So the moment that Star Wars fans have been looking forward to since December 18, 2015, has arrived. The official teaser trailer for Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi has dropped, bringing with it teases, Easter eggs, and hints of what the movie will bring. Here’s our complete breakdown of the trailer and what Easter eggs you might have missed, plus some speculation about what it all means. Of course, there are spoilers in here for Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, so if you haven’t seen that, you’ve been warned.
What’s In the Trailer?
The trailer opens with an ominous shot of something black and pitted, with the texture and look of Darth Vader’s melted helmet that Kylo Ren so lovingly handled in The Force Awakens. Surprise, it’s actually the rocky ground that Rey plants her hand onto as she gasps and looks more than a little shaken. Behind her is a dark crack in a cliff wall. Fade to black, and the Lucasfilm logo sparkles into existence.
That dark crack has echoes of the tree cave that Luke ventured into when he was training under the tutelage of Yoda on Dagobah in The Empire Strikes Back. Like master, like pupil, so it’s entirely plausible that Luke has put Rey through something very similar, forcing her to confront the Dark Side of the Force. That would explain why she looks so shaken.
After the opening, Luke’s voiceover begins.
“Breathe. Just…breathe. Now, reach out. What do you see?”
Rey answers Luke quietly.
“Light. Darkness. The balance.”
There are also subtle voices in the background when Rey says this. When she says, “light,” you can hear Leia saying, “Help me, Obi-wan.”
When she says, “darkness,” you can hear Obi-wan saying, “Seduced by the Dark Side.”
And when Rey says, “the balance,” you hear Yoda saying, “Train you will…it binds us…”
Luke’s voice resumes as he says these ominous lines.
“It’s so much bigger. I only know one truth. It’s time for the Jedi…to end.”
Is this a hint that the title means that Luke is putting an end to the struggle between the two halves of the Force and will train Rey to embrace both sides at once? Becoming more than just Jedi or Sith, but becoming what has previously been called a Grey Jedi?
Along the way, the trailer treats us all to some incredible visuals. There’s a shot of Rey standing on that island on Ahch-To, watching the sea crash against the rocks.
There’s also a cool shot of Rey’s hand touching the ground as small pebbles begin to levitate. Someone’s foot is in the background as well. From the angle, it can’t be Rey’s unless she’s mastered Force yoga and contortion as well. It will be interesting to see whose foot that is.
The scene cuts to a shot of Leia from the back, wearing an ornate hairdo that’s reminiscent of the classic cinnamon buns. There’s also a reflection of what looks like a Mon Cal just over Leia’s left shoulder. From the projector and the surrounding shots, it’s obvious that this is a Mon Calamari cruiser of some sort, similar to what was used in Return of the Jedi.
Cut again to Kylo Ren’s smoking mask lying shattered on the ground surrounded by clear shards of some kind. You can definitely tell it’s Kylo’s mask and not Vader’s, because of the silver trim around the eyepieces.
Then there’s a scene of some ancient texts on a bookshelf, illuminated by a single shaft of light. On one of the pages, there’s the ancient symbol of the Jedi Order – a golden starburst with faded blue wings on either side. This could be the book that details the foundation of the Jedi called, the Journal of the Whills. It was this book that detailed the split of the force into the light and dark. The novelization of The Force Awakens opened with this quote from the journal.
“First comes the day
Then comes the night.
After the darkness
Shines through the light.
The difference, they say,
Is only made right
By the resolving of gray
Through refined Jedi sight.”
The next shot is a long distance shot of Rey training with a blue lightsaber as Luke looks on from the high ground. The moves look like she’s practicing Form III, or Soresu, which both Luke and Obi-wan were masters of.
After a brief cut, we see land speeders on some sort of terrafoil that are cutting lines of red dust into the air as they charge toward a line of Imperial walkers in the distance.
The rest of the trailer shows Finn still in a coma, Poe and BB-8 running aboard a Rebel ship toward his X-wing, which meets its end in a huge explosion, Rey running with her lightsaber on — pretty sure that’s an even bigger safety violation than running with scissors — and Kylo with his trademark lightsaber.
A destroyed building burns in the background as a distraught Rey falls to her knees. Captain Phasma marches through the fire of that same ruined building flanked by her elite storm troopers.
Then there is the penultimate shot of a huge space battle between the First Order and the Resistance before the final shot of Luke standing in the mouth of the cave that started the entire trailer.
The entire teaser trailer lasts only 1 minute and 54 seconds, but it has already set the internet on fire, with the official trailer having nearly 3 million views in only four hours.
[Featured Image by Lucasfilms]