Last night we got a glorious Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer, packed with new looks at the war to come between the Resistance and the First Order. As ever for modern Star Wars, it’s a trailer that’s as cryptic as it is epic in scope, but it’s also filled with new hints and secrets about what to expect.
The trailer opens with Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) looking out onto the vast deck of a First Order base—or perhaps given the cargo on board, a vessel we see later in the trailer. Squint and you’ll see not just an abundance of classic AT-AT walkers (not a single AT-M6 in sight), but also the return of another Imperial vehicle, the AT-ST scout walker.
Speaking of the AT-M6, the angry new First Order version of the AT-AT walker, we see a bunch of them here—as well as Kylo Ren’s command shuttle from The Force Awakens above them—descending on the salt-sanded world of Crait. It’s a world we know used to house one of the Rebellion’s oldest bases thanks to the Leia, Princess of Alderaan novel, and one we know the Resistance retreats to in this movie.
“When I found you, I saw raw, untamed power,” Supereme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) intones, as we see Kylo Ren once again, this time flanked by First Order Snowtroopers—a design featured heavily in the Force Awakens merchandise but ultimately cut from the final movie, meaning they’re finally making their cinematic debut here. The crimson streaks in the surface once again indicate that this is Crait.
“And beyond that... something truly special,” Snoke concludes, as a kneeling Kylo Ren, now helmeted, takes the hilt of his fiery crossguard lightsaber off the ground. The red walls and the presence of the red skirts—lotta red in this movie!—of the Elite Praetorian Guards in the background indicate this moment takes place in Snoke’s throne room, a location we’ve seen bits of in the behind-the-scenes reel released at D23 and will see more of later in this trailer. This throne room is, presumably, housed on the Supremacy, the flagship of the First Order first revealed as part of a toy tie-in back in September.
Although this trailer is laden with misdirections, it’d be a safe assumption Snoke is talking to Kylo here, given that the speech seems to match up with what we’ve been told about his slow seduction of Ben Solo to the dark side ever since he was a newborn child. But considering we see another powerful Force user in this throne room later on, there’s always the possibility that it could refer to another... at least, that’s what the trailer wants you to think, given we get this harsh cut to Rey (Daisy Ridley) igniting her lightsaber on Ahch-To.
And that’s where we head to next, as we see the immediate continuation of where we left off in The Force Awakens. We’ve known for ages at this point that the opening scene of The Last Jedi would be a direct continuation, as Rey returns the Skywalker family blade to Luke (Mark Hamill).
“Something inside me has always been there,” Rey says, presumably to Luke, as we see her, now clad in a poncho, walking toward some mist-covered spires on Ahch-To. This is presumably after their original meeting, given the additional costume change. We know Ahch-To is the home to some important Jedi artifacts—could that be what those ruins are?
“Then I was awake, and I need help.” Rey’s definitely imploring Luke to train her in the ways of the Force here, as we see her venture within a root-walled cave to see those same mysterious Jedi books we saw in the first teaser being thumbed over by a gloved hand that was likely Luke’s. After all, we know his self-imposed exile involved returning to the site of the very first Jedi Temple, so the books presumably contain some ancient teachings and will be of great import to the Jedi-in-training. We saw the symbol of the Jedi order on those books in the first trailer, and we’ve seen a similar shot of Rey in what looks like the next part of this sequence in the behind-the-scenes reel, where she raises her ignited lightsaber above her head to cast a light on these books, but she has her hood up there.
A continuation of the meditation we saw opening the first teaser here sees Rey accidentally crack open the rocks around her as she sits calm in thought.
Who’s not calm? Luke, because he’s freaking the hell out at Rey’s potential. “I’ve seen this raw strength only once before,” the reluctant master warns. “It didn’t scare me enough then. It does now.”
He’s likely talking about the fallen Ben Solo here, as we briefly glimpse back to Luke’s mechanical hand clawing its way out of a destroyed building—as he emerges, R2-D2 by his side, to re-enact a scene we saw a bit of in The Force Awakens and to witness his fledgling Jedi Order reduced to ruins.
Rey looks back at Luke in confusion, but she’s also seemingly toppled off her rock perch, so it looks like more than just some floating pebbles and cracked rock comes of this training session—the something that probably scares Luke so much.
Meanwhile, Kylo Ren has anger issues (no surprises there), and goes from wearing his snazzy helmet to smashing it in a fit of rage seconds later. We briefly get to see the extent of Kylo’s wound, inflicted by Rey, covered in a black future-bandage. And yes, it’s moved from where it was in Force Awakens, because director Rian Johnson thought the initial slice looked silly.
“Let the past die...” Kylo says as we cut to a space battle where Resistance capital ships explode as TIE Fighters—including Kylo’s personal ship, the TIE Silencer—complete a strafing run. Blink and you’ll miss it, but you can see the Supremacy, Snoke’s aforementioned humongous “Mega-Class” Star Destroyer of a flagship, in the background.
“Kill it, if you have to. It’s the only way to become who you were meant to be,” the young fallen Jedi threatens. It’s unclear who Kylo is talking to here, but we do know he’s been rather good at killing the past—and the trailer is cut to make it look like he’s about to do so again. The ship he’s bombing appears to be the Raddus (named after Rogue One’s Mon Calamari Admiral)... where his mother, General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher, in her tragic, final Star Wars appearance) happens to be on the bridge.
We get a long, aching look at Leia as she seemingly senses her son in the Force, and Kylo senses her, which makes him hesitant to pull the trigger when he gets the Raddus’ bridge locked in on his targeting computer. But, he might end up doing so. One of the oldest rumors about The Last Jedi mentions that General Organa is gravely wounded in a First Order attack, requiring Admiral Amilyn Holdo (Laura Dern, and a character we don’t see in this trailer) to step in and lead the Resistance while she recovers. This allegedly leads to Holdo coming into conflict with certain elements of the Resistance, as the ragtag remnants of the Rebellion struggle to decide just how to act in the wake of the First Order’s return.
The Millennium Falcon barrels through a sumptuous cavern of bold red crystals, with TIEs in pursuit. The red once again seems to indicate that this is Crait, meaning the Falcon returns from Ahch-To (with at least Rey, as we saw behind-the-scenes footage with Daisy Ridley dancing between takes on a set that looked awfully a lot like Crait, and possibly Luke, in tow) to join what is probably going to be one of the climactic battles of the movie.
Seconds later, we get confirmation that this is a post Ahch-To sequence as we cut to the cockpit, with Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew and his replacement suit actor Joonas Suotamo) and his unlikely new co-pilot, one of the adorable Porgs native to the planet. Look, what do you want me to add here? Look at this goddamn thing, it’s adorable.
What looks like a series of Resistance escape ships attempt to escape a First Order onslaught. The design of them matches the Mon Calamari design elements we’ve seen in past Rebel ships and on the Raddus in this movie—in fact, they look a lot like the little bumped sections on the Raddus, so maybe Kylo does take his shot, crippling the ship and necessitating an evacuation.
This appears to be from the Resistance’s attempted escape from D’Qar, the home planet of their base in The Force Awakens, a location uncovered before Starkiller Base’s destruction. It seems like the First Order goes to finish off what Starkiller couldn’t, prompting a hasty escape for the Resistance—among them Captain Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), whom we’ve seen running into a bunker that explodes in the teaser. Here, he’s actually in a ship, reacting to one of the ships being blown up.
That means that this scene either takes place before Poe’s precious Black One gets destroyed, Poe isn’t in his ship, or that the explosion we saw didn’t destroy his X-Wing.
Two things go on with this next section with Poe, and they could be from two different space battles. First, we see a massive afterburner strapped to his X-Wing ignite, zooming it off into the distance. This modifcation was previously teased in a publicity still, and described as an addition to the craft that lets the skillful pilot punch through a barrage of First Order turbolaser fire during their flight from D’Qar.
The second sees Black Squadron’s leader going on an attack run against a First Order Destroyer, a “class-4 warship” previously revealed alongside the AT-M6 that looks like galaxy’s angriest, most heavily armored slice of pizza. It’s real quick, but it’s hard to tell if the afterburner is still on his ship. But you can see the same asteroid ring from the first shot and D’Qar in the background, so it seems this is all part of one longer sequence of the Resistance’s evacuation.
“We are the spark that will light the fire that will burn the First Order down,” the young Captain threatens—it’s hard to say where he is when he says it, but you can see the bun hairdo of Resistance Conn Lieutenant Kaydel Ko Connix (Billie Lourd, the daughter of Carrie Fisher) in the background. Poe looks pretty grave here, and part of the previous rumor about Admiral Holdo taking over the Resistance while an injured Leia recovers had Poe, disagreeing with Holdo’s actions, lead a mutiny against her. Does Holdo advocate surrender to the First Order, leading Poe to take her down?
Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie), armed with a spear—who needs a laser gun, really?—goes toe to toe with Finn (John Boyega), armed with a stun baton, amidst some fiery wreckage. Couple things to note: first, the background of their duel matches up with the hangar bay Kylo Ren was looking over in the opening of the trailer, so this doesn’t appear to be when Phasma and a contingent of Stormtroopers invade a Resistance ship like we saw in the first trailer.
Second, Finn is wearing a First Order officer’s uniform. Between rumors, the BTS reel, and even action figures, we know at one point in the film Finn and Resistance mechanic-turned-unlikely-hero Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran, also absent from this trailer) infiltrate a First Order vessel in disguise. Finn might even get slapped on the butt by Tom Hardy during that sequence, if another wild rumor is to be believed. But now we know he fights Phasma there too.
The First Order Destroyer we saw Poe attacking earlier leads the vanguard against the Resistance’s fleet, bombers burning under its fire. As BB-8 shakes off a shock while plugged into Poe’s X-Wing, we can once again see D’Qar behind him, so this is presumably the same sequence where Poe uses his afterburner to get past the blockade.
“This is not going to go the way you think!” a drenched Luke says—but to who? Rey would be a likely candidate, refuting her desires for him to both teach her the Jedi ways and for him to return to fight the First Order. But another long standing rumor about The Last Jedi mentions a huge action sequence where Kylo Ren and his knights invade Ahch-To, engaging in a duel with Luke and Rey. So if that turns out to be true, he could be talking to Kylo here.
Gorgeous foxes—once again, first seen in the D23 reel, and described by Rian Johnson on Twitter as “crystalline” beings—skitter into a base as its doors close. Once again this is Crait, and this is presumably the abandoned Rebel Alliance base we learned about in Leia, Princess of Alderaan. Note in the background you can see a ship that looks like that escape vessel Poe was in earlier. Given we see Leia watching these doors close, it seems like the Raddus gets critically damaged, Leia is injured as the rumors suggested, and Poe brings her here both to recover and to fight back against the First Order, possibly against Admiral Holdo’s wishes.
Rey dives into some water in a dark cave, a sequence we saw being shot in the behind-the-scenes reel from D23. She emerges to find Luke there, and the environment matches with where we saw Luke a few shots ago, so maybe his declaration was to her after all.
Finn, still in disguise, is escorted by Stormtroopers—it seems like he’s been exposed here—and we get another shot of that hangar from earlier, now filled with First Order soldiers. It gives us an even better look at the new AT-ST, which is much like the old AT-ST just with angrier looking armor attached. That’s basically the First Order design book right there.
The battle for Crait begins, as AT-M6s and TIEs fire on (and nearly crash into) Resistance Skimmers, which we first saw in the first teaser. This appears to be the climactic battle of the film, and we know from various BTS shots and publicity stills, both Poe and Finn are in some of those skimmers.
Now here’s a huge moment. Our first look at Supreme Leader Snoke in the flesh, as he reaches out and cries “Fulfill your destiny!” But while the dialogue could be from another scene and he’s talking to his protege Kylo... he’s torturing Rey, in her new “Jedi training” outfit and being racked in a much more powerful, painful version of the Force hold Kylo gripped her in on Takodana in The Force Awakens. We can see Snoke in the background, and this is taking place in his Throne room, so it seems like Rey could get captured during her return from Ahch-To and the Crait battle.
We come to the final, and already the most controversial moments of the trailer, as Rey says “I need someone to show me my place in all of this” to an unseen figure...
... But the final shot is Kylo Ren, stretching his hand out to someone as an offering.
A lot of the initial freakout over this trailer has revolved around this moment, with people seeing it as Rey slipping over to the Dark Side—searching for someone to show her the way and Kylo offering to do so. But, look close enough and you’ll see these are two different scenes deviously cut together, thanks to familiar lighting. Rey is wearing her “Resistance” outfit from when she first lands on Ahch-To, and not the Jedi gear we see her being tortured in during the trailer’s climax, so it’s clear that despite the orange-hued lighting this is her speaking to Luke after her arrival on his place-of-exile. The Kylo scene, however, has to come from later on in the movie, simply because his facial wound has mostly healed, and he’s no longer got that carbon-fiber-esque bandage over it.
Who he’s reaching out to remains to be seen. It could be Rey, offering something that would lead to her being brought to Snoke and tortured. But even if that ends up being the case, these two scenes shown in the trailer are from very different moments in The Last Jedi, despite what people think.
While this new trailer is laden with new footage—almost entirely things we’ve not seen before—we still don’t really know all that much about The Last Jedi at large. That’s mostly thanks to some masterful misdirection in the trailer’s editing, but it’s also because this new look omits some key characters we’ve yet to really discover, like Laura Dern and Benicio Del Toro’s Holdo and DJ, or even Kelly Marie Tran’s Rose Tico. Even major locations are absent, like Canto Bight, a city we know plays a major role in the film.
We’ll learn much more about Star Wars: The Last Jedi over the next few months. But we’ll be waiting to learn the full story of what this all means for the galaxy far, far away when the next chapter in the Star Wars saga hits theaters December 15.