Some people were watching a football game on ESPN Monday night between the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears. They were treated to a first half that ended with a 3-2 score. The rest of us were waiting until the premiere of the new Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer.
After a little bit of game analysis to remind us that this was still a NFL broadcast (and maybe to torture fans just a bit longer), ESPN finally gave the galaxy what it wanted: A shot of Sean McDonough standing next to someone in a Stormtrooper uniform. That’s why the Monday Night Football chair is one of the most valued in sports media, folks.
Oh, then ESPN played the new Star Wars trailer:
Personally, I liked this one more than the previous Last Jedi trailer released in April. That first look at the movie was grander, more inspirational, more about the power of the Force. This new trailer had some edge to it, something darker and more sinister. It’s all about the Dark Side.
Here are some takeaways from those two-and-a-half minutes of awesomeness:
Who is Supreme Leader Snoke talking to?
The assumption, given the way the trailer begins, is that the First Order overlord (who isn’t just a hologram this time around) is speaking to his prized pupil, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), when referring to the raw, untamed power he saw in their first meeting. And it sure looks like killing his father Han Solo in The Force Awakens gave Kylo the push he needed to fully embrace the Dark Side, so much so that he’s also rarin’ up to blow his mother, General Leia, to bits.
But what if Snoke is talking to Rey? Picking up from the end of The Force Awakens, she’s begun her Jedi training with Luke Skywalker. That’s tapping into something which had previously been repressed. And even Luke seems surprised by her power.
What if it’s not just the Force that’s been unleashed? Remember, it was Kylo Ren getting into her head that unlocked her hidden talents. Maybe that planted some kind of sinister seed as well.
The Empire Strikes Back again
Rey’s journey into learning the ways of the Force appear to be taking her on a path similar to the one Luke Skywalker traveled while training with Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back. There is dark and fog. And maybe a hard truth that Rey doesn’t want to face.
What is in those books kept in that cave? How does the light hit them just so? Do they provide history of the conflict between the Jedi and the Sith? Are there answers to the Dark Side on those pages? Is that Luke’s private nightstand? Is he really reading Fifty Shades of Grey, and the disappointment over that literary choice sends Rey to seek counsel from Kylo Ren and Snoke?
What happened between Luke and Kylo Ren?
We learned in The Force Awakens that Leia sent her son to Luke when he began to show his talents with the Force. But Luke lost him somewhere along the way, perhaps overwhelmed by his protégé’s power, and young Ben Solo was turned to the Dark Side by Snoke. That failure sent Luke into exile, where he remained hidden until Rey came knockin’ on his door.
Will we see that backstory? Was Luke defeated in battle against Kylo Ren? Against Snoke? What did Luke see that should have scared him, something he now sees in Rey?
What the hell is this thing?
OK, apparently it’s called a Porg. It’s cute and cuddly, and my nieces will want one apiece for Christmas. I already hate it. BB-8 and R2-D2 are all the comic relief we need. We don’t need new Ewoks. And is that little furball trying to upstage Chewbacca? Rrrrarrrh! Or whatever Chewie would say in outrage. Chewie is the man. He’s the Wookiee.
I will probably love this thing by the end of the movie. And buy a plush toy for myself, along with my nieces. Look at those little flippers!
Poe Dameron is just damn good looking
Or Oscar Isaac. But he’s a stud. And the best pilot in the galaxy. Just look at him.
Don’t go trying to fool us into thinking he’s dead and keep him away for half the movie, Rian Johnson. Let him smolder the First Order with that glare.
Finn is back, and he wants to fight
The Force Awakens ended with Finn in convalescence after getting the business end of Kylo Ren’s lightsaber. But during The Last Jedi, he revives and he’s ready to kick some ass. Preferably Captain Phasma, whom he and Han Solo sent down a garbage chute in their last encounter. Please give Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) more to do in this movie.
And we buried the lede. What kind of lightsaber is Finn swinging there? It looks like half-axe, half-lightsaber. Bad-ass. Maybe Finn has some Jedi in him too. Though that outfit with its buttoned-up collar looks kind of Imperial. Just sayin’.
Whose side is Rey on?
The trailer leaves us with something of a cliffhanger. Is Rey (Daisy Ridley) ultimately rejected by Luke because her abilities scare him like Kylo Ren’s did? Does that, along with some sinister feelings inside, leave her with no other choice than to follow Kylo to the Dark Side?
Also, do we learn more about what sort of relationship exists between these two? Brother and sister? Cousins? Just two people who like to slice people in half with lightsabers and Force Choke anyone who doesn’t listen? Does Rey just really dig that cool new scar Kylo is sporting, one given to him by Rey when they dueled in The Force Awakens?
A new poster for the film was also released before the trailer premiered.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi will be released on Dec. 15 (though many of us will surely see it on Dec. 14).