Hours before the full-length trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, director Rian Johnson tweeted that fans who wanted a truly "spoiler-free" experience when they watch the film this December should avoid watching the trailer. However, Johnson said that he was "legitimately torn" because of how good the trailer was. Johnson also corrected Entertainment Weekly, saying that only fans who want to be "100% clean" should avoid the trailer.
That wording is misleading - I said IF you want to come in totally 100% clean, avoid the trailer.
— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) October 9, 2017
Johnson's tweets did a good job generating headlines and tipping off fans to the trailer's impending release. But beyond promoting the film, was Johnson's warning good advice? Presumably, if someone wanted to avoid Star Wars spoilers entirely, they would already plan to avoid the trailer (and the merchandise that accompanies the film's marketing). This is no easy task, but would be the only way to experience the film "100% clean" and spoiler-free.
Are there major spoilers in The Last Jedi trailer? The short and spoiler-free answer is: yes and no. The trailer does seem to reveal some of Luke and Rey's initial encounter on the planet Ahch-To. It also includes narration provided by Snoke, Kylo Ren, Luke Skywalker, Rey, and Poe Dameron - although the trailer heavily focuses on the Snoke/Kylo Ren and Luke/Rey pairings, even if it does contain images of Leia, Finn, and the Resistance's fight against the First Order.
Arguably, other than establishing Luke and Rey's initial relationship, the trailer is mysterious and fast-paced enough that it doesn't contain any more spoilers than a typical blockbuster trailer would. It definitely gives away more than the previous tralers, but none of the new information reveals the plot or story in a way that is significantly more comprehensible.
If you are worried about spoilers in The Last Jedi, you should know that it does introduce some new information. The way that the trailer is pieced together, it's difficult to tell if it's just an artistic piece of misdirection - almost everything that the trailer presents could be assembled from unrelated stories and narratives. Unfortunately, it wouldn't be the first time that a blockbuster trailer sensationalized and emphasized elements of the story that aren't actually terribly important in the movie.
Generally, the trailer creates more questions than answers, and regardless of whether or not you decide to watch the trailer, the plot of The Last Jedi will still be full of surprises in December.
Warning: there will be spoilers from The Last Jedi trailer after this point.
The major revelation from The Last Jedi trailer is its characterizations of Snoke and Luke Skywalker, two characters who were mysterious in The Force Awakens. While Luke is an old character, his disappearance and distance was central to The Force Awakens, whereas Supreme Leader Snoke was a new and murky presence in the film.
Snoke's narration of the trailer is central. The trailer begins with him saying, "When I found you, I saw raw, untapped power. And beyond that, something truly special..." Snoke is also shown in the penultimate scene of the trailer - the first time that he has appeared in person, rather than as a hologram in The Force Awakens. He appears to be torturing Rey, as he says, "Fulfill your destiny!"
Luke Skywalker is shown as a shadow of his former self. Rey asks him for help and guidance saying, "Something inside me has always been there. But now it's awake. And I need help." Luke apparently responds to seeing Rey's powers by saying, "I've seen this raw strength once before. It didn't scare me then. It does now." As Luke speaks, an image of him and R2-D2 standing in front of a burning building is shown; presumably, this is a flashback to the destruction of his Jedi Temple after Ben Solo became Kylo Ren.
The trailer also features Kylo Ren speaking about how the past needs to die; this shows him piloting a ship, interspersed with images of General Leia, his mother. Given that Kylo Ren killed his father, Han Solo, in The Force Awakens, it could be a central plot point that he has now turned his interests to killing Leia.
Although it focuses on the Force-users, the trailer has something for everyone. While Poe Dameron's voice narrates, "We have the spark that will light the fire that will bring the First Order down," Finn faces off with Captain Phasma and BB-8 is shown in the midst of a starship battle. Porg fans will also be happy to know that Chewbacca is shown in the Millennium Falcon's cockpit with an adorable tricolor porg. There are a number of incredible visuals, and the trailer does an excellent job of showcasing the film's bold visual aesthetic.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi premieres December 15th, 2017. Tickets are currently on sale.
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017