Unless you sleep under a cozy rock formation also referred to as “home”, you may have heard that the highly anticipated and highly speculated teaser trailer for this December’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi was finally released this past Friday afternoon. Due to my determination to experience it for the first time on a laptop or TV screen, I sat painfully through my day job as the internet exploded. To no surprise, the trailer hit 27 million views and counting on YouTube. What does this all mean for the new trilogy? What does all the red on the poster and title lettering signify? Will this finally please everyone who felt disappointed with The Force Awakens? Will Captain Phasma actually do something? All we can do right now is speculate for 8 long months. But the poster may say more than initially meets the eye.
Obviously, the poster and title are heavy on the color red. Already this movie seems like a darker tale in the vein of The Empire Strikes Back or Revenge of the Sith. The questionable expression from Luke Skywalker on the left of Rey’s lightsaber beam combined with his final line in the trailer (“It’s time for the Jedi to end.”) show a broken man that may not be as clear-cut and hopeful as the hero from your childhood. He appears to be a man who has given up the ways he once knew as a Jedi to pursue a path of his own. Shame and embarrassment in his failure to lead the next generation of Jedi may be the reasoning behind his seclusion. As mentioned in Awakens, Kylo Ren and the rest of his students all abandoned him and his teachings. But that’s not all the poster/trailer has to say.
If you notice the lightsaber beam running up the middle of the poster, the top begins to go from heroic blue to villainous red. Although purely speculative at this point, this could signify a possible turn to the dark side for Rey. If that is the case, then this may become a very different trilogy for the Star Wars saga. A huge turn of events could be the best route to appease the many fans who found The Force Awakens to lack originality in its insistence to remain familiar. If you notice the source of the beam near the hilt of the saber near Rey’s hands, they shoot out to the sides as well to resemble the cross guards of Kylo Ren’s saber. Going further down the rabbit hole of wild speculation, this could signify a turn to the light for Kylo. The death of his father by his own hand stirred much internal conflict. He may feel regret along with the need for redemption.
As for the trailer itself, it remained vague as it should. This is only a teaser and is not intended to reveal much of what we can expect. Shocking final line aside, it is primarily composed of an assortment of clips combined with a voiceover exchange between Luke and Rey to excite us for the release. But from what is seen, Rey is discovering the truth behind the light and dark sides. Luke refuses to simplify the Force to two opposing sides by whispering, “It’s so much bigger.” It will be interesting to see where Rey goes on her spiritual journey to find her own place in the Force while receiving Luke’s training and insight. Meanwhile, Finn is still recovering from prior injuries during his saber duel and Poe is losing another X-wing from an explosion. Kylo is briefly shown in an attack stance and Rey is shown running with her lightsaber as the Falcon flees yet again from an army of TIE fighters. It is too early to tell how the film is going to turn out, but the trailer certainly delivers the possibility of an excitingly dark middle chapter in this sequel trilogy.