Elen sila lumenn omentielvo!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

"It's time for the Jedi to end"

So last week the first trailer for Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi hit. Here it is!


I actually don't have a whole lot to say about it. This isn't out of any lack of excitement for the movie, although I was admittedly less thrilled than most with The Force Awakens. This trailer doesn't really do much more than it absolutely has to. It's a pretty middle-of-the-road, safe trailer, isn't it? It pretty much hits all the points that this movie needs to hit. We hear Luke Skywalker's voice, we see him doing a little bit of training Rey, and then we see some space battle stuff and some flying ships and the back of Leia's head and a brief shot of Kylo Ren. Oh, and Poe and BB-8. And Finn! Only one shot of Finn and he looks like he's still in the coma in which he ended The Force Awakens. Finn was huge in the previous film, so I wonder why there's so little of him here.

Assuming that the trailer is representative of the film, this movie has potential to end up being the most beautiful Star Wars movie yet, in terms of the visuals. There are some gorgeous shots here, my favorite being the distant shot of Rey practicing with her lightsaber on the island.

Luke is also apparently not faking his whole "depressed Jedi teacher" thing, as hinted in The Force Awakens. From what little we see or hear, Luke Skywalker sounds old, tired, and weary of the whole thing. I still don't know that I like this turn of events, and I remain convinced that surely the writers crafting this part of the story could have figured out a way to engage the emotions and have danger without undermining all the victories of the original trilogy. There's a sense here of, oh, as if Victor and Ilsa's plane at the end of Casablanca had to turn around and land again, due to engine trouble.

Also released was the first poster for The Last Jedi:


It's OK as well. Nothing earth-shaking. The lightsaber blade, with the starburst right at the pommel, is a callback to the famous Brothers Hildebrandt poster for Star Wars, way back in the day. The faces of Luke and Kylo Ren, looming over Rey, seem to indicate that they will be battling for Rey herself; she appears to be caught in the middle of these two men. This is all a lot of tea-leaf reading, I admit, but I'm not really wild about the notion of these films making us wonder if Rey will tumble to the Dark Side or stay with the Light. Again, we've seen that story before. But I could be wrong, and I'm willing to see.

I also find it fitting that Kylo Ren's face is notably smaller than Luke's, because Luke is the ultimate hero of much of Star Wars, and frankly, as a villain Kylo Ren is simply not that interesting to me. Finally, as a visual note from the poster, that starburst at the lightsaber blade's base is surrounded by a multi-ringed halo that seems suggestive to me of Captain America's shield.

So, a nice trailer and a nice poster. Red seems to be a dominant color this time out, with the red lettering of the Star Wars logo and the red background in the poster and even the planet in the trailer whose soil seems to be a red dust. Red is typically the color of the Sith lightsabers, so...well, again, we'll see.

Meantime, we're two weeks out from Guardians of the Galaxy v. 2....

1 comment:

Jason said...

Yeah. I just... yeah. At risk of sounding like those d-bags we've been defending the prequels against for nigh on 20 years, this sequel trilogy just isn't Star Wars, man. I can't get past my certainty that good ol' JJ did the same thing to this franchise that he did with Star Trek: utterly failed to understand what it was actually about, focusing instead on superficial surface things. I simply cannot accept that Luke Skywalker, the guy who walked into the lion's den to confront Vader and the Emperor, certain that he could do what everyone was telling him was impossible -- bring back Anakin Skywalker from the Dark Side -- that guy would not run away and hide for a decade or whatever, no matter what the motivation. It just feels wrong.

And of course you hit the nail on the head with the idea that all our original trilogy heroes' struggles and victories evidently amounted to nothing, and that really irks me. Obviously something had to go wrong or we wouldn't have any conflict -- they really couldn't live happily ever after -- but to see them all living so unhappily... it's just a drag. And Star Wars isn't supposed to be a drag. I fear the grimdark has gotten to even our beloved galaxy far, far away.

I have a friend who believes the trailer is deliberately misleading us, that Luke's final line in the trailer isn't what it seems. Perhaps. I hope so. But the movie has got to do a lot of heavy lifting to make the mess that JJ established into something... well something good.

I'd really like to know what George had in mind for VII, VIII and IX.