The new trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi brings with it plenty of doom and gloom, perhaps signaling a sequel in which the Dark Side emerges victorious one again. It offers more insight into Rey’s Jedi training, Luke Skywalker’s apprehension, while also tracing Kylo Ren’s evolution into a battle-scarred warrior ready to place the past behind and fully embrace his destiny.
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Director Rian Johnson seems to have cut back on the lighthearted touches of 2015’s The Force Awakens, and instead, chose to depict a sense of dread as the First Order aims to rebound and crush the Resistance once and for all. The trailer not only showcases epic space battles but also the film’s themes of rebellion, betrayal and death as questions are raised about the legacy of the Skywalker family.
With that said, we break down the trailer’s most intriguing and bombastic moments below.
The First Order Strikes Back
As the trailer opens, the First Order signals its intentions. Supreme Leader Snoke’s caustic voice, whether in flashback or during Kylo Ren’s recovery, is clearly energizing his apprentice for retaliation against the Resistance following the Starkiller Base in The Force Awakens.
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“When I found you, I saw raw, untamed power and beyond that, something truly special,” Snoke encourages as Kylo admires his arsenal on the production line, just before we’re shown AT-M6 (All Terrain Megacaliber Six) walkers moving across a desert. They’re of course an update on the Galactic Empire’s familiar AT-ATs; later they’re joined by TIE Fighters in taking down Resistance fighters.
Just as Snoke calls Kylo “special,” the scene cuts to Rey apparently unleashing her lightsaber for the first time. She’s terrified, but we quickly come to see her as a fast learner under Luke’s tutelage. Alarmed by her abilities, as Rey levitates rocks and cracks the ground of Ahch-To, Luke says, “I’ve seen this raw strength only once before,” as the footage cuts back to Kylo’s betrayal and the destruction of the Jedi Temple. “It didn’t scare me enough then. It does now.”
Kylo Kills Again?
We then see Kylo’s maturity and what appears to be him finally putting away the past. He crushes his old mask, perhaps exorcising his Darth Vader demons, and embraces his battle scars. As he slaughters the Resistance fighters in his TIE Silencer, he says in voiceover, “Let the past die. Kill it if you have to. That’s the only way you’ll become what you were meant to be.” It could be his inner-monologue, but as we later see, Kylo may be attempting to convince Rey to join him.
Nonetheless, as we hear his words, Kylo’s fingers are on the trigger, apparently locked onto his mother, General Leia. However, we still get a tinge of that inner-conflict from when he killed his father Han Solo, and the scene ends just before we get to see whether he follows through. This seems to indicate how cerebral Johnson wants Kylo’s journey to be, maybe even offering a small window of hope and redemption, should he opt to spare Leia. There’s a lot of emotion here, especially with Carrie Fisher’s passing still so fresh in mind.