They’re rivals on opposite sides of the Force, but the new Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer nevertheless seems to be drawing close parallels between Rey and Kylo Ren.
The latest trailer revealed at halftime on Monday Night Football was a goosebump-inducing 2½ minutes that showcased more hints at character relationships than we’ve seen so far in the run-up to director Rian Johnson’s blockbuster-to-be (in theaters Dec. 15), plus one potentially important temptation to the Dark Side.
First, a quick recap: The last time we saw The Force Awakens heroine Rey (Daisy Ridley) and First Order villain Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), they were facing off in a lightsaber battle on Starkiller Base after Kylo murdered his father Han Solo (Harrison Ford). Suffice it to say, they didn’t part as friends.
The Last Jedi begins as The Force Awakens ended, with Rey seeking out old Jedi master Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), now a hermit on an uncharted island years after his efforts to teach Kylo ended in disaster. And their teacher/student (or Jedi/Padawan) relationship seems to mirror that of Kylo and Supreme Leader Snoke (played via motion capture by Andy Serkis).
“When I found you, I saw raw, untamed power. And beyond that, something truly special,” Snoke says in the beginning of the trailer, presumably to Kylo.
While Snoke is stoked about his young apprentice’s potential, Luke is visibly worried about Rey’s: “I’ve seen this raw strength only once before. It didn’t scare me enough then. It does now.” In his post-Kylo years, he’s a little skittish about taking on a new recruit. (This also calls back to the most notable line from the previous trailer: “It’s time for the Jedi to end.”)
Much of the footage focuses on the war between the First Order and the Resistance, including an air battle that sees Kylo strafing the good guys in his TIE Fighter, sensing his mother General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) and hesitating on a kill shot. He’s offed one parent, but is he ready to take out the other? Leia tells Han in Force Awakens that “there is still light” in Kylo — could this be a sign he hasn’t gone totally dark?
Kicking off with Resistance flyboy Poe Dameron describing the rebels as “the spark that will light the fire that will burn the First Order down,” there’s a montage of big moments like Finn (John Boyega) going undercover and facing off with his old boss Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) and Snoke torturing Rey as he finishes the sentence, “Fulfill your destiny.”
The end, though, is the best part, especially for Star Wars nerds who love thinking about this stuff: Rey and Kylo seem like they’re talking to each other when she says, “I need someone to show me my place in all this,” and Kylo reaches out his hand — and not in anger, which is pretty different for the hotheaded baddie.
Is he trying to bring her to the Dark Side? Or could Rey be the key to his redemption?
Or it could all be a big misdirect. Luke, ever wise, even intones at one point: “This is not going to go the way you think.”