Is the Last Jedi set to break our hearts?

New Last Jedi poster of Luke Skywalker

Rian Johnson has made a guest appearance at Disney’s D23 2017 expo, held this year at the Anaheim Convention Center in Los Angeles.

Rian’s appearance revealed six new promotional posters, a three minute behind the scenes video and he also introduced cast members Laura Dern and Benicio del Toro for the first time.

All six posters, which feature an individual character, make use of the colour used for the Last Jedi logo by drenching each character’s clothes in red. That colour looks as though it’s set to become the visual theme of movie, with the red dust on the planet Crait appearing in the teaser and the new video.

Lack of plot is good

Whilst the posters were very cool it was the video that stole the show.  The style of teaser that Disney have perfected with the new Star Wars movies do not reveal significant plot points.

You have to give Disney credit here. They could have dropped some major plot points for all the films in an attempt to increase ticket sales.

Thankfully I think this is where Kathleen Kennedy and Lucasfilm have a large part to play. They understand Star Wars better than anyone else and appreciate that fans don’t want to see every plot point revealed.

Long may this last. Once Disney start dropping plot points ahead of a release date then we’ll know the franchise is losing steam.

Practical effects

It’s good to see practical effects and the video is at pains to show us this. But it is good that these films are once more being made in a way that will make them timeless. There’s something about a well designed creature or set that gains a timeless quality and doesn’t look old fashioned.

If you look back Jabba, Chewie, Yoda, tauntauns, banthas, X-Wings and Star Destroyers, they all look like characters, creatures and space ships that could be on the set of a Sci-Fi film today.

Famously George Lucas wanted his galaxy to have a used or lived-in look. He didn’t want the sterile environments favoured in space movies at that time. He wanted a world that appeared real.

Thankfully, the practical effects that returned with the Force Awakens and Rouge One have remained a major part of the this new movie. You only have to look at some of the green screen footage featuring Jar-Jar in the Phantom Menace to see how badly that has dated.

It’s not Empire

The Force Awakens was criticised for recalling A New Hope too closely and in all fairness, those criticisms had some merit. But the franchise needed a win after the prequel trilogy and now is the time for episode eight to take us somewhere new.

From what we’ve seen so far, episode eight should be very different to Empire.

Pending doom

Let’s get this out of the way now. Episode eight is not going to end well. It’s the middle movie and typically the good guys get pasted in the middle movie.

In Empire, Han Solo was tortured, frozen and sent to a Jabba the Hutt to hang on his wall as a decoration, Luke found out that the most evil creature in the galaxy was his dad and then had his hand cut off.

I don’t think every hero is going to make it to the end of this one. I sorry to say it but with the passing of Carrie Fisher, somehow the movie is going to have to deal with this. They don’t have footage of Leia doing any scenes for episode nine (obviously) so Leia won’t be in the next movie and the story needs to explain this.

I have no knowledge of the plot so my comments are merely speculation, but expect a big character to die and I don’t just mean Leia. This, I’m afraid might be Threepio or R2.

I captured some the actors quotes below to backup this point. None of them suggest anything other than a surprise. And in the middle movie a surprise is never a good one.

“Rian has written a story that’s unexpected but right. Some of the stuff that happens, people are going to be like, oh my god.” 

Daisy Ridley

“Even though I think I know it all, they throw things at me storywise I never could have imagined.”

Mark Hamill

“Everything is being shifted in an opposite way to what the audience expected after seven. Rian has made Star Wars fresh and new.”

John Boyega

“I’m hoping it’ll be a little shocking but I’m hoping it’ll feel real and honest.”

Rian Johnson

Conclusion

D23 has whetted our appetites for episode eight. To be honest I was excited anyway. It really does show the strength of the Force Awakens that we’re all know talking about how Rey, Finn and Kylo progress in this new movie and where the story will take us. Yes, Luke is part of that conversation but he’s not the main part.

We’re in a melancholic period for Star Wars fans. The franchise is bursting with new energy and characters, but we’re also saying goodbye to old friends.

So brace yourselves for another Star Wars extravaganza this December. And don’t bring the car, you may need a strong drink after this one.

Footnote

Well as always use the comments section to let me know what you think of the new D23 video and if you agree with how I think episode eight’s storyline might reveal itself.

Image credit: StarWars.com

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