Oh man, has it been a good week to be a nerd, especially a Star Wars one. With this week’s Star Wars Celebration came a brand new trailer for the newest numbered entry in the Star Wars series, Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi. The name alone stirs so many questions for fans. Who is the last Jedi? Is Jedi being used as a plural noun in this case or is there really only one true Jedi remaining. The trailer was exactly what we have come to expect from the multi-billion-dollar powerhouse that is Star Wars and it delivers on almost every level. Almost.
Nothing in this world is perfect and being a true fan means not blindly praising something without some fair criticism first! With that said, join us as we delve deep into the depths of the trailer, going frame by frame to find our favorite moments and excruciatingly analyzing minute details for the purposes of entertainment! I mean, come on, how else are we supposed to pass the time waiting for a new Star Wars movie? Leave us a comment below about what you enjoyed about the new trailer and any secrets we might have missed. Who do you think the last Jedi is? Do you think we’ll learn more about Rey’s heritage in this film? Sound off below! Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi is slated for a Christmas release and is directed by Rian Johnson who is known for films like Looper (2012) and Brick (2005).
7 Things We Hated
15. Kylo Ren Ditches his Helmet
Kylo Ren is definitely one of the most troubled new characters in the new trilogy of Star Wars films and understandably so. I mean come on, his grandfather is Darth Vader. With Anakin Skywalker’s blood coursing through him, his transformation to the dark side came early and was fueled by rage, anger, and jealousy. But even Darth Vader had some good left in him when he met his demise, which is a character arc that I suspect Kylo Ren will follow. With that being said, it was sad to see the helmet destroyed in the trailer (right around the fifty second mark). When I first saw the trailer, I thought that it was Darth Vader’s helmet that had been destroyed which I think would have been an interesting motivation for Kylo. However, seeing as it’s his own mask that is destroyed, hopefully we don’t end up with the same problem Venom faced in Spider-Man 3, where Topher Grace was far less intimidating with his face revealed.
14. Why Do the Jedi Have to End?
Easily the biggest mystery that the trailer presents us with is the final words uttered by Luke Skywalker as the trailer draws to a close. “It’s time for the Jedi to end.” What can it possibly mean? Well, there are a few possible explanations and routes that the film could take. For instance, has Luke’s time in isolation and his experience leading up to the film, from the training and eventual betrayal of Kylo Ren, influenced him to see the Force as a less black and white argument. No longer is it simply a light side vs dark side argument in Luke’s eyes, which might explain his line earlier in the film about there being “so much more” to the Force. Another possible explanation is that Luke truly does wish for the Jedi to end in the sense that he has seen the death, turmoil, and destruction that the Force creates. As of now, it’s hard to say and only time will tell.
13. Those weird “Skimmers” on Crait
The first image that popped into my head seeing these strange, appropriately named, Skimmers was a flashback to the pod-racing section of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Not a great memory to have come back for a new trailer. Lines of dialogue like, “Now this is pod racing!” immediately reminded me of how bad the prequels were. But everyone knows that. Now how can we relate this back to the Skimmers? Easy, really. The design of the hovercraft are very shoddy and haphazardly thrown together, giving them a homemade look, much like those in Episode I. They earn the title Skimmer for the way their needled bottoms “skim” across the ground to provide balance and stability. It is hard to tell from the trailer how the red dust the emanates from them is from the needle or is some material from the planet, either way it looks questionable and definitely ruins any element of surprise these ships might have hoped to keep secret.
12. It Can’t be a Retelling of The Empire Strikes Back
The Force Awakens received a large amount of criticism for the way it replicated the events, plot, and key story elements of the original Star Wars film: A New Hope. The criticism was well deserved honestly, a rag tag group meet to take on an intergalactic threat capable of destroying planets and entire systems. The Force Awakens took the original film and honestly just made things bigger; a bigger Death Star, a lightsaber with smaller lightsabers in it, the film tried to capitalize on the bigger is better mentality. Hopefully, The Last Jedi will make an attempt to forge its own path, but it isn’t out of the woods just yet. I can forgive The Force Awakens for being so reminiscent of A New Hope because it had to pay tribute to its roots while introducing a whole slew of new characters, threats, and environments to help build its new world, or in this case a new galaxy. However, it has established itself
11. What Will the Big Threat be this Time Around?
The Force Awakens had its gigantic Starkiller base which was intended to mimic the effects of the Death Star on a much larger scale. This threat was resolved in the film as was the question of where Luke Skywalker was. Right now, the First Order is defeated and Kylo Ren is still a looming threat, but his presence is not enough to intimidate an entire galaxy. Most of the First Order is well aware of his short temper and recklessness that usually leads to him being outsmarted. With no giant planet threatening base ready to decimate the resistance, what will the film focus on for its villain? Finn and Rey were able to hold their own against Kylo Ren and this was at a time when both were untrained and Kylo was in a weakened state, so they could potentially have a much more in depth and professional fight, but will that be enough to hold viewer’s interest?
10. That One Section of the Trailer that Resembles “Man of Steel”
One moment from the trailer that made me cringe didn’t even have to do with Star Wars or the trailer itself. Around the thirty-eight second mark, a close-up shot of Rey kneeling on the rocks from the previous scene shows her finally gaining at least an amateur level of control of the Force as she is able to raise small rocks and pebbles from the ground and make them levitate in the air right off the ground. Now most nerds and movie aficionados have seen almost this exact same shot before. That’s right, in the rebooted DC movie universe; this exact shot is seen in Man of Steel, starring Henry Cavill. That film is abysmally boring and makes the scene in question of Superman learning to fly a mundane affair. Hopefully Rey’s encounter with floating rocks and crouching low to the ground will be more entertaining and fulfilling to watch.
9. We Have to Wait Until Christmas
Lastly, we have the thing we hate most about the new trailer is the fact that it doesn’t give us a release date. Instead we are treated to a Christmas time release which means we can do nothing more than sit, wait, and speculate on our intense theories and predictions for the film. It also means that there will, without a doubt, be more trailers and details about the film released in the coming months, which is a double-edged sword, or in our case, lightsaber. For me, curiosity always gets the best of me and I watch every piece of new footage released or read every interview to gain whatever insight I can, but I run the risk of having elements spoiled or setting too high of expectations. Most trailers nowadays show the whole movie in a two and a half minute trailer and I hope that future trailers for The Last Jedi don’t accidentally do this and instead leave some awesome surprises for viewers, but we’ve been fooled before.
8. The Beginning of the Trailer
The beginning of the trailer for The Last Jedi was one of the biggest fake outs in the Star Wars series, comparable to how Rogue One began without an opening crawl. In the trailer, a slow, rising light reveals what looks like a vast expanse of space with stars far off in the distance. However, this is a trick of light as the screen continues to brighten, revealing a collection of rocks covered by Rey’s exasperated hand. This kind of toying with our expectations that has become commonplace in modern cinema and it’s cool to see how Star Wars tackles this trope. This sort of surprise reveal happened in the original teaser for the Force Awakens when Finn pops up onscreen with a desert backdrop as our first look into the new trilogy. Regardless, the beginning of the trailer (and let’s face it, the whole thing) was absolutely amazing.
7. That Red Logo
The first, most noticeable difference with this new entry in the Star Wars saga is the change in font color of the classic Star Wars title. Most Star Wars films have sported a traditional yellow color, but the eighth episode of the famed film franchise will be a dark red color. The decision to change the color can’t be coincidental, especially since red is the color associated with the various evil entities in the Star Wars universe, from the Sith and the Empire to the most recent incarnation of the dark side of the force, the First Order. Will this mark a tonal shift in the new trilogy of films, or is the color palette change simply an aesthetic decision? Right now it is hard to say and makes us question if the third film will feature a title color more in line with the light side of the force.
6. Luke Speaks!
One of the best moments in Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens was the big finale cliffhanger where Rey finally manages to track down Luke Skywalker. The film closes with a shot encircling the two on an isolated island and audiences around the world were left wondering what Luke says to Rey. Well, the trailer gives us a little insight into at least one conversation the two have. Judging by the content of what is said, like Luke asking Rey to breathe and tell him what she sees, this must take place early on in Rey’s training as she learns the ways of the force. The biggest thing that sticks out from Luke’s words is the way he says that there are much bigger things than the balance of the Force. Surely this will be explained in the film, especially since Luke has spent so much time in isolation, becoming one with the Force and learning things beyond anything we could possibly imagine.
5. A New Planet: Crait
One of the great things about the Star Wars series is its ability to nail the opening action sequence that sets the pace for the rest of the film. How iconic are those opening scenes from classics like A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back? From the shootout and introduction of Darth Vader to the battle on Hoth that blew my mind as a kid, I have high expectations for the new planet shown in the trailer. Looking back at the battle of Hoth, it is safe to think that Crait will be shown early on in the film. Come to think of it, with the precedent set by The Force Awakens, the battle on Crait could potentially pay homage to the Hoth fight. If you look in the distance around the minute and fifteen second mark, you can see a long line of AT-AT’s making their way towards what will surely be a huge fight.
4. Journal of the Whills?
Okay, so this theory is the most out-there one of all the theories to come out of the trailer. Right at the one minute mark of the trailer, we get a distance shot of what appears to be the roots of a tree of some sorts with a light shining diagonally onto a collection of books. Many are speculating that these books are a collection of tomes called the Journal of the Whills, which collects information on the Jedi in physical format. Star Wars is known for its use of digital technology, so the use of paper and handwritten text is something rather foreign in these films. The Journal of the Wills was first introduced in the novelization of The Force Awakens by Alan Dean that includes an excerpt from the book. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story expands on the lore of the Whills by having characters who were guardians of the Whills.
3. BB-8, Poe, and the Gang are Back!
And of course we knew they would be, but man was seeing them in this trailer great. Interestingly, the scenes in the trailer featuring BB-8 and Poe, we gain some insight into potential plot points of the new film. Around the one minute and twenty two second mark, we see the dynamic duo running down a hall and into a hangar that is most likely a large space carrier belonging to the resistance because of the X-Wing and other mechanics in the hangar sporting resistance gear. An explosion lights up the screen as the hangar is engulfed in flames from what can only be presumed to be an attack from the First Order. Interestingly, from the way the explosion begins, it looks as if it comes from inside the hangar itself instead of an outside attack from a Tie Fighter. It’s also possible that this is a shot created specifically for the trailer to create hype and may not appear in the final film.
2. Huge Space Battles
One of the things that I really enjoyed about the Star Wars prequels and the series in general is the epic scale the films have been able to create when it comes to dog fights in outer space. Hearing the iconic screech of a Tie Fighter as it speeds among a sea of identical ships in an all out war against X-Wings and a plethora of other fighters. With the advance of special effects technology continually growing at an exponential rate, what better way to showcase it than by having an incredible action sequence set in space? Around the one minute and thirty second mark, we get a brief glimpse into a full on assault over an unspecified planet. Keen viewers can catch a glimpse of a hidden easter egg in this trailer in the form of an elusive A-Wing ship that hasn’t been seen in the mainline Star Wars series for some time.
1. What is up with Finn?
The trailer showed us only a brief glimpse into the fate of fan-favorite Finn. It was as cryptic as it was confusing. At the end of The Force Awakens, Finn is celebrating the Resistance victory on D’Qar with Leia, Poe and the other members of the Resistance. In the trailer, right around the one minute and twenty second mark, Finn fills the screen. Blink and you’ll miss it. Finn appears to be asleep or at least in some sort of induced comatose state. The pod that he occupies seems to be a very technical piece of equipment, which suggests that it may be for medical use. The two second screen time makes it impossible to decipher what exactly is going on, but the radar at the top of the pod raises a few questions as well as the changing deep blue background on the upper corners of the screen. These colors are typically associated with the warp space travel of the Millennium Falcon and other space cruisers so perhaps Finn is being transported across space in a small vehicle that would require him to be asleep for safe travel?