Breaking down the Star Wars: The Last Jedi behind the scenes reel

As was expected, today at D23 the Star Wars: The Last Jedi behind the scenes reel dropped, and it’s amazing.  Though not really giving anything away about the story, there were a ton of new shots of familiar characters, new characters, and plenty of creatures, with the video being filled with interesting tidbits and information for die-hard fans.

First, however, you can take a look at the reel here:


Now, let’s break down what we saw (and fair warning: spoilers probably lie ahead).

Rey on Crait?

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When a leaked Lego set image popped up online recently that included Rey as part of a Crait set, it seemed to confirm that the hero of the new trilogy will take part in the battle on Crait… but it wasn’t quite official, since Lego sets don’t always follow things exactly.  In the behind the scenes reel, however, we seem to get even more confirmation.  Daisy Ridley and John Boyega are seen doing a dance on set at what appears to be the salt planet, and Ridley is wearing Rey’s new costume from the film.  Furthermore, it appears that Rey has the cut above her left eye that is seen in The Last Jedi packaging.  What to make of this?  Well, it seems that Rey does make it off of Ahch-To at some point in the film and meets up with the Resistance on Crait, likely for a face-off against the First Order in the third act of the film that Rey will seemingly take part of.  Perhaps the biggest question now is whether Luke goes with Rey to confront the First Order forces at Crait or not.

Daisy Ridley & Adam Driver’s training’s is very interesting

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The behind the scenes reel also showed us glimpses of Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver training (individually, it appears) for fights.  That much should come as no surprise, but here’s the significant part: they’re both facing off against multiple people.  So of course, the prominent speculation is that one or both of them will face off against the Knights of Ren in The Last Jedi.  If I had to guess, I’d say that Driver is training for a scene in which Kylo Ren is fighting the Praetorian Guards as part of his training, likely supervised by Supreme Leader Snoke (since the Guards, after all, are supposedly his protectors).  And if the Praetorian Guards aren’t the same as the Knights of Ren, then I’d guess that Rey will be facing the latter (though if they are the same, then logically she might be facing the Guards).  Either way, it seems that Rey will go up against multiple foes at a time in The Last Jedi.


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There’s a shot in the behind the scenes reel of Chewbacca in the cockpit of a ship… but it doesn’t appear to be the Millennium Falcon.  It admittedly could very well be the angle of the shot, but I think that looks a lot like an A-Wing fighter rather than the Falcon.  And if that’s the case, it would mean that Chewie is piloting a starfighter at some point rather than the Falcon, though the reason for that remains a mystery.

UPDATE: Nevermind; I’m pretty sure that’s the Falcon.  It’s a very weird angle that makes it initially appear to be an individual starfighter, but the background does kind of resemble the Falcon, while it also matches a behind the scenes picture of Rey and Chewie in the cockpit of the famous ship, with Chewie also wearing the same headset we see above.  So this is probably the Falcon, with Chewie simply in the pilot’s seat alone and with the shot being from a different angle.

Also, one of my favorite shots of the video also featured Chewie, sitting alone by a fire by the Falcon on Ahch-To.

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Finn & Rose behind enemy lines

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We knew that Finn and Rose embark on a mission together in The Last Jedi, and the behind the scenes reel confirms that they go behind enemy lines at one point, with both of them disguised as First Order officers.  I can’t wait to find out more details about the nature of their mission (which presumably also leads them into an encounter with “D.J.” too), but perhaps with them undercover in the First Order leads to Finn’s supposed confrontation with Captain Phasma (in the D23 session today, John Boyega mentioned that Finn goes up against a formidable opponent and then looked at Gwendoline Christie).

New Creatures!

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It’s our first look at Porgs, and I’ve got to say, they look awesome; they’re believable, seem to fit, and are cute.  I think seeing them in this reel gives a lot more confidence regarding their supposedly significant part in the film on Ahch-To.

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This looks to be the space horse that Finn and Rose ride, probably on Canto Bight.

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Like I said, there a ton of other creatures, too, and they look pretty cool.

The General!

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We got a lot of shots of Carrie Fisher as the legendary and incomparable General Leia ahead of what will sadly be her final Star Wars film.  Leia looks awesome, as she’s very regal-looking with an aura of being in charge, yet the shots (those of her actually in costume, that is) also convey the seriousness of the situation, with the first and last shots of Leia in particular looking quite dramatic.  We will see a lot more of Leia in The Last Jedi as compared to The Force Awakens, and that’s great news.

More Luke!

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We also see glimpses of Leia’s brother Luke, who also is a pretty big deal in the Star Wars universe (that’s an understatement, by the way).  Bob Iger yesterday called The Last Jedi the best performance of Mark Hamill’s career, the Jedi will have a huge role in the upcoming film.  The first shot here looks to be immediately after the ending of The Force Awakens, with Luke taking the Skywalker lightsaber and holding it in his hands (with his right hand to be made robotic via CGI, thus the green strips on his fingers).  Then in the second shot we see him in his new outfit, which is darker and I think a better fit for the place his character is seemingly at right now.

Holdo, D.J., and other glimpses

There are a lot of other things we saw in the behind the scenes reel, so we’ll go quickly through some of the more interesting ones:

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It’s Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo!  We first saw Laura Dern’s character in the Vanity Fair photoshoot, but this is the first time we’ve seen actual footage.  Here we see Holdo and Leia.

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Like with Holdo, we got our first look at Benicio Del Toro’s character, nicknamed “D.J.,” in the Vanity Fair photo shoot, but this reel gave us the first look at actual footage.

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This explosion is, I’m guessing, on Crait.

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Here’s confirmation that Kylo Ren does in fact wear his helmet in the movie, at least at some point.  We’ve seen him mostly without his helmet in the promotion so far and I’d guess that’s what we’ll get during the majority of the movie, but he does still don his helmet.  Furthermore, here he appears to be entering a throne room of sorts…

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Right after that shot of Kylo we get this shot that appears as if it could be a continuation of the same room.  We don’t know what this set is of, but my best guess is that it’s Supreme Leader Snoke’s throne room (given the red tone, the railing, the feel, etc.).

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New stormtrooper weapons!

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Rey, still in her Ahch-To outfit, is diving into a body of water – could this be from the sea monster scene?

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Speaking of Rey, we have confirmation that she still uses her staff while on Ahch-To!

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This appears to be a Resistance pilot falling in a room filled with explosives – it’s very interesting, though we don’t have any context or further information on it.

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This looks to be a gathering on Canto Bight.

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Finn, Poe, and Rose – this appears to be earlier in the movie, perhaps before Finn and Rose’s mission.

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Speaking of Poe, this looks to be him sliding across a terrain – that, to my best guess, is probably on Crait (the trench looks to be the same one we see Rian Johnson in during the reel as well).

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The behind the scenes reel ends with an amazing moment, with Admiral Ackbar exclaiming, “It’s a wrap!”  So good.

Fresh and Shocking

Intermixed with the new footage we got during the behind the scenes reel, we also heard from many people involved with the film, including Daisy Ridley, Mark Hamill, John Boyega, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, and Rian Johnson.  And once again, the general theme of what we heard is what we’ve been hearing all along: The Last Jedi is a new, fresh take on the Star Wars universe that will have some unexpected elements.  We won’t mention every quote from the video, but here are a few of the most interesting ones.

“Rian has written a story that’s unexpected but right … some of the stuff that happens, people are going to be like, ‘Oh my God” … And even though everyone knows it’s the second in a trilogy, it feels like its own thing.” – Daisy Ridley

“Even though I think I know it all, they throw things at me story-wise I never could have imagined.” – Mark Hamill

“Everything is being shifted in an opposite way to what the audience expected after 7… Rian’s made Star Wars fresh and new” – John Boyega

“I’m hoping it will be a little shocking but I’m hoping it’ll feel real and honest.” – Rian Johnson

“It’s about family, and that’s what’s so powerful about it” – Carrie Fisher

As you can tell, the two main things that emerge from those quotes are, 1) that this one is fresh and new; and 2) that this one is unexpected.

  1. It’s fresh – I’m excited to see Rian Johnson’s take on the franchise, as all indications point to this one doing some things that no Star Wars movie has done before.  The feel, look, plot, etc. all figure to be pretty fresh.  Sure, there will surely still be those who argue that the movie is just a rehash of The Empire Strikes Back, but I think by and large the movie will feel quite different.  J.J. Abrams’ The Force Awakens was intended to revive the franchise with a nostalgic feel, and now Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi is going to take it to new places with a fresh feel.  I think that’s exactly the right way to go.
  2. It’s unexpected – we’ve heard this before as well, especially from Mark Hamill, but it seems that those involved with the film expect the audience to be surprised.  Daisy Ridley thinks “people are going to be like, ‘Oh my God!’; Mark Hamill says there are things “story-wise I never could have imagined;” John Boyega says, “everything is being shifted in an opposite way to what the audience expected after 7;” and Rian Johnson says that he hopes the movie will be “a little shocking.”  That’s a very clear indicator that the people involved think fans will be very surprised when they watch the film, and I can’t wait to find out why that is.



2 thoughts on “Breaking down the Star Wars: The Last Jedi behind the scenes reel

  1. Is there any more that is known about “D.J.”? Luke’s darker costume looks to me a like one he would be traveling in so maybe he will join Rey on Crait?


    1. All we really know about D.J. is that his name really isn’t revealed in the film but they called him “D.J.” on set and that we will know why upon seeing the film. He’s a shady character, and it seems like we won’t fully know whether he’s good or bad, at least initially. I think he’ll be a part of Finn and Rose’s mission.

      As for Luke, we know Rey winds up on Crait… but nothing about Luke. I hope so and think it’s probable (since the movie will likely be about getting Luke back into the fight), but he seems to don his darker costume earlier in the movie, so I’m not sure that’s neccessarily indicative of his journey to Crait.


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