By Jack Dignan
Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve gathered you all here today to discuss a very important matter at hand. Porgs. These black eyed, brown-to-grey furred sea birds, natives of the distant island planet of Ahch-To, have been causing a ruckus as of late. Specifically, there have been several reports of Porgs stealing the hearts of everyone who’s ever laid eyes on them. Just today, a Porg was spotted standing on the dashboard of the Millennium Falcon, presumably as their newest co-pilot, and here, the Porg screamed a soulful scream. Upon hearing that graceful noise, I made I sound I’ve never heard my body make before. The Porg just stole my heart too.
I told myself for months that I wasn’t going to watch any more footage from Star Wars: The Last Jedi. After first witnessing that beautiful teaser trailer back at Star Wars Celebration, I vowed that that would be it. I didn’t want to see any more. I was done. Yet today, for its entirety, do you want to know what I did? I spent hours refreshing social media pages and the Event Cinemas ticket sales pages in hopes of being the first to get a glimpse at the beautiful new poster and trailer, as well as being the first to get tickets to the midnight showing. It was a success. I got them, and wouldn’t you know that they sold out thirty seconds later? Star Wars fans are insane. I love each and every one of them.
There’s so much to discuss and dissect when it comes to this new trailer; much more than I’m going to be able to talk about in this article. Where does one even begin? I have absolutely no idea. But we have to start somewhere, so let’s start with that poster (see: bottom of the page). At first glance, it stirred mixed feelings. The overall design and aesthetic maintains the beauty of past designs, really utilizing the colour red to the best of this film’s ability, and in that regard, it’s gorgeous. It certainly fits into the Star Wars poster mold, but if I’m being perfectly honest, it’s one of my least favourites, simply because it bares a striking resemblance to so many fan made ones. I initially thought it was just another fan rendition.
Still, I dig it. I do miss the old hand drawn designs of the original posters, but times have changed. Keeping with the now, it certainly fits, and I wouldn’t be opposed to hanging it on my wall beside my seven other Star Wars posters. But while the poster didn’t blow me away, that trailer certainly did. Christmas is coming, folks. And by Christmas, I don’t mean a fat, red, bearded man climbing down your chimney. I’m talking about Luke Skywalker returning to the big screen after a thirty-year hiatus. December 14th is going to be a glorious day indeed, and if this main trailer is anything to go by, we’re in for an absolute treat. Everybody cries at Star Wars trailers, right? It’s not just me?
Director Rian Johnson, and all those subsequently asked about the film, have been teasing for a while the different approach this film is taking. It’s been cited as shocking and unexpected, a complete turn-around from what audiences expected after The Force Awakens, but fitting within the Star Wars universe. This trailer solidifies those statements. The Last Jedi looks to be a dark, explosive and emotional turn for the Star Wars saga, more so than any of the last five movies released. Every visual presented here is mind blowing in its gorgeousness. We could be in for a tantalizing treat come December. From the looks of things, it’s going to be one of the best looking films to come out of this saga, and I can’t wait.
Obviously, however, the single greatest shot of the trailer, and perhaps even the single greatest shot in cinema history, is that Porg screaming. After first witnessing them in the D23 behind the scenes reel, I knew I was in love. After today’s trailer, my obsession has peaked (or at least until December). As much as I’d like to dedicate an entire article to Porgs (that’s not a bad idea actually… stay tuned), there’s a lot more on display than just those wonderful little beings of happiness. Because…. HOLY FUCKING SHIT KYLO REN AND REY AND SNOKE AND FINN AND PHASMA AND PORGS AND LUKE AND FLASHBACKS AND ACTION AND EXPLOSIONS AND DARKNESS AND MIST AND EVERYTHING WE’VE EVER APPRECIATED IN LIFE AND SO MUCH MORE.
I love how Kylo-centric this trailer is. The whole thing feels as if it were told from the perspective of the Dark Side, something that could just possibly be true; especially with the first teaser’s ominous Luke quote “it’s time for the Jedi to end.” It seems Rey may be taking that a step further. She appears to be joining Kylo Ren is his search for ultimate power. That final clip of Kylo offering Rey his hand blew me away the first time I watched it. I collapsed onto the floor, exhausted and happy, but the second time, it felt like something I perhaps didn’t want to see in a trailer. No doubt, the sequence will occur late into the game, but if you look closely, it may not be as late as you’d think.
The outfit Rey wears in that scene isn’t the one she’s wearing off-island. It’s her training gear still, without any blue in sight. Perhaps this confrontation is a vision, or perhaps she falls to the dark side a little earlier than anticipated. We’re not going to be seeing a Kylo Ren redemption arc any time soon, but we might be getting a Rey one, for if she joins Kylo and makes it to the Dark Side, what happens next? Well, based on the trailer, it doesn’t look good. A two-shot moment in which Snoke is torturing Rey with the force (!) hints at dark dangers to come. Perhaps this is a sequence after her meeting with Kylo. Perhaps he never wanted her to join him, even though it was alluded to in The Force Awakens, but instead wanted to lure her into Snoke’s evil grasp.
Snoke has been a popular point of discussion since 2014. Many have wondered if he’ll be an original character, or perhaps one from Star Wars past. The trailer gives nothing close to a definite answer, but it doesn’t need to. It adds fuel to the fire. All will be revealed this December. Personally, I’m still sticking with the theory that he’s an original character who’s withered away in the far reaches of deep space and the unknown regions, but by the looks of things, he’s far more powerful than we anticipated. Kylo Ren stopping that bullet in The Force Awakens was one thing, but Snoke straight up doing that to Rey is another beast entirely. Yes, Kylo does it in the first film too, but this appears to be something far more intense. I cannot wait to see where this confrontation leads to, or where any of these confrontations lead.
There’s so much visual excitement from characters we know and love, including an emotional appearance from Carrie Fisher (in a scene that further hints at Kylo’s humanity. Perhaps he’s going to be upset to find Snoke torturing Rey? Perhaps he will be redeemed in this film after all?), that we get very little time with the new characters. In fact, from my seventeen thousand views of the trailer already, I don’t think we see a single shot of them, save for one of Rose. Yet once again, this is good. We don’t need to see everything. Star Wars has a firm understanding of that. They know how to tease without showcasing the entire plot, as evident from the last two movies released, so I’m glad we’ve gotten just a snippet of this movie.
I can’t wait to see this film. Releasing only two trailers, as opposed to the typical three, has been an excellent power move. We know so little, despite it being so close, and I don’t know if I can cope with waiting much longer. If my previous Top 15 Films Of The Year lists are anything to go by, The Last Jedi has a reserved seat in the #1 spot. That’s a joke, but let’s be real, it’s so happening. Please don’t hate me when it does.
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