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By Jason John.
After some debate as to what the next entry in the main Star Wars film would be subtitled, it seems that fans finally have an answer. Star Wars: Episode VIII will bear the subtitle The Last Jedi. While some fans are overjoyed just to have one mystery to solve with their favorite sci-fi series in the control of the white-gloved mouse, others have already begun to dissect and analyze the relationship between the title and its story.
One interesting discussion is that the word “Jedi” is both a singular and plural noun in much the same way as “moose” or “geese.” Depending on fan speculation, the “last Jedi” could refer to several scenarios, including the following:
The hesitant look on Luke Skywalker’s face at the end of The Force Awakens, the second highest grossing film of 2016, might have the film’s first act revolve around Rey trying to convince a jaded and disillusioned Luke to teach her the ways of the Force. Act two might have him agreeing to train her. When Luke feels her training is nearly complete, he sends her to harvest just the right kyber crystal, either from within a wrecked vessel or by mining a raw mass within the ground, without explaining why; Disney-era supplementary material indicates that kyber reacts to a worthy Force-user and Luke is acting on this knowledge.
After Rey harvests the Kyber and manufactures her own saber grip, Luke tells her to hand the completed blade over to him; she hesitates but agrees to her master’s request. Luke powers on the blade without issue and tells Rey to kneel. Again, Rey complies with Luke’s request and Luke formally knights her as a Jedi, handing her saber back to her as the final act of their teacher-student relationship. Rey might ask “So this makes me just as much of a Jedi as you?,” to which Luke will remark that he no longer considers himself worthy of the title. Rey becomes the last Jedi.
Luke, having little, if any, familiarity with the ways of the Jedi council and its paired relationships of padawan and master, may run Rey through the same rigorous training that Yoda put him through. After he grows satisfied with Rey’s results, Luke would shrug, hold an informal knighting ceremony and proclaim Rey to be just as much of a Jedi as himself.
Curiously, this new subtitle closely shares its name with a series of novels set within the expanded universe; works of fiction that expanded upon the official films and television programs that have mostly been de-canonized upon Disney’s acquisition of the property. Specifically:
The Last Jedi is the title of a 2013 novel within the “Legends” series of novels. Funnily enough, this book’s original title was to be Jedi Dawn until one of the authors noticed that another novel had already used that title. The Last of the Jedi is the subtitle of ten novels, beginning with 2005’s The Desperate Mission up to 2008’s Reckoning.