Last night, during the World Series Game 7, Lucasfilm premiered a brand new TV spot for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the eighth installment of the Skywalker Saga.
I had planned to avoid all TV spots going forward, but I couldn’t really resist this one. Hopefully, I can do better in the future at avoiding them, but that’s not always likely. Since I have seen it, I’ll comment, and I have to admit that there’s a lot to digest here, packed tightly into forty-five seconds.
The first, most striking image is the one everyone will glom onto: Luke in the cockpit of the Millenium Falcon. This is something we haven’t seen since the end of The Empire Strikes Back, as he’s clutching his wounded hand, looking up to the Executor and resisting the siren’s call of his newly revealed father, Darth Vader.
He seems a lot more skeptical here, but no less earnest.
The next thing that’s important is our first real look at Snoke and his throne room in its entirety, and some new Snoke dialogue. “Darkness rises… and light to meet it.” The way it’s cut, it seems as though they’re trying to imply that Rey is that darkness, but could she also be the light to meet it? I really think these trailers are purposely confusing and we have literally no idea what this film is about. There is no doubt, though, that Rey seems very aggressive here.
From there, the trailer is mostly a rehash of the final theatrical trailer, though we do get some new tidbits: Finn in a Ski-speeder on Crait, and more confirmation that the Millennium Falcon is present for that land battle. With our view of Luke aboard the Falcon and knowing that it starts the film in his proximity, does this mean that Crait will feature all of the major forces of good facing off against the First Order? Will this be the final confrontation of the film? Or is this an early battle, just like Hoth?
Then we get the Falcon bursting from the ground on Crait, could this be the logical ending of that sequence of Chewbacca flying through the mineral caves? Anything is possible.
The final cut of the trailer is, in my view (or hope?) one final bit of brilliant misdirection. We get Luke’s line from the trailer, “This is not going to go the way you think…” But it cuts to Rey, raising her lightsaber.
There’s something off about the shot and I can’t quite put my finger on it. I almost feel like it’s being run backward, though the rain is moving in the correct direction. That’s an easy enough fix in post to make though, so, again, anything is possible.
Is this the same sort of misdirection we saw with The Force Awakens where we were convinced that Finn would be the Jedi in question, but it turned out to be Rey? Is the misdirection here in the same vein? Or is this really the film we’re getting and the Empire Strikes Back ending is very much her descent to the dark side.
What if Luke killed her parents and she really is angry at him?
It would make sense given the history of Star Wars. The line that Vader was supposed to have said and, indeed, delivered on set during his final reveal in Empire was, “No, Obi-Wan killed your father…”
What if they’re turning that on its ear. Rey’s family can never come back because Luke killed Rey’s father?
That would certainly turn her against him the way the trailers imply.
Or maybe it’s all still just a mystery. We don’t have long to wait.
The Last Jedi comes out next month. Tickets are on sale everywhere now.