We’ve all been losing our minds since Disney announced the title of Star Wars: Episode Eight. We’ve had Revenge of the Sith and Return of the Jedi, and now we’re going to have The Last Jedi. This is interesting for a number of reasons, one of which is that, like The Force Awakens, it doesn’t follow the usual Star Wars title formula. The first movie in a Star Wars trilogy is usually a descriptor and a noun–A New Hope, The Phantom Menace. The second film involves an action–The Empire Strikes Back, Attack of the Clones. And the third talks about a person or group of people–Return of the Jedi, Revenge of the Sith. The first movie in this trilogy is not a descriptor and noun, but an action, and the second movie is a person or group of people, not an action. What does it mean?
Not only that, but the Star Wars logo was lined in red instead of its usual yellow–possibly indicating that this film will involve the Sith in a major way. Are the Sith coming back? Is Kylo Ren a Sith lord or do he and Snoke fall under a different category? Is Luke the Last Jedi, and if so, what is the significance of the title?
Unfortunately, thanks to Disney’s notorious tight lips about the Star Wars franchise, we probably won’t have solid answers to these questions until December 15th. In the meantime, we’ve got a lot of theories about The Last Jedi–some harder to believe than others.
15. Anakin Skywalker
Anakin Skywalker was the Chosen One, the being who was prophesied to bring balance to the Force. And he did, but at a great cost.
Anakin Skywalker has been dead for thirty years, but maybe his story isn’t over yet. We’ve seen already that Anakin has the ability to manifest as a Force ghost, and we know from Kylo Ren’s hero-worship that the spirit of Anakin is alive and well. What if Anakin Skywalker still has a part to play? Just because he is physically dead doesn’t mean his presence can’t still be part of the story. Maybe this movie will examine the long-term effects of Darth Vader’s reign of terror. Maybe the former Jedi will appear himself, either as a Force ghost, a flashback, or an actual person. Maybe he won’t appear at all, and the movie will be about the Skywalker family’s collective struggle with the legacy of Anakin Skywalker.
14. Luke Turned to the Dark Side
There’s an awesome theory running around the internet that Luke actually turned to the Dark Side in Return of the Jedi. It probably isn’t true, but…imagine if it was. The whole time Luke was training new Jedi, he was actually training them in the Dark Side. Kylo Ren thought he was carrying out his grandfather’s work, but the truth is that he’d already been doing that all along. Maybe the title doesn’t only mean that Luke is the Last Jedi–maybe it means that he was the Last Jedi because when he turned to the Dark Side, he made it impossible for any of his pupils to learn the Jedi Way from him. Maybe that’s also why the title was lined in red–red and black are colors associated with the Sith, and the title’s color might indicate that The Last Jedi–Luke–is a Sith. Again, it probably isn’t true, but it would be kind of incredible.
13. There is Another…
When Luke leaves Dagobah to save Han and Leia, the ghost of Obi-Wan says, “That boy is our last hope.” Yoda reminds him that, “No. There is another.” While the consensus has long been that Leia is the other hope, there are some who have long thought that Yoda was referring to another person, someone who chose the path of the Force (which Leia did not). Perhaps there was a character we were supposed to meet in Return of the Jedi and Lucas decided to cut their storyline, and now this is our chance to meet them. Maybe the Last Jedi is a character we haven’t met yet, someone who has a secret that will turn the entire series on its head. Maybe this person has an even closer connection to the old Jedi Order, making them more experienced in the Jedi way than Luke–and therefore, the last real Jedi.
While the general consensus is that “The Last Jedi” refers to Luke (who is called “The Last Jedi” at least twice in the series), there are many who believe that “The Last Jedi” actually refers to Rey. This isn’t a terrible theory; Rey went to bring back Luke and get some answers, but as we’ve already seen, Rey is strong with the Force and has had no training. If Luke trains Rey the same way Yoda trained him, then Rey will have been trained in the Jedi way–so she very well could be a Jedi.
However, the usage of the word “last” has an ominous undertone. Why is Rey the last of the Jedi? Is the Jedi order going to be disbanded? Or does it mean something far worse–that Luke and Rey are both going to die, making it impossible for any future Jedi to continue their way of life?
Luke and Leia are both Force-sensitive, even if some fans like to pretend that isn’t the case. Obi-Wan calls Luke their “last hope”, but Yoda reminds him that “there is another”. Maybe he was talking about the fact that Leia is also Anakin Skywalker’s child, but he might have meant something more. Even though Leia seems to have chosen a political life over that of a Jedi, she may very well have been trained by Luke in the Jedi way. What if Luke dies and Rey hasn’t been fully trained by him yet–and Leia is the only person left who has? What if Leia is the Last Jedi? It would be a pretty cool reveal, though it would mean the death of Luke and would probably mean Leia would have to face off with her son, and one or both of them might not come out alive. So as much as we’d love to see Leia with a lightsaber, we kind of hope we don’t have to.
10. Luke Will Die
Many fans believe that the Last Jedi refers to Luke, and in fact, Luke is referred to as the Last Jedi both by Yoda and the opening crawl to The Force Awakens. So maybe he really is the Last Jedi–but then, why are we getting another movie named after him?
The Last Jedi is a pretty finite (and not a little ominous) title. While the previous movies centered around Luke had positive, upbeat titles (A New Hope, Return of the Jedi), The Last Jedi sounds like…well, the last. What if this is the last movie about Luke? What if he’s going to die in this movie–making him the last Jedi ever? It’s not impossible or even improbable–the new trilogy has very much been about the previous generation passing the torch. Narratively, it would make sense for Luke to follow the footsteps of the Jedi mentors before him (Obi-Wan, Yoda, Qui-Gon) and die, guiding his pupil’s path through the Force.
9. The Jedi Order
As some bloggers have pointed out, Jedi is both the singular and plural form of the word, so it may not be just one Jedi the title is talking about, but a whole group. The question is: which group of Jedi? Is it possible the title refers to the old Jedi Order, which mostly died out after Palpatine executed Order 66? Or could it possibly refer to the Jedi Luke was training when Kylo Ren turned to the Dark Side? Maybe there’s been an underground network of Jedi this whole time and we’re going to see what they’ve been up to in this movie. After all, we got to see the Jedi that Anakin Skywalker betrayed–why not see the ones that his grandson also betrayed?
Or maybe the title isn’t talking about the Jedi Order itself so much as the Force-sensitive characters we know and love. Luke, Leia, Rey, and even Kylo Ren–maybe these are all that’s left of the Jedi.
Even though Rey seems to be the Force sensitive one of the new trio, there are many who believe Finn is the Last Jedi. It would actually be really cool if Finn was Force sensitive, and would echo the original trilogy by having two Force sensitive individuals. Finn, as we’ve already seen, can handle a lightsaber, and his path is intertwined with Kylo Ren, Rey, and Luke Skywalker–all Force sensitive beings. However, the problem with Finn being the Last Jedi is that…well, he’s the last. So either Luke is going to die before training Rey, Luke and Rey are going to die, or Luke, Rey, and Finn are all going to die. Either way, the odds don’t look great, and as much as we want to see Finn as a Jedi, we also don’t want him, Luke, or Rey to die. So as much as we want Finn to be a Jedi, we don’t want him to be the Last Jedi.
7. Darth Jar-Jar
Yep, people are still waxing poetical about Darth Jar-Jar, a theory that has honestly transcended the realm of stupidity and landed in boring territory. It wouldn’t even be a fun reveal if Jar-Jar Binks was, for whatever reason, a Sith Lord. It would generate more eye-rolls than cheers.
Assuming for a moment that Jar-Jar Binks was a Sith Lord (and honestly, that’s a stretch), it’s impossible that he would have been trained in the Jedi way. Qui-Gon Jinn was a master, yet he did not recognize Jar-Jar, so Jar-Jar was definitely not trained at the Temple on Coruscant, which was the only place for Jedi to be trained at the time. If Jar-Jar was secretly trained by Palpatine as the theory suggests, then he would be a Sith, not a Jedi; so there is actually no way that Jar-Jar could be the last Jedi, because he was never a Jedi in the first place.
6. The End of the Jedi Way
The Old Jedi Order has been the source of some controversy in the Star Wars fandom. The Jedi abstention from attachment and possession, while good in theory, has obviously failed in practice. Many have cited their totalitarian approach to life as the reason why Anakin turned to the Dark Side in the first place; had his relationship with Padme not been forbidden, he wouldn’t have felt the need to go to such extreme measures to protect her. At the very least, they could have gone to an OB-GYN or something.
We don’t know much about the New Jedi Order, but it’s possible that something similar happened with Kylo Ren. Not a covert relationship, necessarily, but perhaps Ben Solo felt the same pressure that his grandfather did. Maybe in this movie, Luke will see the flaw in the system and disband the Jedi Order completely, realizing that forbidding attachment will only create more Darth Vaders and Kylo Rens.
Of course, no Star Wars speculation would be complete without a theory about Snoke. In fairness, we know so little about him, so it’s hard not to speculate who he might be.
Snoke is obviously Force sensitive; he can feel “an awakening” and he’s been Kylo Ren’s mentor in the Dark Side. We also have no idea how old Snoke is or how long someone like him can live, so the possibilities are endless. Maybe Snoke was part of the Old Jedi Order. Maybe when the other Jedi were killed by Order 66, Snoke was somehow able to survive. How and why, we don’t know, but maybe this is all an elaborate sort of revenge against Anakin Skywalker. Maybe Snoke does not believe that Luke or his pupils were truly Jedi, and so Snoke considers himself the Last Jedi. Whatever the case, we’re almost definitely going to find out what Snoke’s deal is in this next installment.
4. Luke Will Refuse to Train Rey
You can read a lot of things into Luke’s silent appearance at the end of The Force Awakens. Some people have read disappointment and even anger into it. But why? Kylo Ren and his Knights of Ren killed all of the Jedi at the Temple, with the exception of Luke. This is the second time the Jedi have been destroyed, both times by members of Luke’s family. Kylo Ren has been searching for Luke for years, and Luke probably knows that Kylo Ren would destroy any other Jedi who might have survived. When Rey comes to Luke, maybe the reason he looks disappointed is because he knows she’s putting her life in danger. Some have speculated that because of this, Luke will refuse to train Rey or any other pupil so that he won’t have to watch more people die. So, Luke will be the Last Jedi by his own choice.
3. Luke is the Last Jedi, But Rey Will Replace Him
There are some who believe that the Last Jedi is Luke, but that will change by the end of the new trilogy. After all, Luke was the Last Jedi before, but he was able to find other Force sensitive beings and train them in the Jedi way. Just because he is the Last Jedi in The Force Awakens does not mean he’s going to permanently be the Last Jedi in the galaxy. It’s entirely possible that while Luke may be the Last Jedi at the beginning of the film, he will train Rey to become a Jedi as well, meaning he will no longer be the Last Jedi.
There’s a twist to this theory that not everyone believes–that Luke will die and Rey will then take his place as the Last Jedi. It’s a little morbid, but it would make sense for Luke to pass the torch much like his own mentors passing the torch to him.
2. Rey and Luke
As we’ve already pointed out, Jedi is both the singular and plural form of the word. The Last Jedi might not just be one person–it could be two. There are some who believe that the Last Jedi is Luke–and Rey. We already know that Luke is the last of his kind–the last to be trained by Yoda, the only survivor of Kylo Ren’s mass killing. And we know that Rey is Force sensitive and has gone to Luke to learn more about herself, and he’s almost definitely going to train her just as Yoda trained him. Instead of only Luke or only Rey becoming the Last Jedi, it’s possible that the title refers to both of them–the last of their kind.
1. Rey, Luke, and Kylo Ren
Some people believe that not only are Luke and Rey going to be the Last Jedi, but there will be a third member of their party: Kylo Ren.
Ben Solo was trained in the Jedi way by his Uncle Luke, and if he reverts back to the Light, then he will be a Jedi again. The catch with this, however, is that Kylo Ren has to turn away from the Dark Side, and we can’t really see that happening. If Kylo Ren really is going to become a good guy again, it’s probably going to be at the end of his life, like his grandfather’s return to the Light in Return of the Jedi, and even then, that probably won’t happen until Episode Nine. We don’t know who the Last Jedi is and we probably won’t until December, but we’re pretty sure that whether it’s a single person or group of people, Kylo Ren does not fit the bill.