Star Wars: Episode VIII has a shiny new title. For the next 10 or so months, the words ‘The Last Jedi’ will be swamping the internet as Star Wars fans try to deduce what the next chapter of the Star Wars saga has in store for us.
— Star Wars (@starwars) January 23, 2017
As is tradition, this week’s reveal of the latest Star Wars title has been marked with plenty of questions about what it means for our favorite Star Wars heroes, both new and old. Join us as we speculate wildly (and hopelessly) about the meaning of these three, precious words.
Are we talking Jedi plural, or singular?
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) April 10, 2016
The fact that ‘Jedi’ is both a plural and singular noun is a fairly significant hurdle in fathoming this title’s meaning. It has been suggested a number of times that this trilogy is a continuation of ‘The Skywalker Saga’, and this title reveal confirms as much. Logic would suggest that Luke Skywalker is the one being referred to as ‘The Last Jedi’, but it could quite easily be referring to Luke and his new best bud, Rey. The idea of those two swashbuckling their way to defeating evil in a Jedi buddy movie is definitely something I want to see, but it’s also incredibly unlikely to happen….
That new red logo sure looks ominous. Someone we love is going to die, aren’t they?
You’re damn right it looks ominous. The Star Wars logo has been adorned in red in the past, but this will be the first movie to veer away from the traditional gold coloring. After losing Han Solo last year, it feels as though we’ll be witnessing another trimming of the headcount this year.
It’s at this point we should revisit the first question. It’s perfectly plausible that ‘The Last Jedi’ refers to both the plural and singular form of the world. Perhaps Luke’s role isn’t to take on Snoke and the gang directly. Could we see Luke Skywalker’s story come to an end, much the way Obi-Wan’s did in A New Hope? Surely that’s too predictable? Then again, we are talking about the franchise that has given us 4 movies centered on a giant sphere of mass-destruction.
Does someone we love really have to die?
Another popular theory is that we’ll see one of either Rey or Luke get turned to the dark side, therefore leaving the other as the titular Last Jedi. As things stand, it feels impossible that Rey could turn to the dark side, but we have no idea how she might respond to the answers surrounding her missing family. Still, it’s Luke’s harrowing personal journey that makes him the likelier candidate for a trip to the dark side. That is if that’s the direction we’re being taken in, of course.
What about Kylo?
With all this talk of Jedi, it’s easy to forget Kylo Ren. Will the Luke Skywalker’s one-time Jedi trainee redeem himself just like his hero Darth Vader did, or is he destined to remain the antagonist of this trilogy? In the past, the red Star Wars logo has been used for events featuring Asajj Ventress and Darth Maul, both of whom have a rather complicated relationship with the Dark Side. Kylo has a similarly complicated relationship, seemingly having to will himself to embrace the dark side instead of having it simply wash over him like other great Sith.
This kid is not inherently bad. Instead, he’s trying to tap into his bad side to deal with the abandonment issues he has from his childhood. That’s not exactly the making of a great Sith, so there’s definitely room for Kylo to redeem himself, perhaps in an attempt to push Luke or Rey off of their path to the Dark Side.
Despite the potential for a great storyline, though, I can’t help but feel that Kylo’s journey is merely a side-story to the wider Skywalker saga. Sure, he is technically half Skywalker, but it just doesn’t feel like he’s the main attraction here.
So, when’s the trailer coming out?
Because we sci-fi fans are simply never satisfied, it only took approximately 3 seconds of registering the title of Episode VIII before we all started asking about the trailer. When answering this question, many point to historical trends, such as when Disney released the trailer for The Force Awakens, to try and predict a release date. But by that logic, we’re already overdue for a teaser because we got our first glimpse of TFA almost 13 months before its release.
Disney was never going to allow an Episode VIII trailer to get in the way of Rogue One‘s buzz, which means the whole schedule gets squeezed somewhat. There are, however, a number of good candidates for the release of The Last Jedi’s first trailer:
- February 7th – Super Bowl Sunday
- March 17th – A slot in front of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
- April 13th – Star Wars Celebration
In terms of timing, the Super Bowl would make the most sense, but it just doesn’t feel like LucasFilm’s style to try and penetrate such a crowded market. It’s more likely that we’ll get another trailer from Disney’s other franchise, Marvel. After all, we’ve still not seen anything from Thor: Ragnarok yet.
Although taking up a slot to bolster another of the studio’s releases does seem logical, it very rarely happens. These days, it’s more important to make a splash online than it is to wow customers at the theater. Plus, while there is certainly a lot of crossover, Beauty and the Beast’s crowd is hardly in Star Wars’ sweet spot.
That brings us to Star Wars Celebration. Returning to a Spring slot after London’s summer event last year, this would seem to be the prime candidate for the reveal of The Last Jedi‘s first full trailer. The atmosphere at Celebration when they released TFA’s first full trailer was electric (I saw grown men sobbing uncontrollably), so you wouldn’t blame Disney for wanting to replicate that.
It could be that we get a nice teaser on a random day over the next couple of weeks, before a full trailer is released to kick off proceedings at Star Wars Celebration in Orlando.
Got any other burning Star Wars questions? Let us know in the box below.