Time for the Jedi to end

Rey's hand, an image from the new Star Wars episode 8 teaser.

And so the first teaser for The Last Jedi has landed. The question is, did it disappoint?

There are so many areas to cover I’m going to break down just five.

Where are we heading?

The Empire Strikes Back was and still is lauded as the best film in the original trilogy, its darker tone usually being the reason offered to substantiate this claim.

This is of course in notable contrast to episodes one to three where the tone got darker with each successive film.

So which model will episode eight follow? Will episode nine lift our spirits as Rey and Finn win the day, or will Snoke and Kylo Ren have the upper hand?

Surely the question is this. If Disney let Rey win and the Jedi return, where will the franchise go from there? Another new New Order?

Time travel

We know that for the first time in a Star Wars movie the sequel will follow-on from the end of the preceding movie, and the teaser appears to confirm this.

So that means very little or indeed nothing will have changed when we rejoin episode eight. This is very unusual for a Star Wars movie. Up until now the gap between films has given each installment a real authenticity as our heros and villians have moved on and we see them further along their individual storylines.

I’ve always liked this. It means the viewer is treated with respect and asked to keep up with events that they might not fully understand, rather than being spoon-fed.

The gaps also played a key role in the creation of the Expanded Universe. I can’t see many opportunities for novels or comics, unlike now where the EU has provided huge amounts of extra detail and storytelling.

SImply from a toy figure point of view I’d like to see the characters in more than one outfit. Particularly Rey – let’s get that poor girl some new clothes!

Rey becomes more powerful

The final scenes of The Force Awakens confirmed that Rey was to be our new Force/Jedi hero. The teaser does move this on somewhat. We clearly see Ray is still on Luke’s island in nearly all the scenes that include Rey.

We see Rey looking confused, looking calm and training with Luke. So during the film I think it is fair to say that Rey will begin her Force training. Note, I didn’t say Jedi training.

Does Luke reluctantly give Rey some training but not as a Jedi? Luke’s last line seems to suggest he thinks that resolving the balance of the force means the Jedi have to end.

So is it Rey that will take the Jedi forward?

Luke confronts his past

There’s no doubt in my mind that a number of the teaser’s scenes showed us what happened to Luke’s trainees when Ren and his followers turned to the dark side.

Luke, wearing his cape can be seen squatting next to R2 while watching a burning building. I also think that shots of Ren and Captain Phasma refer to this same event.

If Luke is going to rejoin the Resistance and become an active Jedi again, this film will have to revisit events during the time of Ren’s betrayal.

Luke’s tormented state of mind is sure to dominate the first act of episode eight.

Prepare for ground assault

Where would we be without a climatic final battle sequence, whether that’s on the ground, in space or both!

The teaser shows what appears to be the beginning of a space battle with the Resistance defending an unknown planet. We also see a shot very reminiscent of the opening of Empire with a line AT-ATs in the distance walking across and open flat plain. I could hear the tannoy of echo base in my mind “Imperial walkers on the North ridge”.

There is of course the danger that episode 8 mimics episode 5, much as episode 7 mimics episode 4. I think we rolled with the similarities of 7 and 4, but I don’t want to see Empire in the desert. Nobody does.

In conclusion

Of course this is just the first teaser and isn’t designed to answer all our questions. Mind you, neither should the actual trailer.

We’ve yet to see Snoke, any new characters, Luke using his lightsaber, Luke meeting Leia etc.

My verdict is that the teaser didn’t disappoint, but it really didn’t tell us anything new either. I think the next teaser will begin to show us where Ren and Rey are in terms of their rivalry and force capabilities.

Exited? You bet I am.

 

Footnote:

“For many reasons, that given the opportunity I’d like to change, this post is much later than I intended. Miss you Mum.”

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