‘Star Wars’ Doubles Down on ‘The Last Jedi,’ Leaks Direct Prequel To Controversial Film

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A young woman holding a staff and an older man wearing a hooded cloak stand side by side, both looking serious. The background is overcast with gray skies, reminiscent of a scene from the controversial film "The Last Jedi." They appear to be in a rugged, outdoor setting.

Credit: Lucasfilm

It may be one of the most controversial films in Star Wars canon, but it seems like Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) is still very much a part of the Lucasfilm consciousness.

Of all the cinematic fandoms, few stir quite as much inter-fandom controversy as Star Wars. For many, the original trilogy led by George Lucas is the gold standard, with the prequels and sequels receiving their fair share of hate over the years.

Jar Jar Binks (Ahmed Best) giving a thumbs up at the Pod Race in 'The Phantom Menace'
Credit: Lucasfilm

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While opinions on the prequels – Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999) in particular – have softened with the gift of time, the Star Wars sequel trilogy very much remains a sensitive topic for many fans. Each installment has its pros and cons, but none is as hotly debated as the second entry, Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi.

Critics may have loved the film (it remains the fourth-best-reviewed Star Wars film on Rotten Tomatoes), but it split fans thanks to its handling of Luke Skywalker’s (Mark Hamill) legacy, Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Kylo Ren’s (Adam Driver) burgeoning connection, sense of humor, and subplots like that with Finn (John Boyega) and Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) on Canto Bight.

star wars the last jedi luke skywalker
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Luke’s storyline was the key issue for many fans, with some declaring it a bonafide “character assassination.” The film sees him living in exile on Ahch-To, shutting himself off from the Force, having given up hope after his nephew, Ben Solo, turned to the Dark Side and destroyed Luke’s burgeoning new Jedi Order.

But while some have theorized that Lucasfilm is trying to distance itself from the events of The Last Jedi in the wake of fan backlash, the latest Lucasfilm leak suggests that couldn’t be further from the truth.

In an interview with SFX, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and The Acolyte producer Simon Emanuel addressed an upcoming Star Wars project led by James Mangold that appears to have a direct tie to The Last Jedi.

Snoke and Rey in 'The Last Jedi'
Credit: Lucasfilm

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“James Mangold’s Jedi Prime is set thousands and thousands of years before [the original trilogy],” he said, “and I’m really excited to see what happens there.”

The film in question (which fans had previously referred to as Dawn of the Jedi) is said to follow the origins of the Jedi Order long before the events of The Phantom Menace. But it’s the term “Jedi Prime,” in particular, that’s interesting due to its connection to The Last Jedi.

“Jedi Prime” was first introduced in the 2017 film via a mosaic created by concept artist Seth Engstrom. As explained in Pablo Hidalgo’s reference book “Star Wars: The Last Jedi: The Visual Dictionary,” it was inspired by the Taoist iconography of yin and yang, the balance between dualities, and shows the Prime Jedi mid-meditation.

A man sits on the ground next to a stone circle with an intricate mosaic design, reminiscent of The Last Jedi aesthetic. The mosaic depicts a standing figure with outstretched arms surrounded by circular patterns. The scene is dimly lit, and the ground appears to be made of rough stone.
Credit: Lucasfilm

The Prime Jedi is said to be the first person to use the Force, ultimately founding the Jedi Order and its first temples on (you guessed it) Ahch-To, where Luke later goes into hiding.

Mangold has previously addressed his desire to delve into the origins of the Jedi, explaining: “I just see this opening to make kind of a ‘Ben-Hur’ or ‘The 10 Commandments’ about the birth of the Force.’ The Force has become a kind of religious legend that spans through all these movies. But where did it come from?”

Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) wielding a blue lightsaber in 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'
Credit: Lucasfilm

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If Mangold’s film is leaning into the specific idea of the Prime Jedi, it’s safe to say that Ahch-To will play a key role in the film, ultimately framing it as a direct prequel to not just the rest of the franchise but The Last Jedi in particular.

How, exactly, this will come to pass remains to be seen. For now, Mangold’s film doesn’t have a confirmed release date. Both The Mandalorian & Grogu (2026) and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s Rey film will hit theaters first, leaving December 2027 as the earliest likely slot. Until then, fellow The Last Jedi stans, we wait.

What are your thoughts on The Last Jedi? Let us know in the comments!

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