Disney and Lucasfilm have released a first official look at December 2017’s film directed by Rian Johnson and starring Mark Hamill, the late Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Adam Driver, as part of a live panel at Star Wars Celebration Orlando.
Alongside some behind-the-scenes shots and the first official poster reveal, the trailer offers us a first glimpse at Rey and Luke Skywalker, a host of other returning characters, and plenty of new things to come. Let’s have a closer look at what is on show and just dream of what could be turned into LEGO…
Warning: whilst speculative, the below does contain potential spoilers. And we won’t even mention the Millennium Falcon’s appearance, as we’re assuming that between The Last Jedi and the untitled Han Solo film coming out, the UCS re-release is a definite. Beyond that statement, all the LEGO talk is purely speculation and educated guesswork. Mainly speculation.
The opening shot is a clear nod to J.J. Abrams’ first teaser trailer for The Force Awakens, before we see footage of where we expect The Last Jedi to kick things off, with Rey Jedi training with Luke Skywalker at the remote location of Ahch-To. It’s matched with Luke and Rey’s voiceover through the trailer. The scenes we get a quick look at don’t suggest an easy ride for the new Padawan.
We then move to an on-ship shot of General Leia Organa’s silhouette studying a map of planets –are the Resistance looking for someone, or somewhere? The very next scene shows Kylo Ren’s helmet crushed on the floor, perhaps indicative of a First Order in disarray after losing Starkiller Base.
What is nailed on with Rian Johnson directing will be beautifully set and intelligently lit shots, both in wide angles and close-ups. But what is on show here? Is this a lost Jedi temple? That is the crest of the Jedi Order.
There’s certainly a feeling of samurai-style training between master and apprentice, with Rey practicing lightsaber movements as Luke watches on, against the beautiful backdrop of Ahch-To. The number of shots we see in the trailer of this location suggest a significant chunk of the opening act of The Last Jedi could be spent here with Luke and Rey’s training. The LEGO Group has made a big push with location-based sets of late, and this does seem like a prime candidate to get the treatment. With just two characters it could be a £20 set, but, if the more wild speculation of Force ghosts of a number of former Jedi turns out to be anywhere near the truth, then this could become a £40 or £50 set. Would you complain if we finally get our first LEGO Force ghosts?
Meanwhile, in our first look at a battle (it wouldn’t be Star Wars without these), we get a good view of a fleet of new speeder-style vehicles, racing across a light desert terrain. The white plains with red clouds of dust kicked up suggest this is the rumoured new salt-like, volcanic planet featuring in the film. Meanwhile, those AT-AT silhouettes looming in the distance that they are racing to, aren’t necessarily AT-ATs. Speculation is that the First Order has developed giant, gorilla-style upgraded AT-ATs (not the base walkers seen in the background on Starkiller Base) that would dwarf the classic walkers in size – depicted here is their apparent use during an invasion of a secret Resistance base. Lucasfilm do like to mirror their trilogies, and this is all looking and sounding very Hoth-like. It wouldn’t be wrong to expect that a number of the tie-in first wave of LEGO sets would centre on this action sequence.
Update: Rian Johnson confirmed to EW.com that the above planet is Crait, and is home to “an old rebel base there that’s now abandoned”. Note that is Rebel, not Resistance.
“It’s way out there. It’s very remote. It’s uncharted,” the director has said to EW. “It’s a mineral planet and so there are mines on it. [There are some] beautiful design elements and I hope some really unique ones that we’re able to bring into it.”
Johnson also confirmed Crait’s surface is a “white dusting of salt over this red, ruby-ish mineral base.” The base “ends up playing a key role in the movie,” The Last Jedi’s director and writer teases, whilst reflecting that the Resistance speeders in the trailer “show up where they have to deal with a very pressing and immediate threat.”
Finn is back, but how’s his back? We assume he’ll be ok, as John Boyega did hint during The Last Jedi’s panel at a more serious tone to the character’s arc in Episode VIII. Afterwards as well he did promise that we’ll see Finn awake. Definitely awake is Poe Dameron, who is looking as suave and heroic as ever, reunited once more with BB-8. But if you want to ensure your insurance premiums are kept low, don’t park near an X-wing of his, as they always seem to get blown up. Another location set possibility would be one involving a Resistance base, perhaps with Finn in recovery included.
And then we cut to Kylo Ren, visibly bearing the scars of his first duel with Rey. He is rumoured to have a slightly new look helmet, but that there will be more scenes like this one, with him not wearing it. Will he have a new cape to reflect his obsession with grandfather Darth Vader? In all, expect an even darker Kylo.
The first shot of Luke on his knees next to R2-D2 is reminiscent of The Force Awakens ‘flash-forward’ scene (and one of the trailers for the 2015 film) when Rey touches the Skywalker lightsaber. With it closely followed by Captain Phasma walking through some flame-grilled destruction (whether or not these two scenes are connected remains to be seen), expectation is that The Last Jedi will be a bleaker story. Phasma is likely to have a much more significant role in this movie too.
Back in space for the second on-screen battle in action, can you spot the A-wing in between those giant new ships, X-wings and TIE fighters? We’ve had enough A-wings of late to suggest we won’t be getting another in LEGO any time soon, and those who are wanting to avoid another X-wing should put hope in those much larger constructions making their way to our brick world in September. What scale they come in at, though, remains to be seen.
A dramatic ending to the first trailer, with Luke in a moody profile shot. It hints at a difficult first few steps in Luke and Rey’s relationship, which would fit in with Daisy Ridley’s hints during The Last Jedi’s live panel about Rey’s expectation of meeting her hero not being fulfilled.
What do Luke’s words mean in the context of the new trilogy? There is talk of Disney and Lucasfilm’s treatment of ‘The Force’ shifting away from the traditional balance of the light and dark side, which could in turn by definition end both the Jedi and the Sith, as entities based around those polar opposite ends of The Force’s spectrum. Star Wars Rebels has hinted towards this shift in ideology too with grey area Force characters.
It’s also worth considering the words spoken in the trailer – Rey seeing both light and darkness, and ‘the balance’, to which Luke responds: “It’s so much bigger.”
For a first trailer, there’s a lot of intrigue in Luke’s closing words and they do suggest a heavier plotline for our protagonists. We haven’t even caught sight of any of the new characters (Kelly Marie Tran was a part of The Last Jedi’s panel, and her character Rose is suggested to have the biggest role of any of the newcomers, and the speculation is that it is an intriguing one involving Finn), whilst there are a number of other rumoured new locations still for us to see. December cannot come soon enough. Nor September 1, when the LEGO Group’s first wave of tie-in sets are released.
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