Mysteries on top of mysteries, wrapped in riddles, cherry-topped with enigmas.
The Last Jedi. Hmmm...
Immediate reaction to that title is mixed. On the one hand, it instantly creates another puzzling layer to the central mysteries cultivated before and during The Force Awakens — namely, what became of Luke Skywalker, and who is Rey?
Now, we have a whole new question to angrily debate with the nearest nerd: Who is the titular Jedi, and why are they the last of their kind? Honestly, the title is kind of genius, even if it's also frustratingly vague. The conversation won't let up until we have our answers at the tail end of the year, so in that spirit, let's take a look at a few possibilities regarding the identity of the last Jedi.
1. Could It Be Skywalker?
The first person my mind jumped to upon reading the title was, of course, Luke. On a basic level, it seems like a reinforcement of what we learned during the opening crawl of The Force Awakens, which explicitly names Skywalker as 'the last Jedi'
But the fact that the lore of the universe has already established Luke as the last Jedi robs the title of any mystery and it seems unlikely that there isn't a further twist in the tale. I don't believe Luke is the last Jedi. I do believe Luke will set Rey on the path to becoming a Jedi herself, which is why I'm calling BS on this one.
2. Can The Force Ever Find Balance?
The idea of Rey being the last Jedi is a little too obvious and lacks in shock factor, mainly because The Force Awakens worked so hard to present the homeless scavenger as somebody of vast importance in this world.
But what if Rey is the last Jedi for reasons that haven't yet been hinted at? What if she were to follow a similar path to Anakin and be seduced by the Dark Side? Although that might mirror Kylo Ren's backstory a little too closely, his own redemption and return to the Light could occur simultaneously to Rey moving in the other direction. Essentially, Rey could be the last Jedi because she becomes proof that becoming a Jedi is in itself a ruinous and corruptive journey.
I'm not sure Star Wars would be bold enough to take Rey down that path, but I do believe this saga is building to a point where the Force, by virtue of existing, becomes a destructive influence that means the galaxy can never find peace. As long as the Force exists, there will be those who use it for good and, conversely, those who use it for evil. The only way to bring about balance is to abolish the Force completely.
Rey may be the last Jedi before that lesson is learned.
3. The Plural Of Jedi Is... Jedi
What if we're being toyed with? The eye reads the title The Last Jedi and the mind imagines a singular Jedi, the last of his or her kind — but 'Jedi' has a plural, and that plural is 'Jedi.' The smartest interpretation of the title, in my opinion, is that we're about to go on a journey with the last two Jedi. Doesn't take a genius to work out who they might be.
The mystery, then, becomes one of why Rey and Luke are the last Jedi, which could feed back into the aforementioned idea that the Force must cease to exist before this trilogy is done. As ever, it's a waiting game — Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits theaters December 15, 2017.
Who will Star Wars: Episode VIII reveal to be the last Jedi?