In A Name, What Is?

A new year, and a new Star Wars film title:

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

I like it. It is invocative, it makes me wonder, why is there only one Jedi left? Or if it is plural (which Jedi can be, with tenuous proof given later) then why are these final few labelled as such? What existential threat are they up against? And yes, we may all think we know the answer, the First Order, but what exactly is this First Order’s motivation, and how does it threaten the Jedi?

All important questions. Kind of (it is after all only a movie).

So, I like this title. But in a way, it kind of bugs me. It bugs me because it ruins a theme I had notice in the Star Wars naming trilogies that I put a lot of thought into as a young boy back when the prequels were an exciting present, rather than a retroactively less-so thrilling experience.

Here is the crux of my pattern:

My explanation Instalment Prequel Trilogy Original Trilogy Sequel Trilogy
This defines the idea, metaphor or driving concept of the story. In the prequels we knew something sinister was afoot. The original trilogy was about overcoming this. And the new trilogy appears to be about renewal. Eitehr way they are all abstract things or impersonal observations. First Film The Phantom Menace A New Hope The Force Awakens
An action-focused title, some group doing some thing to drive forward the story. Middle Film Attack of the Clones The Empire Strikes back
Culmination as some conclusory act is carried out by a faction. The sith get revenge, the Jedi return. End Film Revenge of the Sith Return of the Jedi

Now I know I am not the only person to think this; or if it was through design by George Lucas, to notice it. But I am somewhat dismayed that the latest film doesn’t appear to fit the mould.

Sure you can argue that Jedi can be plural, so at least there is a group involved. And the helter-skelter grammar of Yoda can back you up on this:

“A flaw more and more common among Jedi. Too sure of themselves they are. Even the older, more experienced ones” – Yoda on arrogance

But the fact remains that the action focused forceful (pun not intended) language of the previous two middle films isn’t included. The clones attack; Bam! The Empire strikes back; whack! The Jedi……. remain in some implicitly dwindled fashion..?

That all being said, I love that I am once again living at that time in history where I get to over-analyse a movie title. I remember fondly wondering what that phantom menace would be, or who the clones were attacking, or how the revenge of the sith would come to play. Then in 2015 we got to ponder how the force awakens, or perhaps more importantly, we got to question why the force was seemingly asleep, and in need of awakening.

Needless to say I am looking forward to finally seeing Luke Skywalker on screen again. Hopefully he has something to say this time!


P.s. I hope my attempt at Yoda grammar in the title of this post somewhat made sense to people…

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