First and foremost, if you haven’t watched the new trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, I only have one thing to say:
DO NOT WATCH THIS TRAILER! STAY AWAY! DON’T WATCH! ABORT!
I am FURIOUS. You can rant and rave at J.J. Abrams all you want, but the man is right. Don’t show stuff. That’s what he did with The Force Awakens. The trailers were fantastic, but he gave away nothing.
That’s what the first teaser trailer for The Last Jedi did. All you got was “It’s time for the Jedi to end.” That’s it. Done. You need nothing else. This trailer explodes with spoilers all over the damn screen.
Before I get to the analysis, let’s get all the caveats out of the way. Yes, on face value, this trailer is absolutely INCREDIBLE. Holy mother of Yoda. That’s not the issue here. And yes, I know what you’re all saying:
“Dan, Rian Johnson warned you. You have nobody to blame but yourself. Your fault.”
Cut me a break. If you were strong enough to stay away from this trailer, then you’re a better person than I am. Rian Johnson merely saying that drove people to see this trailer. I’m only human. There’s NO WAY I was ever not going to watch this. This never should have been allowed to air.
The one hope I’ll hold out is this: If they were willing to reveal ALL that in the trailer, think about what they must be keeping under wraps. It also goes without saying that there could be 900 misdirects and clever edits happening here. Absolutely possible. At the end of the day though, I feel like all the bad guys who looked into the Ark of the Covenant at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Well, let’s just get to it. This is your last chance. You’ve been warned. My analysis on what better be the last Last Jedi trailer.
First of all, the Snoke voice over was great. This is one of the characters I WANT to learn more about and that narration spoke wonders. It’s vintage Andy Serkis, especially in how he emotes “raw.” Sinister as hell. Perfect. AND this was an example of good misdirection. Is he talking about Kylo Ren or Rey? That’s not a spoiler. That’s just a good damn question. It’s the next set of sequences where my blood starts to boil.
Rey is clearly the Deshaun Watson of the Star Wars galaxy. From day one, she’s ready to dominate. You can see it on Luke’s face. He’s horrified at Rey’s raw power, a mistake he doesn’t want to repeat. They strongly allude to him walking away from Rey’s training. You can make the argument this was easy to theorize, but here’s why that reveal pissed me off.
Let’s say it’s 35-40 minutes into the movie. We get to the moment where Luke gives that OMG look. Now we know this is the point in the movie where he steps away from Rey. That’s what pisses me off – when trailers give away story beats.
If that sequence upset me though, it doesn’t compare to what they show next. We clearly get a scene where Kylo Ren has to make a decision on whether or not he’s going to blow up a ship that Leia is on. Again, it’s easy to theorize this. Of course this moment was going to happen. In The Force Awakens he kills his dad. It’s time for the other shoe to drop. But again, my problem is now we can predict that story beat. Let’s imagine this is 100 minutes into the film. Now we know when Kylo Ren gets in his ship, that scene is going to be imminent. I don’t want to know that!
The biggest reason why this trailer was like a lightsaber through the chest though is obviously the big dinger at the end. The spoiler show stopper. Rey is probably talking to Kylo Ren, not Luke. She asks for his help in what her place is in all this. Kylo Ren reaches out his hand. Trailer over.
Again, I know what the snark response will be to this. “Dan, we don’t know the context. Is Rey joining the dark side, or is Kylo Ren reverting back to the light?” I understand it could go in a multitude of directions, but it’s my same complaint I had with the other reveals – we know these story beats are coming. We know this moment is coming. We’ll be waiting for it the entire film. That’s why the trailer gives away too much.
Aside from all the infuriating reveals, the rest of the trailer is jaw-droppingly awesome. The battles. Oscar Isaac. Finn. The new porg creatures look amusing, but not overdone. It looks like a Star Wars movie.
Even though I’ve ranted and raved about how much they’ve shown, the most important element in all this is that the movie looks absolutely amazing. I know I’m over reacting. Please keep in mind I’m writing this right after seeing it, so emotions are running high.
I’m upset. I’m mad. I wish I hadn’t seen it. At the end of the day though, I’m going to trust Rian Johnson and Disney.
To quote the great Kenny Bania, what they must be keeping under wraps is “Gold, Jerry! Gold!”