Written by Aaron Radcliff:
In a year full of ups and downs for Star Wars fans, most have rallied around the knowledge that each passing day brings everyone one day closer to December 15th. When news that the new The Last Jedi trailer would premier during Monday Night Football, excitement started growing to a fever pitch.
Now, it is finally here.
Rather than giving a full analysis of the trailer, we’ll run through a few brief takeaways I had.
Most people would agree that, given the events of The Force Awakens and the title of the newest entry, this would be a darker, grittier look at the main Star Wars story that, outside of The Empire Strikes Back, we hadn’t really gotten before. Most indications seem to point to this being accurate. From various battles to certain characters being in various stages of peril, I would anticipate the body count being high with a few notable names included among the dead.
Director Rian Johnson appears to be continuing the slick, stylized look of The Force Awakens. We see multiple shots of combat, ranging from ground to space, each conflict looking massive in scale. While we see many of the dark undertones we expected from this film, they look to work hand-in-hand with the grand action sequences. It would not surprise me if we get an Empire Strikes Back/Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King-esque movie.
One of the MANY theories that has floated around since 2015 is the deal is with Rey’s parentage. Some speculate she’s the sister of Kylo Ren. Others say she’s a Kenobi. While one theory suggests that she is Anakin Skywalker reincarnated.
We see Luke speaking to an unknown person (presumably Rey), saying, “I’ve seen this raw strength only once before. It didn’t scare me enough then. It does now.” This whole quote is spliced over shots of what we can assume was the event(s) that happened when Kylo Ren defected from his Jedi training, immediately followed by a shot of Rey and then Kylo.
Sure, we can deduce that this “raw power” is most likely Kylo (we also hear Snoke mention “raw, untamed power” in the beginning of the trailer). Just for fun, let’s think back to the last film and even the original trilogy. We know these two things: Kylo Ren still has training to complete (as Snoke said in The Force Awakens) and that the only force-capable people Luke saw on display were Obi-Wan, Yoda, Palpetine, and Darth Vader (I don’t include Leia because we never saw her throwing force lightning or lifting an X-Wing). We also know from The Phantom Menace that Anakin was born “of the Force,” via only his mother (much like the birth of Jesus). Could the same be the case for Rey?
While there is no concrete evidence one way or the other from this trailer (and the hints seem to lead us in the direction of Rey and Kylo being connected), we all know that Star Wars can’t help but throw a few twists at us. Do I believe the reincarnated Anakin (or Force being) theory? Not exactly, but I can understand how some could take this part of the trailer as proof of their argument.
Many people have speculated the possibility of seeing a Gray Jedi and we see more of that explored here with Rey traveling to what appears to be a destroyed temple with items on an altar which could very easily be lightsabers.
We finally get a chance to see Captain Phasma in action as she squares off against Finn. Phasma was hyped to the nth degree for the last film only to barely see any time on screen. Hopefully this fight will be as epic as it should.
One of the final shots of the trailer shows Rey saying, “I need someone to show me my place in all this,” followed by Kylo Ren extending his hand. Is this just tricky editing or will we see a team-up between these two? Is Rey going dark or Kylo going light? We’ll just have to wait and see.
Be sure to check out the trailer for The Last Jedi below and let me know your thoughts and theories.
Photo and link via Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures