And behold, the title of Star Wars Episode VIII has been revealed!
THE LAST JEDI
I love it!
Why? Because it’s very simple, powerful, and very much falls in line with classic Star Wars titles. Some of the titles have taken a little getting used to (nothing wrong with that); I remember first hearing Attack of the Clones and feeling a bit jarred. Attack of the Clones? Ha! It’s a pulpy title to be sure, as if ripped right off the page of some 1930’s serial that Lucas always stated as being a primary influence for his Skywalker Saga. But The Last Jedi instantly rolls right off the tongue and nestles itself perfectly in my ears. It immediately sounds like a classic Star Wars movie. Yep, I’m really diggin’ it.
The Last Jedi can be taken a few different ways. There’s the obvious literal connotation, a reference to Luke Skywalker, who, as far as we know, is indeed the galaxy’s last Jedi Knight. Personally, I’d be thrilled with that. While The Force Awakens featured Han Solo front and center representing the “old guard” of Star Wars veterans, my friends and I were really pining for some Luke Skywalker action in the first movie of the new era. As the years have gone by, and the more I’ve watched Return of the Jedi, the more I’ve enjoyed witnessing Luke’s character arc, and the more I’ve noted just how much he progressed through the original trilogy. By ROTJ, he was the man!
Before we knew the focus of TFA, there was a lot of speculation on just how powerful Luke had become, and how much screen time would be dedicated to Jedi Master Skywalker vanquishing foes with the wave of a hand or the swing of that brilliant green lightsaber.
Okay, so we didn’t get to see that…yet; but when I think of all the setup The Force Awakens laid out for a wise old Luke in The Last Jedi, I get chills. There’s so much for him to do! He’s got Rey, and the mystery surrounding Maz’s acquisition of his old lightsaber, his father’s lightsaber; and he has all the emotional and logistical fallout from the loss of his nephew and prized student Ben to the whims of the evil Snoke. There’s a struggling Resistance who went to the ends of the galaxy to find him, and the further strain on his psyche for the terrible loss of Han Solo, who he may fully blame on himself. And there’s the guilt for simply disappearing, knowing that at the very least, his closest friends and allies miss him, and need him.
Luke Skywalker, the last Jedi Knight, has a lot to face up to.
Now here’s something else to consider: What if we took the title completely literally…?
The Last Jedi…like, the last one ever?
What if Luke, with all that has gone on, and having abandoned his efforts to begin a Jedi school, decides that the Jedi Order is to end with him, since he deems himself incapable of carrying on in such a manner as to institute a new era of organized force-wielding warriors? What if Luke decides the esteemed and legendary title Jedi Knight no longer has a place in the universe? Oh, I’m not suggesting he doesn’t train or at least reluctantly guide Rey, but what if he thinks the line and title of Jedi Knight itself ends with him?
The Last Jedi could very well end up being just that: the last Jedi ever… Rey may go on to become a extraordinarily powerful force wielder, as is suggested in Episode VII, but perhaps she doesn’t assume the monicker of Jedi Knight as per the wishes of Luke Skywalker himself.
This is all just speculation, an off-the-cuff reaction to my excitement over the unveiling of a shiny new title. There’s a lot of different directions our musings could take us. What are your thoughts? We’d love to hear them in the comments section! Chime up fellow Star Wars fans!
It’s always such a treat, the revelation of a new title; it’s like welcoming a new kid to the family. Whether you’re head over heels for the title or not, in time I’m confident it’ll stick with you and assume its place among all the other marvelous chapters in our beloved saga. But man, ya gotta admit, it even looks pretty good, doesn’t it?
Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi
Great stuff, my friends. Stay safe out there, enjoy pondering the title and its many possible implications, and may the force be with you, always.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens in theaters December 2017.
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