‘This is not going to go the way you think’: Decoding the latest trailer for ‘The Last Jedi’

When I heard rumors that the new trailer for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” might contain some spoilers, I really did consider not watching it, just so I could go into the movie with as few expectations and assumptions as possible. However, my resolve lasted all of two seconds when I saw the new trailer pop up on one of my social media newsfeeds. I watched it, squealed so loud I scared my cat, and then watched it again.

There’s a lot to unpack from this trailer, and I’d love to hear all of your theories as well. The first thing that stands out to me is the darker, more ominous tone. I really hope the whole movie has this sort of tone, unlike “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” which had a really cool, dark trailer but then the movie we got wasn’t quite as cool and dark as I hoped. I think this movie could get even darker than “The Empire Strikes Back.”

I love Supreme Leader Snoke’s ominous voiceover at the beginning of the trailer. He very well could be speaking about Kylo Ren, but I think it’s actually Rey. He’s impressed by her raw power, and he wants to recruit her to the dark side. It’s possible he’s looking to dump Kylo Ren as his apprentice just like Palpatine dumped Count Dooku for Anakin in “Revenge of the Sith.”

And speaking of raw power, this line from Luke absolutely gave me chills: “I’ve seen this raw strength only once before. It didn’t scare me enough then. It does now.” Not only is it wonderful to see Mark Hamill returning as an older, more world-weary Luke, I’m now dying to know just who Luke is so afraid of. Again, he could be talking about his failed pupil, Kylo, but I think he’s talking about Rey. We watched how quickly her powers spiked in “The Force Awakens,” and I think Luke is afraid she could turn into another Vader if her power isn’t very carefully molded. Maybe he doesn’t trust himself to do the job, especially after he failed with Kylo.

I know some aren’t huge fans of Kylo Ren, but I actually really like his character. I think he’s what Anakin Skywalker should have been in the prequels — what he could have been with better direction and a better script. We see some very emotional acting from Adam Driver in this trailer, particularly as he (apparently) lines up a shot to kill his mother, Princess Leia. This is one of the moments of possible misdirection in the trailer — I think Kylo will decide not to press that trigger, and his choice will have far-reaching repercussions and pull him back to the light (or at least back to the middle, but more on that later). It’s very bittersweet to see Carrie Fisher again as General Leia Organa, and I hope she’s given a meaty role in the story here.

Other random moments that stood out to me: I’m super excited to see the big spaceship battle, as well as the battle on that cool planet with the red dust. The Millennium Falcon flying through that crystal cave is also super cool. And I may regret saying this later, but I think the Porgs are very adorable and I need a stuffed Porg toy right now. I think they’ll be a fun touch, as long as they don’t take over the story (I’m looking at you, Jar Jar Binks). I’m really looking forward to the showdown between Finn and Phasma; I’m not really sure where they’ll be taking Finn’s story in “The Last Jedi,” and at least from the trailers, it looks like his path may not cross with Rey’s a lot. It would be cool if the Resistance sends him undercover to infiltrate the First Order.

Finally, the scene that most had me buzzing was the final few seconds with Rey (possibly) asking Kylo to help her find her way, and Kylo (possibly) reaching out his hand to her. This may be a controversial thought, but I’d really like to see them subvert expectations and send Rey to the dark side and redeem Kylo to the light. I think it would be really fascinating to see a twist like that, or even to have Kylo reject both the light and dark and find balance as a “grey Jedi” who seeks a balanced path in the Force. Whatever happens, I’d love for “The Last Jedi” to end with a really big, shocking moment on the level of Darth Vader’s “I am your father” from “The Empire Strikes Back.” Turning Rey to the dark side would be a powerful, unexpected twist.

So, what do you think? What are your theories about “The Last Jedi”?

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