NYDN attempts to uncover what 'The Last Jedi' means

WARNING: ‘THE FORCE AWAKENS’ SPOILERS AHEAD

It’s Luke Skywalker... right?!

With news the next installment of the “Star Wars” franchise, Episode VIII, will be called “The Last Jedi” comes a flurry of questions. Who will be left standing to fight evil?

Will Force-sensitive Rey be left in a galaxy far, far away on her own?

We meet the immediate suspense with quick, thought-out scenarios.

Here’s what we think the title means.

Don’t panic

Ah, remember, “Jedi” is both singular and plural.

Therefore, “Episode VIII” could very well be an uprising, of sorts, for the previously erased Jedi. That’s not to say the Council will reconvene — and that Luke will dispense justice across the galaxy from his ivory tower, the Temple retreat on Ahch-To. Just that “Episode VIII” could be a step toward “resurrection,” perhaps with the help of longtime enabler Maz Kanata, former Stormtrooper Finn (aka FN-2187), everyone’s favorite Wookiee, Chewbacca, and others.

In George Lucas’ prequels, fans of the franchise witnessed a galactic purge of the Jedi Order, in Emperor Palpatine’s infamous Order 66.

From that point on, Jedis were drastically reduced in number and were forced into hiding. Even Yoda, the grand master of the Jedi Order, does not survive to see Darth Vader deposed (but that’s only because he dies of natural causes on the planet Dagobah; he sees the victory in ghost form).

Still, “The Force Awakens” makes mention of a mentor-mentee relationship between Skywalker and Ben Solo (aka Kylo Ren). In that case, it means Skywalker was willing and able to spread the Jedi ways, much like his green friend. Sure, it was ultimately a failure — that helped push Ren toward the dark side and bring about the First Order behind the mysterious Supreme Leader Snoke. But we understand where Skywalker was coming from. He no longer wished to be the sole owner of priceless, timeworn knowledge.

Luke the scholar

Skywalker may very well pass down his infinite Jedi-related knowledge to the fledgling and Force-sensitive Rey.

We’re still baffled that she was able to pull a Jedi mind-trick on a Stormtrooper and counter Ren’s fury at the end of “The Force Awakens,” but perhaps Skywalker knew all along.

In this case, there will be two Jedi — hardly a resurgence but enough to raise an eyebrow or two.

Skywalker family tree

What’s more, viewers may very well learn in “The Last Jedi” that Rey is in fact a Skywalker, the long-lost daughter of the increasingly aloof Luke S.

It would make sense (age wise), and would certainly tighten the plotlines of this sequel trilogy.

So then, it could be said that anyone in Rey’s line of succession, if perhaps she couples with someone, would be an equally Force-sensitive Skywalker drawn almost magnetically to the Force.

“The Last Jedi” could very well be an omniscient look at Rey’s entire family tree — past and future.

Skywalker, Inc.

Then, there’s the possibility that Skywalker, in his reclusive hiding, has decided to rapidly increase the Jedi population.

It would take intensive Jedi training — perhaps from the site of the First Jedi, at the Temple at Ahch-To. It could be similar to the sessions fans found in the prequels, with Yoda discussing the midichlorians and the origin of the Force with young warriors.

Perhaps this isn’t as likely, not with the Empire-like First Order bearing down on them.

Fans know that Snoke and his cronies — General Hux, Ren, Captain Phasma, etc. — are capable of building a Death Star-like weapon, and Snoke appears only holographically; it’s obvious there’s more to him than meets the eye. (Does he live at Vader’s castle above volcanic seas on Mustafar?) It would be hard for Skywalker and company to “manufacture” Jedi at a healthy rate — to contend with Snoke’s imperialistic ways.

However, it can start with one (Rey “Skywalker”) and move on to others. Family’s family; once Rey and Luke bond, there’s no saying how much the galaxy can change in “Episode VIII.”

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