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Who is The Last Jedi? Three Theories on Episode VIII

Laura Cafasso ’18 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

“Luke, when gone am I, the last of the Jedi will you be. Luke, the Force runs strong in your family. Pass on what you have learned, Luke.”

Those are Yoda’s dying words to Luke Skywalker in Episode VI, Return of the Jedi. That meeting with his master gives him a moral purpose; restore the light and avenge his father (Anakin Skywalker / Darth Vader). It seems that was accomplished, but as we learn in The Force Awakens, the jedi are all but extinct again and the dark side reigns supreme. Luke has vanished, presumably ashamed that his gifted, volatile apprentice and nephew (Kylo Ren) became evil. There are so many unanswered questions, and now with this title revealed, there are three speculations to be made concerning the mysterious plot.

Luke is the Last

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Mark Hammil in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Photo Credit: Walt Disney Studios.

Quite obviously, but maybe too obviously, the last jedi could be the disgraced Luke Skywalker. Yoda, the wisest jedi of all, did insinuate that “the last of the Jedi will you be.” It is hard to believe, that with a powerful ever-present energy like The Force, that it could die out after Luke. Luke could simply be the final practicing Jedi, and this film could see a pivotal — and possibly deadly — confrontation with his estranged student, Kylo Ren.That would correlate with the grim, bloody red color of the title. It could be Luke’s last stand, much like the battle between Obi-Wan and Darth Vader in A New Hope. If Luke’s last stand is with Kylo, then he could mirror Obi-Wan’s fate, becoming even stronger to help a new Jedi defeat the dark side (perhaps Rey?). Or, Luke could be the last because he is the typical incarnate of the jedi; trained, deeply connected to The Force, and in control of his emotions. A new generation of Jedi, like he was trying to achieve before Kylo Ren ruined his plans, could rise and become more radical and unorthodox, leaving Luke as truly the “last.”

Rey’s First and Last Steps

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Daisy Ridley and John Boyega in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Photo Credit: Walt Disney Studios.

But as with all Star Wars lore, there could be a twist. As we saw in the suspenseful ending scene of The Force Awakens, Rey has found the man, the myth, the legend: Luke Skywalker. He has been hiding out on a lush, isolated island (Ahch-To), donning a cloak very much like Obi-Wan when he was in his later, hermit years. Luke only gave a piercing, dramatic look so it’s only speculation as to what he’s thinking or what he’s been up to while in exile. However, Rey is the new chosen one, since Luke’s lightsaber called to her and ultimately chose her over Kylo Ren (despite his whining that it belonged to him). Ghost voice Obi-Wan told her “Rey . . . these are your first steps,” meaning, the first steps of accepting her destiny. No matter how hard she fights it, her fate is sealed to be the “new hope” for the galaxy. She meets with Luke and most likely will become that A+ student Kylo Ren never was.

As with all Star Wars mentors, it is extremely likely Luke will perish and Rey will have to carry on his legacy and her own as the “last jedi.” She will have to defeat or convert Kylo Ren back to the light, maybe with the help of the untapped Force potential of General Leia.

It Could Be Plural

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Adam Driver in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Photo Credit: Walt Disney Studios.

Jedi is singular and plural, correct? So, one alternative theory could be that the Jedi academy Luke tried to create could be resurrected with the help of Rey. It is mentioned in The Force Awakens that Kylo sickly and violently purged the group and only Luke managed to evade certain doom.

But, that tragic incident has transformed to myth, so there is still vagueness regarding what actually transpired. Han Solo indicated that “an apprentice turned against [Luke] destroyed it all” which has a couple of connotations. Did Kylo kill all the students or bring some to the dark side? Is “destroy” literal (killed all the students), physical (the school itself), or figurative (the potential and hope for a new generation of Jedi)? Regardless if it was a bloodbath, Luke remains the one that got away, the one with the most power to effect change and train new Jedi.

Who could it be? Either clues will be foraged once a trailer drops in the coming months, or we will all have to eagerly stew until December 2017. In the meantime, may the force be with you.

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