Video clips are a major part of Star Wars Celebration panels. When I attended C3 in 2005, crowds were dying for a look at the upcoming Revenge of the Sith. We weren’t disappointed, as we were able to see the opening scene. Granted, we only had about two weeks from April 20-something until the May 4th-ish release, but our excitement as con-goers was totally rewarded by that exciting scene.
At the start of today’s session, host Josh Gad’s (Frozen, Beauty and the Beast) Twitter vid of him asking key Last Jedi actresses about spoilers. But today’s panel dropped the best clip of the day (weekend? month? year?)—a sneak peek at Star Wars: Episode 8: The Last Jedi. (I’ll get more in depth about the panel later, but first…the Trailer!)
First impression: this film is gonna be dark. Rian Johnson promised that “Things will get dire.” So many hints about what that could mean in this first trailer for the December 2017 release.
As the clip begins, Rey is on the ground, gasping for air on the isolated island where she found Luke at the end of The Force Awakens. Is this a pick up from the end of that film? Does Luke attack her? Or worse—Force Choke her as she shows up out of no where to harsh his mellow? Daisy Ridley said earlier in the panel “Rey has an expectation about what she wants from Luke, and we should be careful when we meet our heroes, because they might not be what we expect.” Maybe he isn’t so happy to see her. Or…maybe she is undergoing training.
We quickly hear Luke’s voice for the first time since Return of the Jedi, and he is directing Rey to “Breathe…just breathe.” As Rey gains control over her experience, Luke asks, “Now, reach out. What do you see?” Rey replies, “Light.” and we see a glimpse of what appears to be General Leia Organa analyzing a tactical screen. “Darkness” and we see a crushed helmet—Kylo’s crushed helmet! A cave appears, and an ancient text with the Jedi symbol on it! (Do we finally get to learn about the ancient order? Finally?) “The balance.” And Luke instructing, “It’s so much bigger.” And finally, the most shocking words Luke will ever speak–“I only know one truth. It’s time for the Jedi to end.”
More on that in a moment.
Several images flash by as the trailer wraps up.
The Crushed Kylo Helmet—Does this mean that Ben Solo has stepped away from his role as Kylo? Has he lost his place in the First Order, or has he willingly given it up after his defeat at the hands of a relative newcomer to the way of the Force (Rey in Force Awakens). Maybe he’s realized that he isn’t all that great in the Force.
Planetary Air Attack—One of my favorite scenes from The Force Awakens trailer was of the X-Wing squadron flying over a body of water…so epic. In this trailer we get a glimpse of a new class of space ship whipping their way across a desert landscape, red smoke trailing behind.
Poe and BB-8—These two are seen running away or to a conflict…probably to it, right? Poe is in full X-wing fighter gear, and they arrive at an X-wing, where an explosion quickly destroys the hangar. (Gee-whiz, this guy goes through alot of X-wings. Those things must cost a fortune…repulsor lifts, sub light and hyperdrive engines, proton launchers, cannons, ammo, nav systems…hope the Resistance has good insurance.)
Finn—A very close look at Finn shows that he is in a med-pod of some sort. What will his fate be? Well, from the panel, we see him standing up, so I hate to ruin anything, but very clearly, Finn survives the spine-slash given to him by Kylo in the final scenes of Force Awakens. I’m secretly very happy about this…but I’d love to learn that he’s getting around on some sweet robot legs, sort of like Darth Maul is sporting in Rebels.
Close up of Ben Solo/Kylo—A very intense close-up of Ben wielding his roughly made saber. He has such a smoldering look, but who is he attacking? Rey? Luke? Snokes?
The Falcon!—Another planet based attack, this one by the Millennium Falcon as it sweeps across the sky and eliminates hostiles. Who is flying it? Well, Rey and Chewie took it to see Luke, so someone must have returned with it. If Rey stayed behind with Luke, maybe Chewie is at the controls? Or maybe the whole gang is off the island, Luke included?
A military unit—a very quick shot shows a military unit lead by none other than the intimidating Captain Phasma, Obviously, she has made it off of the Starkiller base from Force Awakens in one piece and it out for revenge. Her existence, and the fact that she commands a platoon of stromtroopers must mean one thing…The First Order is still in existence! The Struggle is Real!
Space Battle—Too quick to see too much, but very clearly, the Resistance and the First Order are still at odds and will meet again, in space, to hash it out.
So the imagery is spot-on, the tone is so threatening, and the comments made by the principal actors during the panel indicate that all the great relationships developed during Force Awakens will continue to grow and blossom…maybe even to the extent of romance? See below for more quotes from the panel. Now we get to the meat of this post: Luke’s final words.
“I only know one truth. It’s time for the Jedi to end.”
Holy nerf-herder! Are you kidding me? We wait for 30-years to meet up with Luke again, and during his isolation he has decided that the Jedi must end? This boy got cabin-fever! Get him a girlfriend and copy of The New Republic Gazette, because the galaxy needs Jedi more than ever! What conclusion brought him to that statement? Obviously, he begins a training regimen with Rey, as she is reaching out with the Force and seeing the balance of Light versus Dark, so he wouldn’t be training her to be a Jedi if he felt like there was no need for the Galaxy to have the protection of the Force.
Maybe he has come to understand that the Galaxy needs to embrace the balance between the Light and the Dark? He says to Rey that it is bigger than just the Light, Dark and Balance. Maybe the balance that Rey sees is the future of the Force? Certainly, it has been at conflict for too long. Perhaps he has seen a way to unite the two in a way that will stop the common space farmer from being caught up in the deadly conflicts that arise when Dark takes on the Light? Luke was prophesied to be the one that would bring balance to the Force, remember that? Maybe it is time to see it happen.
However, as we have come to expect from the middle act of these Star Wars films, the second film is always dark. Empire ended in such a way that we had no idea what would happen. Luke was courted by his evil father, and was reaching out to him with the Force. Leia was sensitive to the Force as Luke called for her to save him from the antennae of Cloud City after losing his battle and his hand to Vader. Han was dead? Or frozen? Or what? Vader has triumphed and all the efforts of the Rebellion seemed for naught.
So we will likely see a very similar conclusion to this act. i just hope that it isn’t a failure that stems from the actions of Luke. I don’t think I could live in a world where Luke Skywalker turns to the Dark Side.
As for the rest of the panel…
Rian Johnson & Kathleen Kennedy spoke well of Carrie Fisher, and shared little gems about the making of the film. Rian had a camera on set, which he used to take thousand of shots. He share a few: Finn is standing up! Poe is in an x-wing…Rey is holding a lightsaber! Nothing too surprising once we’ve seen the trailer, but what I loved was the stuff in the background of these pics—an old 70’s vibe to all the set dressing…the machines, the computers and cabinets.
Of note were a few quotes by some of the principal actors that came on stage.
Daisey Ridley–Go deeper into Rey’s story. Rey has an expectation about what she wants from Luke, and we should be careful when we meet our heroes, because they might not be what we expect. We’re all excited for Luke’s first words.
Rian Johnson—JJ Abrahm’s editors told him that you can’t have enough BB-8. BB-8 is the Buster Keaton of this film. Things will get dire. A New Characters was introduced by Rian, one that he said was “the biggest new part, by smallest actor–Kelly Marie Tran.” Her name will be Rose. She is a mechanic that gets caught up with Rey and Finn. She isn’t looking for action, or to be a hero, but is put in a place where she has no choice.
John Boyega–His relationships with Rey and Poe will continue developing. Last Jedi is a test for Finn. Is he going to continue with the Resistance, or will he give into the First Order? We’ll see!
BB-8—An amazing work of modeler and robotics, he traded some comments with Gad but failed to reveal anything about The Last Jedi that could put him in hot water with LucasFilm attorneys.
Mark Hamill—His part in the panel was very fun. He’s a good guy, loves the franchise, and I’d recommend just watching the panel to take in all his comments. His funniest was as he was commenting on all the folks on stage. He said something to the effect of how great each actor/maker was, and when looking at John Boyega he said something like, “I look at this panel, I see…my son.” Ha!
Check out the panel, which should pop up online later today, and the trailer, which has already broken the internet, I’m sure. Can we get a countdown clock to The Last Jedi? ‘Cause I’m more excited about this than I am for Christmas!
Author, podcaster, costumer and maker, Ryan has been enjoying Disney, Marvel and Star Wars since his first years of life and is thrilled to be able to pass that passion along to a new audience on LaughingPlace. Check out his award winning novels “The Pirate Bride” & “The Lost Crew” in bookstore nationwide.