Rian Johnson opens up about the origins of the Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi title and why Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker is the recipient of that moniker at the beginning of the film. There are almost no other movies hitting theaters this year that are facing the same kind of immense expectations that The Last Jedi is, coming off of the financial success and mostly-positive reception of The Force Awakens in 2015. Based on how that film ended, it doesn't come as much of a surprise that Luke Skywalker's role and presence in the film is one of the biggest things fans are excited to see, especially following The Last Jedi teaser trailer, which hinted at a much darker version of Luke than fans had ever encountered before.
When The Last Jedi title was originally announced earlier this year as well, many fans didn't quite know what to make of it at first. Since "Jedi" can be both singular and plural, leading many to wonder if it was referring to both Luke Skywalker and Rey (Daisy Ridley), or just one of the two characters. Fortunately, it was only while after the original announcement that Rian Johnson confirmed the title was referring to just Luke in the film.
But during a recent, extensive interview with The New York Times, Rian Johnson revealed that the title actually came from the opening crawl of The Force Awakens -- as many fans had theorized -- and that it refers just to Luke Skywalker at the beginning of the film:
"It’s in the opening crawl of 'The Force Awakens.' Luke Skywalker, right now, is the last Jedi. There’s always wiggle room in these movies — everything is from a certain point of view — but coming into our story, he is the actual last of the Jedi. And he’s removed himself and is alone on this island, for reasons unknown."
Of course, with an assumedly large amount of The Last Jedi's storyline centered around Luke's Force training with Rey, it's entirely possible that he won't be the only character being referred to as a Jedi by the time the film reaches its conclusion. But considering just how much of a role Luke played in the events of The Force Awakens, despite only making an actual appearance in its final scene, it makes sense for Johnson to continue focusing on the Luke storyline in both The Last Jedi's title and story.
It's near impossible to know just where Luke will end up by the time that The Last Jedi ends at this point, with Mark Hamill previously saying that the film's version of Luke Skywalker found a way to seemingly defy all of his expectations for the character going into it. And with the creative direction of Star Wars: Episode IX currently up in the air right now, it's even harder to know just how Luke's role will evolve throughout the next two films. But as the title itself and a majority of the film's marketing materials have already revealed, it's clear that at the very least, Luke Skywalker will once again be instrumental in reshaping the entire Star Wars universe moving forward.
Source: New York Times
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019