Ever since the ending to Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, fans have been hungry for more information on the sequel. Throughout the entire production of Star Wars: Episode VIII, there was one looming question – What is the title? Traditionally, the official title of a movie is not something that is front and center in the minds of fans, but it is different for Star Wars.
Rian Johnson will be directing the followup to The Force Awakens, and based on the ending to that film and the minimal role Mark Hamill had, fans expected Luke to be front and center for Episode 8. Well, thanks to the official title reveal, that is most definitely the case.
Lucasfilm made the announcement today that the official title for Episode 8 is Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi. This is obviously a reference to Luke Skywalker being the last remaining Jedi in the galaxy, but could also be a call to him training Rey (Daisy Ridley) to take up that mantle. In conjuncture with the announcement, they also released the following teaser poster:
Now the title is out, fans of the franchise will instantly begin to theorize what it actually means. When The Force Awakens was announced and throughout most of the marketing, it was believed that Finn (John Boyega) was the one who had force abilities, but the movie ultimately spun that around to make Rey a central figure moving forward. The implication that the film will focus on the last Jedi could point to Rey instead of Luke. It could simply mean that this will be the last Jedi that Luke trains, after failing so many times before. Regardless, Johnson has stated before that both Rey and Luke are major focuses in Episode VIII.
While that is certainly a possibility, most bets would be on the title referencing Luke as the last of the Jedi and the ramifications it has on the galaxy. Thanks to the new red lettering, the tone that Johnson is aiming for appears to be extremely dark and favor of the Sith. It could have at one point been feasible that they planned to kill Luke and leave the galaxy without any real Jedi, save for the less-than-fully trained Rey. That said, after the unfortunate passing of Carrie Fisher, it would be quite surprising for Lucasfilm to move into Episode IX without any of the original trilogy cast left.
In the bigger picture, the title reveal means fans are now one step closer to seeing actual footage from the film, which could be coming in the next few months.
Star Wars Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi is scheduled for release December 15, 2017.