Monday, January 23, 2017

Reel Facts & Opinions: THE LAST JEDI

Lucasfilm and parent company Disney stopped the world dead in space today, when they let loose the long-awaited official title of the 8th Episode in the STAR WARS saga.

Fans and professional film writers immediately went into research and speculation mode, as every small reveal in the growing and beloved STAR WARS galaxy of films always hints at the bigger picture. So what can we figure out from this title? The easy answer would be to say that THE LAST JEDI refers to Luke Skywalker, who was referred to as such as far back as Episode VI, RETURN OF THE JEDI (1983), and most recently in the opening crawl of last year's Episode VII, THE FORCE AWAKENS (2015). But let’s keep in mind that the plural of Jedi is also Jedi, so the title could also refer to other characters; specifically, characters that we were introduced to in THE FORCE AWAKENS. But it’s also worth mentioning that THE FORCE AWAKENS had a theme of generational pass-the-baton (or lightsaber) going on, so perhaps THE LAST JEDI refers to the very last of the Jedi as we’ve known them in seven (and a half) films.

What’s even more striking about today’s reveal is the color-change of the logo. Gone is the traditional yellow, and in its place we have a sinister blood-red. This has been done before; notably with RETURN OF THE JEDI in 1983.

And then again with Episode III, REVENGE OF THE SITH in 2005.

It may seem like just a color change on the surface, but since the color red is significant to STAR WARS…it does mean a little something. Perhaps we’re in for a darker film as traditionally, the second chapter of each STAR WARS trilogy has always been the one where the good guys get their asses kicked all across the galaxy. It may also be worth mentioning that in 2013, there was an Expanded Universe (EU) novel by Michael Reaves which carried the same title, but since that line has been discontinued and no longer counts as canon, there is little to be gained from looking there.

We have yet to see a teaser for THE LAST JEDI, so a lot of this speculation may be a little clearer whenever it does arrive. But for now, Disney and Lucasfilm have accomplished exactly what a reveal like this is supposed to do; fascinate and spark discussion.


THE LAST JEDI arrives December 15th.

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