‘The Last Jedi’ trailer: A complete breakdown and analysis

'Breathe. Just, breathe.' Er, what is breathing?

4:15 pm EST, April 20, 2017

There’s nothing quite like over-analyzing a Star Wars trailer when it drops — and The Last Jedi is certainly no exception.

As though all the details teased out over the course of The Last Jedi panel during Star Wars Celebration weren’t enough, we finally — finally — got our first look at the next installment in the Skywalker saga in the form of a trailer.

Need a reminder of exactly went down in the trailer? As though you haven’t been obsessively watching it since the second it hit the internet.) Check it out again below, before moving on for our breakdown and analysis.

Phew, okay. Are you breathing? Because here we go…

The Fall of the Jedi (Again)

We’ve already had to witness the fall of the Jedi in the Star Wars franchise, but odds are looking pretty good that we’re about the get a repeat in The Last Jedi.

Eagle-eyed fans were quick to theorize that a scene in Rey’s vision during The Force Awakens might have included a glimpse at Kylo Ren’s annihilation of Luke’s padawans. That scene appears to be getting a continuation in The Last Jedi trailer.

Whether we’ll be privy to this scene via another vision of Rey’s Force visions — as the trailer’s opening suggests she might experience one, much like she did on Takodana — or in flashback form, with narration from Luke himself, one thing is for certain… it’s going to hurt.

The First Jedi Temple

Luke’s disappearance, as suggested by Han in The Force Awakens, was likely in pursuit of the First Jedi Temple — though the exact reasoning for that is wildly speculated about amongst fans. Could he have sought it out, per the Shattered Empire comics, to return the Force trees to their point of origin, or perhaps even to discover the forgotten truth of the Jedi Order and why it always seems to be doomed to fail?

Most fans already assumed that Ahch-To might be the first Jedi Temple, and the rampant Jedi iconography that appears to be evident on the island suggests that that is indeed the case. What now remains to be seen is whether Luke discovered whatever it was that he was searching for.

But it’s almost poetic that Rey might find her beginnings as a Jedi at the very beginning of the entire Order. Well, that’s if the Jedi, as a concept, survive through the end…

The Journal of the Whills

There’s no denying that the Whills have become increasingly relevant in the Star Wars universe in recent years. Not only in respect to both Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus as Guardians of the Whills in Rogue One, but also as the opener to The Force Awakens novelization. Surely that can’t be a coincidence?

A common theory regarding Snoke is that he might even be a Shaman of the Whills, and the order itself is older than the Jedi themselves, though just as deeply connected to the Force. With far more varied Force users coming into play in the universe, it wouldn’t be a stretch to assume the Whills might play a large part in the ongoing Star Wars lore.

Could Snoke’s obsession with finding Luke and eliminating him go beyond his status as one of the last remaining Jedi, and extend to the possibility of the Journal of the Whills being in Luke’s possession? We’re guessing, if Snoke is connected to the Whills, that there is an incredibly strong case for that being so.

True Balance of the Force

This remains, arguably, great debate of the Star Wars universe: What does true balance to the Force really mean? For Obi-Wan, certainly, it meant the eradication of darkness and the Sith — but is that really balance? Does both the light side, and the dark, require equal representation for balance to be achieved, or can balance be found in one person, in the grey?

Ask any Star Wars fan, and they’ll likely believe something different, and have a fairly good case for backing up their point of view.

The prophecy from the prequels exalted Anakin as the Chosen One, the vessel for balance, but perhaps it was neither him, nor Luke, that was responsible for bringing it about. Taking the trailer’s voice over at face value, balance could mean “so much more” than just the light side and the dark side.

Add in the possibility of the Jedi Order definitively coming to an end, as Luke suggests, and we could see Rey become something akin to a truer balance between the two warring sides of the Force. Because, as we discovered over the course of the Prequel Trilogy, the Jedi Order certainly wasn’t wholly good — as much as they maintained an adherence to their strict moral code.

The Resistance

The Resistance suffered a heavy blow at the hands of the First Order and Starkiller base. With the location of their base privy to those who might have survived through the end of The Force Awakens, it’s little wonder we see them relocate their operations.

But that peace doesn’t appear to last for very long, as they suffer heavy damage at the hand of, presumably, the First Order. Not only does Poe lose an X-Wing, again, but we also see widespread chaos as Phasma and her troops descend on our heroes. Much like Rian Johnson promised, the First Order are capitalizing on the disarray in the wake of losing the Hosnian system and the Republic.

Though we see a suggestion that there may still be a significant fleet at the disposal of the Resistance, could those numbers be dwindling? We can’t imagine they can continue to suffer heavy losses of ships without significant consequences. Is it possible that we could witness their — albeit temporary — defeat during the course of The Last Jedi?

Cast and crew have, after all, promised a much darker entry into the saga than has come before.

What theories do you have, based on ‘The Last Jedi’ trailer?

Want more The Last Jedi speculation? We broke down what we think the cryptic title might mean!

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