The first trailer for The Last Jedi has arrived, and it looks pretty amazing. There’s a lot going on in it: Rey training with Luke! Space battles! Kylo Ren looking pissed! It’s enough to give us a taste of the next Star Wars film, but doesn’t reveal more than is necessary.
The trailer opens with what at first looks like a star field, but quickly reveals itself to be rocks on Ahch-To, the planet where Rey found Luke living by himself. It’s a neat visual trick.
That moment takes us right to Rey who is gasping for breath as she falls to the ground. Its reminiscent of the times in The Empire Strikes Back when Luke was training on Dagobah, out of breath from his training. Rey appears to be in the same situation: training with Luke.
There’s some nice scenery here as well: Ahch-To at a sunset, followed by a beautiful overhead shot of Luke’s island (which is called Skellig Michael here on Earth).
In the voiceover, we hear Luke saying “Just breathe.” Presumably, this is more instruction.
“Now, just reach out. What do you see?” There’s a neat shot of pebbles floating into the air. Is Rey learning to manipulate objects smaller than a lightsaber?
Next, we get a glimpse of General Organa, standing before a holographic star map. It looks different from the Resistance Base that we saw her on in The Force Awakens. A new headquarters for the group?
In the voiceover, we hear Rey respond to Luke, saying “Light... Darkness.” There’s a bit of Darth Vader breathing and Obi-Wan Kenobi saying “Seduced by the Dark Side” in the background as we zoom in on Kylo Ren’s smashed helmet. (Another tantrum?)
Rey’s voiceover continues as we zoom in on what looks like a bookshelf, with some books illuminated by a beam of light. “A balance,” she says. It also sounds like we hear Yoda’s voice in the background.
A closeup view of what looks like one of the aforementioned books, with the sound of a lightsaber igniting in the background.
Next up, we have a really cool shot of what looks like Rey swinging a lightsaber, while Luke looks on from a safe distance. Luke whispers “It’s so much bigger,” presumably in response to the idea of balance between the light and dark sides of the force. The Force could be so much bigger than either the Jedi or the Sith, something that’s been touched on a bit in The Clone Wars.
After a reminder that the film is coming in December, we’re treated to a bunch of fighters streaking across a field toward a line of First Order Walkers. They’re dragging something on the ground, sending up a plume of red dust or smoke. As we watch, one hits the ground and bounces up.
According to Rian Johnson, the planet is called Crait: “It’s way out there. It’s very remote. It’s uncharted. It’s a mineral planet and so there are mines on it.” He goes on to say that the ships are flying over salt plains, covering a bed of red minerals, and that it’s the site of “an old rebel base that’s now abandoned.”
“It ends up playing a key role in the movie,” he says, adding that the Resistance fighters — flying in the skimmers seen in the trailer — “show up where they have to deal with a very pressing and immediate threat.”
Another shot of the line, coming out of a line of cliffs. This scene feels a bit like the Battle of Hoth from The Empire Strikes Back, but it’s not clear if we’re on a desert or icy planet.
Next up, we get a glimpse of Finn, encased in a pod. Presumably, he’s still healing from his injuries on Starkiller Base.
Poe Dameron and BB-8 follow, running through a hallway as sparks fly through the air. It looks like they’re in a ship that’s under attack.
The next scene seems to follow the shot of the two running. As they race toward Poe’s X-Wing, it’s engulfed in an explosion. Clearly, there’s some big action scene that’s coming, and they’re going to be stuck without a ride.
Next up, more action: we see a TIE Fighter get blown out of the sky by the Millennium Falcon, which is in turn being pursued by some additional fighters. Last we saw the ship, Rey and Chewbacca had brought it with them to Ahch-To. Has Rey left the planet? Or has Chewbacca simply dropped her off and taken the Falcon himself?
Back to Rey, who’s running at full tilt with her lightsaber... somewhere. More training, or is she fighting against someone? It’s not clear.
Kylo Ren / Ben Solo makes his first appearance in the trailer, sans helmet. He’s got his lightsaber back, and is sporting a nasty scar across his face from where Rey sliced him in The Force Awakens.
“I only know one truth,” Luke is back for the voiceover, looking over some burning ruins with R2-D2. This looks quite a bit like the scene from the original trailer for The Force Awakens, where he puts a metal hand on R2. So, maybe this is a flashback?
The scene jumps to another fire scene, with Captain Phasma and a line of First Order Stormtroopers marching towards the camera. This doesn’t look like it’s the same scene as the one before it, despite the flames. This looks more like a hanger or base that’s been damaged.
Cut to a big space battle: X-Wings and A-Wings fly past a line of cruisers, while the green lasers from TIE Fighters streak past them. The shot is followed by another angle of the battle, with an X-Wing blowing up a TIE as it swoops across the screen.
Luke’s voiceover continues with an ominous line: “It’s time for the Jedi... to end.” Luke is looking over his shoulder in the entrance to a cave. The line clearly fits with the title of the movie, The Last Jedi, and given the dialogue that we’ve already heard in the trailer, it feels like there’s some sort of setup for a bigger show-down between the two sides of the force. If this is indeed the case, it’s going to be a game changer for the franchise, given how integral the balance between the light side and the dark side are. It could be that Luke is disillusioned with the cycles of fighting between the light and the dark, and is looking to find another path forward for the Force.
Like the first teasers that we got for The Force Awakens, this trailer feels like it teases just enough. It shows off the action and hints of a larger story, all while leaving us wanting a bit more. There’s clearly stuff not included: no image of Rose, who’s supposed to be one of the big breakout characters, nor of Chewbacca, Snoke, or even much of Leia. There’ll certainly be more trailers to come, and we already can’t wait to see what happens when the film opens. 245 days to go.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits theaters on December 15th.