Whether “the last Jedi” is literally meant to refer to Luke or perhaps Rey (Daisy Ridley), the title certainly signals that Episode VIII will center on family ties and lineage. (In the opening crawl for “Force Awakens,” the words “the last Jedi” are used — to reference the fact that the First Order “will not rest until Skywalker, the last Jedi, has been destroyed.”)
At the end of “Force Awakens,” Rey is handing Luke’s old lightsaber back to him on Ahch-To, the site of the first Jedi temple. Because Episode VIII picks up right where “Force” left off, according to the filmmakers, our sense is strong that Luke himself could be training the “last” Jedi — if Rey herself turns out to be a Skywalker (in that case, “Jedi” could even be plural).
And unlike “Force Awakens,” Mark Hamill’s Luke should see plenty of screen time in the new film.
Update: Hamill told the AP Monday that he liked the fact that the title was “straightforward and minimalist.”
Upon Carrie Fisher’s death last month, the filmmakers said that the actress had already shot her scenes as General/Princess Leia Organa, Luke’s sister.
[This post has been updated.]