'Episode VIII' Isn't the First Movie Called 'The Last Jedi'

A 'Star Wars' fan film holds that honor, and its creator has a suggestion for 'Episode IX.'
YouTube/Apsis Motion Pictures

Star Wars: The Last Jedi will likely be the biggest movie of 2017, but a much lower-profile project beat it to the punch in one important regard. 

In addition to a few Expanded Universe properties, a 2014 fan film used the Last Jedi name. The fan film tells the story of a young boy who, after his parents are hunted down and killed, becomes the last Force-adept person in the galaxy. A Holocron trains him for decades, even as he's tracked by those who wish to kill him.

Back in 2013, when the team was conceiving of the story, they assumed Episode VII would take a page from the Expanded Universe and feature a Jedi resurgence. So their Last Jedi concept would be like counter programming. 

 "It was something really anticlimactic, like 'Oh, boy,'" director Joel Loukus tell Heat Vision of hearing the title.

He and his producer exchanged messages about whether they should try to get out in front of any potential complaints from Disney, but they are hoping for the best. 

"They've maintained Lucasfilm's history of being friendly toward Star Wars derivative work like ours," he says of Disney.

As for Episode IX, could the fan film team go two for two in predicting one of the most closely guarded secrets in film?

"The last Star Wars film we made was called Reunion and featured German expressionist-inspired visuals and guys wearing Kabuki theater-style makeup," says Loukus. "I guess crazier things have happened, and I'd probably pay to see a high-budget treatment of the same concept, so they're welcome to it."