Ren if he chooses to renounce the Dark side and go back to being regular old Force-loving Ben Solo. It could even be Obi-Wan or, god help us, Qui-Gon Jinn for all we know.
It seems the only way to figure out who the last Jedi is (or are) would be to just go see the movie — as if you weren’t going already. Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits theaters on December 15, 2017.
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