It's not uncommon for the title of a movie to go through several changes until the final version sticks, but when it came to Star Wars: The Last Jedi, it seems like the movie's writer and director knew from the very beginning what it would be named.
At a recent question and answer session at IMAX headquarters, Rian Johnson explained that when it came to naming his installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, there was never any question what he planned to call it. He revealed that, much like how he had envisioned Rey’s mirror scene, he had picked the name out prior to even working on the script.
"I had that title from the word go, really before I even started typing the script, when I was still coming up with the story," Johnson said "For some reason that title just seemed really, really right to me and it never changed."
It makes sense that the film was named The Last Jedi as it deals directly with endings just as much as it paves the way for beginnings. In the film, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) is the "last Jedi," having seen the Jedi all but order destroyed by Ben Solo/Kylo Ren and then exiled himself on Ahch-To so that everything left would die with him. And, in a sense Luke is not the last Jedi. In fact, that is exactly what he tells Kylo when the pair face off on Crait. Skywalker announces that he will not be the last Jedi and audiences know that is because, in part, Rey has now inherited Luke's knowledge making her the "last Jedi," something she is unlikely to be for long.
Of course, naming the film The Last Jedi felt so perfect for Johnson that he was concerned it would get out too early and he would, thus, have to change the title. Johnson explained that he was so worried that he dreaded getting certain emails for fear they would reveal that the movie's name had leaked.
"And it felt so right to me that I was constantly petrified that it was either going to leak online or somebody was going to guess it because I actually thought it was a pretty obvious title so, here's a secret," Johnson said. "There's like somebody at Disney and Lucasfilm who like monitors for leaks or potential leaks online so anytime an email would pop up with someone from that department I would hold my breath and click it and just 'please don't have guessed the title, don't know the title' and then [sighs with relief] thank god."
As for what titles fans did ultimately guess? Johnson was confident The Last Jedi was the best. Johnson said he had a pretty specific response to names fans came up with, including "The Legends of the Jedi Temple."
"I was like, 'we've got a better title than that.'"
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is in theaters now.