If I have one big takeaway from the first trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, it’s that this will be a very, very divisive movie. Get ready. While The Force Awakens has a few nitpicky dissenters, the universal praise was pretty cut and dry. If people are expecting a fun Star Wars movie with a lot of MCU laughs, a dancing BB-8 and a grand ole time at the theater, this won’t be the movie for you. The Force Awakens laid the ground work, but now it’s time to get serious. This is going to be a serious film. This is going to be a heavy film. It’s going to be a movie where Luke Skywalker isn’t the wise, all knowing mentor like Yoda or Obi-Wan Kenobi. Luke Skywalker is going to be so morally grey, we may run out of grey crayons.
There’s so much to digest from this two minutes of footage. It drives me loopy that some claim it doesn’t reveal enough and is being too secretive. I’m not giving these people the time of day today. If you want entire movies spoiled for you, go watch a superhero trailer. This trailer is meant to give you a certain feel, tone and plant questions. It succeeds.
We have to start with Luke Skywalker. Ever since Disney acquired Lucasfilm and announced more Star Wars movies back in 2012, we’ve been waiting to hear Mark Hamill speak as this character once again. This finally happened yesterday. There’s no doubt he will be the most fascinating character in the movie:
“I only know one truth. It’s time for the Jedi to end.”
You don’t get a better trailer line than that. Why the hell does Luke want the Jedi to end? This is what makes Luke so intriguing, and why we very well could see a turn to the dark side for the character (look at the poster for crying out loud!). This is a disillusioned, broken down man. I’m sure many will complain about how it’s all too depressing and dark and sad, and why can’t Luke just be the hero we grew up with, yadda, yadda, yadda. I know many don’t want to hear this, but he could share a lot of similarities with how Superman was portrayed in BvS. I went there. This makes the character complex. His loss of hope will drive the film. Can someone like Rey, or his sister, Leia, bring him back to the light? To be honest, I’m not sure. This trailer has me convinced that things may go very badly for Luke.
This goes back to the central question of why is it time for the Jedi to end? The easy answer is that Luke has seen enough bad history: The Jedi were wiped out twice, and enough Dark Jedi have abused the force throughout time. To avoid more of this in the future, it’s time to end the Jedi after him and Rey take out Snoke and Kylo Ren.
It could also be something more practical. We know Luke and Rey are at the remains of the first Jedi temple, and it looks like Rey (or Luke?) is grasping at some ancient book. Maybe this was prophesized (“I only know one truth”). I’m hoping that’s not the case. We’ve seen enough prophecy shenanigans.
While this question was the heart of the trailer, all the other stuff is downright outstanding. The music was epic. That goes without saying. The blend of old and new music worked great. The look of the film is gorgeous, holy matza. The far away shot of Rey wielding the lightsaber as Luke observes is spectacular.
There were other noteworthy shots like Finn in a hospital bed and plenty of vintage ship battles. One sequence may be a flashback of Kylo Ren taking out the newly trained Jedi Order, as it looks very similar to the quick flashes we saw from The Force Awakens.
Aside from the big OMFG line at the end, what really cemented my excitement for this movie is Luke telling Rey “It’s so much bigger” when responding to the balance of light and dark. This is what I’ve been waiting for with Star Wars for a long time. I want them to dive deeper into the abyss of what the force actually is. I’m pretty sure this won’t be an expansion of midi-chlorians. This is what you call expanding the mythology, as opposed to padding the story with a useless, lame Rogue One movie.
I love this trailer. I expect we’ll get one more, and I really hope that’s it. I hate to use this word, because it gets thrown around way too much, but this will be a darker film than The Force Awakens. There’s going to be many who hem and haw at that, but if you really are a Star Wars fan, you know the best Star Wars movies are born when they aren’t afraid to veer off into dangerous and weird directions (The Empire Strikes Back).
Isn’t that what we want? A great Star Wars movie? It’s early, but it looks like director Rian Johnson is about to deliver something truly special – a movie that isn’t afraid to take chances, something we desperately need more of in blockbuster filmmaking.