A step-by-step analysis of the awesome trailer that excited the world…
Well, its what we’ve all been waiting for — the first official teaser trailer of The Last Jedi! It was brilliant. There are so many things happening in it and yet it doesn’t reveal much of the story, just like the trailer for The Force Awakens. Star Wars knows how to build the hype! This post analyzes the new trailer to try to make sense of it! Let’s dive in.
The trailer opens with a dark shot, slowly turning into the light. First one wonders if it was a planet at night or something but then a hand is revealed and it’s Rey breathing hard like if she has just seen something, something that scared or impressed her. Is it a force vision like when she touched the Skywalker’s lightsaber in The Force Awakens? She has the same kind of reaction. But if it’s the case, what did she see? Let’s return to this later.
The trailer then moves to some stunning shots of Ahch-To. It’s amazing cinematography and grips the viewer.
There’s a shot of Rey; reminiscent of the shot above of Anakin from Attack of the Clones. In both shots we see their backs, standing facing the sky. For Anakin, it’s a cloudy sky with a ray of light; with Rey it’s much darker and feels like the clouds are starting to take over a lighter sky.
We also have a disturbed sea; maybe a storm coming? A storm in the literal sense of the word but also in the dynamics of the movie, something darker than The Force Awakens, and also in terms of the galactic environment — a new civil war is coming, the Resistance vs the First Order.
The next shot is breathtaking, we go back to Rey’s hand, small rocks around her are levitating! It’s beautiful, she is reaching out the Force, her training with Luke has begun.
We can finally hear Luke’s voice. We don’t see him but we hear him and we understand he is talking to Rey:-
Breathe, just breathe. Now, reach out. What do you see?
And so we go back to what Rey saw:-
Light, darkness. The balance.
Three things, very interesting. When she says the light, we switch to an image of what is almost definitely Leia on the command station of ship.
She is spotting a new outfit and haircut. We see Leia from the back but the earlier panel gave us a better look at it.
It gives Leia a senatorial look and at the same time the look of a leader. Lots of feelings reminiscent from the Prequels. It’s reminiscent of the kind of outfits Padmé could wear. The fact that it’s gray also indicates, something much more serious and is in touch with the gravity of situation, a galaxy at war.
In this shot of Leia, we can see the characters on a bridge of a ship that also acts as a war room. We get some vibe from a Mon Calamari cruiser but it also feels new. If you look closely you can spot Admiral Ackbar on the left background. On the right and left two new Resistance officers and in the middle Leia of course, looking at a map of the galaxy. What’s going on? Are they looking at the systems that have fallen into the First Order’s hands or systems they could rally to their cause? It’s intriguing!
We have a shot of Kylo Ren’s helmet on the floor with several small pieces of glass. It has been destroyed, but by whom? It definitely looks like the place is a corridor of a First Order cruiser. Maybe a lightsaber duel took place there, Rey vs Kylo? Luke vs Kylo? Questions, questions!
The most interesting is what you hear. You have to listen very carefully because it’s whispers. First, Darth Vader’s breathing and then a line from Obi-Wan Kenobi from A New Hope. “Seduced by the darkside”. It’s obviously a reference to Kylo Ren following the path of his grandfather.
When Rey says “darkness” it’s almost at the end of the shot just before another shot that is on Ahch-To. It’s some old books and the light of the sun shinning on them while the rest in the dark. It feels like it’s some kind of altar, a wooden alter. They’re inside the Force tree. If you’ve been following the news during the filming with the set photos and fan photos, you know what that tree is.
With that shot and the shot of the Jedi symbol drawing on the old book, you also have to pay attention to the sound because there too we can hear Yoda whispering. He says “surrounds us … binds us,” it’s a quote from Empire Strikes Back, talking about the Force.
At the end of the Jedi symbol shot, Rey says “the balance”. It’s echoing to the balance of the Force but what is it really? What can we call the balance? To quote Horace from Harry Potter “There can be no light without the dark”. So are the Jedi really supposed to destroy the darkside? Or do they have to find the right balance between both sides for the galaxy to live in harmony?
These shots of old Jedi books are very intriguing and suggest we will go into the origins of the Jedi and maybe even the Force connecting the Force episodes of The Clone Wars to The Last Jedi! Around the Jedi Symbol, we see some red writing and a circle with some dots, could it be a map? Or some kind of incantation. Thanks to The Clone Wars we do know there are Sith incantations, so why not for the Jedi too? I love everything that deals with the Force so I’m looking forward to that part of the movie!
Next is another shot on Ahch-To, Rey wielding the Skywalker lightsaber and Luke watching her! Next to Rey, there is a rock structure, maybe it could be a statue, I don’t know, it’s hard to tell. But that shot is surely amazing! The Ahch-To shots are often very wide shots. It gives a feel of vastness of the planet.
The Ahch-To shots end with another phrase from Luke teasing what’s coming next in the trailer:
It’s so much bigger.
And indeed it is! That phrase also suggests there is more than just the light, the dark and the balance, things are not just black and white!
Now it’s Resistance vs First Order time! The next few shots are taking us on a new planet. Cliffs and sands. And it follows the George Lucas rule that each planet are very distinct from each other. This is a new planet and it looks different from what we could have seen before! The First Order troops have walkers, lots of them and they look different from the Imperial AT-AT. The Resistance has some very interesting ships, reminiscent of the B-Wing but with a snowspeeder feel in the way that they are flying near the ground. There is also red smoke or more like red dust being lifted from the ground as the ships fly? These ships don’t look new, they actually look old or not in a very good shape.
Next is Finn being in a coma, I would guess it’s from the beginning of the movie. He seems to be resting in a medical pod.
Then it’s action time with Poe Dameron! We see him running in the corridors of a Resistance ship. It’s white like the interior of the Tantive IV and there is some red around the doors but it actually looks like something new and not just reusing stuff! It takes inspirations from the past but it does something different. I get a vibe from The Old Republic game actually looking at this!
In this shot of the hangar, we can spot on the left and on the right A-Wings, they’re back! And it looks like a Tie Fighter just attacked the place with that explosion! Taking a look at the hangar, we see that there too it’s new while taking elements from other hangars we’ve previously seen in the saga.
Then we have more battle shots with the Millennium Falcon taking out a Tie Fighter while also being chased by two others. Considering the sky, it could either be on Ahch-To or the new planet.
More of Luke talking once again at a very interesting moment!
I only know one truth …
First we see Rey running with the Skywalker lightsaber. She is focused on something. She is dressed the same way as she was dressed at the end of The Force Awakens and in the first shots of this trailer meaning we’re back on Ahch-To. If you saw not long ago they revealed packaging for the merchandise showing a new outfit for Rey, which she’ll most likely get in the second act of the movie. It doesn’t look like she is training anymore, it does look like she is running toward a fight.
The next shot is Kylo Ren. Is it from the same sequence? It’s doubtful. The lighting is different. For Rey it’s dark while Kylo it’s light and we can see the sun behind him. In this shot of Kylo, we see his scar. He is pointing his lightsaber toward someone, we can guess who – Luke or Rey.
This part of the trailer is a series of lots of different shots and all have lots to say! This one is definitely from the past so it’s a new Force vision. Someone and R2-D2 are on the front. That someone is Luke. He is wearing the same cape than he was wearing in the vision from The Force Awakens when he posed his hand on R2-D2. They are watching a building on fire and on the right, we can see some ruins. I can only assume it’s his Jedi academy (as referred to in The Force Awakens visual dictionary) that Kylo Ren had just destroyed.
Then it’s Captain Phasma escorted by stormtroopers coming out from the smoke and fire. If you look on the left, we can see it’s in an hangar. Probably the same hangar we’ve seen just before where Poe is. The First Order is boarding a Resistance ship! Phasma is finally going to fight! This shot is TRULY FANTASTIC! IT’S BADASS!
The next shots are of an area space battle! Fans have been waiting for one in the Sequel Trilogy and we’re getting it! It looks epic! We can see X-Wings, A-Wings and Tie fighters fighting.
In the shot above of the A-Wing, we can see it’s a rework of the ship first seen in the Return of the Jedi and the look of it is very reminiscent of Obi-Wan’s starfighter in Attack of the Clones! Plus, the Resistance fleet! These are brand new ships with some blue paints and for others red paints. It’s a new design and it feels like it fits in the universe perfectly. They’re above a green planet, maybe D’Qar? Or a new one?
The trailer ends with a shot of Luke wearing his costume. He is on Ahch-To and it seems he is now inside the Force tree where we saw the books. He is surrounded by shadows so we don’t see him that well but he (or it sounds like Luke at least) says one very intriguing thing:
It’s time for the Jedi to end.
Just a few words to get viewers excited and wondering what he is exactly talking about, in which context does he say that? It could mean that Luke knows the Jedi are over, their philosophy is too much outdated and they need to start something new. Or the other thing it could mean maybe is that Luke is still too much hurt by what happened to his academy and he has totally given up and accepts that the Jedi are about to end.
The Last Jedi teaser trailer delivers on every level, it was worth the wait! It’s on repeat viewing for the Future of the Force team. I’m sure it is for you too.
May the Force be with you.