Lucasfilm recently released the title for the next installment in the Star Wars saga, The Last Jedi, putting a rest to all the rumors that it was going to be Forces of Destiny. The question is, who is (or are) the last Jedi? Here is my take, but be clear that this is all speculative.
First, is “Jedi” singular or plural? I think what is so poetic about the title is that it can be both. In the crawl before the Force Awakens, it begins:
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.
So, in the singular sense, Luke Skywalker is the last Jedi, and so the title could be alluding to him. In the plural sense, Luke Skywalker and those he was training before Kylo Ren and the Knights of Ren killed them off, could be the last Jedi. Or it could refer to Luke, Rey, and possibly Finn as the last Jedi.
None of the above is that groundbreaking. But consider this. In adding to the mythology, the gray areas of the Force have been highlighted in recent storytelling. In the Force Awakens, there is a Church of the Force that worships and reveres the Force, but they are not Force users. In Rogue One, many people on Jedha worship the Force, but may or may not be users of the Force. Chirrut Îmwe could be a Force user, although he was not called a Jedi. Jyn Erso wore a cyber crystal necklace, which I swear is what allowed her to have keen instincts and insight—not to mention forcebacks—yet she was not a Jedi.
When Star Wars came out, there were Jedi and Sith, the epitome of good and evil. But Snoke and Kylo Ren are not Sith; Anakin Skywalker vanquished them in Return of the Jedi. Perhaps the Jedi are fated to die out as well.
In the Clone Wars series, Yoda is initiated into trials with Force Priestesses (not Jedi) in order to maintain his identity after he passes into the Cosmic Force. This is how he learns to be a ghost Jedi. But as part of this initiation, he has to confront and recognize his darkness, instead of just ignoring it as was the Jedi way.
What if bringing balance to the Force, thus fulfilling the ancient prophecy, is to abolish the Sith and the Jedi?
Sith cannot be balanced because they ignore the good inside them, focus on gaining power, and practice selfishness. Jedi cannot be balanced because they ignore the evil inside them, focus on ignorant obedience, and practice self-righteousness. Balance can only be achieved when Kylo Ren and Rey are able to embrace both parts of themselves. Luke is the last Jedi, much like Darth Vader was the last Sith.
What do you think? Let me know by leaving a comment below.