Finn wakes up, and Luke’s inner demons come alive in some new trailers for ‘The Last Jedi’.
You’ve got to hand it to Lucasfilm: they sure know how to put together a stellar ad campaign. In the weeks leading up to the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, as press builds up around the highly anticipated follow-up to J. J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Lucasfilm has released two short trailers in the past week, titled “Heroes” and “Tempt.”
Going into any blockbuster without watching twenty different clips of promotional material is a luxury that many who participate in fandom online aren’t afforded. But if only all ad campaigns were as wonderfully vague as the one Lucasfilm is employing right now for The Last Jedi. Of course, one can’t help but wonder if come opening day, we all simply witnessed every single potentially misleading shot in the trailers cut in the exact same way in the final product. However, each of the clips of The Last Jedi work towards unveiling tiny hints about characterization, even if they all hark back to the theme of a dichotomy of good and evil.
“Heroes” sees Finn (John Boyega) regain consciousness after being heavily injured at the end of The Force Awakens, shouting Rey’s (Daisy Ridley) name. It’s great to finally see Finn in a more involved role in the promotional material for The Last Jedi, but especially rewarding to be reminded of the strong bond formed between him and Rey. Relationships like Finn and Rey’s influence the making of heroes — that’s been proven time and time again in the Star Wars franchise. The “Heroes” clip seems to hint at Finn continuing on a journey of self-discovery as he fights his Stormtrooper past: “I was raised to fight. For the first time, I have something to fight for.”
In contrast, “Tempt” is slightly darker fare. The great thing about having met or reintroduced ourselves to all of these core characters one film prior is that the ad campaign need not just be about spectacle. In a mere 30 seconds of footage, “Tempt” presents Rey’s training, the First Order’s evil, and ultimately Luke Skywalker’s (Mark Hamill) inner dilemma. (“Light,” after all, is cut alongside an image of his own sister.) Even in its title, “Tempt” draws upon the deepest desires of the characters and the audience even if the potential outcome is undesirable. All the trailers have made sure to highlight that Rey is unequivocally drawn towards this unknown force within herself, but this is the first clip that presents Luke as something other than a detached mentor. He has a stake in this fight after all.
Granted, that is probably way too much to garner from just 30 seconds of footage. But in a NY Times feature about Hamill, director Rian Johnson weighed in on Luke’s characterization in The Last Jedi saying we know he’s moved on from the Luke we’re used to seeing: “In the same way that as a young man, he embodied the characteristics we all connected with — the youthfulness and innocence — he now embodies a person full of soul and experience.”
We’re expecting more tiny trailers to drop in the next few weeks, but all will be revealed come December 15th when The Last Jedi hits theaters.