Unless you've been inhabiting an asteroid circling the far side of the galaxy, you can't fail to have noticed The Last Jedi trailer that went live over the Easter weekend. The promo made its glorious debut as part of the recent Star Wars Celebration and here, finally, is our blow by blow breakdown of the highlights. May the Force be with you.
We love the switcheroo on this opening reveal, as what we assume to be space is in fact revealed to be a dark rock surface on which aspiring Jedi Rey (Daisy Ridley) places her hand. It's a sure sign of how director Rian Johnson, responsible for terrific 2012 time-travel thriller Looper, is investing the new movie with a renewed sense of visual zeal.
Rey reaches out
Having ascended the Jedi steps at the end of The Force Awakens and come face to face with Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), the next stage in Rey's training is set to begin.
Just as The Empire Strikes Back took Luke's journey into darker areas, moving him from protege into battle-scarred warrior, The Last Jedi looks set to perform a similar trick with Rey's character, as she prepares to once again confront Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). The spine-tingling slivers of the Force theme on John Williams' soundtrack, not to mention the portentous, breathy voiceover, reinforce what's at stake. Plus, the Irish Skellig Islands, standing in for Luke's hideaway on Ahch-To, look absolutely stunning.
Facing the galaxy
We might assume this figure to be Leia, played by the late Carrie Fisher in what will be her final Star Wars appearance (it's recently been announced that she won't be appearing in Episode IX). She's standing in front of some graphical interface – is Leia searching for her long-absent brother? Will Rey help bring them together?
Two pieces of evidence suggest this might be the case. Firstly, the usage of John Williams' musical theme for Rey, reinforcing her innate sense of compassion that could well lead to a long-overdue reunion.
Also, the coinciding of the visuals with the voiceover. Luke: "What do you see?" Rey: "Light." This reinforces Rey's status as an agent of strength and decency, one who is well positioned to bring together two of the most legendary Star Wars figureheads for the first time in decades.
The dark side
The light side of the Force is continually juxtaposed with that of the dark, and this is ever-present with a fleeting shot of a destroyed helmet (is it Darth Vader's?), set to the ominous, brassy strains of Ren's theme. At the end of The Force Awakens the villainous Ren attempted to lure Rey over to the dark side, just as Vader attempted to do with Luke in the original trilogy. This will surely be her greatest test as the next stage in her journey gets underway.
Origins of the Jedi
Much has been made of the film's title, although Johnson has himself said that it is singular and refers to Luke. Whilst his ultimate destiny is yet to be revealed, it seems like the movie will delve further into the Jedi mystique as Rey uncovers an ancient motif; meanwhile on the soundtrack, the distant sound of a lightsaber can be heard charging into life. Perhaps the title refers to the extinction of the old order of the Jedi, with Rey representing a new generation?
One of the trailer's most eye-grabbing shots off-sets red vapour trails against a bleached-white desert landscape. Quite apart from it looking seriously cool, where is it, and what does it mean?
"It’s way out there. It’s very remote. It’s uncharted," Johnson tells EW. "it’s a mineral planet and so there are mines on it... The white dusting of salt over this red, ruby-ish mineral base."
Finn in stasis
We're a little shortchanged on the John Boyega front, as the only shot of his upstanding character comes when we see him asleep in some sort of pod. We were broken up when he and Rey parted ways at the end of The Force Awakens, he badly injured, she to embrace her destiny as a Jedi. No doubt the ways of the Force will see them brought together again before long.
Another brief moment as we're reunited with both X-Wing ace Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and his ever loyal friend, BB-8. Please, please don't let anything happen to this particular partnership...
With Harrison Ford's Han Solo now gone (nooooo!), it remains to be seen who will pilot the most iconic Star Wars ship of them all. Rey proved she could do it in The Force Awakens but presumably she will be far too busy going all Jedi on us. Given Poe claimed he could fly anything in the previous movie, dare we suggest that it could be him at the controls? Given we see Poe's trusty craft being destroyed earlier in the trailer, we reckon this might be the case.
The last of the Jedi?
It was established in the previous movie's opening crawl that Luke had disappeared in the wake of his nephew Kylo Ren's seduction to the dark side. He certainly looked gloomy during the last shot of The Force Awakens, a man with the weight of the galaxy on his shoulders, and it appears he won't be a barrel of laughs during the new movie, claiming: "It's time for the Jedi to end."
Are we about to witness one of the most famous Star Wars legacies about to pass out of existence? Will the Jedi indeed die out along with him? Or will Rey invest Luke with a renewed sense of purpose? All will no doubt be revealed in due course.