Get hype Star Wars fans, the first teaser trailer for Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi has finally arrived. No more talk. Here it is.
Directed by Rian Johnson, The Last Jedi has the pedigree to be the best Star Wars film ever made. It's hard to imagine anything beating the first two films, Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back, but Star Wars has never had a director like Johnson. He's a visionary with visually inventive films like Brick and Looper in his back pocket. Expect big things.
On to the trailer. Let's recap what we've just seen.
The first shot takes us right back to the end of The Force Awakens. Rey is on the rocky island Ach-To and appears to be fully ensconced in her Jedi training with Luke Skywalker. She's exhausted and breathing heavy, a visual connection to Luke saying "Breathe, just breathe. Now, reach out. What do you see?" in voiceover. (It's also fair to say Luke is talking to the audience as well. This trailer may cause some heart attacks.)
Rey responds, "Light. Darkness. The balance..." And then Luke's voice comes in: "It's so much bigger." The theme of light and dark runs through every Star Wars movie and Johnson seems to be embracing it fully in this trailer. Each scene is either bright or very dark. Luke's line is an instruction, it seems, as he shows Rey the infinite reach of the Force...
...She's becoming powerful indeed. Look at her levitate those rocks!
"Light..." This shadowy portrait of Leia shows her new updo. She seems well in command in General Organa mode. Carrie Fisher, who passed away late last year, will be in the film, no CGI like in Rogue One.
"Darkness..." This shot appears to be Kylo Ren's mask and helmet smashed amongst glass pieces (although that eye looks like Vader's mask). It's still smoking also which suggests we might see him destroy it himself in a wild tantrum.
Then: Books in spotlight. Yoda's voice in the background. A part of Rey's training perhaps?
Back to Ach-To where Luke watches over Rey in training with her lightsaber. This is the best shot of the trailer. Johnson's lenser from Looper, Steve Yedlin, handled the cinematography on The Last Jedi. We thank him for using helicopters in sweeping majesty.
This shot appears to be telling us the movie is coming out this Christmas. Just a wild guess. (The Last Jedi opens December 15, 2017.)
The music soars and we get these two shots of what appear to be new rebel ships dragging dirt to kick up that red dust. Are they creating a smokescreen for the AT-ATs in the distance?
These shots confirm the returns of Finn, BB-8, and Poe Dameron. Finn is obviously still hurting from the events of The Force Awakens and he appears to be in stasis here. I'm guessing that shot is from the beginning of the film and he'll eventually recover. BB-8 and Poe are booking it to the next scene...
...They arrive in this Rebel hanger just in time to see it blown apart. This trailer is getting good.
This sequence showing an exploding TIE fighter and the Milennium Falcon coming into frame behind it is beautiful stuff. We can only assume Rey is behind the wheel here.
She's in the next shot, running with her lightsaber. That's followed by Kylo Ren pointing his own lightsaber, an obvious matchup sequence. These two are destined to fight again.
Then, a shocker—Luke in voice-over again: "I only know one truth: It's time for the Jedi to end."
Oh God, please say that isn't true.
These ominous words are important. The second film of the original trilogy, The Empire Strikes Back, was the darkest of the three. The title said it all. The Last Jedi presents a similar scenario and may be the dark installment in this new trilogy. It's always darkest before the dawn. Luke's words are preparing us for bad things.
This is what appears to be a flashback of Luke and R2-D2 watching the Jedi Temple burn. It looks like it's from the same sequence as the shot from The Force Awakens showing Luke's bionic hand on R2's dome. They're grieving.
This is why Luke exiled himself. Han Solo explains in TFA: "He was training a new generation of Jedi. One boy, an apprentice turned against him, destroyed it all. Luke felt responsible… He walked away from everything." That apprentice was, of course, Han's son, Ben Solo, who would turn to the Dark Side and become Kylo Ren.
The final shot is of Luke in silhouette, a most ominous scene that may be preparing us for his death. Gone for years, Rey is essentially bringing Luke back to life in this film just like Luke once did for Yoda on Dagobah (in Empire). Yoda died soon after. Is Luke's fate destined to be the same?
Let's not forget about this sick throwback poster, also released today with the trailer: Trust in these images. The Last Jedi is going to be very Luke Skywalker-centric. Is he the one the title refers to? Time will tell.