Written by: Annelise Benoit
Early Monday morning, Star Wars released the title of the highly anticipated sequel to 2015’s The Force Awakens. The first poster shows the new title Star Wars: The Last Jedi in bright red. Naturally, fans are speculating who this last jedi is with guesses ranging from Luke to the infamous Jar Jar Binks (because apparently Jar Jar is the answer to everything). The use of red instead of the classic yellow is also a major question mark but there is not enough information yet to guess and numerous possibilities. While we won’t have answers for a while longer, we can speculate.
Is there only one Last Jedi?
Jedi is one of those words that is both singular and plural. This means that there could be more than one last jedi. If this is true, it is most likely Luke and Rey now that they are training together. The film's director Rian Johnson said that Rey and Luke will have a strong connection in the movie with many theorizing that they could be family. The only way to prove if the title is in fact plural is with the foreign title. Many languages assign gender and number with objects. The only one I can find so far is Italian: Star Wars: L'ultimo Jedi. I’ve never studied Italian but from what I can tell “l’” is used for masculine and feminine singular nouns beginning with a vowel and “gli ultimo” would be the plural for “the last.” If this is true, then this theory is debunked and there is only one “last jedi.”
The most obvious choice is Luke. He is first referenced as the last jedi by Yoda in Return of the Jedi when he says “When gone am I, the last of the Jedi will you be.” In The Force Awakens, he is referenced as the last jedi by Supreme Leader Snoke as well as the opening crawl. Director Rian Johnson recently told USA today that “‘What’s going on with Luke Skywalker?’ is the essential question at the heart of the new film.” The Force Awakens was all about “Where is Luke?” and now that Rey has found him, it is time for him to step up. In the official announcement on the Star Wars twitter, they said “It's official. STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI is the next chapter of the Skywalker saga.” This feels like Disney’s way of telling the public that Luke is back this time and will have a significant role after many fans were disappointed with the lack of Luke in The Force Awakens. This should be the definitive answer but according to a quiz on IBM’s twitter, he is not the popular option.
The second popular option is Daisy Ridley’s Rey. The Force Awakens ends with her going to Luke to train in the art of the jedi. As the newest force-user, it is likely that she could be the last. If she is the last jedi, this is not a good sign for Luke fans. For Rey to become the last, Luke would have to die in this movie and pass the title to her. Many fans speculate that all three characters from the original big three (Han, Luke, and Leia) will die before the end of this trilogy but we just had a whole movie dedicated to finding him. There is a less dire situation for Luke.
Just because Rey has the Force, it doesn’t mean she is a Jedi. There are several things going back to Yoda and Snoke. When Yoda called Luke the last jedi, he immediately tells him to “Pass on what you have learned.” Luke is never given the rank of master so it is possible that those he trains are not real jedi. Snoke even says that “if Skywalker returns, the new jedi will rise.” Does this mean that Rey is the first of a new breed of jedi with a different name? While nothing is known of Kylo’s knights of Ren, he is never referred to as Sith. Does this mean that the Sith have evolved into the knights of Ren? While this could be the end of the Jedi order, it may be the start of something new.
There are so many theories floating around and it is fun to speculate but we won’t know the answers until December. The important thing is that we are getting another Star Wars movie and marketing has begun.