Like grizzled old Jedi looking out from a rocky parapet, Star Wars fans have been waiting patiently for their first glimpse at Rian Johnson’s upcoming space-based sequel Star Wars: The Last Jedi. That patience was finally rewarded over the weekend when the first trailer for the upcoming movie was released at Star Wars Celebration in Orlando.
There’s plenty to sink your teeth into in the tantalizing two minutes and 12 seconds of footage, but take a look below to see what got us really excited about the sneak peek at this Christmas’ Star Wars instalment.
1. Luke who’s back, back again
Bad puns aside, it’s fantastic to hear Mark Hamill’s voice in the new trailer. Hamill was conspicuous by his absence in The Force Awakens and after his sparing use in J.J. Abrams’ movie it’s good to see the original franchise’s hero getting more of a run out this time around. As well as narrating the trailer, it looks like Luke is going to play a prominent part in the action as we’re shown several shots of him training Rey in the ways of the force on the Ahch-To, the home of the first Jedi temple.
2. Reading material
Speaking of the first Jedi temple, one of our favourite moments in the trailer was a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it look at what appears to be a series of old books. We were told in The Force Awakens that Luke set off in search of the origins of the Jedi after Ben Solo / Kylo Ren turned to the dark side, and by the looks of this shot he has found it. The first shot shows us a collection of books, which is immediately followed by a close up of a gloved hand running a finger over what appears to be the Jedi symbol of the Old Republic.
There’s a couple of things to unpack here. First of all the only person shown wearing a glove in the trailer is Kylo Ren, so does that mean the wannabe Sith Lord has got his hands on the tomes before his old master? And second just what are the books? If we were to hazard a guess we’d say they are the long lost Journals of Whills. For those of you not in the know, the Journal of Whills is a legendary record of events that have befallen the galaxy in its history. The Journal was originally cooked up by George Lucas as a plot device for the first Star Wars film, but it was eventually shelved until it cropped up again in Alan Dean’s novelization of the Force Awakens.
Could this finally be the Journal’s first appearance on the silver screen? And if so what is its significance? Could it contain the answers that Luke has been searching for?
3. Lightsaber training
Rey had no problem handling a lightsaber during her battle with Kylo Ren in The Force Awakens, but it looks like she’s going to master it under the watchful eye of the weapon’s original owner. Indeed there are several shots of Rey training in the ways of the force, echoing another Star Wars middle sequel, The Empire Strikes back, where Luke got his own training from Master Yoda.
However this looks like it’s a far cry from the swamp-jogging, munchkin-piggybacking-montage that Luke enjoyed back on Dagobah. In fact if the start of the trailer is anything to go by Rey isn’t exactly enjoying her exposure to the Force. It’s an idea that seemed to be backed up by Daisy Ridley during her appearance at Star Wars Celebration.
“In ‘Last Jedi’ we go deeper into Rey’s story. And what is very apparent from where we left off in ‘The Force Awakens’ and where we begin with ‘The Last Jedi’ is Rey has a certain expectation as to what she might be getting from Luke and what that might entail,” she said. “And as a lot of people know, it’s difficult when you meet your heroes because it might not be what you expect.”
4. Crait expectations
Some of the best shots in the new Star Wars trailer are reserved for a new planet. That planet is called Crait, which director Rian Johnson recently revealed in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.
“It’s way out there. It’s very remote. It’s uncharted,” says Johnson. “It’s a mineral planet and so there are mines on it.” In the trailer we see the start of what looks like an epic battle between Resistance fighters in skimmer ships as the rush towards First Order forces that look like they contain the iconic AT-AT walkers among their ranks.
As well as offering some stunning cinematography as plumes of red sand are shot up from the back of the advancing forces, there’s a definitely feeling of deja vu to this sequence. After all it is very reminiscent of the Battle of Hoth that provided some of the most memorable moments from The Empire Strikes Back.
That can’t be an accident. And with Johnson confirming that Crait will play a prominent role in the new film it looks like this land battle might be equally epic.
Just a quick one here. Did anyone else notice that Kylo Ren’s new scar is exactly the same as Anakin Skywalker’s? That can’t be a coincidence.
Who is the robed figure who drops to their knees in front of that burning building? And what does this scene mean? Given that R2-D2 is lurking in the foreground it could it be a flashback to Luke Skywalker watching the destruction of his Jedi school?
7. Ominous words
One of the most shocking moments of The Last Jedi trailer are the words that end the action. “I only know one true thing,” Luke Skywalker says. “It’s time for the Jedi to end.” It’s an ominous message especially from a guy who is supposed to be our hero. So what does it mean? Could it be that Luke has lost faith in the Force after Ben Solo turned on him, or has he finally found a way to bring balance during his self-imposed exile? Either way it seems to imply that The Last Jedi’s title might be more apt that we had previously imagined.
8. Epic space battle
Star Wars wouldn't be Star Wars without some sort of epic space battle, and the latest trailer serves up an absolute doozy of an intergalactic dogfight.