Disney has unveiled the title for the eighth main-saga episode: Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The highly anticipated sequel to The Force Awakens The Last Jedi title is so nebulous but holds a great deal of meaning as to how the story could unfold. Warning: Wild speculation on the Star Wars franchise follows. Who is the titular Last Jedi? And how could the sequel play into the main continuity?
The Last Jedi is Luke…
Luke is by all accounts, currently the most powerful force wilder in the galaxy. He’s also the last living being who’s earned and retained (unknown if Kylo completed his training before he turned) the title of Jedi Knight. Luke was the Padawan of both Masters Obi Wan Kenobi and Yoda.
Every Padawan must complete a personal nearly impossible task a “trial” to demonstrate his fitness to become a Jedi Knight. Luke’s “trial” was facing and defeating his father, Darth Vader. At the end of The Force Awakens Rey returns Anakin Skywalkers Lightsaber to him (Luke lost it and his sword hand on Bespin dueling Vader in TESB) on the ancient Jedi planet Ahch-To home of the first Jedi temple, to assumedly be trained as a Jedi. This is a bit on the nose for me. I’d like to think they could be a little better storytellers than that. But, there are other possibilities.
The Last Jedi is Rey…
Jedi is plural, so Rey and Luke together could be the last of the Jedi. But this Episode falling squarely into the “Empire” slot seeing that “The Force Awakens” was most definitely “A New Hope”, ‘Last’ implies something sinister. If you notice, the STAR WARS in the title is blood red. Like the color of a Sith Saber. Either Luke dies before Rey’s training is complete making him the final Jedi. Or Rey is the final Jedi upon Luke’s demise.
Or we might get a flashback story where we see Luke, Ben Solo & others training at Luke’s failed Jedi Academy. This would be terrific on many levels. It would tell the story of Ben’s fall, rise of “The Knights of Ren” and some bad ass Lightsaber action, Luke and his Padawans last stand and Luke’s flight into seclusion. Interspersed with Rey’s training and Finn, Poe & the Resistance dealing with the repercussions of Starkiller Base and the destruction of The New Republic’s current Government, that’s plenty to chew on!
Then, the possibility exists that Rey is the true heir to Vader? That the abandoned, isolated little girl at her core is as wounded as Anikin’s slave boy was. As powerful as she is in the force Rey succumbs to the quick and easy path. Perhaps Rey rushes to confront Ren before she’s ready to save Finn, the only friend she really had? Echoes of The Empire Strikes Back are definitely there. Attachment Yoda warned, was the shadow of greed. Perhaps Rey outright betrays her Master Luke, kills him and falls to become a Sith? That would be super dark, but the success of Rouge One shows that dark might be the way to go before we get the meat & potatoes good guys win finale of the latest Trilogy which will be Chapter 9. And here’s my wildest theory yet.-
The Last Jedi is Kylo Ren…
Yes, total head fake. Yes, Ren killed his own father Han Solo. Yes, Ren seems to be irredeemable by the end of The Force Awakens. But, are his crimes any more sinister than Vaders? Is he any less conficted? In the end, Vader’s conflict was resolved by Luke’s intervention. Sith always betray their masters so eventually Palpatine would have been killed, but Vader himself chose the light side of The Force in the end. How far fetched could it be that Kylo Ren is redeemed? By Leia? or Rey? May even Luke, his former master? Perhaps Snoke was really after Rey all along and Kylo & Rey switch paths? Remember, the “Jedi” that returns in “Return of the Jedi”, is Anakin, not Luke. The original trilogies document Anikin’s rise, fall and redemption. Confirmed by George Lucas himself. So a similar scenario is within the realm of possibility. But one more less likely scenario exists –
The Last Jedi is No one and Everyone…
Ok, The Force is generated within all living things, and there are powerful force sensitive elder beings who aren’t Jedi or Sith. Remember it’s all cannon including the Star Wars: The Clone Wars & Star Wars Rebels Animated series. As told to birthmoviesdeath.com interviewing David Meloni There are benign creatures who possess both light and dark attributes of The Force, which may ultimately be the point. Like gigantic Bendu pictured (voiced by Tom Baker yes, the fourth Doctor!) Perhaps the BALANCE of light and dark within us all is the endgame here? That accepting coexistence is the key to ending conflict internally, individually and on a galactic scale? Perhaps once EVERYONE seeks to find that balance is the key to unlocking The Force that dwells in us all? Knowledge is knowledge. Think about it. If everyone one was a Force wielder, balancing their light and dark aspects, what need would their be for Sith or Jedi?
Well that’s my two cents. What’s your theory? Leave it in comments below!
Art Credit – Disney / Lucasfilm / Wiki / birthmoviesdeath.com