The brand new trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi dropped last night and was met with an incredible amount of anticipation. Director Rian Johnson himself made suggestions that fans consider avoiding this trailer if they desired to not know anything about the hotly-anticipated sequel beforehand. Immediately after the trailer dropped, possibly in awe at the trailer’s majesty and possibly at the urging of Lucasfilm, Johnson went back on his statements, tweeting, “FORGET EVERYTHING I SAID AND WATCH IT WATCH IT WATCH IT”
For me, I needed to see this trailer to really gain a better understanding of what to expect going into this movie. Of course, I intend on seeing it immediately. However, the first trailer did raise concerns for me as a fan of this franchise. The trailer did set up a very simple and, quite frankly, boring plot. That marketing release seemed to indicate a plot that resembled the following: Rey goes to Luke to train her, Luke says no, Rey proves herself to Luke, and despite not wanting to initially, Luke trains Rey. However, this trailer completely proves my initial concerns wrong and has me so excited, especially since I no longer have any idea what to expect anymore.
The trailer showcases some of the most beautiful shots that have ever been put to screen, let alone just within a Star Wars film. The opening shot, for example, is framed so well and sets the stage for just how grand this trailer is about to be. The cinematography here is breathtaking and while, yes, it is only select shots, I have a feeling the whole movie will also capture this larger than life feel. There isn’t a single moment that I felt underwhelmed in comparison to everything else. This trailer builds and builds, to the point where you have to start it again immediately to get a chance to truly take in everything you’re seeing.
A staple in these trailers for the new Star Wars films is in voice-overs. Yes, most trailers have voice-overs but none hold the impact that these do. Not to mention that they are perfectly placed with footage that really captures the tone and gravitas that the words do. Snoke’s dialogue about Ben Solo does a great job of furthering our understanding of those two characters’ dynamic. I love the way it seems like Snoke is doing his best to tell Ben what he wants to hear to push him to become an unstoppable pawn. Later in the trailer, we hear Ben give a monologue about destroying the past. Paired with this, we see footage of him and Leia and it heavily implies he is ready to kill her. It is powerful and emotional, especially given the tragic recent passing of Carrie Fisher. Though I have to admit that if they do go through with Leia going out that way, I am more than okay with that because it’s exactly how I thought they’d handle the situation.
I skipped over Rey’s initial monologue because I think it is actually connected to what she says at the end of the trailer. Those two moments are one, and not only, that but I also believe Ben’s monologue is from this very same scene. I love everything that this all purposes. Many people online have been saying that the way that final part of the trailer is edited is a misdirect. I couldn’t disagree more. I think it is meant to make you think it is a misdirect when in reality, it is not. What a twist! This is what truly sells me on this movie and has me unsure of where the movie is actually headed. Yes, it does appear to simply spell out what happens, but there is so much room for exciting and unconventional twists.
The other aspect of this trailer that has me foaming at the mouth for more is something Luke says:
“I’ve seen this raw strength once before. It didn’t scare me enough then, it does now.”
This dialogue tells us so much about his relationship with Ben, Rey, and why he is so reluctant to train Rey. It’s very telling of how powerful Luke’s nephew is and that he let the fact that he is family blind him. Which ultimately led to the loss of everything Luke built. Our once hopeful hero has been brought to his wit’s end and isn’t able to recover. The way that he sees Rey is the very same as he did with Ben but he is wearier, which may also be just as damaging as behind blinded by his love for his nephew. It’s going to push Rey away and lead her to channel her power in a different way with Ben. For me, as an audience member, it would be a really great and courageous move to have Luke make so many mistakes that lead to the Jedi truly becoming extinct. This trailer really does prove that Luke will be The Last Jedi.