Friday, April 14, 2017

A Reel Opinion: THE LAST JEDI Trailer

Nothing seems to halt the cinematic world like the release of a new STAR WARS trailer, and today was one of those galactic days. At the semi-annual event  Star Wars Celebration held in Orlando, Florida, in front of a packed auditorium  at a panel which included director Rian Johnson, LucasFilm commander-in-chief Kathleen Kennedy, actors Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Mark Hamill, and newcomer Kelly Marie Tran…the very first footage of the 8th episode in the saga, entitled THE LAST JEDI, was finally unveiled. See it HERE.

At just over two minutes, the new footage was cut into an effective teaser, which didn’t reveal much story, showed no new characters, but still gave plenty to chew on. Right away, the overall tone is ominous with a feeling of pending doom, and the re-arranged versions of John Williams’ magnificent score adds to the dark atmosphere. The most noticeable aspect is how gorgeous the film looks, and already looks to be the most visually stunning STAR WARS film to date. The only dialogue present is spoken by Hamill’s Luke Skywalker, who recites some teaching techniques which echoes one of his old teachers…and Hamill himself ends it all with a jaw dropping line.

Some highlights include:

-Plenty of dogfighting space-battles are seen. Oscar Isaac’s character is seen running from an attack with new series favorite, droid BB-8, and a land battle with cool-looking speeders facing down a line of big walkers offers something different, yet familiar.

-Adam Driver’s evil character, Kylo Ren, is seen with his trademark red lightsaber, and there seems to be a shot of Darth Vader’s smashed helmet. Did Kylo lose his temper again?

-A few shots of a journal. Could this be the Journal of the Whills, an item mentioned in the original STAR WARS novelization and referenced again in last year’s ROGUE ONE? And if it is, are we seeing it in the original Jedi Temple Luke may have gone looking for, as referenced in THE FORCE AWAKENS (2015)?

-A jaw-dropping shot of Luke and R2-D2 at the feet of a burning temple; presumably the destruction of Luke’s Jedi school as referenced in THE FORCE AWAKENS. This also seems to be the source of the now famed shot we’ve seen of Luke placing his hand on R2 in front of a fire.

-New series-favorite Rey, as played by Daisy Ridley, is seen learning the ways of the Force, and in the most beautiful shot of the teaser, is seen from a distance wielding a lightsaber (although there is some debate over the color of the saber).

-As mentioned, the trailer ends with the mother of all STAR WARS lines, with series hero Luke, the one we believe will bring balance back to the Force and the galaxy, saying “the Jedi must end”. Does this mean Luke is throwing in the towel? Or does he mean the Jedi as the galaxy has known it, must finally evolve into something new? Have the Jedi caused more harm than good all these years?

Lots of great questions raised, and that’s exactly what a good teaser does.

And check out the new poster:

* STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI arrives December 15th.

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