Last week, fans of the Star Wars saga were rocked to find out that the title of the next movie, Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi is, in fact, plural. Foreign language titles prove that the word “jedi” is in fact plural in its use here, which threw a wrench into a lot of theorizing.
Before the reveal, a lot of English-language Star Wars fans were afraid that “The Last Jedi” meant that Luke Skywalker would be the next member of the original trilogy’s Golden Trio to become one with the Force. Now, knowing that the word is plural gives them, and all of us, a little wiggle room.
But who are the Last Jedi? We have a number of options, so let’s take a look and see if we can’t come up with a workable theory!
Option One: Rey and Luke
This seems like the most obvious option — he’s already a Jedi, and she’s going to him for training. Slashfilm stands with this idea, though they specifically say that Luke “is one of the few final Jedi in existence,” so it’s clear they’re leaving the door open for more.
I, personally, agree that there has to be more than Rey and Luke — so who else?
Option Two: Rey, Luke, and Finn
The theory that Finn is Force-sensitive is a fairly popular one, and I would say it’s supported by a lot of evidence in The Force Awakens. He hears the impending attack on Takodana even when that’s not really physically possible, and is, therefore, the first to give people a warning about it. Additionally, as a writer for The Mary Sue put it, he is remarkably proficient with a lightsaber for someone who isn’t explicitly Force-sensitive, deflecting blaster-fire and holding his own with Kylo Ren, who, while injured during that fight, has been trained in the art from childhood.
Additionally, having both Rey and Finn be Force-sensitive, and potentially “the Last Jedi,” allows for the writers to have potentially killed off Luke Skywalker. Considering his role in the film — and, indeed, in this trilogy of the franchise — is basically implied to be “Yoda, but human,” it would make sense.
It’s not a new observation that The Force Awakens retreaded a lot of A New Hope’s narrative structure: Poe Dameron plays a similar role to Princess Leia — raised in the Resistance, has to be rescued, etc. — while Finn and Rey play similar roles to Han Solo and Luke Skywalker respectively. Han Solo takes on Ben Kenobi’s position in the narrative, and Kylo Ren homages Darth Vader often explicitly.
So, if Luke is the Yoda of this story, wouldn’t it make sense for him to pass away, but tell Rey that “there is another”?
Additionally, having a character who serves the Han Solo role be Force-sensitive would subvert that previously-established narrative framework, which I personally think would be really cool.
That about does it for theories that have significant narrative backing, but I’d like to put forward a few more ideas that are a little more “out there.”
Option Four: Luke, other characters we haven’t met yet, and possibly Rey and/or Finn:
Whoo, that’s a mouthful. I’m positing this theory mostly because there are plenty of new actors in this movie whose roles haven’t been defined yet. The fact that Luke Skywalker vanished into seclusion for the majority of The Force Awakens doesn’t mean he was alone, just that he wasn’t where people could find him.
And honestly, if I were a Jedi who’d just lost everyone I’d ever trained, my first priority before training anyone else would be to be sure no one would be able to find us. So, for all we know, Crystal Clarke or Kelly Marie Tran’s characters could be young Jedi Luke is in the process of training.
Alternatively, older actors without listed roles could be Force-sensitives who trained with Luke as adults and weren’t present when Kylo Ren destroyed Luke’s rebuilt Order, who, like Luke, vanished into the far reaches of space.
There’s really no way to definitively support or reject this theory until we see someone we don’t recognize using the Force in a trailer. But it’s definitely possible, so I had to include it.
Option Five: Kylo Ren isn’t a Sith at Some Point in This Movie
This is the black-horse bet for these theories, but there are plenty of fans who want a redemption arc for Kylo Ren. I’ve seen people theorize that Kylo is trying to essentially go deep undercover with the Sith, and while I don’t personally see evidence of that, it is a theory, so this is where it goes.
I suppose that we could see defectors from the Knights of Ren as well, if the Knights of Ren are actual Sith, and any of them are still alive. Either way, I’m not sure that would count them among “the last Jedi,” because the Sith credo is basically the opposite of what the Jedi stand for, and that’s sort of the point.
Overall, I think the theory with the most evidence is the second one, and it’s my opinion that when The Last Jedi trailers start to drop, we will see a lot more of Finn and the Force. Until then, the theories are all we have.
Keep it classy in the comments, if you decide to discuss people’s theories!
[Feature Image by Lucasfilm]