Why 'Episode VIII' Title Creates More than One 'Last Jedi'

If Luke Skywalker is, in fact, The Last Jedi in Star Wars: Episode VIII, he might just be a last Jedi. In English, the word “Jedi” is both plural and singular, but now that the title of the newest Star Wars film has been translated into other languages, there’s growing evidence that more than one Jedi could be involved.

Spanish site Engadget.com reported on Friday that Spain’s Star Wars.com has released a version of the title “The Last Jedi” and that word for Jedi is intentionally plural. IGN’s German site also indicates that “Jedi” in the title should be translated in the plural. So, is this just an issue of weird translations or does this all somehow confirm there are more than one Jedi being referenced in the title?

Inverse reached out to Kory Stamper, an associate editor Merriam-Webster and author of the forthcoming book Word by Word to help clear up what’s going on. “In English, ‘Jedi’ usually has what we call a zero plural — its plural form is the same as its singular,” Stamper said, “so you use the same one when you’re talking about singular, ‘the Jedi’, and plural, ‘the Jedi’.”

Many Jedi or one Jedi?

But when Jedi was translated into German, something changed. “German is not a language that can handle a lot of ambiguity,” Stamper explained. So, the German translator apparently chose between two options: “Der Letzte Jedi” for the singular or “Die Letzten Jedi” for the plural. Whoever translated it into German choose the plural. “English allows for ambiguity where other languages don’t,” Kory Stamper said. “If ‘Jedi’ is neuter (der), then the singular title would be ‘Der Letzte Jedi.’ So yeah, that title as given is totally plural. Even if ‘Jedi’ were feminine and took ‘die’ for both plural and singular, that damned ‘letzten’ is the tell.”

Was a zero plural specifically not picked for the German translation? Unclear. The current German translation definitely intentionally references more than one Jedi. While it seems very unlikely that the translators of the film’s title in Germany spoke to Rian Johnson about the plot of the movie, this plural revelation will give fans even more to think about in terms of Rey and Luke’s respective fates in Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi.

Note: This article has been updated since first publish.

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