New stills and information from Star Wars: The Last Jedi have been unveiled, revealing a vastly changed Luke and some adorable Porgs.
The new stills from The Last Jedi set a somewhat sobering scene, as meetings and reunions may not play out as anyone expected. Most urgent of these, of course, is Rey’s long-anticipated collision with Luke Skywalker — and fans can expect to be just as surprised as the young former scavenger.
Anthony Breznican of Entertainment Weekly describes Luke as “a broken man” who “would have preferred to stay lost” from the galaxy’s attention and expectations.
Rey, actress Daisy Ridley says, begins The Last Jedi “so hopeful to everything.” Upon meeting this broken shell of Luke, “Obviously there’s a hint of, What the hell?”
In reprising his iconic role, Mark Hamill felt similarly surprised.
“When I first read it, my jaw dropped,” he says. “What would make someone that alienated from his original convictions? That’s not something that you can just make up in an afternoon, and I really struggled with this thing.”
“[Luke] made a huge mistake in thinking that his nephew [Ben Solo] was the chosen one, so he invested everything he had in Kylo, much like Obi-Wan did with my character,” Hamill says. “And he is betrayed, with tragic consequences. Luke feels responsible for that. That’s the primary obstacle he has to rejoining the world and his place in the Jedi hierarchy, you know?”
“It’s that guilt, that feeling that it’s his fault, that he didn’t detect the darkness in him until it was too late.”
Regardless of what happened to inspire this hermit-like existence in Luke, Rey’s still-secret identity may prove critical to his future.
“I don’t think one girl, who he doesn’t know, turning up with a lightsaber is gonna make him go, “Oh, shit, yeah, of course I’ll get back into the action!” Ridley says. But — and Star Wars fans around the world go gooey at the thought — Hamill isn’t so sure that there isn’t already a connection established between the old Jedi and the new hopeful.
So hold on to your horses, fans!
Meanwhile, Kylo Ren is not exactly ready to leave the path of darkness in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Piloting a new ship called the TIE Silencer (ominous!), Han and Leia’s son now joins other terrifying protectors of Supreme Leader Snoke as the First Order’s dark plans continue to advance.
The Praetorian Guards will accompany Snoke as he appears in the flesh — and not hologram — in The Last Jedi. Director Rian Johnson says that, as opposed to Emperor Palpatine’s staidly intimidating guardians, the Praetorians are “more like samurai.”
“They have to be built to move,” he says. “You have to believe that they could step forward and engage if they have to. They have to seem dangerous.”
And while fans should expect to see a good deal more of Snoke in the new film, not every question as to his identity will be answered.
“Similar to Rey’s parentage, Snoke is here to serve a function in the story. And a story is not a Wikipedia page,” Johnson says, teasing that “we’ll learn exactly as much about Snoke as we need to.”
As the baddies level up in The Last Jedi fans can expect to see the Resistance is still going… if not strong, then at least it putters on. General Leia cuts a powerful figure in the new stills, and EW teases that Leia’s relationship with Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) will develop further through the film.
Meanwhile, Kelly Marie Tran’s new character Rose Tico is also ready to make a big splash — especially in Finn’s (John Boyega) life.
Finn, Boyega says, has become “a hero to people like Rose, who fight for the Resistance because their homes have been destroyed by the First Order.” But that admiration comes with a tremendous pressure that Finn will spend the start of The Last Jedi trying to escape.
“He appreciates [Rose’s] adoration for a second,” Boyega recounts, “But when he meets her, Finn is trying to escape the whole war. He’s trying to leave. And she comes in and basically gives him a depiction of himself that wasn’t necessarily true.”
Inhabiting an “uncool” mechanic doing gruntwork for the Resistance, Tran says Rose “is good at what she does [but] she’s not known,” Tran says. “She’s not cool. She’s this nobody, this background player, which is what makes her interesting. She’s not the best. She’s not royalty. She’s someone who is just like everyone else.”
When her and Finn’s paths collide on a risky journey to the Canto Bight casino, Boyega says that Finn is faced with a crossroads.
“It’s now an opportunity for him to be the best he can be. He has to make a decision, and Rose is there to help him make that choice,” he says.
Meanwhile, the world of Star Wars: The Last Jedi will also offer a few new mysteries — and new delights. Luke’s island of Ach-To is home to the utterly adorable creatures called Porgs, which have already conquered the internet. In addition, the island is populated by Caretakers, an all-female species who preserve the relics of the ancient place.
Those relics will tie into The Last Jedi‘s links to Star Wars legend, and include eons-old cave paintings on Ach-To. (And as Star Wars fans know, nothing ambiguous ever happens in caves in the galaxy far, far away.)
“Hopefully,” Johnson says, the mysteries “will be fun to discover in the context of the movie. My notion was this is a place that goes all the way back. This is where the cave paintings are.”
“The first designs that we had were temples, and I just kept pushing it back and saying, ‘No, think earlier, think earlier. Let’s push this all the way back and see how deep we can go into the foundations of where this all started.'”
And the pull of the past, albeit a more recent past, will have an equally intimate pull on Luke Skywalker as it does on Star Wars fans.
“I think he probably looks out on the horizon and wishes that he could be more effective, could be what Obi-Wan wanted him to be,” says Mark Hamill. “But life is imperfect and without conflict there is no drama. Believe me, you’re going to see a lot of conflict in The Last Jedi. That is for sure.”
Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits theaters on Dec. 15.
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