Hey boys and girls! Guess what time it is? It’s new Star Wars trailer time! After the first trailer for Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi premiered I said that it was the only footage of his career that I was more or less ambivalent about. In fact, the words ended up getting me in a little friendly tiff with the director on Twitter, something he is known to do. Well, any ambivalence I had about the initial trailer has been eradicated and replaced by utter glee. The newest trailer, which premiered during Monday Night Football, is something of cinematic lore. It is easy to see from this why Disney seems to be very happy with Rian Johnson. The most striking element of the trailer is how fresh it feels. After The Force Awakens turned out to be a thrilling exercise in nostalgia; The Last Jedi presents itself as a Star Wars film that is blazing new ground. Johnson is a filmmaker that works with a prescribed genre and finds an exciting entry point to the story. There is an unprocessed feeling to this trailer that really pops. Everything seems to be exposed on the surface, revealing deep vulnerabilities to the entire cast. This trailer seems to suggest that we are going to see a Star Wars film that bares the emotions raw. Johnson is playing all plot elements very close to the chest in this footage, but the tone suggests we are in for more of an Empire Strikes Back vibe than A New Hope. To be honest, all does not seem right with Rey. Maybe it is nothing, but she seems to be in the midst of an existential crisis. Her final lines, “I need someone to tell me my place in all this” are incredibly powerful. This recalls a young Luke Skywalker, on his home planet gazing upon the two moons questioning his place in the universe. It would seem that Kylo Ren is struggling to maintain the dark side of the force while Rey is struggling to maintain the light side of the force. This emotional trajectory could make for a film of uncompromising emotional intelligence. The early word from people who have seen it is positive, but the resounding take away is that it is different than any other Star Wars. To me, this sounds great. I think that the Skywalker Saga is a worthwhile world to play in, but it needs a jolt of the unexpected. I don’t think Disney hired Rian Johnson to maintain the universe as is. I really think that they are looking to shock people with this entry. As for the actual footage though, this looks to be the most visually interesting film in the franchise to date. Johnson’s draw towards the tactile nature of the universe seems to have led to a film that immerses the viewer in the tangible. The realization of Crait, the planet that bleeds red soil, is an excellent visualization of the way Johnson can seem to drip atmosphere into his visuals without flash, but seamlessness. What about Luke? It is hard to tell what this Luke Skywalker will be like. He seems to resist Rey on many levels and at one crucial moment, he walks away from her. There is one line of dialogue that suggests Rey is in some way, a chosen one. Luke says, “I’ve seen this raw strength only once before, it didn’t scare me enough then; now it does.” Luke seems to have been burdened by the force in a way that we have never seen his character in this universe. The force seems to be a curse, not a gift for Luke. There has been much made of the Porgs and to be honest, they are about the most adorable little things we have seen on a big screen, maybe ever. The one shot we get of them, riding next to Chewbacca, shows that Johnson isn’t going fully to the dark side with this film. We are almost two months away from the premiere and I don’t think I have been anticipating a film this much in a long time. Much of the excitement comes from Johnson himself, but there is something about this trailer that baths the audience in a propulsion that is sometimes missing in Star Wars films. A lot of the draw to the Star Wars universe is the constant feeling of fate pulling the audience through, but there appears to be an unpredictability to this film that we haven’t seen yet. These characters don’t feel beholden to a particular fate, rather they feel like instruments of unbridled emotion and consequence. I’m not sure what will happen in his universe, and that unpredictability has me giddy with anticipation for my 7:00 P.M. showing on December 14th. — Peterson Hill Well, that’s a definite step up from the first trailer. It looks like we’re going to get a film that doesn’t waste a lot of time rehashing Empire in the same way The Force Awakens did A New Hope and actually sets up an intriguing twist or two along the way. The central thrust of the film seems to be the parallel paths that Kylo and Rey follow, and the trailer goes out of its way to imply that they will ultimately team up. One of the most interesting things about what the trailer hints at is that Rey has a “raw strength” that Luke had only seen once before – Kylo – and not fearing his power led to the downfall of Luke’s Jedi Academy. Given how Force sensitivity runs in the Skywalker family, I’m leaning now toward thinking that Rey is, if not Kylo’s twin, his sister – separated as children for their protection (just like another set of twins I can think of). Of course, that could be way off, but it makes as much sense as anything else I’ve read about Rey’s origins. And given how the trailer is cut specifically to make it look like the two of them are on a collision course, that’s as good a reason as any. But oh yeah, the trailer! It looks good. Flashy with echoes of Empire without being too overtly similar. Some nice action. A glimpse or two of the other dudes who should be gay for each other but probably aren’t. Phasma. A porg. Color me intrigued. Which is something I wouldn’t have said after the first trailer. — Paul Brian McCoy The official trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi dropped last night and there is a lot to digest. Like a lot of people, I was on pins and needles waiting for this trailer and after watching it for the first time, and every time after that, it left me wanting more. First, credit where credit is due: Rian Johnson has made a visually impressive movie. The look of the new AT-ATs is amazing and some of the new creatures look great. Who doesn’t want an ice puma? But the biggest takeaway from this trailer is we know what the theme of what The Last Jedi is going to be and the theme is struggle. You can see Rey struggling with her training and being part of this new world of the force. You can see the struggle that Luke is having with his past, his present, and clearly his future. Then there’s Finn having the struggle of wanting to kill his ex-boss. You know, the American dream. But the person who clearly struggling the most is Kylo Ren. You don’t just kill your dad and walk away a well-adjusted person. Kylo is being pulled by different forces. He is still dealing with the internal conflict from his actions from The Force Awakens and waiting to be a “good person” but he still is trying to live up to the expectations of his mentor and new father figure, Supreme Leader Snoke. The best example of this is him flying his ship and wondering if he should push the button. Please don’t push the button. So fanboys, if the servers haven’t crashed, go ahead and get your tickets and make sure to bring your tissues because we are all going to get misty-eyed when we see Carrie Fisher for one last time. — Eric Muller Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.