The Last Jedi Trailer Breakdown

I’m exhausted (I woke up way too early to watch that trailer!), but I knew I couldn’t rest until I had done this. There is so much to unpack here, so you’ll have to excuse me for omitting some things (mainly space battles) and skimming over others.

I’m sure I’m wrong with a good chunk of this, but this is all meant in good fun.

I hope you enjoy my first stab at breaking this baby down – if you think it can be improved or spot anything that needs to be corrected, please let me know.

Kylo on the observation deck of the Supremacy, Snoke’s Mega-class Star Destroyer.

DIALOGUE: Snoke – “When I found you, I saw raw, untamed power. And beyond that, something truly special.”

There is obviously a big debate over who Snoke is speaking to here. It could be either Kylo (who we mostly see images of as this dialogue is being spoken) or Rey, and I think that’s the point. The whole purpose of the trailer is to stress that Kylo and Rey are in eerily similar positions and occupy the same space in the Force, and the dialogue simply reinforces that. Rey and Kylo are both characterised by their raw power, and they are both considered prodigies.

I’m also loving the obvious call-back to Attack of the Clones here – the shot from that film shows Anakin contemplating his mother’s fate (he has just had a dream of her being tortured by the Sand People), so if they’re really pursuing a parallel here it’s possible that this shows Kylo thinking of his mother too.

Kylo leading a platoon of stormtroopers onto Crait. This shot is particularly interesting, as Kylo was previously unaccounted for in the third act of the film – we now know that he’s part of the First Order’s assault on Crait. Yet again, we find a parallel to the prequel trilogy here. This shot is a very clear parallel for the one of Anakin leading stormtroopers into the Jedi HQ on Coruscant:

In Revenge of the Sith, this is the shot that prepares us for the massacre of the Jedi. It’s possible that Kylo is going into Crait to wipe out Resistance scum (TM), but if they’re truly going for the reverse Anakin route it’s equally possible that he’s about to do something more surprising.

Kylo bowing before Snoke in his throne room, and reaching down to pick up his lightsaber (perhaps a new-and-improved version, given the uncertain fate of his saber in TFA) as the Praetorian Guards look on. This is likely to be one of the first scenes in the film, and it’s presumably Kylo being called before Snoke to explain himself after his defeat and the destruction of Starkiller Base. He is probably humiliated by this experience, as we see him throwing his helmet against the wall in anger later (see below).

I don’t have anything smart to say here except that Mark Hamill has the most amazing WTF face.

DIALOGUE: Rey – “Something, something inside me has always been there. But now it’s awake, and I need help.”

This line establishes Rey’s vulnerability and position in relation to the more established Force users – she is overwhelmed by her own power, and knows that she needs help to wield it properly.

Rey exploring Ahch-To, and finding herself inside the tree/cavern with the ancient books (which were first seen in the previous trailer). I’m guessing she’s been left alone here and is trying to find answers for herself.

Rey has some serious skills and Luke knows it. The point of this little montage is clearly to demonstrate that Luke is made to face up to the sheer extent of Rey’s power, and he isn’t even remotely happy about it. He is frightened and troubled by what he witnesses.

I find it profoundly amusing that Luke appears to have been buried beneath the timbre of the temple.

In all seriousness, this is somewhat surprising as the composition of Rey’s vision in TFA had implied that the massacre at the temple happened in Luke’s absence, with him returning to face the horror of it. This suggests something far more sudden and unexpected, possibly implying that it was some kind of random or rushed event rather than the product of a carefully formulated plan.

Han said that Luke’s apprentice (i.e. Ben Solo) “destroyed it all” in TFA, and this makes me wonder if that explanation is more literal than we had previously imagined – it’s possible that instead of deliberately murdering his fellow pupils, some kind of traumatic or shocking event triggered Ben’s innate power and caused him to lose control and destroy everything surrounding him.

This kind of cataclysm would explain Luke’s fear of Rey – he would consider Kylo and Rey ticking Force bombs waiting to go off and cause massive damage. It would also offer a good explanation of why Kylo turned to Snoke after the incident at the temple – his uncle would be appalled by and terrified of him, and would essentially cast him out into Snoke’s waiting arms.


DIALOGUE: Luke – “I’ve seen this raw strength only once before. It didn’t scare me enough then. It does now.”

To me, the subject of this dialogue is very clear. Luke has just witnessed the extent of Rey’s power in the Force, and it reminds him powerfully of Kylo. He implies that he didn’t respond as he should have to Ben (specifically, he didn’t take his capacity for harm seriously enough), and swears he won’t make the same mistake with Rey. This is clearly the source of his reluctance to train her. In the books Luke has a rather hippy-dippy attitude to redemption and the will of the Force post-ROTJ, but he has clearly been made hardened and cynical by his experiences with Ben.

Rey looks hurt and confused, presumably by Luke’s rejection of her and the saber. Rey is clearly on the edge of the island here – it almost makes me wonder if she has fallen (or possibly even pushed) off the ledge after handing Luke the lightsaber, and is pulling herself back up. It’s a very weird position without context.

What an awesome beauty shot of Kylo’s eyes and gorgeous chocolate locks. ‘Nuff said.

DIALOGUE: Kylo – “Let the past die. Kill it, if you have to. That’s the only way to become what you were meant to be.”

Unless he’s speaking to a mirror, it’s most likely that Kylo is talking to Rey here. Rey was obviously hung up on her family and Jakku in TFA, and I can see Kylo saying something like this to her in an attempt to help her move on.

Kylo preparing to hurl his helmet against the wall in the elevator outside Snoke’s throne room. As I said above, it would seem that he’s upset/angered by whatever Snoke told him.

This is a long centrepiece sequence and it’s clearly meant to be a ‘will he, won’t he’ moment. Kylo is piloting his TIE Silencer in the battle of D’Qar and is evidently poised to attack his mum’s ship. We know he doesn’t take Leia out here because she is also featured in the Crait scenes, which happen in the third act (the battle of D’Qar is situated firmly in the first act). The specifics of what happen are obviously less certain – he could not fire at all, deliberately miss, or be distracted by enemy fire. So many choices!

The Falcon being chased by TIEs on Crait. Chewie and his porg pal appear to be in the cockpit for this chase – it’s unclear whether there’s a co-pilot around at this point (whether Rey or someone else).

Poe and co being evacuated from D’Qar during the First Order’s attack on the planet.

DIALOGUE: Poe – “We have a spark that will light the fire that will burn the First Order down.”

It’s neat inspirational dialogue from up-and-coming Resistance leader Poe – it may be an allusion to Finn, since he could well be the ‘spark’ of doubt that destroys the loyalty of the First Order’s troopers (by representing an alternative path and shedding a light on the corruption and hypocrisy of the FO hierarchy).

Finn and Phasma facing off. This is a scene that has been hyped for a long time, and was first rumoured an age ago by our friend Bothan Spy on Reddit. It looks like Finn and co have done some serious damage during their infiltration.

Luke looking even more pissed than before. It’s possible that this shot is related to the Bothan Spy rumour of the exploding hut (the rumour is that Luke is angered by a conversation Rey and Kylo are having without him in a hut, and blows it up in retaliation), since it could show the aftermath of that (you can arguably see rubble in the background, though it could just as easily be weathered masonry).

DIALOGUE: Luke – “This is not going to go the way you think.”

I’d guess this is a warning to Rey. He sounds very angry and stern here, as if she has disobeyed him or is threatening to disobey. This is a major reach, but it’s possible that she is defying him by going with/helping Kylo and Luke is warning her against it.

Ice foxes on Crait. They seem to be retreating into the Resistance hanger bay.

Leia waiting by the gate to the Rebel base on Crait – it looks like she is waiting for someone, and this could potentially match up with the shot from the BTS reel where Rey approaches Leia on the same planet:

(Note that the costume Leia wears is identical, as is the ground.)

Rey falling in the water on Ahch-To and encountering the skeletons of some peculiar alien beasties.

Luke Skywalker being creepy af, watching a soaking-wet Rey from the mist (I know it sounds kinky like that, but that’s literally what’s there). He looks very ominous and judgemental here, and certainly doesn’t seem ready to give a helping hand.

DIALOGUE: Snoke – “Fulfil your destiny.”

As before, this could be addressed to Rey or Kylo. I would lean towards Kylo, since I can see Snoke playing the destiny card with him because of his Skywalker bloodline.

Finn taken prisoner during his infiltration of the First Order.

The First Order forces massed. I suspect they may be gathered here to witness Finn’s execution, though that is an educated guess.

Snoke torturing Rey with the Force. He looks absolutely hideous here, and the torture Rey is going through looks agonising – you can see Praetorian guards in the background, and we know that Rey and Kylo fight them at some point. The fight scene(s) with the Guards may come before or after this scene, though it’s impossible to say more than that. The revelation that Snoke and Rey meet is, by itself, a big deal.



DIALOGUE: Rey – “I need someone to show me my place in all this.”


Now, there has been a lot of chatter about this moment. It is clear that the shots of Rey and Kylo are from different scenes – my bet would be on the shot of Rey showing her speaking to Luke early in the film (probably when she is explaining herself to him), with her line potentially linking up to her earlier plea. I think that the full line might look like this:

“Something, something inside me has always been there. But now it’s awake, and I need help. I need someone to show me my place in all this.”


What must be said, though, is that I don’t think they would mislead us to the extent of tricking us to believe that Kylo is extending his hand to Rey when he is actually offering it to someone else. This trailer, as far as I’m concerned, is about establishing the key relationships and conflicts of the film. And a thread running through it all is Rey’s desire for help with her nascent powers, and Luke’s bitter resistance to offering her this support. So you have a vulnerable young woman who is desperate for guidance and a sense of place and purpose. The trailer shows Luke refusing to offer her any of this – instead, Kylo steps in to fill the void and offers her understanding and support. The scene with Kylo is likely to be from later in the film, and it could either represent a real event or a vision.


One thought on “The Last Jedi Trailer Breakdown

  1. I really appreciate your idea that perhaps Ben accidentally lost control, causing the massive destruction. Personally, I think, if this was indeed the course of events, it was when he discovered that everyone he trusted had been lying to him about his grandfather. As I’ve mentioned before, I believe this violation of trust was the final straw for Ben Solo who had been resisting the insidious whispers of Snoke for years. I think Snoke told him who his grandfather was and he didn’t believe him because surely his mother and his uncle, at the very least, would have prepared him. We’ve already seen how he doesn’t have the best self-control and in TFA the electronics have the price. It’s not such a far stretch to believe that his rage at his family’s betrayal literally blew apart Luke’s temple, killing younglings in the process. And the guilt that would go along with that would further drive him into his Kylo Ren persona.
    If this is true, the fanboys will be horrified.
    Bless their hearts.


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