The first trailer for Episode VIII just dropped at Star Wars Celebration 2017, and it looks… rather ominous, doesn’t it? Especially that last part.
So what could it mean?
Just in case you haven’t had the chance to watch it yet:
There are aspects of the trailer that everyone was expecting: Rey is clearly being trained by Luke as evidenced by their dialogue within the trailer, and the multitude of shots featuring her on the island that she tracked him to at the end of The Force Awakens. We see plenty of space battles, showing the Resistance forces butting heads with the First Order. We get a glimpse of Finn in recovery, and Poe being his dashing pilot self with BB-8 in tow. We see Leia at a war room table, surveying the field.
Here are the things that we don’t know much about….
To start, there’s a reveal of a small library of books and an insignia that Star Wars fans will instantly recognize as the mark of the Jedi:
It could be that this tiny library is located on the island that Luke is hiding on; it was supposed to be a potential birth place of the Jedi, so it might have some of their oldest texts (those books are on paper, y’all) and evidence of their old markings. It seems a bit strange that the Jedi insignia would never vary at all—that design is pretty exact in terms of its similarity to the Old Republic Jedi insignia—but then again, the Jedi are a persnickety bunch who don’t seem overly concerned about updating their graphic design choices.
There’s also this explosion that we see Poe and BB-8 involved in:
Now, this could be the result of an attack on a Resistance base, but it also looks as though the explosion could be coming from the inside. In which case, somebody either infiltrated their base, or their ranks. Which would obviously be pretty devastating.
We get a brief glimpse of Kylo Ren in the trailer as well:
Guess he’s over the helmet? Interesting choice. We can also see a bit of the scar that Rey left him, and his lightsaber is crackly as ever. The lack of the helmet does force you to wonder if he’s planning to go without it from now on. (It’s also telling that there’s a shot of Vader’s helmet in shards.) Perhaps he’s dropped the idea of living up to his grandfather, perhaps his evil has evolved down a different path.
Then there’s this planet:
New location, new ships. They are awfully pretty, but no idea where this is taking place.
And then are these two shots in succession:
That appears to be Luke and R2-D2, followed by a shot of stormtroopers led by Captain Phasma. Now, this section could be a flashback; we don’t know the fate of Phasma post-Starkiller Base, and we know that First Order leader Snoke has been after Luke for some time. If it occurs during the film’s events, then we would likely presume that Luke leaves the Jedi world with Rey and comes across the bigger fight… unless the First Order managed to track Rey down.
And of course, there is Luke’s ominous voiceover:
So he is the last Jedi!
This is actually a pretty big deal. It could be an emotional plea; the Jedi have brought nothing but pain to the Skywalker family, and losing his nephew to the Dark Side was clearly a devastating blow to Luke. But there is another angle here: this could suggest that Luke has made some decisions about how he feels on the Jedi Order and tradition, and that he’s not pleased with what he’s learned in his years of study. Perhaps he believes that balance cannot be achieved with a simple application of light versus dark, that a new system is needed. Enter his latest pupil, someone who could begin a brand new order of Force users provided he can give her the basics to start.
Now wouldn’t that be something.
It’s all theory at this point, but we’ve got a lot of fun material to chew over until December… oh, who am I kidding, I would like the movie now, please. Stop this horrible wait. It’s just mean.