An alternate edit of the recently released Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer potentially clears up a plot point regarding Luke Skywalker and Kylo Ren. Earlier this month, Lucasfilm set the internet ablaze with a new preview for Rian Johnson's film, which provided more clues about where the story could be headed when the saga continues this December. One of the more intriguing bits in the footage was when Luke proclaimed his fears of Rey's Force abilities, saying, "I've seen this raw strength only once before. It didn't scare me enough then. It does now." There has been much speculation about whom Luke is talking about, with the most plausible theory being Kylo Ren.
In the years following Return of the Jedi, Luke trained his nephew Ben Solo in the ways of the Jedi, which backfired horribly when Ben turned to the dark side. The reasonings for the youngster's betrayal are unknown at this juncture, but the events clearly left Luke traumatized, as he went into self-imposed exile on Ahch-To. He's afraid to repeat the same mistakes in Episode VIII with Rey, and now it's become more clear that Ben's potential terrified him.
John Hoey on Star Wars News Net's the Resistance Broadcast podcast detailed an alternate cut of the Monday Night Football trailer he saw. The preview ran about a minute less than the official one, cutting out Supreme Leader Snoke's voice over and the First Order material from the beginning. It's important to point out that there is no new footage, it was just edited in a different fashion. The most noteworthy change is when Luke says his aforementioned line about raw strength, it cuts to the shot of Kylo Ren picking up his lightsaber, as opposed to Skywalker's robotic hand rising out of the rubble. This is similar to the latest TV spot that debuted this past weekend during the World Series, making it more apparent Luke is talking about Ben in this moment.
Of course, fans will have to wait until the finished film to learn if this really is the case, but part of Star Wars marketing is setting expectations for both die-hard enthusiasts and casual audiences. As fun as it is for devotees to overanalyze every frame of footage, the trailers aren't puzzles meant to put together. They're Lucasfilm's way of reaching out to the uninitiated, giving them a taste of what's in store. This particular Luke/Kylo edit was also present in a new international trailer, so the studio is very much doing their part to plant this seed in the minds of moviegoers. Luke perhaps underestimated what he had in Ben and didn't heed whatever his feelings told him until it was too late. It's possible Skywalker sensed the dark side brewing in his nephew and thought he could control it, only to be proven wrong.
The other key different in this recut trailer is that it eliminates the extended sequence of Kylo Ren seemingly targeting General Leia Organa's flagship during a space battle. It's interesting this portion would be removed, showing only the villain flying in his TIE fighter. With The Last Jedi picking up just moments after Force Awakens, many are expecting both mother and son to deal with the aftermath of Han Solo's death. Whether or not they have a confrontation remains to be seen, but viewers shouldn't read too much into the Kylo/Leia material being deleted. The trio of Luke, Kylo, and Rey will be at the forefront, so it was most likely a decision to place more of an emphasis on that. Even with the changes, the reedited trailer ended with the same jaw-dropping cliffhanger, so those rooting for a Rey and Kylo team-up still have hope.
Source: The Resistance Broadcast Podcast
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017