star wars last jedi

Since Disney and Lucasfilm announced the subtitle for Star Wars Episode VIII, fans have been struggling to figure out the meaning behind "The Last Jedi." Occam's Razor would imply it's talking about Luke Skywalker, the final vestige of the order that once fought for peace and justice in the galaxy. Others suggest that the "last jedi" in question is Rey, assuming that Luke eats it shortly after training his new padawan. Then again, the plural of Jedi is "Jedi," so the subtitle could be referring to both. 

But what if we're focusing on the wrong word, here? As Reddit user AnakinKardashian suggests, the "Last" part of "The Last Jedi" might be of the utmost importance. Ultimately, it may prove that the title character isn't one of the heroes, but in fact Supreme Leader Snoke, Kylo Ren's disfigured mentor last seen in a suspiciously huge hologram.

snoke

I know it sounds like a stretch now, but bear with me here -- there's some interesting connections that might tie up The Force Awakens' numerous dangling plot threads. 

It all hinges on how everyone in recent Star Wars stories has shown a new interested in old Jedi junk. By now you've probably seen Rogue One, which features a sacred Jedi temple being stripped for lightsaber crystals by the Empire. And decades later in the saga, we hear that Luke has been on a similar hunt.

luke

Fans often compare Luke's self-banishment to Yoda, who exiled himself on Dagobah after being defeated by Palpatine. But the big difference here is that Luke supposedly went on a quest of discovery after his failure at the Jedi Academy -- a quest that involved seeking out the origins of the Jedi. But why? What's going to help him? What doesn't he know that can't be gleaned by a quick phone call with Ghost Obi-Wan?

It may not be a coincidence that Luke is searching for archaic knowledge in the wake of Supreme Leader Snoke's ascendance. After all, there are a few key things that point to Snoke being one of the galaxy's oldest living residents. 

Take Kylo Ren's lightsaber, for instance. He didn't come up with that silly hilt all by himself -- if he were left to his own devices, dude probably would have just remade Vader's saber to a tee, maybe with a racing stripe or some flames on the side. Instead, he went with the T-shaped saber we're now familiar with. 

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An official display revealed that Kylo's lightsaber is "recently constructed" -- we can assume it was by Darth Fallout Boy himself -- but the actual design itself has been around for a while.

kylo ren

This "ancient design" was presumably taught to Kylo by his mentor Snoke, who seems like he's pretty ancient himself. And it's not just because he looks like a crusty white dog poo that was left in the yard all summer. 

In the official Force Awakens novelization, Snoke explains that he's skulked in the shadows for quite some time. 

Kylo Ren, I watched the Galactic Empire rise, and then fall. The gullible prattle on about the triumph of truth and justice, of individualism and free will. As if such things were solid and real instead of simple subjective judgments. The historians have it all wrong. It was neither poor strategy nor arrogance that brought down the Empire. You know too well what did.

Why Snoke has only reappeared now is another matter altogether (though some believe it has to do with Snoke secretly being Palpatine's mentor, Darth Plagueis). The fact remains that the guy has chilling in the background for an untold amount of time, watching events unfold from a distance. If the theory is correct, Luke's quest to discover more about the origins of the Jedi may actually be a quest to discover the origins of Snoke. 

This is where it's important to reconsider what the "Last" in "The Last Jedi" really means. As Anakin Kardashian posits, "What if we are learning about early Jedi because we are going to find out how different the ancient Jedi Order is? What if what we know as Jedi are not really Jedi after all? What if Snoke is the last Jedi, in its original form?"

Just like "Jedi" can mean one or multiple Force-wielders, "last" can mean "final" or it can mean "previous." Meaning that the title might not be referring to "The Final Jedi" but instead the "The Previous Order of People That Called Themselves Jedi" Might Snoke and the Knights of Ren represent a return to the "old ways" of the Jedi not seen for thousands of years? We'll probably have to wait until December 2017 to find out, at the earliest. 

That all being said, we should keep in mind that the previous Star Wars subtitles (A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, etc) weren't exactly subtle. That is, unless you think "The Phantom Menace" was really referring to Jar-Jar Binks. 


Tristan Cooper can be found on Twitter.