A couple months ago, when the title The Last Jedi was revealed, three theories were compiled as to its mysterious connotations. Is it Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), as Yoda conveyed in his dying words? Is it Rey (Daisy Ridley), the new “chosen one”? Or is it plural because Star Wars always has tricks up its sleeves?
Star Wars Celebration Orlando gave us our first look at Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the next chapter in the saga. A two-minute teaser was shown at the end of a panel that featured director Rian Johnson and many of the film’s stars, and it has more than a few hints and teases about what we should expect from Episode VIII.
Despite the rampant anticipation for the trailer, a few vague details had to come out first on the newest and returning characters. Let’s check out the trailer before we dive in.
The very first shot of the trailer is Rey on Ahch-To during some sort of breathing exercise. This reminds me of Yoda telling Luke to breathe on Dagobah. Luke‘s method looks more extreme, though. Although they don’t say it it’s pretty much confirmed that Luke has agreed to train Rey in The Force.
The next shot is, of course, a better look at Ahch-To, home of the first Jedi Temple. Something about there being TWO islands in this specific shot seems significant to me. It seems to symbolize the split in the Force – the light and dark sides. Could one island be home to the light side while the other holds dark side energy? What if Rey has to go to the dark side island on some sort of quest to find balance? It would be reminiscent of Luke‘s venture into the dark side cave on Dagobah.
I’m pretty sure a big chunk of this movie will be about Rey‘s training with Luke. I actually think she’ll spend most of the movie OUT of the action – just like Luke did in The Empire Strikes Back. There’s definitely a middle sequel vibe here since everyone is split up in this movie. Attack of the Clones and The Empire Strikes Back split up the main characters as well.
Several images flash across the screen, with background recordings of Yoda and Palpatine almost too subtle to pick up on. A broken mask, perhaps another of Kylo Ren’s (Adam Driver), litters a floor, and an ancient, mystical book is palmed. With these images, Rey responds with, “Light . . . darkness . . . balance.”
The light side is represented by a shot of Leia (Carrie Fisher) in a Resistance base. This doesn’t look like the same base on D’Qar from the first movie. I assume the First Order took care of that base at some point between the two movies. Unless we’re going to see that at the beginning of the film. The dark side is represented, of course, by Kylo Ren‘s shattered helmet.
Okay, so what we see in these next two shots is a bit confusing. A collection of books inside a Force tree? The reason I say Force tree is because we’ve been teased with these particular plants for several years now. It’s no accident that the only canon post-Return of the Jedi story featuring Luke Skywalker to date (the Star Wars: Shattered Empire comic book miniseries). Is about the hero trying to recover fragments from the tree that stood in the old Jedi Temple on Coruscant from the Empire.
These Force-sensitive trees are ancient and have some sort of significance to Luke‘s story. We know that Luke went out in search of Jedi knowledge after the Empire‘s defeat on Endor. We could assume that this tree holds some sort of secret about the Force?
But all of these shots bring up a big theory about Rey‘s role in this story. Her talk of balance and the tease that “It’s so much bigger” would seem to indicate that Rey might be that balance. That she’s the actual Chosen One who is supposed to bring balance to the Force. Luke might be explaining to her that the Force is much bigger than just the light and the dark side and that true knowledge might be gained from the gray. I’m speculating hard here, but we know the saga has always been headed in this direction.
I don’t know if it’s a tease or a red herring, but the trailer teases that Rey and Kylo are going to have a rematch at some point. What I find most interesting from this great shot of the villains is that his face doesn’t look all that scarred from his last fight with Rey. The small scar he does have really resembles Anakin‘s in Revenge of the Sith.
I have a theory about this next shot. It looks like a flashback. Will we see how Luke‘s Jedi Order fell in this movie? That burning building was probably Luke‘s temple. We know that R2-D2 was with the Jedi Master when he decided to go into exile. I think we’re going to see how Kylo betrayed his uncle in this movie.
The trailer dramatically alternates between glimpses of a frantic Poe and BB-8, exploding tie-fighters, Leia’s back to the camera, and a pissed off Kylo Ren wielding his red lightsaber. But the most chilling moment comes with Luke ominously saying: “I only know one truth. It’s time for the Jedi to end.”
What could that possibly mean? Does Luke want his kind obliterated, or merely revamped—as in a new kind of group with a new name, new mission? The keyword to reflect on is “balance,” which Rey visualizes. There has always been a hope that a balance could be brought to The Force, with Anakin, Luke, and Rey. Or, could that have been a frustrated remark from years ago when Kylo Ren murdered all the Jedi, ruining Luke’s hard work and hope?
There are so many questions left to be satisfied. One thing’s for sure: the fight between dark and light was never over; it’s just beginning.
Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi premieres in December 2017.