When “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens” hit theaters towards the end of 2015, it gained positive reviews and went on to become a box office juggernaut, proving that the world and the fans in it were still ready and eager for more new big-screen “Star Wars”. The next installment has been filming at full pace since then, finishing up sometime before the unfortunate death of Carrie “Princess Leia” Fisher in December 2016. Now that it’s in post, more details are being revealed in time for the big premiere in December of this year. In particular we now know the episode title, but from the look of things, it’s going to be of a sad turn similar to the bad guy high point that was “Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back”.

You see, we’ll be having “The Last Jedi”.

Dark foreboding

From the new Episode VIII title logo, some things about the eighth episode can be inferred. For one thing, the “Star Wars” font is in a sinister Sith-like red rather than the usual gold. That makes the subtitle in the middle seem even more ominous. The production has stated that Episode VIII pretty much carries on from the end of “The Force Awakens”, when the new generation of heroes finds the missing Jedi Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), who had exiled himself. At first blush, the aforementioned Last Jedi could be a reference to Luke, who in the backstory had lost all foundations of a new Jedi order due to the betrayal of the tantrum prone new antagonist Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). However, another theory is that Luke might not survive and instead live long enough to train up the Force-sensitive Rey (Daisy Ridley) to be the Galaxy’s last hope.

Considering that Harrison Ford’s Han Solo has been killed already, and a possibility of an off-screen demise for now-General Leia before Episode IX due to Fisher’s passing, it’s all looking mighty grim and dark like “Star Wars” has never been before.

Positive spin

But utter hopelessness is not “Star Wars” at all, as seen in the outcome of the first anthology film “Rogue One”, which has proven a big blockbuster itself.

While the idea of a lone Force-wielding Jedi spearheading the fight against the evil Empire remnant of the First Order sounds epic (and has been done already in “Return of the Jedi”), a more upbeat alternate meaning of Episode VIII's title can be drawn from the fact that the name Jedi is both singular and plural, so a “last Jedi” could mean a group, such as Luke with Rey and maybe Finn (John Boyega), to take on Kylo Ren and the rest of the First Order.

One can hope, as “rebellions are built on hope”.

Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi” is directed by Rian Johnson, and will premiere on December 15, 2017.

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