Disney/Lucasfilm have unveiled the long-awaited first teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which you can watch above. As the sequel to the monumentally successful The Force Awakens, audiences have been greatly anticipating the eighth chapter of the Skywalker family saga ever since Episode VII ended with the tantalizing cliffhanger of Rey and Luke Skywalker's fateful first meeting. Writer/director Rian Johnson is eschewing franchise tradition by having his film pick up just moments from where its predecessor left off, allowing viewers to experience the immediate aftermath of the galaxy-altering events of The Force Awakens.
Over the past few months, various rumors have appeared on the Internet, teasing everything from the movie's locations to the vehicles that will be used in the action set pieces. Disney privately screened a sizzle reel for attendees at a recent investors' meeting, but the general public has been waiting for what seems like ages to get their initial look at what Johnson and company have in store. Lucasfilm used Star Wars Celebration 2017 in Orlando to officially kickoff the Episode VIII marketing campaign with the new trailer.
Though earlier rumors had speculated the preview would have a "full trailer feel," this is definitely a teaser that only presents the barest bones of the plot. Confirming that Luke will in fact speak, the trailer begins with the Jedi offering some words of guidance to Rey while she trains on Ahch-To. After being told to "just breathe" and "reach out," the young scavenger sees images that represent the Light and Dark sides of the Force to form a balance. Skywalker mentions that there's much more to it all, and closes out the trailer by rather ominously (in complete silhouette) saying that it is "time for the Jedi to end," peeling back a new layer on the meaning of the film's official title.
Fans are also treated to some glimpses of the movie's action set pieces, including a showdown between Resistance ships and what appear to be the First Order's "Gorilla walkers," the Millennium Falcon in flight amidst some TIE fighters, and the latest epic Star Wars space battle. There's also a hint of a second duel between Rey and Kylo Ren, as two shots of the Force users with lightsabers in hand are shown back-to-back towards the end of the trailer. One of the biggest takeaways is that The Last Jedi looks visually stunning, which isn't entirely surprising for the franchise. Still, the various images here are quite breathtaking - from the landscapes of Skellig Michael to the mysterious planet that features Hoth-esque ground assault.
All in all, Episode VIII looks to be following the tried and true formula of any trilogy by having the middle chapter be the darkest one. In contrast from the more nostalgic-driven marketing campaign for The Force Awakens, Lucasfilm seems to be taking their prized possession in a very different direction, inspiring a sense of dread and uneasiness from the audience. Whether it's Luke and R2-D2 seeing the remains of a Jedi Temple or the Resistance base under attack, things aren't going to be going smoothly this time around - and even some legendary heroes may not live up to our expectations.
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018