Who is the last Jedi?
“For over a thousand generations, the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic. Before the dark times, before the Empire.”
Disney and Lucasfilms revealed earlier this week the title of the next installment.
Episode VIII: The Last Jedi.
We have so many questions. Here are some very different theories we have about the title.
Who is the last Jedi?
POTENTIAL THEORY SPOILERS FOLLOW
The Director of Episode VIII Rian Johnson has weighed in. From his point of view, the last Jedi was never anyone but Luke. He said recently,
"It's so funny when people started asking that when the title was announced because I never even pondered that question... In my mind its singular. They say in The Force Awakens that he's gone on to find the last Jedi temple. Luke is the last Jedi."
While even a Director's comments never complete close the door on fan theories, it appears Rian Johnson has cast a powerful vote for Luke Skywalker. (Good Morning America)
The History of the Last Jedi
The Jedi knights became all but extinct in the shadow of the empire after Episode III's Order 66. Few scattered Jedi remained throughout the galaxy. By the end of Episode VI, the Return of the Jedi, Luke Skywalker was the last of the heroic order. Both Yoda and Obi-Wan had passed on to take their place in the living Force.
In the time between Episode VI and VII, Luke tried to revive the Jedi order. He failed to do so. A catastrophic event led to Luke's demise of the resurgent Jedi order. In its place, a new dark side power rose up headed by Kylo Ren and his knights of Ren under the First Order leadership of Supreme Leader Snoke. Han and Leia Solo also lost a son amid this catastrophe. The final images of Episode VII leaves us with the last Jedi returning to the galactic stage.
We assume two things.
First, Luke Skywalker is the last Jedi in The Force Awakens and entering into Episode VIII is still the “last Jedi.”
Second, the last Jedi is singular and will remain so. Click here to see why we believe this. The Last Jedi, One No More.
Now let’s theorize.
So, why are we talking about “the last Jedi” now?
We’ve always known who is the last Jedi.
Clearly Luke is the Last Jedi as he has always been. This is still Luke Skywalker’s story. Episode VIII is definitely going to be heavy on Luke, as they've said. It is going to be a return to Luke as center stage for the Skywalker saga. We will follow his training of Rey and battle with the First Order. He will confront his own failure as a mentor to Kylo Ren as Obi-Wan did before him. We will also look back at his time before and during Episode VII with some amazing flashback sequences highlighting his time as “the last Jedi.” This episode is going to be all about Luke from the start. He made only a little appearance in TFA, but he will dominate Episode VIII. The saga is Luke's story. The burden was always his to bear. The last Jedi is Luke Skywalker. It always was.
Luke may have started Episode VII TFA as the Last Jedi, but Episode VIII will end with Rey as the last Jedi.
Episode VII will be more about Rey than Luke as the torch is passed to a new generation, again. Disney and Lucasfilms aren't going to go in some crazy new direction. These are new stories but they will follow old paths, just like Ep. VII. It’s clear this story is now about Rey and Ren. Luke will play the mentor role and pass into the Force just like Obi Wan did in A New Hope or even like the mentor Han Solo in The Force Awakens. Rey will emerge as the last Jedi. It will be her story from now on. Rey will rise up to defeat Ren and Snoke from the ashes of Luke’s sacrifice. This is Star Wars after all and Disney is not afraid of re-hashing old tropes from the original films in new packages. There will be some little twists but it's pretty clear Rey is the last Jedi.
The last Jedi is not currently a Jedi at all.
The story of Luke and Rey is ultimately doomed to a very compelling drama. Snoke and Ren will take their revenge on the last Jedi, Luke Skywalker. They will destroy him before Rey can become the powerful Jedi/Skywalker torch bearer she was destined to be. This is where the story will take a dark turn and break new ground. The red lettering in the title signals this dark turn.
The villains will largely succeed by the end of Episode VIII killing Luke before Rey can prepare herself for the burden of being the last Jedi. Like Empire Strikes Back, the dark side will come out of the middle trilogy film with the upper hand. In doing so, it will be Kylo Ren who will rise up as Vader once did to defend his sister. As she falls to Snoke’s power, it will be Ren who returns to the light side and rises up to become the last Jedi as Ben Solo.
The Star Wars saga was always about the Skywalkers and Kylo Ren will be the last surviving Skywalker. He will learn the truth about who was his real grandfather, Anakin Skywalker Jedi Knight and he won’t let Snoke manipulate him further. Kylo Ren will end Episode VIII as the last Jedi as a new threat far more dangerous than Snoke and the Sith is revealed.
You’ve missed a huge reveal early on in Episode VII which reveals what the Force really Awakens and who will be the final Jedi.
Here is what you may have missed. As the First Order troopers raided the village where Po Dameron was retrieving the whereabouts of the last Jedi, the Force Awakens. It didn’t awaken in Rey. It was in FN-2187, a first order trooper. As he touches the helmet of his dying fellow trooper, something happens to him. It's a shock to his "programming." Something is passed to him, and he is taken back - never again what they created him to be. It is a powerful and mystical transformation. It is at that moment he is awakened to be the true hero of the new trilogy. It is Finn who takes up the lightsaber. It is Finn who fights off Kylo Ren to save Rey. As the tragedy of Luke and Rey unfold in Episode VIII, it will be Finn who takes up the lightsaber once again to become the last Jedi.
There is no “new” last Jedi.
These other theories are so predictable. Time for something new.
Episode VII set up a new story by leveraging old tropes. But, now it is time for a wholly new direction and drama. There is no “last Jedi” anymore than there has been since Luke proclaimed himself a Jedi, like his father before him. The Jedi order dies with Luke. He will be the last Jedi and Episode VIII will be his swan song. Yet, the story will not go the way you think. Rey will not be the last Jedi.
The title refers to a “last Jedi” because the Jedi order will die with Luke, even if Luke doesn’t die in this film. He will not pass on his knowledge to Rey as it has become clear to him the order should not survive in its "Republic-era" form. Too much suffering has come from Jedi turning to the dark side, and so something new will come out of Episode VIII. It must evolve. Rey is that evolution but she is no Jedi.
The series hasn’t been expanding its Force lore for no reason. There are more types of Force users and Force sensitive beings in the galaxy than Jedi and Sith. Maz Kanata was clearly force sensitive but not a Jedi in Episode VII. The Guardian of the Whils, Chirrut Imwe in Rogue One opened up the lore of the Force even more. Rey will step out of the light and become what the Jedi should have always been. She will be a grey Jedi not limited by the dogmatic view of the Jedi, but freed by the inclusion of love and passion. As Luke proclaimed he was a Jedi like his father before him. Rey will stand up to Snoke with Ren proclaiming, ‘I am no Jedi!’ The Jedi order dies in Episode VIII with Luke Skywalker. The story will continue in a new direction away from Skywalkers and the Republic era Jedi into new uncharted territory. It really has to in order to succeed in the long term. We can't constantly follow the same old tropes if we're going to get a movie every year for the next couple of decades, which we likely will.
Vote Now in our Polls section and let us know which of these you agree with. Comment to add your own theories.
We hope you enjoyed these theories. The truth is that we do not know what will happen in Episode VIII and we like it that way. Creating more questions than answers is a much appreciated function of good narrative development and storytelling. It gives us a lot to talk about. While one of these theories or some mix may come to pass, each certainly has some pretty solid narrative footing. We won’t know until after the opening crawl of Episode VIII. We can’t wait.
Please click the link below and vote for the theory you think will come to pass or add your own in the comments on our poll (upcoming when we publish this on the main site). We love talking about Star Wars and other geek movies and TV shows with you.