Last night, a new Star Wars: the Last Jedi trailer went live across the internet. The eighth movie in the Star Wars franchise, directed by Rian Johnson (Looper), sees Rey’s and Kylo Ren’s diametrically opposite journeys towards mastering the Force continue on from 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Fair warning, this new trailer gets pretty spoiler-heavy.

Okay, watched it? Good. Because boy oh boy does this trailer raise a lot of questions.

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1. What’s going to happen to Leia?

Late last year, Carrie Fisher, the beloved actress whom has portrayed Leia Organa throughout the Star Wars franchise, passed away. We’ve known for quite some time since then that Leia was originally intended to feature prominently in Star Wars: Episode IX, following structural pattern of Episode VII’s focus on Han Solo and Episode VIII’s seeming focus on Luke Skywalker. Now, however, at least from the looks of this trailer, it seems like Leia’s story may indeed wrap up a bit early, as Kylo Ren is depicted with his weapon sights locked on his mother.

Luke’s actor, Mark Hamill, may have already quashed this cliffhanger, however.

2. Who is Supreme Leader Snoke?

Snoke’s a weird dude. The head of the First Order that rules over the galaxy at this point in the Star Wars canon, Snoke is a force-attuned humanoid alien that manipulated a young Kylo Ren into slaughtering his peers in the fledgling Jedi Order, successfully turning Leia’s and Han’s son over to the Dark Side. And yet, despite his force sensitivity and keen ability to manipulate others, he’s played a bit of a Wizard of Oz trick on us all. While he appeared enormous when berating Kylo Ren as a hologram in The Force Awakens, we get to see Snoke in person for the first time in this new trailer and he’s…just human sized. Maybe a little on the shorter side, even. Why bother projecting yourself so big then, Snoke? Compensating for your fragile masculinity?

Anyways, despite Snoke not being 18 feet tall in person, he’s still a terrifyingly powerful figure who demonstrates the ability to use the Force in a way that causes excruciating pain, even to someone as naturally powerful as Rey has been made out to be. So who is he? Is he just a new character? Nah, that would be too easy (and original). So he’s gotta be someone we’ve seen before like Darth Plagueis, Darth Vader, Palpatine, or maybe even Leia?

3. Will Rey and Kylo hold hands?

Throughout this trailer, Snoke is heard talking to someone. At the start, he says “When I found you, I saw raw, untamed power. And beyond that– something truly special.” While it would logical to assume that he’s talking to his apprentice, Kylo Ren here, some people are speculating that he may actually be referring to Rey.

Indeed, The Force Awakens and the trailers for The Last Jedi thus far have taken pains to present Rey and Kylo Ren as two sides of the same coin, both in conflict about their nature as Force wielders. Even in this trailer, we hear Luke tell Rey that he’s only seen her level of “raw” power only once before this, referring of course, to Kylo. That power inside Rey terrifies Luke and it’s clear that this trailer wants us to believe that that conflict between mentor and mentee will push Rey away from the light side and more towards the center, tipping precariously close to the dark. At the end of the trailer, Rey confronts Kylo, saying that she needs someone to “show me my place in all this.” In reply, he extends his hand towards her.

Unlike previous Star Wars trilogies, which drew a relatively distinct line between good and evil, the lines have been blurred in this new trilogy. Kylo Ren has become a surprisingly reluctant and sympathetic villain; his desire to become some idealized version of himself that he holds in his mind is in constant visible conflict with some deeper part of himself that knows his actions are wrong.

Perhaps this wavering means that Rey will sway Kylo over to the light side as a tutor of sorts. or perhaps Rey, who was mostly lost in a daze of wide-eyed discovery throughout Episode VII, will use her newfound agency to master the Dark Side of the Force. Or perhaps we’ll even finally get the “balance” in the Force that the Jedi loooooooove to talk about as both Rey and Kylo become “grey hat” Force wielders.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi releases on December 15th, 2017.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Can’t understand why the ‘balance of the Force’ stuff persists. even if Lucas did come up with it. It suggests the Force is human centred, rather than a universal energy. Which it clearly is in OT. Individualism has made us narcissists. Everything isn’t about US.

  2. Three Big Questions:

    1. Could this possibly be any more derivative of Empire?

    2. Why am I supposed to care about this new trilogy (beyond lazy nostalgia mongering of something I liked when I was a kid)?

    3. Do they not realize that that penguin creature in the Millennium Falcon looks exactly like Nien Nunb in the Millennium Falcon in Return of the Jedi?

  3. “Unlike previous Star Wars trilogies, which drew a relatively distinct line between good and evil, the lines have been blurred in this new trilogy.”

    Did you not watch the prequel trilogy? The whole point of that story was that the lines between good and evil were NOT clearly defined:

    – The Republic was corrupt; the Jedi were blinded by fundamentalist dogma;

    – Anakin was doing what he did in the service of wanting to save someone he loved;

    – Palpatine wasn’t a mustache twirler but rather was trying to bring order to a galaxy that had become mired in chaos

    The point of that story was to show that good and evil are on a continuum and not binary. Whether you liked that approach or not, to argue that it wasn’t doing that would require you to willingly not pay attention to what was playing before your eyes.

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