Rian Johnson isn’t giving up any plot details but the director is doing his best to offer fans a little of what they can expect in the upcoming eighth installment of the Skywalker saga, Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
While Jonhson has made it clear that at the end of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (along with the film’s opening crawl), Luke was indeed the last Jedi but fans can’t help wonder whether or not the last Jedi will take on a plural meaning when the film opens this Holiday season.
Following the release of a behind the scenes sizzle reel at D23 this past weekend, Johnson sat down with Good Morning America when he was once again asked about the film’s title. The director remained tight-lipped about the film’s story but did reveal that the meaning of the title is something that will evolve during The Last Jedi as he teased Luke and Rey’s relationship is the beating heart of the film:
“It’s tough to talk about [the title] without talking about it in the context of the movie. [It doesn’t] necessarily have multiple meanings, but its meaning evolves over the course of the film. It’s tough to talk about without getting into the story, but for me, I guess what it ultimately comes down to is that first question of, ‘What is the deal with Luke Skywalker?’ Luke and Rey are kind of the beating heart of the film, I guess, [as is] their relationship. So, The Last Jedi in all the things that it means is tied up in it.”
After 32 years, Star Wars fans finally Luke Skywalker on the silver screen again as Rey held out his father’s lightsaber with a plea-turned-demand for him to return to the galaxy with her to restore balance to the force. But before Luke could speak, the film cut to the end credits. Johnson was directly asked what Luke’s first words to Rey would be when he explained that very question served as the starting point for him when he wrote the script:
“That was for me, when I sat down to figure out what this was going to be, that was absolutely the starting point. Not just what is that scene or what is that moment, but the bigger question of… Do we have some sense of what Rey wants from Luke? To me, the big enigma was what’s going on with Luke Skywalker.”
Johnson went on to add that Luke’s motivations for exiling himself on Achc-To will inform the core of his relationship with Rey:
“Why is he on that island? He knows his friends are in trouble, he knows the galaxy needs him,” Johnson said. “Why would this hero that I grew up with have put himself in exile? To me, it was like, if we can crack that nut then we have something to start working with and then that will inform what their whole relationship is.”
The film stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie, Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern, Kelly Marie Tran and Andy Serkis. An official synopsis has yet to be released but The Last Jedi will pick up directly where Star Wars: The Force Awakens left off and will dig deeper into the new characters introduced in Episode VII as it explores Kylo Ren’s humanity as well as how Rey deals with the discovery of the force within her.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits theaters December 15, 2017.