When it comes to reveals, EW seem to have the rest of the world beat. Breznican's EW cover story this week has given us our best look yet at this year's Star Wars movie and I think it's safe to say some of these points are a little spoilery...
We can divide up the preview into three parts. Looking at the different groups/storylines in the movie. Let's start with the Resistance.
Finn - The Big Deal
So it seems as though Finn will awaken after the events of The Force Awakens and discover that he is, in fact, the big deal he once claimed to be. Whilst he was sleeping, the artist formally known as FN-2187 has developed quite the rep for being the ex-stormtrooper who went up against Kylo Ren.
Finn however seems to have one thing on his mind, find Rey and get as far away as possible from the Resistance. I find this concept fascinating. He might be closet to Han in the original trilogy, in as much as he is being pulled away from his current "calling" by something left unfinished in his previous life. For Finn, it would seem, seeing himself through they eyes of Rose Tico, helps him step up to the task and that may be what propels him onto his mission in The Last Jedi.
I like the idea that a hero isn't made simply by one deed, or that one can simply throw a switch and turn off what was once the primary driving force, in Finn's case his desire to get as far away from the First Order as possible. No, it would seem that in this story, one needs only see oneself the way the world at large does in order to gain a little perspective. I wonder if this might be the mechanic that helps bring back Luke?
Kylo Ren and Snoke
We will not be learning a whole lot about Snoke in The Last Jedi. He will play a large part in the story, but Rian Johnson has indicated that we will learn exactly as much as we need to for this story. What we do know is that Kylo "retreats" back to his master's side. Perhaps he will encounter some resistance from the praetorian guard when attempting to connect with Snoke, much like Vader had issues with the Royal guard in the Star Wars Episode VI The Return Of The Jedi deleted scenes. Will we see any of Kylo Ren's training we heard Snoke mention at the end of The Force Awakens?
Rian Johnson also revealed that Snoke will be completely performance capture in The Last Jedi. We had heard early on that Snoke may be a puppet in this film, and Rian admitted Neal Scanlon developed a maquette for lighting reference onset, but Snoke will be entirely Andy Serkis' performance capture in The Last Jedi.
I like the idea that Snoke will be this movies Yoda, using dark side techniques to train Kylo Ren and that the Sith training is cruel and brutal. That is if the way Kylo Ren is being trained, is the Sith way and not something else entirely.
Luke, Rey and the inhabitants of Ahch-To
We get a look at the Porg and the Caretaker race on Ahch-To in thelatest ew cover story. This reveals the new nun like inhabitants who simply "tolerate" Luke's presence there. The Caretakers maintain the ruins of what is revealed to be the first Jedi Temple. I had started to wonder if perhaps Luke's failed school was established at the site of the first Jedi Temple, but I guess not. Perhaps these Caretakers are able to use the Force to keep the site hidden and that is why Luke has chosen this location for his exile/Barash Vow. Still, he couldn't avoid Rey...
When Rey arrives on Ahch-To she is, it would seem, rejected by Luke. Luke is in hiding because he repeated the mistakes of his mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi and overlooked the path his apprentice was following. Luke thought Ben Solo was the/a chosen one, which opens up a lot of questions for Star Wars fans.
Before we get distracted let's just acknowledge that Anakin Skywalker was the chosen one mentioned in the prophesy of the original trilogy and he did fulfill that prophesy by destroying the Sith, but does Luke recognize that? Or maybe Luke has discovered that there are multiple prophesies, maybe they are generational? Could it be that Luke believed Ben Solo to be the chosen one, when in fact it is a prophesy about Rey? Will Luke's previous error make him reluctant to recognize Rey as the true chosen one in The Last Jedi?
Another interesting thought is, did Ben Solo realise early on that he was not the one mentioned in a prophesy but that it would in fact be a girl, and this is what he recognized in Rey during The Force Awakens?
Much like Finn need some third party perspective to accept himself as a fighter, perhaps Luke need only view himself through the eyes of Rey to find the motivation needed to step up and once more answer the call to arms. Will Rey's arrival on Ahch-To signal the end of Luke's Barash Vow (if that is what he has taken) and the start of the new Jedi Order? I think it's fair to accept Luke's rejection of Rey (is it aggressive enough to cause Rey's shortness of breath in the trailer) as the reference in Daisy Ridley's early comments about not meeting your heroes.
It seems like this film with have it's fair share of awakenings. Finn from his coma, and then from this self imposed instinct to run. Luke from his self imposed exile on Ahch-To and his resistance to train Rey. I wonder if we might see an awakening on the dark side too? Could Ben Solo make a return in The Last Jedi? Will this set the stage for Leia's fall if she shows such a prominent member of the First Order clemency? Perhaps Holdo will see this apparent nepotism to discredit Leia and remove her as the leader of the Resistance?
Only time will tell...
What do you make of EW's coverage of The Last Jedi? Is it too much too soon? Could we be about to get a trailer for The Last Jedi soon and that's why this is being revealed now? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Thank you for reading,