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Old 04-14-2017, 01:06 PM   #1
Talon87
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Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi


The first trailer for The Last Jedi was unveiled today. Click here to check it out!
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Old 04-14-2017, 02:38 PM   #2
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Old 04-14-2017, 04:07 PM   #3
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My takeaway:

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To end the Sith, the only option is to end the Jedi. This is the conclusion Luke has reached after learning about the history of both sides. If you want to get rid of the Dark Side, then you must get rid of the Light Side. All that can remain is 'Balanced'.

Luke most likely turned briefly to the Dark Side and isolated himself because of it, has been seeking balance since Kylo Ren slaughtered his pupils.


Also god damn that music... that music...
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Old 04-14-2017, 06:58 PM   #4
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I won't (can't) accept that explanation. It makes Star Wars even more kiddie than in the Lucas era films.
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Old 04-14-2017, 07:51 PM   #5
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I believe that line is more towards the beginning of the film since he wouldn't train her if that point is to be taken seriously
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Old 04-14-2017, 08:04 PM   #6
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It looks fun to me. Though with the "compassion for her" line makes me want to bring up that I do hope if Ren does get a redemption arc it isn't intertwined with a romance with Rey. although thinking about it seems like:
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Han and Leia were Rey's parents making them brother and sister

At least to me at the moment.
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Old 04-15-2017, 02:33 PM   #7
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My own thoughts, both on the trailer and on Last Jedi possibilities in general:

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Return of the Jedi's dialogue gives us a Luke Skywalker who is Jedi and proud of it. "Then I am a Jedi ..." "The last of the Jedi will you be." "I am a Jedi ... like my father before me." From Palpatine the Sith Lord to Yoda the retired Jedi Academy instructor, everyone seems to acknowledge Luke as a Jedi and it's a mantle he wears with pride.

But the same film's non-dialogue content paints a somewhat different picture. Even as a child, I noticed one or two of these things, like ...
  • He uses Force Choke or something similar to it to suffocate several of Jabba's guards.
  • He wears all black.
  • He taps into the Dark Side and uses rage-fueled power to overcome Vader and win their duel. You can very visibly see it in his face and in how he brings the sword down on Vader, heavily and frequently, in the second or two before he literally disarms his father.
Details like these would make me question what exactly I was watching. I never really considered the possibility that Luke (or any other Force warrior, for that matter) could be something other than prodigal Jedi or reprobate Sith. It was always, "The plot doesn't make any sense here. " As an adult, I now consider it differently. Whether it was intended by Lucas & Team or not, I feel like there's solid support from Return of the Jedi for the hypothesis that Luke ultimately turned out as neither a pure Light Side user nor a pure Dark Side user but instead as someone who is more gray, in the middle. Undeniably, he identifies as a Jedi -- but he is a Jedi far grayer than, say, a Qui-Gon Jinn. He's much more similar to a Kyle Katarn or a Mace Windu.

Like so many fans, I too speculate that the Luke Skywalker of The Last Jedi is going to be a man who has given up on the Jedi teachings, but a man who also still rejects the Sith. For Luke, it isn't about the Light Side or the Dark Side, but rather about the cults and philosophies that arose in response to them. Luke might not reject Force Lightning or Force Choke any more than he would reject Force Push or Force Jump. He might value asceticism to some extent, but not to the same draconian extent that the Jedi Council did in the time of his father. He might value tapping in to one's emotions to some extent, but not to the same extent that Palpatine did.

In Ancient Greece, at Delphi, these words were inscribed on the temple: μηδέν άγαν. Mēdén ágan. "Nothing in excess." I believe that Luke has taken this idea to heart. The Sith are clearly evil, but the Jedi were excessive in their own way. The Sith were right to criticize the Jedi, on a good number of points. Many of which damned his own father. Most famously, the rule forbidding love.

You can see the good intentions behind that rule. (Aside: I think it could even be wonderful to explore that in one of Disney's even-year films, one set hundreds or even thousands of years ago.) It's easy to imagine a history where there was once upon a time this great Force user, he loved someone, something bad happened, and his love for that person drove him to do terrible things. So the Jedi decided, "As much as it sucks, from this day forward, nobody gets to love. Because so long as you don't love somebody, a tragedy like this can't possibly occur again." But it was a naive policy. And it exploded with Anakin Skywalker, someone who was largely seduced by the Dark Side precisely because he couldn't be open with the Jedi Council about his relationship with Padme. In an alternate universe where he could have loved her publicly, chances are decent he wouldn't have turned out the same way as he did in our canon. The potential within him would've been there, but the triggers wouldn't have been there to fire.

Luke understands that the Jedi code damned his father. He understands that he was able to overpower his father in a moment where Luke was Dark Side-heavy (in the moment) and Vader was at his Dark Side-weakest in years. And Luke understands that the Jedi code (or other details we do not yet fully understand) damned Kylo Ren. 1, 2, 3: Luke's operating with experiences that inform him, "The Jedi did not have it 100% right."

And to be quite honest? This is the perfect time to shelve the Jedi code in favor of a new philosophy. It would have been a heretical proposal 100 years ago, and one which would have likely seen most Jedi either expelled or else subjected to intense therapy. But today? When there aren't really any other Jedi to oppose Luke? This is the perfect time to say, "I have some ideas for some changes, some of them heretical, and I'd like to try them out if I may."

In fact, that might even be the backstory with Kylo Ren that we're all waiting for. It might turn out that Luke's decision about the Jedi Code isn't recent, but at the very least predates Kylo's turn to the Dark Side. It's quite possible that Kylo was one of Luke's very first Gray Jedi pupils but that instead of turning out gray like Luke he turned out black like most Sith. It has yet to be explained what will really separate a Sith from a gray Force user in terms of philosophy, but we're probably going to get it in The Last Jedi. Kylo must have disagreed with something that Luke was teaching him, and for whatever reason he decided that the Sith had it figured out and Uncle was feeding him hippie nonsense. Indeed, picture it like this (using Chinese philosophy): it would be like if the Jedi were Legalists; the Sith were Daoists; Luke has come up with Confucianism; Luke is teaching Kylo Confucianism; but there are a few things Uncle Luke teaches him with which Kylo doesn't quite agree; and Kylo reads up on other Force user philosophies; and he discovers Daoism; and he reads its texts; and he's like, "You know what? Screw Uncle! I'm a Daoist. The Daoists had it all figured out"; and when Luke tries to appeal to Kylo that, no, Daoism isn't quite the right answer either, Kylo fires back that Daoist (i.e. Sith) texts date back millennia and that Uncle, with his new-fangled "Confucianism", is hardly the man to tell thousands of years' worth of scholars that they got it wrong.

Of course, it might also not be anything like that, and Luke's decision to abandon the Jedi Order has as much to do with how Kylo turned out in the end than it does anything else; and that Luke had been attempting to raise Kylo as a Jedi, not as a gray Force user, when things turned bad.

I'm excited to see where this goes. A lot of people seem upset that Luke is so pessimistic now about the Jedi, a stark contrast with his Return of the Jedi self. But I like it, and I think it honestly makes a lot of good sense in light of the prequels. Because love them or hate them, the prequels delivered us a Jedi Order who were just ... wrong about a good one or two things. If they hadn't been wrong about anything, Palpatine wouldn't have been able to seduce Anakin as well as he did in the first place. It's more than just "they wouldn't let me have a wife and kids. " It's, all of the meddling in politics that the Order did ... All of the other legitimate accusations which Palpatine fires their way ... How the Order treated Anakin, how their very own actions created the monster they feared would arise ... Luke knows all of this, and I'm excited to hear his thoughts on the subject.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I'm very excited to see Rey's training. I hope it occupies at least twenty to thirty minutes of the film. Luke's training on Dagobah is a fan favorite, and yet I've already read many fans saying that they think we could do it better. Well okay then: let's. Let's do it better. Whether it's a book that's introduced into canon, whether it's teaching her a named lightsaber fighting style or technique, whether it's helping her to craft her own lightsaber ... A, B, C, D, E, F, G, there are so many things they can show here and I'd love to see all of them. Time is our limiting factor, sadly. But please! Give us a great showcase.

I'm also excited to see Luke at full power. Cinematography, special effects, and above all else choreography and fight scenes training have all come a long way since the early 1980s. The fights we got between Luke and Vader in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi were great for their time but, and especially for the final fight in RotJ, don't match up to what we expect nowadays from "two of the greatest Force users in the history of the galaxy going at it." I'm super stoked to see what The Last Jedi will depict Luke doing. How far in space can his powers reach? What is their scope? What can he do?

I'm basically going to go see this movie for the Luke and Rey storyline(s). I'm a lot less excited for Finn's, Poe's, and Kylo's storylines, but I hope that those will impress me too. Especially Kylo's. We sorely need a good front-and-center villain again. Palpatine was too in the shadows during the prequels, and the villains in the front kept shuffling. If Luke's desire is to scrap the Jedi Order in order to also rid us of the Sith, I'm curious to know why Kylo is so set on preserving the Sith. Why is he so convinced that a balance of Light and Dark Side is worse than bathing in nothing but Dark? Finn, I would've been more excited for if the trailer didn't indicate the fucker's still comatose. And I'm gonna be pissed if he somehow winds back up in the First Order's hands and gets reprogrammed. Not only because I'll be sad for him, but because I'll be pissed we're going to have to waste precious screentime on the inevitable outcome of getting back again. Poe ... don't really care. ^^; I don't dislike Poe at all, and actually enjoy a lot of his lines in Episode VII. But as a character, he's done nothing yet to make me feel like he's on par with a Luke, a Han, or a Leia. Rey and even Finn at least have done that much.

When Rey is swinging around the lightsaber in the wide shot on the island, I totally saw it as green. I understand if it's blue (and if it's the exact same saber as we've seen her in possession of since VII), but when I first watched the trailer I assumed it was green (and was her own, personal new saber! ) and on subsequent re-watches I've had to question whether it's the blue Anakin/Luke/VII saber or whether it's the green Luke saber, in either case not Rey's personal saber at all. (Obviously, the saber she's shown running with later in the trailer is blue in color. And one would assume it's the Anakin/Luke/VII saber, though of course it still could be her own personal saber. We'll have to wait and see.)

The trailer shows B-Wings with red chemtrails going up against AT-ATs on some sort of barren landscape. Given how Star Wars is prone to saying "if the part of the planet we show you looks like A then the entire planet is like A", it would seem likely then that this isn't the same planet as the one where Rey finds Luke. Which then begs the question: why is the battle taking place here? What's so special about this location that it would lead the First Order and the Resistance to fight over it? In VII it makes sense that they fight at Starkiller Base because the Resistance brings the fight to the First Order's backyard. And in VIII it would make sense if the First Order wanted to track down Luke and invaded his Irish island planet ... But if instead the battle is taking place elsewhere, then elsewhere has to matter for some as-yet unknown reason.

The music is a fantastic remix of the Force theme song from the original films with one of the tracks, Rey's theme maybe?, from Episode VII. On the one hand, I feel like the remix shows signs of Williams' having lost his touch, in the sense that "he can't write something new that's great" / "he can only make remixes of his old achievements", something which was largely evident from the prequels' and VII's soundtracks vs. the original trilogy's, with the first group of films having only the occasional sensational song but the second group having timeless tune after timeless tune after timeless tune. But on the other hand, it is a truly excellent remix and Williams can at least be commended on that. I have enjoyed listening to it many times now over the past 24 hours.
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Old 04-15-2017, 03:06 PM   #8
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Couple of points regarding Talon's post:
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Firstly, I'm pretty sure they established Kylo as one of the Knights of Ren, which is some dark side group that isn't Sith.

And regarding the barren landscape place... Well after the first film of the new trilogy, they could be repeating the formula of the original films again, only with some bits rearranged. The 'trainee force user leaves to find the last living Jedi' got bumped to the end of 7, but they might try and keep chunks of the old formula, such as the actual training montage. And the main actual battle we saw in Episode 5 was Hoth: A barren wasteland where the Rebellion's hidden out after the Empire found their base. After Episode 7, I'm pretty sure it's indicated that the First Order knew roughly where the Resistance base was, as I think(?) it was their system that was being targeted next by the Starkiller base. So they'll have had to move, and who's to say they haven't moved to say, some barren backwater hell-hole where the stormtroopers wouldn't look for them, just like the Rebellion did when they went from Yavin 4 to Hoth?
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Old 04-15-2017, 05:42 PM   #9
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@Talon

A lot of your speculation hinges on what Abrams considers the philosophy of the Jedi. This (or rather, the nature of the Light-Dark Side) have changed over the years. In the original films, Light/Dark was the difference between embracing emotion and detachment from it. A true Jedi always saw himself as merely a snapshot in time, a pixel as part of a larger picture, and their existence in the here and now was transient and mere preparation for their unification with the Force. It's a vague admixture of East-West Philosophy - you have the Buddhist idea of escaping suffering through meditative understanding, and the Christian idea that we're just "passing through" Earth on the way to the much-better realm of Paradise. These qualities are why the Republic allied with the Jedi as they were ostensibly warrior monks, with their philosophy advocating a disinterest in the worldly affairs of the day.

The Sith were a lot simpler bunch - value and embrace living in the present, and use your skills to control it for your betterment. The Sith were not all about power as they went through a great deal of suffering in the process to gain it - the very nature of the Dark Side would not allow them to simply be nihilistic like the Jedi. It's not surprising then that most Sith try as much as possible to achieve eternal life, so they never move on to the next world.

Writers realized that the former makes for less interesting drama than the latter. The Jedi are motivated for the same reasons in every era, while people might turn to the Dark Side for any reason under the sun. So the Light/Dark dichotomy, for at least since Jedi Knight II in 2002, has been about "positive emotions" versus "negative emotions". The Light/Dark Side is now White/Black, because Jedi can have their cake and eat it too, while Sith are just angry, violence-oriented losers.

I'm pretty sure Abrams knows the distinction and why everyone has gotten on board with the latter. There was very little "emotional detachment" in the previous movie and pretty much none in his Star Trek films (even out of Spock, the most Jedi-like Trek character). Luke leaving society however is a very Jedi-like thing to do, like Yoda, because Jedi are perfectly content with withdrawing from society in preparation for uniting with the Force. But if Luke isn't ready, or doesn't want to, he isn't necessarily deviating from the Jedi principles. Being a Jedi is something you have to constantly prove, and Luke did it in Return by 1) going back to Dagobah and 2) not killing Vader. Obi-wan did it by confronting Vader and allowing himself to be slain; Yoda did it by accepting death, as long life is the hallmark of the Sith.
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Old 04-17-2017, 12:41 AM   #10
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FYI, Abrams isn't working on The Last Jedi.
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