Star Wars: The Last Jedi Trailer Breakdown
The full trailer for The Last Jedi has finally arrived! Have you seen it? If not go watch it now, then come back here to check out our screenshot rundown and fulfill your destiny!
The 2 minute 34 second trailer is dark side heavy, as we would imagine a trailer for the second act in a three part story would be. We begin with an unmasked Kylo Ren, overseeing First Order operations, by himself, which turns out being the case for most of this trailer, Kylo Ren, on his own.
We love this shot here, with shades of Anakin in Attack of the Clones. The conflict within Kylo Ren was evident in The Force Awakens, and it is interesting to see his reflection here in this shot, perhaps as much figuratively as it is literally. It looks as though Rian Johnson is continuing that internal struggle we were introduced to in the previous film.
As Snoke’s voice booms over these shots
“When I found you, I saw raw untamed power.”
we see the new AT-M6 walkers marching heavily, scraping through the salty sands of the planet Crait, with Kylo Ren’s command shuttle hovering above.
Kylo Ren leads flame troopers into a cave of some sort, which we believe to be Crait. Perhaps they are attempting to burn up the valuable minerals once mined here. We saw a lot of fire in the first teaser, and ahead in this trailer, so perhaps this is the source of much of it.
Kylo Ren, masked once again, and possibly kneeling before Supreme Leader Snoke. The shot is very similar to the one of him in The Force Awakens, speaking to the mask of his grandfather, Darth Vader.
If this shot follows the previous one, a kneeling Ren picks up his lightsaber (unless it is a tricky reversed shot of him putting his lightsaber down). In the background we see two Praetorian Guards.
The parallels continue, we immediately go from a shot of Ren with his saber to Rey igniting the Skywalker lightsaber.
Rey begins speaking about her realization that something was always inside her. We believe these lines actually belong with her final lines in the trailer, but more on that later. This takes us to the next two shots, the ones we have all been hanging on the cliff for two years, Luke finally accepting the lightsaber that once belonged to him, that once belonged to his father.
The slight pensiveness and hesitation of Luke’s robotic hand in accepting the lightsaber that he last saw when he lost his real hand at the hands of Darth Vader is so subtle but necessary and perfectly executed by Rian Johnson.
What must be going through the mind of Luke at this point? A clash between memories and what lies ahead with this girl? A whirlwind of emotions swirling, going from complete solitude to an immediate injection of his past, and potentially his future, all at once.
Rey walking towards the Force tree in the murky fog of Ahch-To, the environment reminds us of Dagobah a bit, and perhaps the fog is a swift yet thick shot of symbolism, that Rey’s journey may not be as clear as we once thought.
The books…in the tree…we saw them in the first teaser…the Journal of the Whills? Did Luke send Rey to the tree to find them? Or has she gone off on her own after being turned away and discovers them herself?
There is no doubt Luke’s search for the first Jedi temple, and the origins of his religion will play a role, perhaps seeing how Obi-Wan lost Vader, and how he lost Ben, made Luke question whether the path of the Jedi lost its way.
Rey training with the saber, which is clearly a closer shot of the one we saw landscaped so beautifully in the first teaser, which shows Luke watching her from the cliffs above. It is no doubt that after much hesitation and concern, Luke will agree to train her.
But how powerful is she? Luke is about to find out.
Meditating and focusing on the Force, a huge crack splitting the ground they stand on sends a shock to Luke’s face. What if the split of the surface on Starkiller base that separated Kylo Ren and Rey in The Force Awakens wasn’t from the planet dying, but caused by Rey’s powerful connection with The Force? We saw her immediately display incredible abilities the moment after she closed her eyes, and whispered…….”The Force.”
The shot from the first teaser returns, another example of how potentially powerful Rey is, with telekinetic capabilities of unknown limitations.
Luke expresses massive concern, but when does he actually voice this concern? We see Luke seemingly escaping rubble – is this a flashback of his destroyed Jedi Academy? This leads us to think we may be in store for another Force/flashback.
Luke says he has seen raw strength like this before, and that it didn’t scare him then, but it does now. But who is he talking about? We immediately assume it is Ben (Kylo). But what if he is talking about his father, Darth Vader? Fear was a major theme for Luke in the original trilogy, and Vader himself acknowledged that Luke controlled his fear. Is Luke seeing a parallel in the power of Rey that he witnessed in his father?
A shot (or variation of a shot) that we have seen since The Force Awakens, which we have all assumed is Luke having escaped the destruction of his Jedi Academy, looking on solemnly with R2. But perhaps what we saw in Rey’s vision in The Force Awakens wasn’t all from the past. What if this shot happens now in The Last Jedi? If so, what is burning in the distance? It is something to think about, and if it turns out to be the case, the movies are intertwined more than we initially realized.
Rey on Ahch-To, early after her arrival as she is wearing the outfit she arrived in, clearly with worry and concern on her face.
Kylo Ren, again by himself, in his own mind, with his thoughts, but what are they?………
Conflicted? He takes one final look at his mask and then proceeds to smash it through the wall, which explains the shattered remains of it that we saw in the first teaser.
Kylo Ren’s TIE Silencer in pursuit of a ship, but whose?
Kylo Ren’s voice is heard, but who is he talking to? Himself? Another?
“Let the past die – kill it if you have to.”
A gravely concerned Leia, clearly sensing something through the Force – the sequence of shots would have us believe it is Ben.
Zeroed in on a the target (the trailer would have us assume it’s Leia), the shot pans to Kylo Ren, his thumb hovering over the trigger.
Is a mother connecting with her son through The Force? Is she creating the hesitation, churning up the confusion, the conflict within him? This next shot is one of the best in the trailer. No dialogue but Adam Driver delivers everything we need. Fighting back sadness, closed in, is he still being torn apart? The novelization of The Force Awakens pointed out that Kylo Ren was unexpectedly, to himself, affected by killing his father. It did not give him the satisfaction he thought it would. Is Kylo Ren more conflicted and tormented in the wake of this in The Last Jedi? Did it not complete his journey towards the darkness but add a ring to the internal chaos?
The mood shifts to the Millennium Falcon (we were all waiting for it!) flying through a cave of some sort, in again what we assume to be Crait. Perhaps these are the mines of Crait which we have learned are rich with minerals. Has the Resistance returned to a planet familiar to both Luke and Leia (see upcoming comic Star Wars: Storms of Crait, and Claudia Gray’s Leia: Princess of Alderaan) for resources and that deserted former Rebel base?
From Rian Johnson’s Vanity Fair interview months ago:
“(Crait is) way out there. It’s uncharted. It’s a mineral planet and so there are mines on it.”
“(There is) an old Rebel base [on Crait] that’s now abandoned,” which will end up “playing a key role in the movie.”
The mighty Chewbacca! Still in the right-hand chair, is Rey still at the helm or is she too busy with her journey that she has handed over the keys?
A porg! These little bird-like habitants of Ahch-To are here to dial up the cuteness level. Our guess is one of these little guys accidentally sneaks on to the Falcon and they discover him mid-flight after leaving the planet, and he becomes “the porg” for the rest of the trilogy.
What is Star Wars without epic space battles??
Poe Dameron viewing the damage from the previous shot perhaps? Something tells me he needs to get to his X-wing immediately!
As we found out in previous reports, Poe’s X-wing has been modified, and he has a little extra boost at his disposal. From the Empire Online coverage:
The X-Wing (an Incom-FreiTek T-70, to be precise) has, according to Rian Johnson, been specially modified by Resistance engineers, with a temporary accelerator pod affixed to the aft section. According to The Last Jedi director, the pod, when primed, increases Dameron’s speed, allowing him to outrun First Order cannon emplacements. It’s just a temporary boost and will burn out quickly but it’s enough to get beyond the barrage of turbo laser fire from First Order Star Destroyers such as the one depicted in the image.
Here are some shots of Poe, who as we know is “one hell of a pilot”, taking his fight to the First Order:
It looks like Poe is flying over the First Order’s new mega-Star Destroyer Dreadnought during the battle of D’Qar as the Resistance attempts to flee their current location. As we mentioned in an article last week, Poe and his team will be aided by an A-wing squad commanded by Tallie Lintra.
A determined Poe Dameron, with an increased leadership role is ready to light the fire that takes down the First Order. That is clearly Carrie Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourde as Lieutenant Connix in the background in this next shot.
The Resistance is not stopping the First Order without getting past the leader of the stormtroopers. That’s right, she made it out folks, Captain Phasma is BACK!
The fight we have anticipated since the end of The Force Awakens is going to go down, as Finn and Phasma appear set for an iconic one-on-one encounter amidst the madness that surrounds them.
Finn is still in his undercover First Order disguise that was teased to us in previous releases. As we know, Finn and newcomer Rose will be going undercover within the First Order. Well, it appears they got caught, and Finn, without time to change back into his jacket (which we all know suits him quite well), will be battling Phasma in First Order officer attire.
These are incredible shots, as you can see Finn reflecting off of Phasma’s helmet. This is going to be an epic fight, but the question remains, will we see Phasma unmasked?
In this next shot it looks like we see the First Order Dreadnought doing some damage to Resistance Bombers (B/SF-17 heavy bomber), we speculate that this is happening in the battle over D’Qar.
Here is our little buddy BB-8, looks like he got a little cooked, but he’s okay. It even looks like he shakes his head like he got his bell rung a little at the end of this shot. Don’t worry, he’ll be all right!
“This is not going to go….the way you think.” declares Luke Skywalker (a quote that Mark Hamill himself chose to use in his Tweet of the trailer)
Move over porgs, the new creature getting a lot of buzz are these mysterious ice foxes, which inhabit Crait. There are clearly many of them as you can see them running for cover here at the base in the mountains of Crait.
The reverse shot of this base entrance is shown, and all we see is Leia at the entrance alone. What is happening here?
The shot moves closer to Leia’s face, clearly solemn but also what appears to be in contemplation. Is she weighing her options moving forward?
The behind the scenes reel showed us Rey diving in water, and now we see her under water (notice the alien skeleton in the bottom right corner)…..
and emerging from the water.
Is this a test? It looks like she emerges from the water to find Luke. Did he send her down there for something? Perhaps he is asking her to do him a favor and see if she sees an X-wing down there with a green lightsaber (I’m kidding).
We come back to Finn, now being escorted by First Order stormtroopers, he is in the First Order disguise. This is likely after he is caught, being walked to the First Order Judicial Executioners for his sentencing and ultimately, his execution. Something tells us he will figure his way out of this predicament, as we expect his battle with Phasma to happen after his escape.
The First Order, this shot reminds me a lot of the hanger on the Death Star II in Return of the Jedi. You can see walkers in the distance as well as AT-STs (or a form of them) on the right. Perhaps a new model has taken on a new name as have the new walkers.
Here we see more shots of First Order walkers at the battle of Crait, with Kylo Ren’s command shuttle above accompanied as always by TIE fighter patrol protection. The red churning up on the right indicates the Resistance is already firing shots their way, as the blasts are too close to be coming from the walkers themselves.
The battle of Crait rages on, with a TIE fighter getting shot down. This is a great action shot as the TIE plummets to the ground and explodes into pieces at the camera. Any question on whether Rian Johnson can direct action sequences are quickly answered with a resounding “yes”!
One of the most important shots of the trailer for us is seeing Snoke’s face, finally not in hologram form. Snoke looks awesome. This does not look like a cartoon or too-CGI, and he appears evil and intimidating. There have been rumblings of concern over Snoke fizzling out lately, especially with a lot of fun being poked about his action figures and his unexpected choice of attire, but these next two shots might make us rethink those jabs.
“Fulfill your destiny!” – Snoke
Rey is being tortured by Snoke as a Praetorian Guard looks on off to the right. She is likely doing what she can to resist him, but unlike her resistance to Kylo in The Force Awakens, Snoke might be too much for her to fend off.
The final shots of the trailer have thrown fans into a speculation tornado on social media. Rey speaks:
“I need someone to show me my place in all this”
It appears that she is talking to Kylo Ren, which is followed by him reaching out his hand to her. But I feel this is old-fashioned Star Wars trailer misdirection. Check it out after the shot of Kylo.
First off, look at the shot of Ren. He is surrounded by smoke, fire, and embers raining down around him. Then go back and look at the shot of Rey, absolutely nothing. The lighting is similar, yes it is probably fire of some sort, and edited perfectly to have us think this exchange is happening between them, but we are convinced that is Rey talking to Luke on Ahch-To. If you need more convincing look at Rey’s outfit. That is the same tunic she arrived at Ahch-To in. Also, her hair in her post-training action figures and images show it looking more like a Qui-Gon Jinn down look, and this is clearly still exactly how she looks when she first arrives to meet Luke.
So this begs the question…who is Kylo Ren reaching out to? Could it still be Rey but in another shot? Is it Leia, his mother?
What did you think of the trailer? It has already been viewed nearly 10 million times on YouTube, and the overall consensus seems to be very positive. This film looks dark, as it should be, but also full of the necessary character weight and development and struggle that is required in the second act of a trilogy. In addition to this, the movie looks incredibly unique, and fresh, so perhaps the “Empire rehash” narrative can be put to rest finally. It looks like Rian Johnson may have really created something special here with The Last Jedi, and we are just over two months away from seeing his vision on the big screen, and having all of these speculations and questions answered.
Light….darkness….the balance….The Last Jedi blasts into theaters on December 14th.
“For my ally is Rian Johnson, and a powerful ally he is.”