Since the announcement that Star Wars Episode VIII would feature the subtitle of The Last Jedi, there’s been a bounty of speculation on whether “Jedi” is singular or plural (as the plural form of “Jedi” is “Jedi”). Just now, we got a big hint from the official French Star Wars Twitter account that the title could refer to multiple characters instead of just Luke Skywalker.
— Star Wars France (@StarWarsFR) February 17, 2017
As you can see, the title is listed as Les Derniers Jedi. Obviously, the grammatical structure of this particular title is the same as it is in English. However, the middle word is what could be potentially revealing. “Last” may be spelled two different ways in the French language with two completely different connotations – “Dernier” is singular, while “Derniers” is plural. The obvious takeaway is that the French are treating “Jedi” as though it is plural.
Some would take this as a sign that “Jedi”, in this case, is absolutely plural in the English version of the movie name, along with all subsequent translations. However, when it comes to translating English to a foreign language for the purposes of marketing something like a movie, it’s to my understanding that the general meaning of a word can take precedence over making grammatical sense. I do not speak French, but this information seems to line up with what actual French reports are writing about this subject. Any additional insight on language barriers from anyone familiar with the language would be greatly appreciated.
Special thanks to The Cantina user Bandini for pointing this story out to us.
It seems that we have the same situation in Spain as well:
— SW Comlink (SWNN) (@starwarscomlink) February 17, 2017
— Star Wars España (@StarWarsSpain) February 17, 2017
Italy revealed their title as well:
Gli Ultimi Jedi, dicembre 2017 al cinema. pic.twitter.com/t0AuvTrmSK
— Star Wars Italia (@StarWarsIT) February 17, 2017
Germany is also in on this:
— All Movies (@PaulahWhite) February 17, 2017
Along with Portugal/Brazil:
— GamesBrasil (@GamesBrasil) February 17, 2017
So it definitely looks as though there’s a pattern going on here. Perhaps it might not be too early to presume that the title is plural after all!