Monday, July 15, 2024

Star Wars VIII turns into Star Wars: The Last Jedi

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The title of Star Wars Episode VIII was officially revealed on today, meaning that we no longer have to talk about Episode VIII and can now officially talk about Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Despite this being very exciting, as is everything that is revealed about the new Star Wars movies, it is also kind of frustrating because the movie doesn’t really give anything about the plot. Although the ominous red lettering and the title hint at the First Order and thus the dark side of the Force becoming more powerful, the movie title can actually refer to the multiple last Jedi. That’s mostly because Jedi is both singular and plural – the title hints at more than one possible plot.

Thus, the title adds new fuel to the fire that is the theory that Luke will die in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, probably after he has finished training Rey, making her the last Jedi, singular. It would fit well with the theme of mentors dying after they have finished mentoring, as exemplified by Qui Gon Jin, Obi Wan Kenobi, Yoda and maybe even Han. It would also further parallel Luke with his ex-mentor Yoda, who also hid on a far away planet while the galaxy descended into darkness around him until a young, strong force user found him again which he taught after initial resistance and until he died. Luke’s story line mirroring Yoda’s seems especially likely considering how much The Force Awakens mirrored A New Hope. But then again, Yoda died in Episode VI, not episode V – Luke could thus easily survive The Last Jedi only to die in the still unnamed Episode IX.

Another option is that Rey does not become a full – fledged Jedi for some reason, for example because her training is interrupted by outside forces, like the war against the First Order, or because she realises that the Jedi way of life is something she is unwilling to commit to after years of living all alone on a desert planet. There is also the possibility that Rey embraces the dark side of the Force after all. All of these scenarios would then leave Luke as the last true Jedi, again singular.

The third option I see is Kylo Ren being redeemed and turning back to the Light side while Rey is completing her training, making him and Luke the last fully trained Jedi, again plural. The hints for a Kylo Ren redemption arc were there in The Force Awakens, after all, even if he seemingly turned away from the light side by murdering his father. A confrontation with Leia, for example, could then make him turn his back on Snoke and re-embrace the status of Jedi. Another option that also involves a Kylo Ren redemption arc is him killing Luke, but turning to the light side afterwards – again maybe through a confrontation with Leia – and then training Rey, making him the last Jedi, singular.

There’s also the option that Finn discovers his Force sensitivity in some way at the beginning of the movie and flies to Ahch-To to be trained by Luke as well. After their training finishes, they confront the First Order/Kylo Ren/Snoke or all of them and in the ensuing fight Luke is killed. This would make the already trained Rey and Finn the last Jedi, plural.

And the fifth and final option is that the movie title is actually plural and the movie only features a short montage of Rey finishing her training, becoming a Jedi and the movie then simply focusing on the dynamics between her and Luke as the last two Jedi in the fight against the First Order. In that case, the potential of both Finn’s Force sensitivity and Kylo Ren’s redemption arc is lost which is why I personally find it unlikely.

This is what I meant when I wrote that the title hints at everything but gives nothing away. Because Jedi is both singular and plural, it could essentially mean anything – even a single or a bunch of Jedi that hid in the shadows since the fall of the original Order or Kylo Ren’s murder of his fellow apprentices. Ultimately, no theory about the plot of Episode VII is actually confirmed by the reveal of its title, meaning that we can all go back to our deductions and speculations, for example in the comment section of this article.

Images courtesy of Disney

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