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Friday, April 14, 2017

'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Teaser Trailer and Celebration Panel Review

The Last Jedi has finally been revealed. At Celebration Orlando today, the film's highly anticipated panel saw the release of the first teaser trailer as Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Kelly Marie Tran, and Mark Hamill joined director Rian Johnson, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, and surprise host Josh Gad in discussing the film. The trailer offers a look at Rey's training under Luke Skywalker, more conflict between the Resistance and First Order, and the fate of the Jedi themselves.
Our breakdown of the trailer:
  1. Rey collapses onto the stony ground of Ahch-To, panting and covered in sweat. The way that she abruptly interrupts the peaceful shot of the stone is a callback to Finn's sudden appearance on Jakku in the first teaser for The Force Awakens. It looks as though she's had another harrowing Force vision, this time in the cave behind her.
  2. "Breathe. Just breathe," Luke Skywalker instructs her, as we see shots of the island on Ahch-To. It's fitting that the first words spoken in this trailer are from Luke, since he famously had zero lines of dialogue in The Force Awakens. This island is sure to have a major part in The Last Jedi, as both the site of Rey's training and a sacred place for the Jedi themselves.
  3. Rey watches the waves crash against the island's rocky shores. This is a metaphor for her own personal journey; she's just one girl faced with a huge, violent galaxy that she has the power to change. In the context of the film, she might be preparing to face a huge sea monster, which Making Star Wars reported is part of her training experience.
  4. "Now, reach out. What do you see?" Luke asks, as Rey levitates pebbles with the Force. This beautiful close-up is reminiscent of Man of Steel, in which Superman lifted particles of dusts before bursting into the skies. He, too, was on his way to becoming a true hero.
  5. "Light," Rey replies. General Leia Organa examines a star chart aboard a Resistance ship. As one of the most perseverant Star Wars heroes and a woman naturally strong with the Force, there's no better person to represent the Light Side. Kennedy recently confirmed that Carrie Fisher will not appear in Episode IX, which means that this is the last time we'll see her in the core cinematic saga. Fortunately, Kennedy also praised Fisher's performance during the panel, and we know that her role in The Last Jedi will be just as large as originally intended. 
  6. "Darkness," Rey continues, as Kylo Ren's shattered helmet lies on the floor. Another callback, this time to Darth Vader's charred helmet in The Force Awakens' teaser trailer. It's quite possible that Kylo destroyed it himself in one of his famous tantrums, as part of his own evolution; killing his father was a major step for him, and Supreme Leader Snoke vowed to "complete his training."
  7. A small bookshelf is illuminated in some kind of huge tree. This is most likely a Force-sensitive tree, which was seen on Ahch-To in leaked photos. It must be a key part of Rey's training, although Making Star Wars reported that the tree doesn't exactly have a happy ending...
  8. "A balance," Rey concludes. A gloved hand touches one of the dusty books. The symbol on the book is that of the Jedi Order. The Force Awakens heavily implied that Ahch-To is the site of the first Jedi Temple, so they must have stuck some ancient literature in the tree for safekeeping. The glove seems to indicate that Kylo is the one seeking Jedi knowledge, not Rey, which is fascinating because it means that he's still feeling "the pull to the Light."
  9. "It's so much bigger," Luke tells her. Rey practices with Luke's old lightsaber on the island while he watches from afar. It looks like someone's getting ready for a rematch with Kylo Ren. It also seems that Luke is letting Rey keep his long-lost blade, although that doesn't necessarily mean that he doesn't have his own lightsaber...
  10. A squadron of ships soars across the flat surface of a planet, scraping up plumes of red dust, towards several towering structures. This planet is called Crait, as Making Star Wars first detailed (and EW confirmed), a mineral-rich world covered in salt that was first mentioned in Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide. It's the site of a Resistance mine/base, and the structures in the distance are the First Order's gigantic Heavy Assault Walkers. It looks like the ships are designed to drag on the surface of the planet in order to blind the walkers with the red dust. 
  11. Finn lies in some kind of medical capsule. Dr. Kalonia assured Rey that he would be "just fine" in a deleted scene, but now it seems that he'll still be recovering from his wound at the hands of Kylo. During the panel, Boyega said that Finn will still be finding his place in The Last Jedi and deciding whether he wants to stick with the Resistance or keep on running. (After all, the only reason he joined them in The Force Awakens was because his new friend Rey was in trouble.)
  12. Poe Dameron and BB-8 rush towards his X-Wing, only to have an explosion rip through the hangar and destroy it. Poe will reportedly be guiding the Resistance fleet (more on that later) through the galaxy as they outrun the First Order. His X-Wing will have new, faster engines, though it's unclear if that's the ship that just blew up or its replacement.
  13. The Millennium Falcon destroys a TIE fighter and evades two others in the cloudy skies of a planet. There's no telling what world this is, or even who's piloting the Falcon; it could be Chewbacca, Rey, or even Luke. But since the First Order – in particular, Kylo and the Knights of Ren – will reportedly attack Ahch-To, and the Falcon was last seen parked on the planet, that's our best guess.
  14. Rey furiously sprints across a dark, rocky terrain with her lightsaber ignited. Someone's ready for a fight. Once again, Rey is letting her anger get the best of her; both Anakin and Luke had similar struggles in the previous Star Wars trilogies, but only the latter was able to come to his senses and return to the path of the Jedi.
  15. Kylo Ren appears to face her with his crossguard lightsaber. Yep, it sure looks like he's abandoned his helmet. Maybe it's because his new scar (courtesy of Rey) is in almost the exact same spot as Anakin's, and thus strengthens Kylo's connection to his beloved grandfather.
  16. A hooded figure collapses next to R2-D2 in front of a large, burning structure. This is almost definitely another look at Kylo's destruction of Luke's new Jedi temple, an event that permanently ruptured the entire Skywalker/Organa/Solo family. The Force Awakens gave us a frustratingly brief glimpse of this scene, but through the Force – probably another vision of Rey's – we'll hopefully get to see the whole thing.
  17. Captain Phasma marches through fire and smoke with her stormtroopers. The First Order's lamest leader is back. The trailer wants us to think that this shot is connected to the previous one, but it's really just deceptive editing. Based on the faint glowing light in the upper left corner and the smooth, shiny floor amidst the rubble, we know that this shot is indoors. In fact, it might directly follow the shot of the explosion in the Resistance hangar, making for an awesome introduction for Phasma.
  18. Resistance frigates and X-Wings battle TIE fighters in space. It's safe to say that the First Order has caught up with them. These new ships may be supplied by Laura Dern's new character (rumored to be named Admiral Holdo), who clashes with both Poe and Leia. The First Order in turn has an even greater space arsenal in the form of an absolutely gigantic Star Destroyer.
  19. "I only know one truth: it's time for the Jedi to end," Luke proclaims. His silhouette stands in the entrance to a cave. Whoa. Luke's outlook seems shockingly pessimistic, but maybe he's just realized that the Jedi Order is overrated. After all, they completely failed as peacekeepers – it is called "Star Wars," you know – and they let their greatest enemy, Darth Sidious, hide in plain sight and manipulate them for years. Maybe Luke is the last Jedi so that Rey can start a new order in the middle of the Force, truly bringing "balance." 
After such a long wait, some fans may be disappointed with the relatively short length and few plot details of this trailer. But for our first look at the film, it was pretty perfect. Instead of the gritty, warlike tone of Rogue One and its marketing, we got a blend of Jedi mysticism and classic Star Wars spectacle in new and exotic locations. Most of our old favorites from The Force Awakens appeared, even for brief moments. And most importantly, Luke talked.

Although we learned nothing new about Laura Dern and Benicio Del Toro's new characters, Rian Johnson did shed some light on the "biggest new part," praising newcomer Kelly Marie Tran and inviting her onstage. Tran revealed that her character, Rose (pictured below), is a Resistance maintenance worker. It's been rumored that she'll have an adventure with Finn on the casino world of Canto Bight
The Last Jedi's teaser poster also debuted, clad in the film's signature color, red. Rey is in the same heroic pose that Luke took in the original, iconic Star Wars poster, with Luke and Kylo Ren on either side. Rey's position in-between the Light and Dark Side, coupled with her blade turning red towards the top, hint that she's still in danger of falling to the darkness. (Although after that trailer, it's not clear that any of these three characters are strictly bound to one side of the Force.)
What did you think of this trailer? Why do you think Luke wants to end the Jedi Order? Tell me in the comments or tweet to @SithObserver, and may the Force be with you all.

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