by Benjamín Harguindey
Following the February reveal of Episode VIII’s title – “The Last Jedi”, ominously written in red as opposed to the traditional yellow – a teaser trailer was finally released yesterday. The hype is strong in this one.
The bulk of the trailer picks up right where Episode VII left off and consists of Rey (Daisy Ridley) training under Luke (Mark Hamill) in the ways of the Jedi. As Luke instructs her via voice-over we catch glimpses of Leia (Carrie Fisher) and the tattered remains of Darth Vader’s mask.
As the trailer picks up speed we see some soaring X-wing starfighters, a comatose Finn (John Boyega) who continues to heal from the last movie’s lightsaber fight, Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and BB-8 springing into battle, the Milennium Falcon back in action and villain Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) looking down those damned crossguards at an unseen opponent.
In what’s probably the trailer’s most cryptic moment, a hooded figure (Rey? Luke?) and R2-D2 contemplate a burning citadel as First Order forces led by Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) approach. And after a quick peek at another space battle, Luke sentences thus: “It’s time for the Jedi to end“. Cut to Star Wars: The Last Jedi in bloody red.
Off the get-go Episode VIII was rumored to be the “dark” middle entry in Disney’s sequel trilogy, mirroring the somber note on which Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1981) ended things. The ominous title has done nothing but solidify the idea that Luke – “last of the Jedi“, as he is called by Yoda in Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi (1983) – will be killed off.
Then there’s the mild controversy of whether the word ‘Jedi’ is intended to be taken in singular or plural form. Just how many “last” Jedi are there? Does Rey take after Luke, does Ben Solo pick up where he left off, and does Leia factor in any way? More to the point, to what avail does Luke call for the end of the Jedi Order?
Of note is the fact that Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has recently gone on record as saying actresss Carrie Fisher – who sadly passed away last year – “will not be in nine“. So it looks like The Last Jedi will definitely be Fisher’s send-off in the role of Leia Organa, and the character will be retired good – hopefully with the dignity she deserves.
This entry is written and directed by Rian Johnson and premieres this year in December.
Benjamín Harguindey / Managing Editor, Writer (Mar del Plata, Argentina – 1989) Screenwriter graduated from Universidad del Cine, Buenos Aires. Benja’s worked for EscribiendoCine as a film critic since 2010, covering the Biarritz, San Sebastián and Venice festivals. He judged the CILECT Prize and won several writing & criticism contests. He’s published one novel, Noches de Tartaria (2006).