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Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer breakdown: All the secrets you need to know

by Brandon Russell | October 10, 2017October 10, 2017 11:00 am PST

Disney and Lucasfilm released a brand new trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi this week, and it’s full of never-before-seen footage. First off, the trailer is downright gorgeous, featuring beautiful space battles, sprawling landscapes, and interesting color choices. Clearly, The Last Jedi is going to be another beautiful entry in the Star Wars universe.

Beyond the trailer’s looks, the footage is full of juicy information—and it gives us our first look at Snoke, who we’d previously seen as a hologram in The Force Awakens. Before we get to unpacking the new trailer, though, can I ask what is up with Chewie’s googly eyes? He looks… off.

The trailer looms large with Supreme Leader Snoke, whose voiceover is growling and violent.

“When I found you, I saw raw, untamed power,” Snoke’s voiceover says as we cut between shots of Kylo Ren. “And beyond that: something truly special.”

The trick with this trailer is it uses clever cuts to make the audience think one thing, when really something completely different is probably happening. As Snoke’s voiceover ends, we immediately cut to a shot of Rey, who apprehensively ignites Luke Skywalker’s old lightsaber.

She’s in the midst of her training, which appears to be going pretty well. Luke seems to recognize the Force is strong within her, but she has never been able to harness it until now. Rey talks about needing a mentor to figure out her place in the world—and this is where things start getting heavy.

As she focuses on using the Force, her power cracks the cliffs of Ahch-To, frightening Luke.

“I’ve seen this raw strength only once before,” Luke tells Rey. “It didn’t scare me enough then. It does now.”

A flashback shows what that raw strength can do. Luke emerges from burning rubble, recalling a scene from The Force Awakens where he reaches out to R2-D2. As the theory goes, Luke was running a Jedi academy before Kylo Ren and the Knights of Ren burned it to the ground.

Clearly, Luke is aware of who Kylo Ren is. Seeing Rey possess the same “raw strength” gives Luke pause, because he has seen how that power can be harnessed for evil. He failed Kylo Ren already, so he’ll probably be very reluctant to train Rey once he realizes what she could potentially become.

Kylo Ren talks about letting the past die as we see him angrily slam his helmet into a wall. Could he be conflicted about his allegiance to the First Order and his grandfather? There were a few fleeting moments in The Force Awakens when it looked like Kylo Ren might redeem himself; The Last Jedi could explore his more complex emotions and tell us how he was so heavily influenced by Snoke in the first place.

Then the trailer’s clever editing comes into play: As Kylo Ren is flying in his TIE Silencer, we’re lead to believe he comes across Home One, Ackbar’s command ship from Return of the Jedi, which just so happens to have his mom on it (aka General Leia). With his hand on the trigger, he refrains from killing her, but I don’t buy this is actually happening.

First of all, Leia is way too calm, and second, the people in the background don’t seem particularly concerned either. She very well could be thinking about Kylo Ren in that very moment. But I don’t think her life is hanging in the balance right then and there. After all, Leia was supposed to have a prominent role in Episode IX before Carrie Fisher’s untimely death. I very much doubt Disney’s solution is to kill her off.

The Millennium Falcon flies through a cavernous planet (maybe Ahch-To?) as it’s chased by a group of TIE fighters. Chewie and his oddly emotive eyes pilot the ship alongside a cute new alien creature known as a Porg. So, I guess Chewie has a pet now.

We go back out into space to see Poe Dameron take off in his black X-wing. In the first trailer, it looked as though an attack against the Resistance resulted in Poe’s ship being destroyed, so this is obviously before that.

Captain Phasma stands before wreckage as she wields a staff; it looks a lot like the factory the trailer opens with. Finn challenges her disguised in a First Order uniform. I’m calling it now: Finn and Captain Phasma will have a romantic relationship when all of this is said and done. Just look at the way her platinum helmet stares longingly at Finn as they fight.

“This is not going to go the way you think,” Luke warns. We don’t see who he’s talking to but the way the trailer is cut makes it seem like it’s Rey. It’s unclear if he means her training or her fight against the First Order. Whatever it is, he is clearly afraid of what’s out there and is exhibiting some clear signs of post-traumatic stress from what happened with Kylo Ren.

“Fulfill your destiny,” Snoke says.

It would seem like Snoke is saying this to Rey, because in the next shot he’s seen using his Force powers on her. But this is likely part of the conversation with Kylo Ren, in which he talks about his untamed power.

Now, what I’m wondering is how the hell Rey finds Snoke in the first place. The easy answer is she gets captured, but I hope it’s not quite that simple. She was captured before in The Force Awakens and escaped. We don’t want to keep rehashing the same thing over and over. Also: where is Luke Skywalker in the scene?

Finally, the trailer uses misdirection once again by making the viewer believe Rey is reaching out to Kylo Ren. And it’s an easy thing to believe, as she is clearly vulnerable, while he has a growing influence because of his training. He also tried to recruit her in The Force Awakens, so there’s precedent.

But the truth is she’s probably talking to Luke about finding her place in the galaxy.

It’s interesting to see the contrast between this trailer and the official teaser released several months ago. In that one, Luke ruminated on ending the Jedi and potentially creating something else entirely. The new trailer would have us believe Luke is a scared old man who is terrified of who he helped create in Kylo Ren.

With Rey suddenly showing up on his doorstep, he doesn’t want to repeat that same mistake. While he agrees to train her, her Force sensitivity scares him, which could lead to all kinds of trouble down the road. The trailer is cut in such a way that suggests Rey might be tempted by the Dark Side, and she very well may be, but I don’t think she’ll end up like Kylo Ren.

In fact, I think there’s a better possibility the opposite might happen; Kylo Ren might redeem himself in a big way and turn against Snoke. However, that rings too close to what Vader did with Emperor Palpatine, so who knows. At the very least, hopefully we don’t get a “twist” where Snoke says he’s Rey’s father.

Which is still a huge mystery in the Star Wars universe. In The Force Awakens, we see her get dropped off on Jakku, but don’t see who dropped her off. We’re expecting to learn more about her backstory in The Last Jedi, but we may not get all the answers we’re after until Episode IX.

Check out the trailer above and let us know if you spotted anything of significance. Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits theaters on December 15.


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell likes to rollerblade while listening to ACDC.

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