With Star Wars Celebration Orlando happening this week it was only a matter of time before the focus of the convention shifted from celebrating 40 years of Star Wars, too looking to the future and releasing the much anticipated Episode 8 Trailer. Well wait no longer…
With The Last Jedi panel happening today at this years Star Wars Celebration, the rumours of a trailer reached fever pitch and we were finally rewarded for our long wait. A 2 minute 12 second video was released on the official Star Wars YouTube channel and we all clicked in anticipation. Would we see Luke? Would we see Snoke in person? Would this hint at who may be the Last Jedi? In a little over 2 minutes we had the answers to all these questions.
The trailer opens with a hint at one of the new themes from The Force Awakens then all of a sudden Rey, seemingly is some sort of distress at the island where we left her at the end of Force Awakens. We then get the LucasFilm logo. It has a special place in many peoples hearts and to me I see it and am transported back to days spent wearing out my VHS copy of A New Hope. This is Star Wars. The logo fades and we hear the classic Star Wars theme mixed with the new score then a single word cuts through the score. “Breathe” said by Luke Skywalker, not nearly as silent as he was in the previous movie. More shots of Rey training and Luke telling her to breathe in and out are then cut short by, for me, the shot of the trailer. Reys hand on the ground surrounded by floating pebbles. It is the shot that tells you this is Rian Johnsons Star Wars now. His style is all over this trailer and the result is gorgeous. Gone are the flashy, lens flare J.J Abrams shots, here we have perfectly cropped close ups and amazing, sweeping wide shots.
Luke asks us ‘what do you see’ and we are greeted with shots of some familiar characters and items from this new Star Wars Story. General Leia Organa in a war room followed by Kylo Ren’s helmet smashed to pieces while, in voice over, Rey explains she sees both light and dark. The next shot is by far the most interesting of the trailer. We see a small selection of books on a shelf followed by, for I believe the first time in the films, the symbol of the Jedi Order adorning the front page of one of these books. These seem to be the only teachings left of the Jedi. Rey speaks of the balance of the force and then the trailer kicks off.
Action set pieces aplenty in this section of the trailer. Rey trains atop a mountain; some new speeder type vehicles rush toward First Order Walkers; we see Finn still recovering from his injuries then Poe and BB-8 running down a hallway followed by an explosion. We see all of this and yet the trailer has done such a good job at giving away no context. Too often these days trailers lay out the entire story from the start of the trailer to the end and we can predict how the story will play out. Not so much here. Another action shot reveals the Millennium Falcon dog fighting with tie fighters followed quickly by what looks to be a fully fledged space battle. Containing my excitement at this point is not an option. The trailer is building to a grand crescendo and its taking the audience along for the ride. A quick shot of what looks like a Jedi Temple burning to the ground and a little glimpse at Captain Phasma (still alive somehow) and we end on Luke. “It’s time for the Jedi…to end”.
Cue the title card and we’re done here but now the questions start running through everyones heads. What does Luke mean when he says the Jedi must end? Where was Snoke in all this? Who was driving the Falcon? How did Captain Phasma get out of a trash compactor and off Starkiller Base before it exploded? Of course all of these questions will be answered when the movie hits theatres this December but in the meantime, we get to speculate and that’s almost just as fun.
This trailer did exactly what it needed to do. Got everyone hyped without giving anything away and that seems to be a rare thing these days. The tone of the movie looks different from The Force Awakens, darker and full of mystery. That is where the franchise should be heading after the re-introduction of the world to Star Wars in Episode 7. Just as long as it leans towards Empire and maybe not so much ROTJ.
I of course have my own theories about all we saw in this trailer but they can wait for another article. If you have any thoughts however, head to the comments and let me know what they are and May The Force Be With You.
Also for more in depth thoughts head over to my YouTube Channel for my more in depth thoughts
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