What Does Star Wars: The Last Jedi Mean?

Rey Force Awakens

We've spent years referring to director Rian Johnson's debut in the Star Wars universe simply as "Episode VIII," but the mystery regarding the movie's title has come to an end. Today came the official announcement that the sequel to J.J. Abrams The Force Awakens has a name, and it's Star Wars: The Last Jedi. As occurs with all major news surrounding the legendary sci-fi franchise, the reveal has sent a wave of buzz around the world, as fans have begun discussing exactly what those last three words mean. We here at CinemaBlend are certainly no different, and we're particularly curious about the individual to whom the subtitle is referring.

The answer to this mystery isn't exactly readily available within the information we know about Star Wars: The Last Jedi to this point, as Lucasfilm, Disney, the filmmakers and the cast have all been very tight-lipped regarding details. We know the story picks up immediately after The Force Awakens, with Rey (Daisy Ridley) meeting Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) for the very first time, and we're expecting some training to go down as a result, but that's pretty much the full extent of information that has been made public so far. Because of this, we're left with multiple options regarding who "The Last Jedi" is, so let's discuss the best options, shall we?

Given that the alternate name for the main Star Wars series is the Skywalker Saga, there's a solid chance that the title is referring to Luke Skywalker -- and there's a good amount of evidence pointing in that direction. For starters, when the movie actually begins, the legendary hero will factually be The Last Jedi, as he is the only individual left in the galaxy who actually went through the proper training and stayed on the Light Side of The Force. Sure, he personally tried to raise a new generation of Jedi, but we know from The Force Awakens that didn't wind up working out so well (we'll get into that more in a bit). By the time Episode VIII is over it may no longer be the case, but The Last Jedi as a subtitle would be an accurate fit if referring to Luke.

This brings us to our next option, who is really the character most likely to actually become a Jedi before the end of the next movie: Rey. We learned in J.J. Abrams' film that the young girl once stranded on Jakku is most definitely Force-sensitive, and for whatever reason has a personal connection that is linked to the lightsaber once wielded by both Anakin and Luke Skywalker. Given everything mentioned in the last paragraph, something terrible would probably have to happen to Luke in order for The Last Jedi to be a fitting reference to the young heroine, but if Rey completes her training in Episode VIII, then it could certainly be her who is the target of the title.

The dark horse in this race is Ben Solo a.k.a. Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), but that would require a serious change of heart to occur, and it's one that's not terribly likely to happen in the second third of a three-part arc. As alluded to earlier, fans know that young Ben was originally on the path to become a full-fledged Jedi, training as a Padawan with Luke Skywalker as his teacher... but that all went horribly wrong when Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) began bending his ear and luring him to the Dark Side. If Kylo Ren were to find his way back to the side of good he could maybe become Jedi -- possibly the last one -- but given everything that we've seen him say and do (like killing his own father), that doesn't seem super probable.

Who do you think The Last Jedi in the title for Star Wars: Episode VIII refers to? Do you think it's Luke, Rey or Kylo Ren -- or do you think that it could possibly be a different character altogether? Hit the comments section below with your thoughts, and, as always, be sure to stay tuned for more updates here on CinemaBlend!

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.