Over the past week, Disney/Lucasfilm finally unveiled the titled for Star Wars: Episode VIII, which turned out to be Star Wars: The Last Jedi. It's a good thing too, after several fan-made posters made their way online, a number of people were convinced that Episode VIII was under the working title of something like "Fall Of The Resistance." Luckily, the title of #TheLastJedi is both satisfying to hear of and thought-provoking at the same time.
When we consider how Star Wars: The Force Awakens appeared to introduce Rey and Finn as they took the first steps to becoming Jedi by awakening their Force-sensitive abilities, the title of Episode VIII being "The Last Jedi" is very surprising.
Rey and Finn haven't been recognized as Jedi but the presumption of the two of them becoming Jedi was widely felt after the premiere of #TheForceAwakens. Quite a few fan predictions that followed the film's premiere theorized Rey would follow in Luke Skywalker's footsteps, but considering the title for Star Wars: Episode VIII implies otherwise, Rey probably won't become Jedi (and neither will Finn). However, there's a caveat to that remark.
While the connotation of "The Last Jedi" is probably alluding to Luke Skywalker being the last Jedi, that doesn't mean Rey and Finn will abandon the ways of the Force completely. They may not become Jedi, but Rey and Fin are still avid Force-users, which means they'll continue to develop their Force abilities.
Will Rey And Finn Become Experienced Force-Users?
More importantly, now that the Jedi seem to be diminishing in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, this presents an ideal opportunity to introduce worthwhile heroes that aren't weighed down by ties to the Jedi — Finn and Rey being perfect candidates. There's also something else of interest when we consider the possible scenarios that could play out if Finn and Rey do develop their Force abilities further.
Who Could Guide Rey Through Her Force Training?
Without the Jedi order to direct them and give them guidance, Rey and Finn will need to turn to alternative sources for information on the Force. We've already seen that Maz Kanata has in-depth knowledge of the Force and Luke Skywalker is going to make his return in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, so either of them could become mentors to Rey or Finn. If so, Rey and Finn might learn more of the Force than the Jedi were allowed to.
In the #StarWars canon, the #Jedi are only allowed to harness their Force abilities to conduct missions for the Jedi Order. The Jedi were never allowed to explore alternative uses of the Force outside of the Jedi Order's guidelines, including the Dark Side of the Force. That being said, Rey and Finn could learn how to harness the Dark Side of the Force in the scenario of Luke or Maz Kanata teaching them this forbidden knowledge.
However, there is no Dark or Light side of the Force. Emperor Palpatine inadvertently revealed this fact in one of his conversations with Anakin Skywalk during Star Wars: Revenge Of The Sith.
Palpatine spoke of using the Force to stop death altogether, which he then followed up by noting that only one Jedi has ever accomplished that feat.
Said Jedi utilized all ways of the Force to accomplish this feat, including the Dark Side of the Force. Palpatine never clarifies to whom he's referring, but the conclusion is obvious since there's only one Jedi who's outlived their life-span and only died because he allowed it to happen: Yoda.
Did Yoda Use The Dark Side To Cheat Death?
Yoda was the longest living Jedi before he died and he's the only Jedi to whom Emperor Palpatine could have been referring to. Some could argue that Palpatine was referring to himself, but even he wouldn't insinuate something like that to Anakin Skywalker, when Anakin might be tempted to test Palpatine's claim of immortality.
As for another Jedi, there are no plausible candidates in the cinematic Star Wars canon that could believably be the immortal Jedi referenced by Emperor Palpatine, which means it must have been Yoda who used the Dark Side of the Force to prevent his own death.
Yoda using the Dark Side might surprise some, but when we consider how wise Yoda appeared, if he resorted to using the Dark Side of the Force, the Dark Side must not be as bad (or as corrupt) as our first impressions suggested when Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine introduced us to the Dark Side in the original Star Wars trilogy.
That being said, Yoda might have passed on his knowledge of the Dark Side to Luke during their training together in the original Star Wars trilogy, which in turn could be passed on to Rey and Finn when they reach out to Luke for guidance. The real reason we should consider the possibility of Finn and (more importantly) Rey learning how to use every side of the Force is because the Jedi appear to be going extinct.
With The Jedi Departing, Is The Force Rising?
Even though there is a negative connotation to the Dark Side of the Force, all we've seen the Dark Side do is expand the abilities of a Force user exponentially, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
There are a lot of gray areas when it comes to the Light and Dark Side of the Force, so a future exploration of the Dark Side origins could reveal it to be one and the same with the Light Side of the Force.
These aren't simply guesses, either; further exploration of the Force is almost guaranteed when we account for the heavy emphasis of the Force in Rogue One. The film was peppered with nods to the Force, not limited to Chirrut Imwe preaching of the ways of the Force.
The fact that Rogue One utilized the Force without including the Jedi sets a precedent for the Force being more than just being connected to the Jedi — the Force is much more and we'll continue to see it developed further in upcoming Star Wars movies like Episode VIII: The Last Jedi.
For now, exploration of the Dark Side is still up for debate. But, considering the imminent departure of the Jedi from the Star Wars universe in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, this could be the first step for Force users like Rey and Luke Skywalker to become well-rounded, Force-wielding heroes rather than a new era of Jedi. Because let's face it: The Jedi were horrible at their job and they failed in almost every attempt to bring peace to the galaxy, so it's about time someone worthy steps up and becomes the real hero of the Star Wars universe.
Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi premieres December 14, 2017
What do you think will become of the Jedi in Star Wars Episode VIII?