It’s that time again, Star Wars fans. With the latest promotional video for The Last Jedi dropped at the bi-annual D23 Expo, we’re breaking down all of the new footage.
There’s nothing quite like getting new Star Wars material to obsess over, as we wait for The Last Jedi to hit theatres later this year. The last good look at the film we got was the recent Vanity Fair spread, and before that the trailer.
Well, Disney and Lucasfilm certainly delivered during their live action panel at D23. We did a quick round-up of all the big news that dropped, but now it’s time to dig into the details.
If you haven’t had a chance to watch The Last Jedi behind the scenes video, check it out below, before continuing on for our breakdown and thoughts.
Now, dry those eyes. We’ve got some theorizing to do.
Welcome to Crait
As first revealed in The Last Jedi trailer, we got another great look at the newest planet in the Star Wars universe: Crait. When director Rian Johnson spoke to EW following the trailer, he said of Crait, “It’s way out there. It’s uncharted. It’s a mineral planet and so there are mines on it.”
With the planet due to play “a key role in the movie,” especially as a former Rebel Alliance base and a rich mining resource, it will undoubtedly be a target for the First Order once they discover its location. And, as evidenced in the video above, it’s likely the Resistance have returned to the once stronghold of the Rebellion.
Could Crait be the location of the newest Resistance base, especially after their needing to abandon D’Qar? As a planet that is almost certainly in the near-uncharted Unknown Regions, it’d be difficult to find — except for those that already knew of its existence.
As for the battle that appears to be taking place, the deep trenches in Crait’s ground are certainly reminiscent of the Death Star showdown in A New Hope. Nods back to the Original Trilogy are to be expected, but the explosion of red lends a new aesthetic to the familiar.
Also of note: Rey and Finn both appear to be present on Crait — with Finn wearing the lower half of a First Order uniform, but we’ll come back to that — which would suggest that this explosive footage may come in the last third of the movie, after Rey has left Ahch-To.
Fight, fight, fight
Don’t think we didn’t notice those brief glimpses of Rey fighting multiple foes. Could this mean that she’ll be coming up against the Knights of Ren? We’ve heard much about the group that Kylo Ren leads, but have yet to see them in action — except for, what we assume, was their presence in Rey’s Force vision during The Force Awakens. We’d certainly love to see her take on, and take down, some of Kylo Ren’s Knights.
But Rey wasn’t the only one facing a foe: Kylo Ren also saw some action, against some staff wielders. There are a few possibilities for what is happening here. Firstly, that Kylo Ren is training to perfect his strategy and defense to take on Rey once again, and this time come out on top. Second, that he might be defecting from the First Order and taking on either the Knights or Snoke’s proto guards.
Could Kylo Ren’s role in his father’s death have the opposite effect to what he intended, making him something of a double agent — a la Snape, in Harry Potter?
Rey isn’t the only one getting an updated look in The Last Jedi. In fact, John Boyega’s Finn appears to be the one receiving the most costume changes throughout the film.
We not only see him wearing
his boyfriend’s an outfit resembling Poe’s from The Force Awakens, but also an X-Wing pilot jumpsuit and a First Order uniform — the latter of which sees Rose suiting up likewise.
It had already been revealed in the Vanity Fair spread that Rose and Finn would be adventuring together, but it also appears that involves going undercover. With Boyega teasing during the D23 panel that Finn and Phasma might have a showdown, will that come during this mission? Will Phasma blow his cover and put both Finn, and Rose, in jeopardy? Why is December so damn far away?
Oh, and Kylo Ren appears to have upgraded to wearing a cape. Edna Mode would be very disappointed in him.
Though we’re all still grieving the death of Carrie Fisher this past December, which will make for an emotional viewing of The Last Jedi, there’s also an in-world death the characters will need to come to terms with: Han Solo’s.
We briefly see Chewie alone under the Millennium Falcon, bathed in the light of a campfire — a powerfully lonely image, for someone that just lost their best friend and near constant companion.
Much as it’d hurt us desperately to experience Chewie in his grief, it’s still something that’ll be fresh on their minds, and with as much downtime as Chewie might get on Ahch-To, he’s the perfect vessel for it. Not to say that we won’t also get Leia’s reaction, but she also has a Resistance to run — and grief manifests itself in many different ways. It’d provide some interesting development opportunities for Chewie’s character, whilst Rey trains with Luke.
The best part of getting a behind the scenes look at The Last Jedi is seeing all of the creatures coming to life — and much like The Force Awakens, practical effects are the order of the day on set. Take that, uncanny valley.
It had been leaked previously that Luke was not alone on Ahch-To, and would be joined by some new creatures. Well, we finally get to see them in this featurette. The Porgs are absolutely adorable, and might give BB-8 a run for their money on the cuteness scale. But we can’t help but be reminded that things in cute packages are often, er, more vicious that they originally appear. We’re looking at you, Ewoks.
Also featuring is the Casino planet, Canto Bight. The variation of species appearing is astounding, and it certainly has us eager to learn more about it. We just hope that most of those creatures make it out unscathed: the detailed work and puppetry is breathtaking. Though, knowing that Finn and Rose are heading there, we can’t imagine that there’ll be no trouble started…
Also of note:
- An X-Wing pilot appears to fall down a deep shaft lined with bombs. That doesn’t bode particularly well.
- We got a brief glimpse at Laura Dern and Benicio Del Toro’s characters in action. Dern’s character appears to be greeting General Leia. Are you as excited as we are to see these women interact?
- We’re going underwater. Rey is seen diving into the water during the video, perhaps on Ahch-To. Er, Luke? What are you doing to make her want to get away so badly?
- There are multiple Executioner Troopers seen in the footage. Oh damn.
- “It’s about family, and that’s what’s so powerful about it.” Excuse us while we just… take a moment. No, we’re not crying. (Spoiler: We are.)
It’s a wrap!
What are you most excited about from this ‘Last Jedi’ behind the scenes look?