Over here at Gaming Respawn, I seem to be the Star Wars guy. It probably has something to do with the fact that Star Wars consumes my very existence and is by far my biggest passion in life, yeah it must be something to do with that. Well, over in sunny Orlando, Florida, the lucky bastards who could afford to travel to the sunshine state are in attendance at the annual Star Wars Celebration, where today the first teaser trailer for Episode VIII dropped. I first watched it this afternoon on the bus, and I must have been making some interesting, excitable noises, as there were a fair few people looking at the Star Wars geek at the back of the bus. The trailer obviously doesn’t give much away in terms of plot, but to a keen eye, it could give away some interesting details. Or perhaps I will get it all completely wrong and will very quickly delete this article come December when the film is finally released. Anyhow, let’s jump in with some scenes from the trailer I found particularly interesting.
So, in the opening of the trailer we see Rey still on the planet Ahch-To, seemingly going through some intense Jedi training. We never really saw Luke in any physical pain during his training on Dagobah, but Rey looks like she is certainly in some discomfort. Why? Well, well, Luke may be pushing her harder than he was ever pushed, harder than any Jedi has ever been pushed, either to make her as strong as possible or put her off entirely. The opening scene with Rey is extremely interesting as she is on her knees catching her breath. Yes, she could have just been running or she could have had another vision that startled her, but there’s also a far more intriguing possibility. How many times have we seen the Dark Lord of the Sith himself, Darth Vader, choke people so that they fall to their knees in a similar way? I am probably reading too much into this, but it’s possible, just possible, that Luke could have force choked Rey. The use of such a Dark Side punishment would suggest a major transgression, but Luke has used the force like this before, just think of his treatment of Jabba the Hutt’s palace guards in Return of the Jedi.
Ahch-To is believed to be the location of the first Jedi Temple, the same temple that Luke sought after Ben Solo and the Knights of Ren killed everyone at his new Jedi Academy. So if Luke has found the first temple, then it makes sense to suggest that the book Rey is seemingly touching in the picture above could be the first book of the Jedi, the Jedi Code.
These run down speeders may look cool, but they are not the reason why this scene sent a chill down my spine. In the distance, albeit quite small, you will see a familiar sight. Imperial Walkers (well, now First Order Walkers) closing in on what I assume are Resistance pilots. These speeders have definitely seen better days, so it begs the question of why the Resistance, if it is them, are piloting these outmoded machines. Could the First Order have struck a deadly blow to the Resistance’s arsenal that forced them to use these ancient-looking speeders, or have the First Order simply invaded a planet and this is their only defence? One thing’s for sure, where there are AT-AT Walkers, there’s always an epic battle.
A cloaked figure with an Astro-Mech droid, seems familiar? Well, cast your minds ladies and gentlemen back to The Force Awakens during Rey’s first vision. We saw a figure that we assumed was Luke, wearing a black cloak with R2D2. Could this be another one of Rey’s visions? And if so, could Rey be seeing the destruction of Luke’s Jedi school or a future event that will play out in real time during The Last Jedi? Or could Rey’s vision have included something from the future? I personally feel like this will be a vision from the past that shows Luke watching the destruction of his new Jedi Academy and falling to his knees when he realises the magnitude of the situation, that not only has the Dark Side returned, but that there could be no stopping it this time.
Here’s our first look at Kylo Ren since the dramatic conclusion of The Force Awakens, and to be honest, he’s not looking too bad for a guy who received a lightsaber to the face. All the early concept art which was supposedly released showed Kylo looking a lot worse off than he appears. One thing to note here is his eyes. When someone falls completely to the Dark Side, their eyes will turn to a yellow-red colour. Kylo’s eyes still seem to be a normal colour, so perhaps killing his father wasn’t the final push he needed towards the Dark Side but instead the first pull back towards the Light.
I only know one truth…it is time for the Jedi…to end. Have such harrowing words ever been spoken by one of cinema’s most beloved and true good guys, and what does Luke mean by this statement? Has he completely given up hope of ever defeating the Dark Side, or has he, like his own father before him, succumbed to his own dark thoughts? My reading is that this must be early on in the movie, perhaps when Rey is attempting to get Luke to train her, and it may even be that her constant pushing has pushed Luke over the edge, that his aversion to training another Jedi is so strong that he force chokes Rey when she refuses to take no for an answer. While that may seem a stretch, it’s hard to know just what this new, volatile incarnation of Star Wars‘ quintessential hero might do if provoked.
The last part of the trailer is the bit that got me the most excited, and it’s something you’ll miss if you’re not paying much attention. When the logo appears at the end, the very last bit of music we hear is important, extremely important. Supreme Lead Snoke is being built up to a Palpatine level of importance, but he was nowhere to be seen in this trailer, right? Wrong! The very last piece of music we hear is a snippet from Snoke’s theme. There are more ‘who is Snoke’ theories doing the rounds in the Star Wars community than anything, and I, humble readers, am still well and truly on the Snoke is Plagueis bandwagon, with the biggest bit of proof for this lying in the music. The video below is a comparison of the music from Revenge of the Sith when Palpatine is telling Anakin the tale of Plagueis and The Force Awakens when Snoke is on screen.
Well, that’s that then misses that’s that, sorry, Family Guy quotes again just spilling from my head. It may have only been a teaser trailer, but boy was it a good one! Once you break it down, it really showed us a great deal, and we’ve now got an agonising 7 months or so until it’s released on December 15th. Will we find out who Rey really is, will Snoke reveal his true identity, and will Kylo go full Emo this time and bust out some poetry? Until next time, Padawans, may the Force be with you.