This past Monday night, millions of nerds across the United States magically became fans of the Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears. Why? Because the newest official trailer for Star Wars the last Jedi was dropped–and holy tauntaun, what a trailer it was! Just hours after the trailer was released I bought nine tickets for me and my friends to go see it opening night because God forbid this movie gets spoiled for me! After a couple of days which I utilized to let things process and to do some considerable thought I have finally decided to do my best to break down my analysis on this very revealing trailer–so revealing in fact that Rian Johnson, the director, warned people not to watch it if they wanted a fresh experience at the movies. I of course threw that warning to the wind because what’s the point? The internet will probably spoil it for me anyway despite my best efforts!
Of course when the first trailer released at the Star Wars celebration in Orlando I was sure to cover my analysis of it on The Daily Diatribe. You can read that article here.
What I theorized in my article was that Luke’s cryptic words, “It’s time for the Jedi to end” was not a resolution of forsaking the principles of the Jedi but rather beginning a new order of “Gray Jedi” a persuasion that walks the line between the dark and light side of the force. However with this new trailer being released, some other musings come to mind and this article will discuss them by addressing key questions that came up during the teaser. And whether this trailer contains some dead giveaways or some just clever editing I think we’ll find that the more we know…the less we know.
Okay here we go!
Question One: Who is Snoke Addressing In the Opening?
The teaser opens with the voice of Snoke, an individual that we know next to nothing about except for the fact that he seems to be the mastermind behind the First Order and the mentor behind the new terror of the galaxy, Kylo Ren. We hear Snoke talking assumedly to Kylo Ren glorifying the potential and the raw power that he sensed in him which was “something truly special.” This could be reminiscent of how Darth Sidious saw great power and potential in Anakin and praised him as a game changer and a integral part of his plans for the galaxy.
While this seems to be the obvious analysis, it could also be possible that Snoke is speaking these words to Rey. It seems clear that in this film Snoke and Kylo Ren are going to attempt to lure Rey to the Dark Side–the last twenty seconds of the trailer indicate that almost with certainty–so it’s possible that just as Emperor Palpatine praised Luke Skywalker in a effort to foster him to the dark side before attempting to kill him, Snoke could also be attempting to win over Rey before attempting to kill her. We’ll see how this develops as it could go either or BOTH ways.
Question Two: Where is Rey’s Path Taking Her?
Speaking of Rey, we see her training being continued under the tutelage of Luke who cryptically remarks on how he has seen great power and aptitude before and it caused him to marvel at first but now it’s something he fears. This is of course in reference to his training of Ben Solo and how he turned on the Jedi ways and caused great havoc with his newfound abilities. We see Luke’s metal hand rising from the rubble of some sort of structure followed by a shot of a settlement in flames. I believe that this is a result from a conflict between Luke, Kylo, and The Knights of Ren. Expect to see that battle played out in this film.
Luke is obviously quite awestruck yet fearful of Rey’s power. He knows that those who show great aptitude to the Force in the early stages of their training such as Anakin and Ben Solo tend to be swayed towards the Dark Side. I think this is because the Force is so powerful that raw passion can channel it far easier than controlled discipline, making the sway of the Dark Side too powerful for those blessed with the great gifts the Force has to offer. This could be a totally different reason altogether as to why Luke feels it necessary for the Jedi to end…he’s seen what raw power can do and he does not want a repeat of what happened to Ben Solo. He blames himself and perhaps this hesitancy is what causes him to lose his grip on what makes the Jedi unique in the galaxy. In his hesitancy he could refuse to train Rey altogether which just might be the reason why she is seeking Kylo Ren’s aid at the end of the trailer. Perhaps Luke abandons her–perhaps she learns something about Luke that drives her away from him. As the title of this article indicates–the more he we think we do know…the more we realize we don’t know.
Question Three: Does Kylo Ren really kill his mother in this film?
In probably the most awe-inspiring and chilling moments of the trailer we see Kylo Ren involved in a space battle flying a classic throwback version to an original Sith Infiltrator very similar to one that Darth Maul flies in The Phanthom Menace. In this battle we see that the First Order is engaged against the Resistance in a space battle in which General Leia Organa’s flagship involved…signifying this is a battle of vast importance. This is no skirmish or a trivial supply raid. This is an all out engagement in which the key commanders are present in their command fleets. It could be an attack on the Resistance fleet over D’Quar where their base is located. There was no planet shown below the engagement so that’s just a theory…but the battle’s importance is uncontested.
In this scene we see what appears to be the obvious. Kylo Ren, who has recently murdered his father Han Solo in cold blood is faced with another obstacle that he must overcome in order to continue down his path to the dark side. As he navigates his Infiltrator into what appears to be the main engines of the flagship he, with teary eyes filled with resolve places his thumb upon the trigger as a slow zoom on Carrie Fisher’s face commences.
It’s pretty obvious what’s going on here. Kylo Ren (Ben Solo) knows that he must eradicate his past and press on with vigilance towards the path laid out before him. Staying true his duty while ridding himself of the barriers that held him back in his quest for power and fulfillment are sure motivators for committing this act of pure evil. His hesitancy in doing so is true to his character as well–you’ll remember when he killed his father he says that he knows what he has to do but he doesn’t know if he has the strength to do it. His inner conflict is something that is going to come into play later. I certainly forsee him turning back to the light–if not in this film then the next. But for now it seems clear that he is continuing to systematically remove the remnants of his old life in order to embrace the next. Expect him to have a stand off with Luke–possibly at the end of this film.
So yes, while some may believe that this scene in the trailer could just be some clever editing I believe that Kylo Ren kills his mother General Organa in this film. It’s consistent with Ren’s mission to dispel the light within him and with the death of Carrie Fisher (R.I.P) it would make complete sense that Princess Leia would be put to rest in the film as well. Poe Dameron seems to be more involved in this trailer–he likely will succeed General Organa as the leader of the resistance.
Question Four: Where Does Finn Play Into All of This?
Finn’s involvement in this trailer was fairly limited. We do see him involved in combat with Captain Phasma who was ridiculed for being so hyped before TFA only to appear in maybe three or four scenes. At least in this film we see her in combat against Finn who has come up with what looks like a lightsaber or a vibrostaff with a different kind of handle attachment. Where he gets this weapon and from who remains to be seen but his path is clear. Being severely wounded by Kylo Ren in TFA and in recovery at the base of the Resistance he will awake to find that his place remains with the Resistance and their struggle against the First Order. Being that he and Dameron Poe have become such fast friends and that his only other best friend in the world is off on a remote island somewhere, Finn will contribute his talents in combat and charisma to the Resistance effort. Whether he’s force sensative or not remains to be seen–I can envision a scenario where Rey goes to the Dark Side and he takes on her and Kylo Ren. Who knows?
Final Thoughts and Theorizing (For This Article Anyway)
All and all this film is focused primarily on Kylo Ren, Luke Skywalker and Rey. The best theory that I can muster at this juncture is that something is going to sever Luke’s tie to Rey. He will either become so cautious of her aptitude and power that he will abort the training, fearing that he is creating another Kylo Ren or perhaps Rey will discover something about Luke that will cause her to become disillusioned with the training he can provide. The fact that she appears to have been granted a face-to-face audience with Supreme Leader Snoke means that she most likely is exploring ways to channel her newfound power and Kylo Ren and Snoke are only far too happy to oblige. Whether she turns to the Dark Side is unclear but I Snoke and Kylo Ren will certainly make a push towards that end.
I don’t forsee Luke stepping up in a major way in this film–he will probably drift off into the shadows or perhaps he will turn to the dark side himself (yes I still haven’t given up on that possibility). In fact, if you look towards the end of the trailer when Rey comes up from the pool in some sort of cave you’ll see that Luke has exchanged the brown robes for black ones. It’s a split second but you can see it.
I said before, be monitoring Kylo Ren’s inner conflict. We know there are parts of this new life that are frustrating to him and cause him a great deal of pain and he believes that the pain can be relieved by destroying his past. But I expect redemption from Kylo at one point or the other. One thought that I have is that Rey could go to the dark side and Kylo could pull her back to the light. One thing is for certain–the emotional conflict and perceived weakness that is constantly vying for his emotions was written into his character for a reason.
So that’s my thoughts concerning this new film Be on the lookout for further analyses that may break these general thoughts down even further in the months to come. With the all theorizing and speculations however of one thing I am sure…this is going to be one heck of a movie! I’m super excited.