On Monday, the world premiere of the second Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) theatrical trailer took place during halftime of Monday Night Football. The movie is arguably the most anticipated of the year and expectations for director Rian Johnson’s first galactic dive into the vast universe are sky high.

The new trailer delivers a TON of new content. Like boatloads of new footage, ideas, and theories to unpack. Here are some of my reactions to the latest Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer.

The opening of the trailer brings the dark tone that the franchise’s original sequel, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) had at its forefront. We see the ominous voice over talking about power and…BY GAWD look at the color meshing when Kylo Ren picks up his lightsaber…IT LOOKS SO GOOD.

Color Looks Great

I’m dead serious in my excitement with this single shot; if Star Wars can be entertaining and beautiful, you can color me more than intrigued.

The next single frame I love in this trailer is Luke Skywalker accepting, all be it seemingly reluctantly, his old lightsaber with his artificial hand. Great story telling being that in The Empire Strike Back, Luke lost his initial lightsaber while also losing said hand.

Metal Hand

Now comes the part of the trailer where I don’t have enough education on the expansive Star Wars expanded universe. Quoting Stephen M. Colbert from Screenrant.com, the shots of shattered trees, stumps may very well be the key to keeping the Force alive:

“The Shattered Empire comic book set right after Return of the Jedi sees Luke and Shara Bey, Poe Dameron’s mother, go to one of Sheev Palpatine’s secret research outposts to recover two sapling trees he cut from the giant tree in the courtyard of the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. The trees were strong in the Force and it seemed like they would be central to rebuilding the Jedi Order, but he gave one away to the Dameron family when they settled on Yavin IV and kept the other, which we have yet to see again.”

If said explanation is cannon, the next clips we see of Luke’s metal hand rising from the ashes and him sulking by R2 D2 have a truly resounding impact. He may think he is the last Jedi if that tree he supposedly planted was a palpable tool, or an intangible symbol of him rebuilding the Jedi Order.

But I will ask, what the heck is the importance of the books? Some sort of encyclopedia of Jedi history where a key to them surviving lays? I just don’t know, but I am dying to find out.

“I’ve seen this raw strength only once before….” This single line from Luke has to reference Kylo Ren in his attempt to train him before the temple fell by the hands of set apprentice.

Ren still appears to have anger management issues, and his way of coping may just be killing all of his known family. After killing his father Han Solo in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), this trailer depicts Ren flying his customized T-Fighter into the heart of his mother, Princess Leia’s ship, with a lock on her main hull.

There seems to be a new customized, more powerful X-Wing for Poe Dameron. He is the lone character who doesn’t get a profound amount of time in this trailer. We get a TON of sneaky footage of John Boyega as Finn wearing some dastardly all-black First Order garb. The former storm trooper going undercover to try and gather some intel? Seems that way.

Someone is back in what everyone hopes is a more prominent role is Captain Phasma. Finn and his former commander seem to face off for the first time in one of the most visceral images from this trailer. Phasma’s armor looks ultra-chrome, and I personally hope she lays some supreme smack down.

Before we get to the ultimate talking point, we finally get a good look a Supreme Leader Snoke. The ultimate baddy first appeared only as a hologram in The Force Awakens, but now we get to see his ugly face in all its glory.

Snoke

From the split seconds we get: 1.) him telling Rey (I think) to fulfill her destiny and 2.) him levitating and torturing her. My only concern with this scene is that is Rey really going to be captured again? Back-to-back movies? I hope it’s more complicated than that.

The ending to the trailer has generated the most controversy and discussion thus far. Is Rey joining to join Kylo Ren on the dark side under the presume tutelage of Snoke? They can’t possibly have the hero leave the “good side,” can they? Did Luke’s seemingly extensive lack of eagerness in teaching Rey drive her away? So. Many. Questions.

Here are some of my potential answers:

I do not think that last scene takes place in the tangible sense. I believe that Rey is being tested much like how Luke was tested in Dagobah during his training with Yoda in the aforementioned Empire Strikes Back. The context of Rey’s character that was laid out in The Force Awakens tells us that she is a loner desperate to connect with some sort of family.

Those connected with the Force are like a family with select few people in the galaxy have the ability to feels its power. I think Rey is going to struggle with the idea of having her isolation mentality altered while learning about just how grand the scope of the Force.

She began The Force Awakens as a small puddle, and by the end of that inciting journey she saw herself rolling down a stream with an increasing current. Now, with meeting Luke, her ride down the stream just ends abruptly and Rey finds herself all alone in an ocean of misunderstanding. THAT is what I think this vision test will test Rey with; the idea of being comfortable with the uncomfortable.

Overall, this latest tease for Star Wars: The Last Jedi does everything sets out to. It doesn’t reveal too much. It excites an already rabid fan base. It raises the stakes of storytelling and promises some immense set pieces.

God, just let Friday, December 15 come already.

 

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