‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’: What the ‘Episode VIII’ Title Tells Us
Each Star Wars movie comes paired with a title that’s as cryptic as it is apt. We only find out just how apt it really is after seeing the film itself, leaving us to wildly speculate on a handful of words sans any other concrete information. In the case of Episode VIII, Lucasfilm has finally unveiled Star Wars: The Last Jedi as the film’s official title, and it carries a whole mess of implications. That being so, let’s jump in and try to decode exactly what it might mean.
1. This is clearly still a Skywalker-centric story
The first thing that pops out isn’t simply the ominous title: It’s the brief description offered by Lucasfilm, dubbing The Last Jedi as “the next chapter in the Skywalker saga.” It’s an interesting contrast to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which was decidedly light on Skywalker drama, dealing more in Rey’s mysterious origin and Finn’s defection from the First Order. More than that, The Last Jedi hints heavily toward Rey carrying her own Skywalker lineage, especially as she continues to establish herself as the central presence of the new trilogy.
2. The significance of the red font
As one Twitter user pointed out (above), the last time a Star Wars movie significantly featured a red font in the title, things got bad for all involved. Anakin Skywalker fell to the Dark Side, the Jedi were all but eradicated, Padmé Amidala died in childbirth, and the galaxy fell under the oppressive yoke of the Empire. None of that bodes well for The Last Jedi, sporting a similar red font for its own title.
3. A nod to the original trilogy
Before Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith was ever a glimmer in the eye of George Lucas, Revenge of the Jedi was the first and only Star Wars title to feature a red font. The title was later canned though, with the movie getting renamed Return of the Jedi in an effort to have it sound less aggressive. Perhaps the red font for The Last Jedi is simply a nod to that, and bears no thematic significance, as unlikely as that possibility may be.
4. Worth pointing out: “Jedi” can be singular or plural
While many fans are pointing out the contradictory nature between the titles for The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, it’s worth noting that the singular and plural forms of “Jedi” are identical. This could make the title that much more ambiguous as a result. It could very well be referring to just Luke, or it could signify that he and Rey, together, are the last Jedi. Long story short, Episode VIII‘s title doesn’t necessarily mean the new Jedi Order is down to its last man.
5. Could this be the end for a certain Skywalker?
All singular/plural debates aside, The Last Jedi doesn’t give us a whole lot of hope for Luke’s long-term survival. The Star Wars saga has a lengthy history of killing off elderly mentors, with a list that includes Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, and Han Solo. Maybe Luke will be the first of the bunch to actually survive through a whole trilogy, but combine the history of the Star Wars franchise with the ominous title of Episode VIII, and we don’t have a whole lot of reasons to hope for the best.
6. No matter what, we’re getting a whole lot more Luke in Episode VIII
There’s no doubt that the excitement surrounding the return of Luke Skywalker in The Force Awakens ran high. He was in the main poster for the film, showed up briefly in every trailer, and was heavily involved with the press tour leading into the premiere. So imagine everyone’s surprise when Luke had no spoken lines and about 30-seconds of screen time, all of which involved him quietly staring at Rey in the closing moments.
If The Last Jedi tells us anything, it’s that Luke Skywalker will be an integral part of Episode VIII. Whether he’ll survive or not is a complete mystery, but it’s exciting to know Mark Hamill won’t be sidelined this time around, especially as Rey begins to learn the ways of the Force.
7. Alternatively, “The Last Jedi” could be referring to someone else
Luke Skywalker’s increased role in Episode VIII has been all but guaranteed at this point. That said, “the Last Jedi” could still be referring to someone else. The first (and most obvious) possibility is Rey, who’s just now beginning her Jedi training under Luke.
The second option: Kylo Ren. One popular theory concerning the remaining films in the trilogy opines that Kylo could very well end up turning back to the Light Side. If he does, that would make him the most powerful Force-wielder in the galaxy aside from Luke himself, assuming the official role of the true last Jedi.
8. What this could mean for Rey
If we’re going to cover all the possible meanings of the new title, we’d be remiss in not at least pointing out one frightening possibility: If Rey turns to the Dark Side, Luke really would be the last Jedi. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time a powerful Force wielder gave in to the pull of the Dark Side. It would also provide us with a shocking second-chapter twist akin to the one we saw in The Empire Strikes Back, albeit one that would be damn tragic to see come to fruition.
9. The implications concerning the animated Star Wars universe
Set in the days directly preceding A New Hope, Disney’s animated Rebels TV series prominently features at least three active Jedi during the Rebellion. The roster as it stands now: former Jedi Padawan Kanan Jarrus, young Jedi-in-training Ezra Bridger, and Anakin’s former apprentice, Ahsoka Tano. If The Last Jedi really is using the singular form, that means Kanan, Ezra, and Ahsoka are no longer present.
10. The first teaser — could a trailer be coming soon?
Based on the release schedule for The Force Awakens‘ trailers, the unveiling of Episode VIII‘s title could very well be the harbinger of the first official full-length trailer. With the film’s release just months away, we wouldn’t be at all surprised to see The Last Jedi get its first trailer soon.
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