Rogue One whet our appetites for yet more Star Wars and Episode VIII, now given the cryptic title The Last Jedi, is set to arrive in cinemas in December this year.
After the unveiling of the name and the first look at the poster, we’ve been left with a lot of questions. Is the 'Jedi' of the title singular or plural? And just why is the text red on the poster? Already the speculation has begun over what these could mean, so we take a look at just who this 'last' Jedi might be, and why you should be seriously excited for the movie...
Episode VII left us on a quite literal cliffhanger as Rey (Daisy Ridley) finally managed to track down Luke (Mark Hamill) on a mysterious, isolated island. The movie closed with Rey holding out Luke’s lightsaber as she looked expectantly at the once legendary Jedi, who had since gone into hiding after things went sour with his one-time apprentice, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver).
Even though he didn’t utter a single line, his face spoke a thousand words, and with The Last Jedi supposedly picking up directly where its predecessor left off, we’ll finally get to hear him speak. (His first words have reportedly been revealed during a screening to Disney top brass.)
The most popular theory with the title is that 'The Last Jedi' is referring to Luke himself, who many believed to be the last of his kind. The opening crawl of The Force Awakens even explicitly refers to Luke as being the last, reading: "Luke Skywalker has vanished. In his absence, the sinister FIRST ORDER has risen from the ashes of the Empire and will not rest until Skywalker, the last Jedi, has been destroyed."
Of course, things get slightly more complicated when you consider the "awakening" of the previous film, and the fact that Rey demonstrated that she was Force-sensitive. So Luke might not be the very last, but rather the First Order believed he was, as this was before Rey came to their attention.
Speaking of Rey, there is also another theory that the 'Jedi' of the title refers to her. The previous film showed she was strong in the ways of the Force and pretty handy with a lightsaber as well, plus there’s obvious similarities between her origins and Luke’s. So to seem them both embarking on a similar path and Rey becoming a Jedi does seem like the natural course.
Luke has somewhat turned his back on the Jedi order, retreating to a place of isolation and neglecting his duties and responsibilities as a Jedi master, so he may no longer consider himself to be amongst them, which gives added plausibility to Rey’s potential claim to be the 'last' Jedi.
Or maybe it's both?
Collective minds were blown when it finally dawned on us that the word Jedi is both singular and plural, meaning it could refer to one Jedi, two Jedi, or perhaps a whole host of Jedi.
This opened up a wealth of possibilities and new theories. Of course, the obvious one is that it refers to both Luke and Rey, and that Episode VIII will show us Luke training Rey in the ways of The Force. Whilst the First Order might have initially believed Luke was the last Jedi, Rey also caught the attention of Kylo Ren, particularly when Luke’s lightsaber responded to her rather than him.
The teaming up of Luke and Rey as 'the last Jedi' does seem like the most obvious course of action, but let’s not also forget that The Empire Strikes Back also gave us one of the greatest twists in movie history, so perhaps expect the unexpected as well.
No more Jedi = lots more Sith?
Now this is where things get interesting, and who would’ve thought that a colour choice on a poster could lead to so many questions. However the fact the poster used red text instead of yellow could perhaps be quite telling.
Bear with us on this one, but the 'last' of the title could perhaps be referring to a definitive end of the Jedi. There is a theory circulating that the heroic Rey could perhaps turn to the dark side, hence the need for a more sinister colour choice on the poster.
With Luke no longer the Jedi he once was, and with Rey possibly turning to the dark side, this could spell the end of the Jedi, in turn leading to the rise of the Sith (perhaps start placing bets now on The Rise of the Sith being the next title).
The Force Awakens gave us a glimpse of the mysterious Knights of Ren in a flashback (or possibly even flash-forward) sequence, and with very little else known about this group, headed up by Kylo Ren, it is possible that it was in fact a terrifying glimpse of the future with the Jedi all but gone, and the future looking a little on the dark side.
With another solid nine months of speculation ahead of us, who, or what, do you think The Last Jedi is referring to? Send us your theories @Cineworld.
Sarah Buddery is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.