So, it’s finally here – the teaser for The Last Jedi, and it is awesome! Like really, really awesome. You’ve all seen it – hopefully at least a dozen times by now – so I’m going to give you my shot-by-shot breakdown with speculation all along the way. Again, this is just MY SPECULATION AND OPINIONS (very well educated opinions, mind you, and you know this is you follow The Exhaust Port podcast), but still, there could be ****SPOILERS****, so it you don’t want to be influenced at all before you see the film on December 15th I would advise not venturing any further. As usual, you get a big warning to shield you and this time is the teaser (!!), here we go!
Alrighty then, I’m sure everyone is still with me so let’s do this.
We see Rey in some sort of distress, and many are speculating that she has just had another Forceback, however I have a different idea. Daisy dropped a hint that Luke isn’t quite what Rey had expected when she first meets him. I think Rey may have been Force Choked by Luke (or some type of similar Force-based attack) letting her know that this journey is going to be much different than she has anticipated. Tough love will prevail throughout Rey’s training in my opinion…
Now a couple beautiful shots of Ahch-To, the location where Luke is located and seemingly the location of the first Jedi Temple. Beautiful shots.
Super rad shot of Rey sitting cross-legged raising pebbles. This shot is just so beautiful to me, the focus, the cinematography – everything. We also have been hearing Luke in the background telling Rey to just breathe. Luke’s voice sounds soooo good, I’ve missed it so much.
As we hear Luke’s voiceover telling Luke to breathe, we hear him ask her what she sees. This is a huge part of the teaser, maybe the most important sequence other than the very end (which I’ll get to in a minute, obviously). She sees the light, and we see a shot of Leia in full General Organa mode (with a slight voiceover calling back to her classic ‘Obi-Wan, you’re my only hope’, which is just barely audible. Then she says dark, and we see an image of Kylo Ren’s smashed helmet (with Vader’s breathing overlaid just enough,as well as Obi-Wan warning of the fall to the dark side). To me this particular shot is VERY symbolic. Yes, we know Kylo has a temper, and I’m sure he smashed his helmet in one of his patented temper-tantrums, but hear me out. I think this is Rian Johnson’s way of showing and symbolizing a major character evolution for Kylo, shedding the mask and not feeling like he has to hide behind it anymore – essentially evolving and leaving that part of him behind. If this is the case then sign me up! My opinion is that we are going to see a ton of character development for Kylo in The Last Jedi and into Episode IX, and Adam Driver is more than up to the task. And finally the third shot in this little group – THE SHOT. We see a makeshift bookshelf on what I’m assuming is the tree we’ve all seen in the leaked pictures from The Last Jedi, a tree which I also think is a direct tie-back to the tree that Luke attains in the Shattered Empire comic with Shara Bey, Poe’s mom. The lighting, again, is utterly beautiful and the tree itself is VERY reminiscent of the aesthetic of the Bendu. Katrina pointed that out last night and I completely agree. Interesting, to say the least. Now on to the books on the shelf…..
When we get to this shot we get the most important line in the teaser. Rey says ‘the balance….. there’s so much more’. With this line we see a gloved hand (probably Luke’s mechanical hand) on a book. The reveal of this book is huge in so many way, so many. First off, the Jedi symbol from Legends has been canonized again (although it was made canon in The Clone Wars it is awesome to see it in film). I believe this book is at least part of the Journal of the Whills, and if this is the case this is huge Star Wars news. The very first page of The Force Awakens novelization (which is of course fully canon) is an entry from the Journal of the Whills, and the Journals date back to the mid-70’s when Lucas was conceptualizing the original Star Wars film. We have also heard mention of the Whills in Rogue One, as Chirrut and Baze were guardians of the Whills and the Temple of the Kyber. I also think information in these Journals is going to force Luke to rethink what he has learned so to speak, realizing that the doctrine and dogma of the Jedi of Yoda and Obi-Wan’s generation was incredibly flawed and led to their downfall and allowed for the rise of the Sith. I have been preaching for a long time that the Lucasfilm story group has been working very hard to re-mystify the Force, showcasing that the Jedi and the Sith are the complete extreme opposites of the Force, and there is a lot more ‘grey’ area in the middle. And again, The Last Jedi to me means the end of the Jedi order as we know it and the beginning of a new order of light side Force users who also embrace the middle – which means elements of the dark side. We’ve seen this with Ahsoka’s story arc in Rebels and her novel, Kanan and the Bendu in Rebels, and even Luke in the original trilogy (even though we didn’t realize it at the time). I think Luke’s initial group of new Jedi were trained more in the way of the Jedi of old, based on Yoda and Obi-Wan’s teachings, and he witnesses first-hand the failure in those teachings when Ben Solo, his own nephew, destroys his academy and presumably kills all the padawans. This will cause Luke to go into exile, all the way up until Rey finds him on Ahch-To at the end of The Force Awakens.
Another gorgeous shot of Rey training on Ahch-To, just amazing. I love the cinematography we are seeing so far, Rian Johnson is such an amazing filmmaker.
A very cool shot of a new type of speeder that’s very reminiscent of the B-Wing on a new planet that we believe is called Crait, a salt covered planet that’s rumored to have lava underneath. They are also bearing down on what appears to be new First Order versions of AT-AT’s. Broken record here, but another beautiful shot. This movie could very well be the most beautifully shot Star Wars film as of yet.
Finn lives! I’m guessing this shot is very early in the film, as he appears to be in a new-fangled kind of bacta chamber. The design is very 2001: A Space Odyssey to me, and prequel-esque (gasp!). I love that Rian Johnson and the design team are taking chances and expanding the design of the Star Wars universe again, as The Force Awakens was severely lacking in that department (one of it’s only flaws in my opinion).
Now we get our first peek at Poe Dameron and BB-8. Again, I’m speculating this is very early in the film as it seems the First Order is pissed and going right after the Resistance. It is a little odd that Poe’s X-Wing seemingly gets blown up AGAIN early in the film, but whatever. Also notice there’s an A-Wing in the hanger and comics fans the world-around are all hoping it belongs to L’ulo, the Duros pilot from Black Squadron in the Poe Dameron comic series who also dates all the way back to the Battle of Endor. I think we may get a quick glimpse of him, and that would be cool with me.
Now we get a cool shot of the Millennium Falcon crushing some TIE Fighters, and I’m speculating here that this is taking place in the sky above Ahch-To, as the First Order, Snoke, and the Knights of Ren have discovered the whereabouts of Luke – The Last Jedi – and Rey. My guess (and this is certainly a guess) is that Chewbacca is piloting the Falcon while a ground battle takes place between Luke, Rey, Kylo, and the Knights OR as the Ahch-To crew attempts to escape after the oft-rumored epic ground battle. Always good to see the Falcon, though.
I love this clip of Rey running with Luke/Anakin’s lightsaber, and while this may be during the ground battle I mentioned above I’m gonna go a step further and say this just might be during Rey’s training. Either way, it’s a rad shot and I can’t wait to see it in the film.
And now we see Kylo Ren. Kylo Ren with his scar, thanks to Rey. A couple things here – the scar is not as large as I thought it may be, but whatever. It’s also cool to see that Kylo has reconstructed his crossguard lightsaber, seemingly complete with another cracked Kyber crystal as it looks unwieldy as hell once again. I will say that even though it’s a very brief glimpse, Kylo seems to be back in form, and Adam Driver looks great here.
And some classic Lucasfilm misdirection here. First up we see another angle from the clip from last year’s teaser and Rey’s Forceback of Luke’s Jedi Academy burning and then it quickly cuts to Phasma and a battalion of Stormtroopers walking through fire. These ARE NOT related, but of course Lucasfilm made it seem like they are. My guess is that the first shot is another Forceback (and I only say that because Lucasfilm has said in the saga films they don’t do classic flashbacks, hence the new term Forceback. I love the shot of the academy/temple burning, and I speak for all Star Wars fans when I say that we all wanna know exactly how this went down. The second shot I’m guessing is related to the shot from above of the First Order’s attack on the Resistance during which Poe’s X-Wing is seemingly destroyed again. Just a guess, as this clip could literally happen at almost any point during the film. I do hope they actually give Captain Phasma something more to do this time, instead of just look cool….
Now we have a couple awesome shots of a space battle, one that seems to be much more epic in scale as compared to what we got in The Force Awakens. The timeline of these is a little intriguing to me, and I have two ideas here. One, this is during the same battle mentioned above, during which I think the First Order is initiating a quick strike against the Resistance since they know their location on D’Qar. Let’s not forget The Last Jedi literally takes place RIGHT AFTER The Force Awakens, so the action can and probably will happen very quickly. Two, this could be above Ahch-To, as the Resistance is trying to protect Luke, Rey, Chewbacca, and R2-D2’s escape. I’m leaning towards the latter, but time will tell. We also see a very quick shot of an A-Wing (L’ulo maybe??), which is cool.
And now the money shot. We get the line ‘I only know one truth. It’s time for the Jedi to end’. I think we may be seeing some more trickery here on the part of Lucasfilm. It seems obvious that Luke is saying the first line, but the second seems to be augmented or blended. At first I thought it was Supreme Leader Snoke, as it certainly sounds like his vocal style. However, I am going to go out on a limb and say it’s Luke. This ties back to my speculation on the title and Luke’s new mindset when it comes to the failings of the old Jedi Order and the need for a new, fresh start, presumably with Rey. As I have said multiple times all over this site and in multiple podcasts, the Lucasfilm powers-that-be have been working overtime laying the groundwork for this shift in the way we look at the Force. Rey says herself the middle – or more specifically the balance – is so much bigger, and this is the moment we’ve been building towards and I’m all for it.
Overall I think the teaser was exactly what we wanted, and it is interesting how closely the editing and style mirrored the trailer from The Force Awakens. I think that’s cool. I think. Having said that, we still haven’t seen Laura Dern’s character, Benecio Del Toro’s character in action, but hopefully we will get some reveals there. We did get a glimpse Kelly Marie Tran’s character at the TLJ panel yesterday at Celebration, but she wasn’t in the teaser.
Reid and I will be podcasting for The Exhaust Port tomorrow so look for a lot more discussion, fanboying, and speculation tomorrow on that. Until then, stay on top of the Star Wars Celebration live-feed if you’re not there. I’m going to try and dissect the Rebels panel and trailer later today as well.