If it's fall, that means it's time for another Star Wars movie. Disney acquired the franchise rights in 2012, and can now be relied on to torque this particular golden goose into squeezing out another billion-dollar golden egg every year (The Force Awakens was released in 2015), dropping the final trailer a few weeks into football season.
Debuting during Monday Night Football, this new look at The Last Jedi offered a tantalizing glimpse into what director Rian Johnson has planned for us on December 15. In addition to Luke, Leia (RIP) and Chewie, there's more of Rey, Kylo Ren, Finn, Finn's hetero life mate Poe Dameron, and...some other stuff. Let's take a look:
Fairly straightforward, yes? I thought you'd say that. Let's begin.
0:08: Oh good. It wasn't bad enough that TFA was criticized for basically being a New Hope remix, now the First Order has to have some knockoff Imperial walkers as well. But wait! These walk on their knuckles, because Disney clearly took the correct cues from what made those new Planet of the Apes movies so popular. AT-AT, meet APE-APE.
If one of the walker commanders is named "Beagly," however, all is forgiven.
0:25: Back on Jedi Key (Key(e) Luke?) , Rey is exhibiting more power than old Robo-Claw is comfortable with. Sounds like time for a...
0:55: FLASHBACK! More on this later.
1:18: Dashboard Confessional superfan Kylo Ren now has a nifty scar to go with the SEARING WOUND TO HIS FEELS. So of course he must complete the patricidal exacta and kill mom (General Leia Organa). Call me crazy, but with the clumsily telegraphed uncertainty he felt throughout TFA, I wouldn't be surprised if he hesitated on pulling the trigger, only to see the rest of the First Order swoop in and finish her off.
I mean, it isn't like Carrie Fisher can appear in the next one, right?
1:33: Apparently one of the stipulations in Disney's contract with Lucas was to include at least one dorky, kid-friendly character per film (Finn was the first). That said, what the actual shit? Ewoks weren't stupid/cuddly enough? Will Lumpy make an appearance in the third movie?
1:38: Poe is still a true believer. Bless his heart.
1:41: Oh, right, Finn is in this. And how did Phasma escape the trash compactor? It'd be perfect if Johnson devoted 30 minutes just to this subplot.
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2:00: This can go either way. Personally, I predicted a Rey heel turn back when the first TFA trailer came out. Then again, she watched Kylo Ren murder the only father figure she ever had. Clearly they can't go a whole movie without another lightsaber duel, can they?
Look, there's basically a 0.0 chance Rey is actually permanently going to the Dark Side (unless she's a big Eddie and the Cruisers fan, because that song is dope). That said, if Luke drives another of his disciples into evil, especially after the last one murdered all of his fellow students, he deserves to be the "last Jedi." Because he sucks.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens December 15. If you haven't gotten your IMAX tickets yet, you're probably out of luck.