After six months the long anticipated trailer for Star Wars :The Last Jedi has finally arrived! Did it live up to the hype and was the wait worth it? Join BTC Staff members Nate and Michael as they discuss and breakdown the trailer and share their thoughts and predictions for the next chapter of this epic space opera.
Nate: Before we get to the trailer, let’s talk a little about the new poster that also got released today. Given the amount of red featured in the poster, it seems that the dark side will be the main focus of E8. Like The Empire Strikes Back and even Attack Of The Clones, this would suggest that The Last Jedi will fall in line with the other middle chapters of the trilogies thus far. Thoughts Michael?
Michael: There is definitely a darker theme to this trailer, certainly reminiscent of the middle chapter formula the series has done before, particularly with The Empire Strikes Back. It is also a trailer filled with a lot especially for only 2 and a half minutes.
Expanding on footage from the first teaser, we again see Rey in a training of some sorts with Luke particularly with the blue lightsaber. She mentions having felt the Force (or power) within her for so long but only now has it revealed itself. Is this a sort of nod to the Chosen One prophecy that was a central theme of the prequel trilogy? Is there another Chosen One after Anakin?
Nate: Both Snoke and Luke seem to speak of a power that is unlike anything they have felt before. The immediate assumption is that this refers to Rey but it could also refer to Kylo as well. If the rumors that Rey is a Skywalker of some sort, this would hold true as both Kylo and Rey would have Skywalker heritage. In any case considering how strong Luke and Snoke are, this is certainly intimidating to say the least.
Michael: Kylo Ren is shown to be continuing on his struggle with the Dark Side. “Let the past die, kill it if you have to. That’s the only way to become what you were meant to be.” he says. Does this mean he wants to further destroy figures from his past ? Han Solo is dead (presumably) so will Leia or Luke be his next target? Will Luke and Leia be reunited before something tragic happens? He also seems to smash his helmet and is seen throughout the trailer without it, is he abandoning his devotion to his grandfather?
Nate: Certainly a possibility. Also what could be in that box Rey walks up to?
Michael: Perhaps the link for a new order of warriors? Luke himself says it’s time for the Jedi to end.
Nate: I want to know so bad. If its Jar Jar’s head. I would give this film the first ever 100% rating on this site regardless of whatever else unfolds throughout the rest of the film.
Nate: What are the odds Leia survives The Last Jedi? Based on the trailer I’d say not very high.
Michael: Given Carrie Fisher’s death, do you really think the producers will also kill Leia?
Nate: Assuming this trilogy has long been set in stone, I think Fisher would have wanted her character to go when it was time (unlike Ford’s Solo who survived Return of the Jedi despite his protests)
Michael: I understood she would be in all three films, so Leia dying would be changing the story from what was originally planned. And Disney has indicated they will not use footage of her for further films.
Nate: Flashbacks / Force Ghosts could explain her remaining role?
Michael: Another story arc continuing from The Force Awakens is Finn’s battle against The First Order of which he was a member. We see him battling Captain Phasma with a variant of the lightsaber, so can we assume Finn finally gets some retribution?
Nate: Finally Phasma gets to do something after basically being a trash can in The Force Awakens. Hopefully Finn has improved his fighting skills since the events of TFA since he was badly injured the last time we saw him. It looks like Finn is sent on some infiltration mission though based on his clothes. That or he has been captured by the First Order.
Michael: Nothing is really seen of other First Order Members like General Hux, but Snoke is fairly prominent. He begins the trailer with an ominous narration, presumably directed towards Kylo Ren but possibly referring to Rey or maybe Luke? We also briefly see his actual face not in hologram form. Will this be like Return of the Jedi where the Emperor takes a significant role in events of the film?
Nate: Towards the end he says “Fufill your destiny”, Who’s Destiny? The destiny of Rey to follow in the footsteps of her ancestor Anakin AKA Darth Vader?
Michael: Rey says “I need someone to show me my place in all this.” Who is she talking to? The trailer implies its Kylo Ren but that very easily looks like a deliberate false friend. And if it isn’t false, then what exactly is this Alliance between the two? Will this fuel the story of Episode IX?
Nate: Come on there is no way Rey turns to the dark side, she might be lured but to turn the main protagonist into a villain is a much bolder move than I think Disney is capable of. Any possible alliance will be temporary unless Kylo turns good (which is a far more likely Disney narrative) Plus we have to remember that as much as the film will inevitably make , the money is in the merchandising which brings me to my next point. Do the Porgs (which make an appearance in the trailer) feel like it has Jar Jar potential to you Michael?
Michael: It reminds me of the Ewoks….
Nate: One can only hope.
Michael: Once again the musical score sounds extraordinary; in just 2 minutes 30 seconds we hear the First Order Theme, Rey’s Theme, The Jedi Steps and of course The Force Theme/ Luke’s Theme all masterfully joined together. It’s John Williams after all so anything less than musical excellence shouldn’t be expected. The Force Awakens score was nominated at the Oscars, can The Last Jedi nab Maestro Williams that elusive sixth Oscar statuette?
Nate: Tough call on that one my friend, there will be stiff competition as we’ve already seen from Blade Runner 2049 and I really enjoyed the score in Call Me By Your Name (though I am far from the maestro as you are in this field Michael)
Michael: I am admittedly biased towards John Williams, anytime he has the opportunity to win another award, I’ll always be cheering and hoping. The score for Empire Strikes Back features themes( Han Solo and The Princess, Yoda’s Theme, Imperial March ) arguably better than that of A New Hope and that didn’t win the Oscar. Maybe some new iconic themes will be introduced in this film and do the reverse, actually win the Oscar?!
Nate: See, at least we admit our biases here at BTC (BILL MURRAY FOR EVERY AWARD!!!!)
Nate: Anyway, what’s your big prediction based on the two trailers we’ve seen thus far?
Michael: It seems obvious that a major reveal will be made (similar to Empire) and that Rey will really solidify her powers. Actually I think there will be several MAJOR REVEALS; who is the Last Jedi, who is Snoke and what is Kylo Ren’s true path?
I am predicting that after Rey’s ‘training’ she and Luke reunite with Leia and The Resistance with some unlocked secret or new plan to destroy The First Order. In the meantime Kylo Ren advances himself in the Dark Side and Snoke makes a significant revelation regarding Ren’s parentage and his relationship with Rey. This will set the stage for Episode IX.
Nate: Pretty much a lock she’s a Skywalker or a Kenobi I would think. But what do you think he will say in that revelation?
Michael: Perhaps that it was Rey he was initially going after but ended up with Kylo Ren as a ‘second choice’. Maybe Snoke is the one that left her on Jakku?
Nate: My Prediction is that Leia dies at the hands of Snoke after Kylo hesitates. Kylo then turns back to the light side as we close on a cliffhanger of Rey contemplating an offer from Snoke implying that she will get her parents back if she turns dark.
Michael: I also wonder if this series will see the deaths of all major characters from the original trilogy? Solo is dead, if Leia dies, will Luke die in Episode IX? And what about R2 and Threepio?
Nate: It seems like that is the plan for this trilogy as they transition to Rey / Finn / Poe as the faces of the franchise to a new generation plus Hamill is getting up there in age as well so it feels like a natural changing of the guard.
Michael: I am certainly very enthusiastic for this next chapter, and hope that while it may mirror Empire in tone it isn’t a complete clone, as The Force Awakens was seen in relation to A New Hope.
Nate: I echo those sentiments. I think the boldest move they could pull is turning Rey into the villain going into E9 but as I mentioned earlier given its Disney, this seems unlikely
Michael: Yeah but I think the boldest move would be revealing this is all a Gungan plot led by Jar Jar Binks! Hahahaha
Nate: That might be the only way the franchise tops “I Am Your Father” but do you put any weight on this Rey is evil narrative?
Michael: I mean nothing should be considered impossible, but it would seem very unlikely as you say. One thing I can see happening though is that despite thoughts that Kylo Ren will be redeemed ( as Vader was) he’ll end up dying a villain.
Nate: I hope Snoke sees a better end than the anticlimactic finish to the Emperor.
Michael: I don’t think Palpatine’s demise was anticlimactic at all, but I agree Snoke should definitely have a different fate than the Emperor. Otherwise we will once again have a rehash of the original, again a common complaint of The Force Awakens.
Nate: Final Thoughts?
Michael: There is lots of really good potential here for great storytelling and character development. I hope it can build on its classic themes and add a fresh chapter to this wonderful saga.
Nate: Here’s a bold prediction, I think this one falters both critically and box office wise in comparison to The Force Awakens. That being said I’m hoping for the best
Michael: I agree this won’t match the box office records of Episode VII. As for critical score there’s reason to be optimistic, but as we know nothing is certain at all with the cinema and how audiences react to it. But yes I too am hoping for the best.
Nate: Needless to say we are both very very excited but I think that about wraps it up here for us. Stay tuned for continuing Star Wars coverage leading up to the release of The Last Jedi on December 15th. And if you missed it be sure to check out our breakdown of the first teaser trailer and Michael’s wonderful commemorative piece on A New Hope.
Michael: May The Force Be With You