Breaking down the amazing second trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi

WOW!

On Monday night during halftime of the Monday Night Football game, Lucasfilm released the second official trailer for The Last Jedi, coinciding with tickets going on sale.  I got mine, and all I can say is that I literally can’t wait for December 14 after seeing the trailer.

In case you missed it, here you go:

There’s a lot to discuss from this trailer, so let’s jump in (and, of course, if you don’t want any spoilers you shouldn’t read any further):

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The trailer begins with several shots of the First Order and, more specifically, Kylo Ren.   Here we see him overlooking a First Order factory of some kind, and it’s the same factory that we see later on a couple of different times.  Is this on board the Supremacy, or is it another base we have yet to hear of?  My guess would be the former.

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Here’s a shot of the First Order walkers marching on Crait, and it’s interesting to note that it looks later in the day and closer to the mountains than earlier.  So… my assumption is that the First Order has overpowered the initial Resistance defense and is marching closer to the base, at which point Leia and the Resistance have no other option but to close the base and hide inside.

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We then get a few more shots of Kylo Ren, including one where he is leading a group of troopers into a cave on what appears to be Crait (though from the ground there’s also a chance it could be Mustafar).  I’m reminded upon seeing that image of Darth Vader’s march into the Jedi Temple and the similarities.  The latter two pictures seem to be from Snoke’s throne room aboard the Supremacy, where Kylo will likely train.  It should be noted that throughout these first several images, we hear the voice of the Supreme Leader saying, “when I found you, I saw raw, untamed power.  And beyond that, something truly special.”  Upon the conclusion of the statement, the scene cuts to Rey… so who is Snoke talking to there?  It’s either Kylo or Rey, and at this point I think a legitimate case could be made for either one of them.

Screen Shot 2017-10-09 at 11.34.51 PM Rey wielding her lightsaber on Ahch-To.

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Picking up on the end of The Force Awakens, Rey approaches Luke Skywalker and extends the Skywalker lightsaber, which he takes with his mechanical hand and holds, looking at Rey.  These scenes will likely be the first we see between Luke and Rey.

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We get a glimpse of Rey approaching the Force tree, and inside it the books that are presumably ancient Jedi texts, perhaps even the Journal of the Whills.  During these scenes, we hear Rey saying, “Something inside me has always been there, but now it’s awake.  And I need help.”  This ties in with the title of The Force Awakens, and it’s clear that they’re building up the powerful nature of Rey… which will be indicated much more strongly shortly.

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Rey training with her lightsaber!  But is this training under the guidance of Luke Skywalker, or is it in spite of him?

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Luke’s reaction here in the second image (which is a response to the first one) is the key: look at the expression of pure shock and amazement and bewilderment at the ground cracking, which seems to be a clear sign of Rey’s power.  Rey seems truly powerful enough that Luke is even caught off guard by it.

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This is very significant, and it’s another sign of Rey’s power: Luke tells her, “I’ve seen this raw strength only once before.  It didn’t scare me enough then.  It does now.”  In other words, Rey is so powerful that Luke has only seen one other person with that kind of raw strength… and it is strongly, strongly implied that the other person is Ben Solo (especially based on the clips that are interspersed throughout that statement, which we’ll get to in just a second).  Basically, my interpretation of those comments is that Luke saw enormous raw strength and power in Ben Solo – his nephew, the descendant of the Skywalker line, the grandson of Anakin Skywalker, the son of Leia Organa and Han Solo – and he couldn’t wait to train him.  In fact, we know that Luke even thought of Ben as the chosen one.  So he would have been incredibly eager and willing to train Ben, thinking that there was no way Ben could fall to the dark side (since Luke had defeated the Sith already) and that even if he began to, Luke was strong enough to prevent it.  He was (obviously) wrong, and so he now realizes that he should have been more scared/aware of Ben’s strength than he was… so he’s not going to make the same mistake again, instead turning his back on Rey.  That makes sense, but it also gives us a big revelation: Rey is really, really strong in the force.  She’s raw, yes, but strong.  Remember, even Kylo Ren told Snoke in The Force Awakens that Rey was untrained but stronger than she knew.  Whoever she is, Rey is incredibly powerful, and that power has now awoken in her.

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Interspersed with Luke’s line are these images from the destruction of Luke’s Jedi Temple, the latter of which we saw briefly in The Force Awakens.  The first two images we see, however, are of Luke’s mechanical hand bursting through rubble, and it seems very likely that it’s the same location as the final picture.  Though seemingly in there just for a cool scene, this is actually very significant in our understanding to what happened: Luke was at the Jedi Temple when it was destroyed.  It seems that perhaps he was overpowered and was buried in rubble, but he didn’t die.  Instead, he picked himself up and from afar saw the final destruction of everything he had built.  Previously, I think many people had assumed that Luke was absent during the destruction, but this clip seems to suggest that he was actually present.  That’s significant.

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More Kylo Ren, who plays a prominent role in this trailer.  The first is just a shot of him in his helmet, and the second is a shot of him staring at his helmet right before he crushes it into the wall (which likely is the reason for the crushed helmet we saw in the first trailer).

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Here we see two ships in particular that are worth mentioning: the Raddus and Kylo Ren’s TIE Silencer.  I’d assume that this happens during the battle of D’Qar, but if so it means that Kylo is flying as a part of that battle.

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We hear Kylo saying,”Let the past die.  Kill it, if you have to.  That’s the only way to become what you were meant to be.”  That would seemingly tie in to his family connection and the inner struggle that he’s having, as well as his actions towards his father and whatever attitude he has towards his mother.

Note that in the second shot, you can see the Supremacy in the background.  The trailer also shows off his impressive piloting skills that he inherited from his father (and his grandfather), and we see him attacking the Raddus… and it doesn’t look good for the ship (and I wonder what that means for someone like Admiral Ackbar…). But significantly, there’s someone else aboard the ship as Kylo attacks…

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Kylo and Leia sense each other as Kylo pilots his ship attacking the Raddus, and his targeting system locks on the bridge while his thumb rests on the trigger.  We see the conflict in his face, as well as the longing and sorrow in Leia’s face.  It’s tremendous face acting from the two, and it’s safe to say that Kylo probably doesn’t blow up the bridge right there.  But it’s a hint that the two at least have some sort of “meeting” and that Leia could still play a key role in her son’s arc, whatever that winds up being.

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Not to be left out, we see the Millennium Falcon, Chewbacca, and a Porg in the trailer too!  The Falcon appears to be chased by Tie Fighters through an underground salt mine on Crait, which looks pretty cool visually.  Assuming that the following clip is from the same scene it means that a Porg accompanied Chewie to Crait, while we also don’t see if there’s a co-pilot for the Falcon at that point.  But either way, we know the Falcon does show up on Crait and fight, and that Chewie’s still piloting the ship.

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So I’m not sure, but are those escape pods (with one meeting an unfortunate end)?  Perhaps escape pods from, say, the Raddus as people try to flee the damaged cruiser?

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There are a few Poe-centered shots in a row, the first of which seems like he might be in one of those escape pod-like things.  The second shows his modified X-Wing, and the third shows him attacking what appears to be the Supremacy.  We hear Poe saying, “We are the spark that’ll light the fire that’ll bring the First Order down.”

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We knew it was going to happen, but the trailer showed us our first glimpse of it: Finn facing off against Phasma!  Finn goes undercover (presumably on board the Supremacy) to infiltrate the First Order, but obviously he’s found out.  That leads to a confrontation with Captain Phasma, who’s no doubt motivated to eradicate the traitor.  We see Phasma’s spear that she fights with, too.  The setting of the fight seems to be in the same hangar that we saw Kylo looking out at earlier, and my guess is it’s in the Supremacy… but notice the fire and ruins.  Perhaps Finn’s mission (with Rose) was successful and he succeeds in dealing a blow to the First Order?

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In the first image a Resistance ship breaks apart, and in the second we see BB-8 dealing with some sort of electric shock.  The latter image seems to show D’Qar in the background, which would help us place the fight.

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We get a shot of Luke lying on the ground in the rain (first pic) saying, “This is not going to go the way you think,” as well as a shot of Luke and Rey (third pic).  The second one shows Rey diving into the water on Ahch-To, and you can also make out some skeletal remains of some creature in the bottom right corner.  But who’s Luke talking to when he says that it won’t go the way you think, and what’s he talking about?

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Interspersed with that Luke quote are these images from Crait.  The first is of the foxes and, in the background, is the Resistance base closing its doors.  Leia is the lone figure standing there as the doors close, and this is likely in response to the oncoming walker attack we see earlier.  The Resistance is in trouble and hiding out in the base on Crait.

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There’s an image of Finn in his First Order outfit followed by troopers (is he acting along or has he been captured?), then a shot of the First Order gathered in the same hangar we saw Kylo looking at and Finn and Phasma fighting in.  Again, my assumption is that this is aboard the Supremacy, but it could also be another base we don’t yet know.

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A few more images of the Battle of Crait.  So we know that the AT-M6 walkers are there as well as TIE Fighters, but look at what’s also in the first image (which was also shown in the earlier clip in this trailer of the march on the base): Kylo Ren’s command shuttle!  So while we can’t say for certain that Kylo is in fact aboard, I think it gives a very strong indication that Kylo Ren is in fact a part of the Battle of Crait.  This would also make the earlier image of Kylo leading troopers into a cave more likely to be on Crait.

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The trailer ended with a couple of huge moments, the first of which was this one: Snoke torturing Rey with the force!!!  We hear him saying, “Fulfill. Your. Destiny!” and we see a close-up of the Supreme Leader’s face before then getting a shot of Rey, in her Jedi training/Crait outfit, in pain as she’s being tortured.  It’s clearly by Snoke, as you can see his gold robes in the background as well as his Praetorian Guards.  This is incredibly significant, and it seems to suggest what some thought would happen: Rey captive aboard the Supremacy, perhaps by her choice.  But I think it’s also possible that Snoke is torturing/reaching out to Rey through the force, as we know that he has telepathic powers.  Perhaps he’s able to do this to Rey through a vision while she’s on Ahch-To, or perhaps Rey really does wind up on the Supremacy at some point in the film.

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How do you top a huge moment like that?  Well, this trailer made it easy: we see Rey saying, “I need someone to show me my place in all this,” then we see Kylo Ren – who extends his hand out!  It’s a scene with potentially huge implications, and it’s beautifully cut so that a number of different theories could use it.  Those in favor of Reylo could see it as a hint at a romantic subplot; those in favor of Kylo’s redemption could see it as him joining forces with Rey; those in favor of Rey falling to the dark side could see it as her joining forces with Rey; those in favor of this being an actual conversation between the two but none of the above could see it as a follow-up to Kylo’s previous offer to join him right before a potential confrontation; and those in favor of this being a misleading event could see it as Rey saying that line to someone else and this scene simply being cut in such a way as to mislead.  Considering the outfit Rey is wearing, Kylo’s scar being healed, the background, etc., I don’t think these scenes go together in the movie.  I’m convinced that it’s a red herring of some sort.  It’s not as straight-forward as it might initially seem, so perhaps Luke’s line of “this is not going to go the way you think” is also intended at the audience upon seeing the trailer.  In other words: I don’t think Lucasfilm spoiled/revealed such a key plot point.

In all, I thought the trailer was absolutely terrific.  We got some visually awesome shots, some very intriguing dialogue, further hints at the plot of the movie, and some things that are sure to cause A TON of speculation between now and December.  The main thrust of the trailer was clearly the duality of the arcs of Kylo and Rey, the two main characters of the sequel trilogy and two incredibly powerful people.  Then there’s the added dimension of Luke and Snoke, who both feature prominently in this trailer too.  In short, there’s a lot to talk about, and we’ll discuss much more of it in the lead-up to December.

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