‘Star Wars’ title release asks more questions than it answers


Could Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) be the famed ‘last Jedi’?

As long as there have been “Star Wars” films, there’ve been speculation and theories concerning specific details. From the uses of false titles on the set of production, to the secret twists managed to be hidden throughout each film, the franchise is always one step ahead of the audience.

Last week, it was officially announced by Disney and director Rian Johnson that the eighth movie in the main “Star Wars” saga will be called “The Last Jedi.” With a release date of December 15th, 2017.

The film is going to continue chronicling the battle between the evil First Order and the Resistance. It is said to also pick up right where the “The Force Awakens” leaves off. That is, Rey (Daisy Ridley) finding the outcast Jedi Master Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), and to begin training in the ways of the force.

What’s curious, though, is who or what is the titular “Last Jedi” referring to? Is it the exiled Luke Skywalker, who was the last Jedi seen on screen? (It’s interesting to note that the screen crawl in “The Force Awakens” states that Luke is the last Jedi.) Or is it possibly referring to Rey, who following the structure of “Star Wars” films, is going to be trained in the ways of the force and carry on the title of Jedi?

An interesting note is that the word Jedi is used for both the singular and plural, referring to those who practice the ancient religion. So it might be that the title is a reference to the pair of Luke and Rey, which has been teased by multiple sources as a major focus of the film. It is also possible that the title is going to be a misdirect, and reference a new character, or another established but background player.

Another route Johnson might take is that the “Star Wars” universe has moved beyond the Jedi, and that a new way to view the force is going to become the new status quo for the galaxy. The heavily teased Knights of Ren, the group that antagonist Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is supposed to lead, might be the product of this new practice. This might be something akin to a grey Jedi, or one that straddles the line between the light and dark sides of the force.

It’ll be interesting to see what comes out of the marketing for the film, which should begin to pick up in the next couple of months. With Disney riding the wave of good publicity and critical response to “Rogue One,” it should only be a matter of time until the studio drops the first trailer for the film.

Even in it’s 40th year of mainstream recognition, “Star Wars” is still able to cause a maniac discussion of possible plot points and hype over something as simple as a title. This attests to how well the films resonate with audiences, and how much time and effort is placed on creating a galaxy far, far away.