The first proper trailer for Rian Johnson’s Episode 8: The Last Jedi has finally landed and it’s packed full of ambiguous dialogue and clever (or misleading) editing. It’s a great trailer. It impresses on us the darkness of this film compared to its predecessor while also giving little away.
We also did a little breakdown of the teaser trailer so check that out here.
If you haven’t watched it, well, probably do that.
Who is Snoke talking to?
“Raw untamed power and… something truly special”
The obvious answer would be Kylo Ren. We know that Kylo is powerful enough to take down Luke’s jedi temple and The Force Awakens gives us hints that he’s not 100% in control of his powers. We also know that Snoke tempted Kylo to the dark side when he was a student under Luke so the “when I found you” line makes perfect sense.
The other alternative is Rey and we know there’s a lot more to her backstory than what little we learnt in TFA. Is she a relative of Luke? Is she a Kenobi? Was she a student of Luke? We get a hint that Kylo is aware of who she is in TFA, and in the novelisation of the film Snoke actually telepathically tells Rey to kill Kylo when she defeats him on Starkiller base.
We also know from the rest of the trailer that her powers are enough to make Luke very scared. Not to mention her ability to pick up various Jedi abilities very quickly. She defeats an albeit wounded Kylo in lightsaber combat with zero training. She Jedi mind-tricks a stormtrooper without being told how to do it. She’s clearly naturally gifted enough to be of interest to Snoke.
I’m actually leaning towards this quote being about Rey and that her mysterious backstory is closely linked to Kylo and Snoke. Was she the reason the Jedi temple was destroyed? Was she taken to Jakku to get her away from Snoke? That’s my guess.
Who is Luke talking about?
“I’ve seen this raw strength only once before. It didn’t scare me enough then. It does now”
My first though was obviously Kylo Ren. He was Luke’s disciple before turning his back on him for Snoke and destroying everything Luke has worked towards since Return of the Jedi. Luke sensed the inner strength within Kylo and thought he could harness it for the power of good. He was wrong.
The second alternative is his own father, Darth Vader. There’s a scene in Empire on Dagobah in which Luke tells Yoda he’s not afraid, to which Yoda replies “You will be”. Is this actually a call back to this scene? Is Luke talking about his own father?
Of course, he could be talking about the Dark Side in general. His father, the Emperor, Kylo Ren and Snoke, Luke could well be referring to all his enemies with this statement.
Will Kylo Ren switch to the light?
“Let the past die”
The trailer appears to show him about to finish off his parent-killing spree by blowing up his mother’s starship but I think this is a bit of a misdirect. It seems odd to put this big moment so explicitly in the trailer and I think the folks at Lucasfilm are having us on. I’m not buying that this is how Kylo kills Leia.
There’s a lot in this trailer, and in the previous, hinting towards more ambiguous uses of the force. I think this is going to play a big role in the character arcs of Kylo Ren, Rey and even Luke. Luke said in the last trailer that it’s time for the Jedi to end.
We’ve seen Kylo Ren in TFA struggle with resisting the light side and it looks as though he’s offering to help Rey in this trailer. I think this is edited to make us think that Rey is being tempted by the dark side but I reckon that Kylo has switched allegiances at this point and is helping Rey to escape the clutches of Snoke.
There’s a few hints to a Kylo Ren change of heart in this trailer. He says “Let the past die”. I think here he’s talking about killing his father. He’s saying he’s got to put that behind him if he’s truly to denounce the dark side. There’s also the shot of him destroying his helmet, which as we know from TFA is a symbol he wears in homage to his grandfather.
Like I said, I think the shot of him potentially destroying Leia’s ship is misleading but there’s definite doubt in his face when he goes to press the button. So if this is indeed how the edit pans out, I’m not convinced that killing Han has sent him truly over to the dark side as he expected it would.
If I had to make a prediction, I would say that Luke, Rey and Kylo team up by the end of Episode 8 to bring down Snoke. Could this be the start of a new Jedi order which takes elements of both the light and the dark side of the force? The old doctrines of the Jedi order clearly don’t work (see Anakin Skywalker) so maybe there’s room for a new order of Grey Jedi.
Rey seduced by the dark side?
Going back to Snoke talking about Rey and Kylo’s ‘offer’ to her: will she be seduced by the dark side? I’d be shocked, if honest. There’s plenty of rumours suggesting that she’s pushing for a mid-season transfer but there’s little evidence to suggest this. In TFA, she’s a beacon of hope for the resistance and I can’t see the good people at Lucasfilm tearing that down.
Like I said, I think Kylo’s reached out hand is because he’s had a change of heart, rather than her. To be honest, that’s even if those shots are from the same scene, which they might not be. I’ve also heard suggestions that this might be another ‘forceback’ to the destruction of Luke’s temple and in fact this is Kylo guiding Rey through what happened. Maybe Kylo has a solid reason for destroying the temple and this is his way of showing Rey. This might also be Kylo showing Rey where she came from. Was Rey at the temple when it was destroyed?
That’s it. There are my theories for Episode 8. It was a great trailer cleverly edited in a way that gives rise to the questions above. Anything I’ve missed? Agree or disagree with my thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!
Check out our weekly (ish!) film podcast! We’ll be chatting about the trailer on our next episode!