Empire Strikes Back II?
After The Force Awakens cribbed heavily from A New Hope, it’s not surprising to see Disney continue the formula for The Last Jedi. Luke assuming Yoda’s role and training the budding Jedi Rey feels obviously similar. The darker tone, forseeing the future, levitating rocks, and the isolated green island all feel like repeated story beats. The new levitation effects are well done and have me excited for more re-imaginings of force powers.
Like Luke on Dagobah, Rey appears to be struggling under a grueling training regimen. The first image of the Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer shows the rocky ground right before her hand desperately plants as she gasps for air. Did she just come from a force-vision cave similar to when Luke fought the phantom Vader?
Star Wars: The Last Jedi – It’s time for the Jedi… to end.
Luke says it’s the “one true thing” he knows. This could have several connotations. Is he expressing regret over his failure with Kylo Ren and perhaps the death of Vader? Will he sacrifice himself as Obi-Wan did in A New Hope to destroy Ren and/or the more powerful Sith? The greatest theory I’ve heard came from WWG’s Matthew Hayes who imagined Luke
luring Rey to train as a way to kill her and remove all Jedi from troubling the universe.
Jedi Temple burning on the dance floor?
A cloaked figure falls to their knees next to R2-D2 as a temple-looking building burns. It’s easy to assume that’s Luke with his loyal astromech witnessing the destruction of Skywalker’s New Jedi Order at the hands of Kylo Ren. Another scene shows a line of New Order soldiers led by (what looks like) Captain Phasma through a fiery area. Could they be linked or did it just look nice in the edit?
Lightsaber slashes to the back should be dangerous
I’m glad to see Finn requiring serious medical care after Ren nearly killed him with a lightsaber. It makes both Ren and the lightsaber feel more dangerous. (I also didn’t forgive Finn for sounding too ‘2016’ when he shot down the turbo-lasers and yelled “Did you see that?! Did you see that?!”).
It wouldn’t be Empire Strikes Back II without AT-ATs
Crait is a new planet with mining resources causing that cool red dust to flare up behind the Resistance ships. AT-ATs appear in the distance for a big showdown, making far more sense here than they did in Rogue One. There’s also plenty of space battle footage shown rivaling the scope of the Endor battle from Return of the Jedi. Poe Dameron recoils from an exploding X-Wing on a capital ship, suggesting the Resistance might be losing this fight similar to Empire Strikes Back’s closing scene of the retreating Rebel fleet.
Solid Star Wars
The Force Awakens was formulaic but solidly entertaining. Fully passing the torch from Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewie to the new guard is important to tell a more powerful story. This trailer leans quite heavily on Luke, but how the film shakes down remains to be seen. Disney proved themselves with Episode VII and I’m sure they’ll at least crank out a watchable Star Wars with potential for greatness.
What are your thoughts on the trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi?