Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson confirms the title refers to Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). George Lucas kicked off the now massively popular sci-fi franchise Star Wars nearly 40 years ago with 1977’s Episode IV – A New Hope, and originally intended for the film series to include only six entries. However, Disney purchased Lucasfilm and announced a revival of Star Wars that began with J.J. Abram’s Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens in 2015, which picked up decades after Episode VI – Return of the Jedi. As such, each movie that’s part of the Star Wars revival has been met with plenty of excitement and anticipation.
In the case of The Last Jedi, fans eagerly awaited the reveal of the title, and subsequently debated to whom it refers – and whether “Jedi” is singular or plural. During The Last Jedi panel at Star Wars Celebration Orlando 2017, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, Johnson and members of the film’s cast teased a bit of what fans can expect from Episode VIII, and revealed the teaser trailer for The Last Jedi. While the question of the film’s title didn’t come up, Johnson clarified its meaning during an interview after the panel.
Talking to Good Morning America, Johnson was asked about the meaning of “The Last Jedi”, specifically whether Jedi is singular or plural in this instance. Johnson said:
It’s so funny, when people started asking that, when the title was announced because I had never even pondered that question. That seems like, to me, the most—the most uninteresting [question]. … In my mind, it’s singular. In my mind it is [singular], absolutely.
When further asked whether Luke is the last Jedi, Johnson attempted to dodge the question, but eventually conceded, “They say in The Force Awakens that he’s going to find the last Jedi temple, and Luke is the last Jedi.” While Johnson phrases his answer as if he’s simply providing evidence from Episode VII – The Force Awakens, it’s also confirmation of what Episode VIII will build off of in terms of Luke Skywalker’s storyline. So, it’s likely Episode VIII will delve deeper into Luke Skywalker, as he is “the last Jedi” to which the title refers, and the movie could potentially be the end of Luke’s story in Star Wars.
Of course, it’s possible Johnson is simply trying to avoid spoilers with his answer, hence why he’s hesitant to confirm Luke as the last Jedi, which may indicate there’s more to the title than the director wants to reveal. What that could be remains to be seen as more footage and information is unveiled. However, given Luke’s statement about it being time for the Jedi to end, the title also seems to be indicative of a larger story arc in Episode VIII, and potentially Episode IX.
That said, given how Johnson didn’t think about whether Jedi is singular or plural in the title, it’s also likely there isn’t much to read into when it comes to Episode VIII’s title. At least now though, fans have confirmation as to what exactly the director had in mind when titling Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi.