By now you've heard the news. Star Wars Episode VIII has been christened “The Last Jedi”. This is an absolutely horrid name for the new movie. In fact, it's the worst name they could have chosen, second only to “The First Order Strikes Back”.
For rabid fans of the franchise, “Jedi” has always meant one thing when talking about the movies – Return of the Jedi. Indeed, when fans rank the films, the short hand version normally involves a keyword in each episode's title. “Empire Strikes Back” is shortened to “Empire” and “Return of the Jedi” is shortened to “Jedi”. With “The Force Awakens”, I've seen fans shorten it to simply “Awakens”.
Now comes the conundrum. As minute as this problem may seem to non-fans, “The Last Jedi” has an issue in its shortened form. The obvious choice is to just call it “Last”, but this may not become the universal standard for fans. From now on when discussing the films and “Jedi” in particular, I can imagine there being some confusion as to what is being discussed, Return of the Jedi or Last of The Jedi.
This issue aside, there are others. For example, this title is downright lazy. Yes, yes, we know. In Episode VI, before his death, Yoda tells Luke “When gone am I, the last of the Jedi you will be”. And yes, we know – Luke will be a major part of this film. May as well just call it “The Luke Skywalker Sequel Film” and call it a day. If only.
On the bright side, the promotional image is using red text like a certain other movie. Any amateur Star Wars historian will tell you the last time Star Wars film had “Jedi” in the title, the name got changed. I of course am talking about “Revenge of the Jedi”, which was the original title for “Return of the Jedi”.
Plus, just from a storyline point of view, this title is all sorts of whack. You go from “Return of the Jedi”, which I've always understood to mean Darth Vader's redemption, but also the resurrection of the Jedi Order as Jedi is both singular and plural. To “The Force Awakens”, great... things are back on track in the galaxy. To “The Last Jedi”. Wait what? Looking at them all together, there's a one movie break until there's yet another film with Jedi in the title. This just looks as ugly as it is weird. But this was always going to be the problem with a sequel trilogy anyway considering how Return of the Jedi wrapped things up.
Will the title be changed? I hope so. I actually think this is a worse title than The Phantom Menace and Attack of The Clones. Yes, you read that right.
Now, I'm not hating on the movie itself. It's not out yet and there hasn't even been a trailer released. And for all I know the movie could be amazing. But the title itself is just uninspired.
Let's just hope they don't try anything silly like “Return of The Sith” for Episode IX.