Lucasfilm has unveiled the second trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the eighth episode in the legendary Skywalker saga. Much like its predecessor, The Force Awakens, the blockbuster has largely been kept under lock and key as fans impatiently count down the days until its theatrical premiere. Marketing to this point has been quite brief, with only a teaser trailer and a behind-the-scenes sizzle reel serving as the most prominent pieces of advertising. Seeing that the highly-secretive advertising for Episode VII worked wonders across the board, it's no surprise Lucasfilm is relying on that strategy once more for The Last Jedi.
That said, the hotly anticipated sequel will be making its way to the big screen in the near future, so sooner or later the curtain was going to have to be peeled back a bit as Lucasfilm starts to ramp up promotion. Tonight, on ESPN's Monday Night Football, the studio finally gave people another look at writer/director Rian Johnson's film. You can watch the trailer for yourself in the space above.
The preview begins with a voice over from Supreme Leader Snoke, presumably addressed to Kylo Ren. Snoke tells his troubled young apprentice that when he discovered the former Ben Solo, he saw "raw" and "untamed" power that had the potential to be molded into something truly special. It then focuses on the Luke/Rey dynamic, with Skywalker proclaiming he is frightened by Rey's strength in the Force, as it reminds him too much of Kylo Ren. Haunted by what happened to his new Jedi Order, Luke seemingly refuses to complete Rey's training, leaving the young scavenger alone and unsure of her place in the universe. Kylo Ren also plays heavily into this trailer, as it's teased he will fire upon General Leia Organa's flagship during a space battle, killing his mother so soon after murdering his father. Based on Kylo's facial expression, he's obviously still torn between the dark and the light, but believes killing the past is the only way to become his own man.
Of course, the ongoing conflict between the Resistance and the First Order gets some spotlight as well. Poe Dameron tries to rally the troops by saying they're the ones who will push back against the villains, and Finn gets to square off against Captain Phasma. After being shortchanged and rendered to a joke in Force Awakens, fan-favorite Gwendoline Christie will get some action. The trailer is very much setting the tone of a dark film, but there's still the usual bit of Star Wars fun here. The footage of Chewbacca and his new porg friend roaring while the Millennium Falcon flies away from TIE fighters is sure to bring a smile to anyone's face. The feathered Ahch-To natives have already stolen many hearts in the marketing campaign.
However, the biggest revelation from this trailer is that Rey is apparently looking to Kylo Ren for guidance. At the end, she says "I need someone to show me my place in all this," and Kylo holds out his hand. For a while, there has been talk that The Last Jedi features a jaw-dropping twist (and this is a franchise that featured Dad Vader once upon a time), and this could be it. There is the possibility some editing trickery is at play here, but there is no way Lucasfilm would approve of this sequence in a trailer if they didn't have something specific they wanted to plant in fans' minds. From now until December, the nature of Rey and Kylo's would-be partnership will be the subject of much debate.
- 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
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019