A new trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi has just been released, and our minds are dreaming up new theories by the minute. As we contemplate new possibilities for Rey’s past and Luke’s future, one question crosses our minds: will the new Star Wars instalment be the sequel we’ve all been waiting for or just another copy of the original trilogy?
There are some things that most Star Wars die-hard fans will agree upon. Such as the way Yoda’s short but to the point “Do. Or do not. There is no try” speech inspired generations. Or how, when Han Solo appears on the screen, we are instantly torn between wanting to be on the receiving hand of his sarcastic lines or actually wanting to be him. Because the “I love you/I know” scene between Han and Leia was just as perfect as Anakin’s “I don’t like sand” proposal to Padme was cringeworthy, but then again – if we can forgive George Lucas for giving birth to the worst character to ever appear on a science fiction film, we are also willing to turn a blind eye to Padme and Anakin’s idea of romance.
It doesn’t matter how many cheesy, cringe-worthy Jar Jar Binks lines we have to endure: over the years, Star Wars fans have somehow been able to forgive it all. Is it because of our undying love for the original trilogy? Is it the gap between the trilogies’ releases that allowed different generations to get to know new aspects of the Star Wars world galaxy over time? Or is the action that we can’t get enough of? To me, it all comes down to the characters. This galaxy might be “far, far away” in time and space, but it does feel so near to our hearts when we watch it on screen. There is something so familiar and comforting about these characters – the hero, the undying bond he has with his friends, the bad guy who turns good, the strong woman that saves the day, the wise guide and the one powerful force that surrounds everything. We would choose one of Darth Vader’s mood swings a hundred times over the struggles of the real world, and each of us will identify with one or more characters at some point in the story. Star Wars is relatable and epic, and this is what makes it great.
The team behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens understood this, and delivered a product that has something for everyone. An epic story with powerful characters portrayed by talented and charismatic actors that the new generations will identify with, and just enough glimpses of the old cast and props to make the old fans tear up. We saw the Millennium Falcon, Han, Leia, our favourite droids and even a certain mask show up, and we loved every minute of it. At the same time, we couldn’t prevent a certain deja-vu feeling from coming to the surface, because the plot seemed to be a little… familiar, at best. The Force Awakens gave us a new Death Star, a new Yoda, a new bar with funny-looking creatures, a new R2D2, a new bad guy with a mask, a new good guy girl that has been gifted with the force… I could go on forever, but you all know what I’m talking about. The Force Awakens was a success, but it was nothing we hadn’t seen before.
At the same time, between a “Chewie, we’re home!” and another one of Kylo Ren’s temper tantrums, I couldn’t help feeling that the lack of original content wasn’t an oversight, and that there is a reason why so many questions have been left unanswered. What happened between Han and Leia in the past 34 years? Why does it only take Rey a few seconds to learn the way of the force when it took Luke years of training? Who are Rey’s parents? Where did “New Emperor” Snoke come from and where had he been all this time? Who is Maz and why has Luke’s lightsaber been hiding at her place for all this time? And, most of all, where has Luke’s green lightsaber gone?
Fans all over the world are imagining new possible outcomes every day, and the web went even crazier after the new trailer was released a few days ago. What we know for certain is that Luke will get on the Millennium Falcon again, the epic battle between the First Order and the Resistance we have all been waiting for will happen, Kylo Ren and Supreme Leader Snoke will be back but they won’t be the only ones fighting. Captain Phasma and Finn can be seen locking lightsabers, but the scene that caused the biggest reaction is right at the end, as Rey appears to be fighting a Luke Skywalker that could possibly have turned to the dark side.
If Star Wars: The Force Awakens was exciting but also predictable, The Last Jedi might actually be a better movie. Introductions have already been done in the first film, so more time can be used to explore the events of the past that defined the characters we see today. On December 15, we are either going to see a good film or a great one. I have a feeling that George Lucas isn’t done surprising us, and that all the unanswered questions will be dealt with.
The Empire Strikes Back was, to many, the best chapter of the original trilogy. From what we’ve seen in the trailer, it appears The Last Jedi can be a successful Empire Strikes Back to The Force Awakens, one that can stand on its own without taking too much “inspiration” from what has already been done. Here’s hoping for a sequel that leaves more room to character development, surprises us with new turns of events and reminds us of all the reasons why we love Star Wars.