'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Trailer Breakdown: A Frame-By-Frame Examination Of The New Footage

In case you didn't notice, the new trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi arrived last night. But of course, you noticed. You've probably watched it a hundred times by now. And you know what that means: it's time for a Star Wars The Last Jedi trailer breakdown where we go through the whole thing frame-by-frame to talk over the tiny details.

Join us, won't you? And while we won't spoil anything (because we have no spoilers!), be warned that we may accidentally stumble across something big. This is your only warning!

First, here's the trailer, just in case you want to watch it again before we get started.

And if you want even more, Peter Sciretta and Ethan Anderton recorded an emergency podcast last night where they spent 50 minutes talking over the trailer in detail. So feel free to listen to that before, during, or after the full breakdown!

Here we go!

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"When I found you, I saw raw, untamed power. And beyond that, something truly special." The first voice we hear in this trailer belongs to Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis), the powerful mastermind of The First Order. But the first character we see is Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), staring through some big windows at the First Order war machine. The last time we saw Ben Solo, he had just murdered his father and found himself defeated by Rey, so he definitely has a lot to think about.

And speaking of Rey – how do we know Snoke is speaking about Kylo Ren there? For all we know, he's addressing another powerful warrior...

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Welcome to Crait, a planet that seems to be home to a Resistance base. And because The Last Jedi seems interested in going beyond planets that reflect a simple Earth-based ecosystem, this planet's desert-like topsoil kicks up blood-red sand when disturbed. It's a stunning image. Also stunning: those new First Order Walkers, which look tougher and stouter than their old Imperial counterparts (and presumably less easy to trip with tow cables). This is the first, but not the last time this trailer will showcase First Order forces closing in to crush the Resistance...

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Note the streaks of red in the stone floor. This is definitely Crait. And that's Kylo Ren, leading a team of Stormtroopers (Snowtroopers?) on the ground. We'll have to wait and see how the battle with the Walkers goes, but it looks like there will be bad guy boots on the ground in the Resistance base...

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Hey, more red! There's a ton of red in this movie! In addition to various backgrounds and the dirt on Crait, this is also the key color in both of The Last Jedi's posters. We haven't seen a ton of red in previous Star Wars movies, so this lends the film an instant visual identity. Now, we just have to wait and see if this is just an aesthetic choice or something more.

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We've known that Rey would seek the training and guidance of Luke Skywalker and here she is on Ahch-To, wielding his old lightsaber like the talented amateur she is! As we'll see soon enough, the old Jedi master isn't going to be the teacher she expected.

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Here it is: the grand payoff from the end of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Luke takes the lightsaber from Rey with his robotic right hand...

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...and just holds it. What's that expression on his face? Fear? Anger? Disgust? Frustration? Luke exiled himself following the destruction of his new Jedi academy and the death of his students at the hands of Ben Solo, so the thought of being dragged into the Jedi business again probably leaves a bad taste in his mouth. It's worth noting that this is the one and only time in the trailer that we see the oldest living Jedi Knight holding a Jedi weapon.

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"Something inside me has always been there. And then I was awake. I need help." Here, The Last Jedi does a pretty fine job of making the title of The Force Awakens make sense in retrospect! Anyway, Rey is confused and scared and seeking guidance from the one man in the galaxy who can offer her answers. She's also hurting, having just watched Han Solo, her temporary father figure, die before her eyes. Luke is not the new father figure she seeks, as we'll see soon enough. At least the planet Ahch-To looks like it'll offer possible answers to her questions. Misty islands full of steep steps and ruins tend to have lots of answers in stories like this! The fact that she's wandering in to the fog alone, without Luke, speaks volumes.

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We saw this image in the first teaser, but it's worth revisiting. Those handful of ancient books look like they contain all kinds of possible Jedi knowledge. More importantly, they're placed on an old tree. And as Star Wars fans who explore the various novels and comics may know, there is now a canon storyline about Luke, in the days after the Battle of Endor, rescuing a powerful Force tree from Palpatine's collection of Jedi relics. Has it been transplanted to Ahch-To? And what does it do beyond act as a really cool bookshelf? We wrote all about this tree, if you'd like to know more.

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Rey may be a talented amateur, but she handles that lightsaber like a pro. Years of beating up folks with a staff on Jakku probably gave her all the training she needed to wield this weapon. How many training montages will The Last Jedi offer us? I'm hoping for 28, personally. It's worth noting that Luke seems to be keeping his distance in many of these training shots, suggesting that Rey is training on her own while he just looks on. Her journey is her own and Luke does not want to be involved.

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Oh, and Rey's innate talents go beyond laser swords. Here, the ground cracks as she meditates...

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...and Luke looks absolutely shocked at what he's seeing. The last time we really saw Luke Skywalker, he was a zen warrior at one with the Force, battling and forgiving his father. So seeing him this concerned, this anxious, should send a chill down the spine of any Star Wars fan. Luke has been shaken to his core by the events of the past few decades.

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"I've seen this raw strength only once before. It didn't scare me enough then. It does now." He's clearly talking about his nephew here. Remember in the first trailer when Luke spoke about the Jedi needing to end? It looks his experience with Ben Solo/Kylo Ren has traumatized him and even a good-hearted trainee like Rey seems like a very, very bad idea.

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We saw glimpses of this in The Force Awakens – the aftermath of Kylo Ren's betrayal and the destruction of Luke's Jedi academy. From this shot, it looks like Luke was left for dead, buried in the rubble by his former apprentice and nephew.

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It would have been easy to let Han Solo be his usual self, swaggering across the galaxy with his friends and family. It would have been easy to let Luke be a wise master in perfect control of his existence. But The Force Awakens revealed a broken and estranged Han, on the run from his shattered past, and The Last Jedi seems to be setting Luke up as the hero rejecting the call and fleeing to the far corner of the galaxy to avoid serving. It's tough to swallow for the audience, the fans, but also tough to swallow for the young heroes on screen who need these guys to step up. In the past, Star Wars has been accused of operating in a binary, "good vs. evil" manner. These new movies are shaking things up and it feels great.

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Anyway, sad Rey is sad. And probably frustrated. Get your shit together, Luke!

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Another shot of Kylo Ren, deep in thought, staring at his helmet.

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More Kylo Ren deep thinking! This shot gives us a close-up of the strange bandage over the wound he received in the climax of The Force Awakens. Or is it something more than a bandage? There's definitely something up with its unique texture. Some kind of cybernetic healing material?

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Yes! The Last Jedi will feature at least one more Ben Solo temper tantrum! This time, he takes his frustrations out on his helmet, smashing it into the wall. Most of Adam Driver's screen time in this trailer is without his helmet, so doe this imply that he wrecks and abandons his menacing headgear for good? That probably makes Driver's agent happy. And it implies that Ben Solo will have to face what he's done – he can no longer hide behind the mask of Kylo Ren.

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Of course the son of Han Solo and the grandson of Anakin Skywalker would be a skilled pilot! Here, we see Ben Solo/Kylo Ren leading a First Order assault against the Resistance fleet from the cockpit of his snazzy ship, the TIE Silencer.

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And here he is in the cockpit, without his helmet. The fact that we can see his eyes in these shots will prove invaluable very soon.

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Anyway, it looks like the First Order is totally wrecking the Resistance in this battle. We will see more of this. Much like how the Rebel Alliance found itself on the run and hopelessly outgunned in The Empire Strikes Back, The Last Jedi seems to be all about the good guys being backed into a corner by a ruthless and far more powerful enemy.

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You know things are bad when even the great General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) looks concerned. Maybe I'm still emotional over the death of Fisher last year, but seeing her so worried in so many shots of this trailer is breaking my heart...and really selling just how much trouble our heroes are in.

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"Let the past die. Kill it. If you have to. That's the only way to become what you were meant to be." Ben Solo killed his father. And now, he's gunning for his mother. If Ben eventually finds himself on a path toward redemption, he's going to have to redeem a whole lot.

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Ben targets the bridge of the Resistance flagship, where Leia is almost certainly calling the shots...

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He prepares to fire...

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Is that hesitation? Does Ben Solo pull the trigger? The conflicted look in Driver's eyes, the way his eyes water ever-so-slightly in that determined gaze, explain why smashing that helmet may be one of the best choices Rian Johnson made in this movie.

To be perfectly honest: there's no way Leia dies in this movie. We already know there were originally plans for her to be in Episode 9. But her son's hesitation here is worth noting...is there a chance he'll try to join the good guys at some point? And will they even let him after all that he's done?

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Here's the Millennium Falcon in a dogfight with a swarm of TIE Fighters. Any guesses where they could be? The red coloring of the rock formations suggests that they're flying through Crait, which would make sense. After all, it looks like the big battle here is the climax of the movie, which means the Falcon needs to be present (it also means that Rey probably leaves Ahch-To before the climax – she took Han's old ship with her to meet Luke).

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I can't get over this shot of Chewbacca. His expression of shock is hilarious, mainly because Chewie is usually so unflappable.

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The shot gets even better when the camera turns to reveal a similarly surprised Porg. What's a Porg, you ask? Well, let's just say that they're a license to print money. They're also little alien birds that live on Ahch-To and it looks like at least one stows away with our heroes so they can have even more adorable adventures.

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"We are the spark..."

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"...that'll light the fire..."

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"...that'll burn the First Order down." Oscar Isaac's Poe Dameron doesn't get a lot to do in this trailer, but he does get this badass line, intercut with shots of him piloting his X-Wing and taking names. Poe was a great character in the first movie because he was a genuinely good guy, a cool guy, and a friend to everyone around him. Now, it looks like "Space Fonzie" (as I call him, with love) is going to be tested in a big way. What happens when the truly noble hero is pushed up against a wall by those who want to destroy him and everything he holds dear?

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Hey, Captain Phasma. You still look really cool. Are you going to be something more than a cool set of armor this time around?

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Hey, Finn. It's good to see you. You're not in this trailer very much. And you're dressed in an Imperial officer's uniform, which confirms that he will, at one point, infiltrate the First Order on some kind of daring spy mission (alongside Rose Tico, who is not featured in the trailer at all).

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Okay, now this is cool. After being unceremonious dumped into a trash compactor in The Force Awakens, Captain Phasma surely has beef with Finn, the Stormtrooper who went AWOL on her watch. And Finn surely has beef with the cruel commanding officer who tried to shape him into a monster. Watching these two duke it out should pay off those dangling threads from The Force Awakens, possible even improving some of those weaker links after the fact. It should also be noted that the two of them appear to be dueling in the burning hangar of a First Order Stay Destroyer, which suggests that Finn's mission (sabotage?) went well. In any case, this must be from the middle of the movie, as footage from the first teaser places Finn in a Resistance vehicle for the big battle on Crait.

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I'll complain about how underutilized Captain Phasma is all day and all night, but man, that is a triumph of character design.

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If I collected every single shot of the Resistance fleet getting completely wrecked, this trailer would be twice as long. There have been rumors that the film opens with the Resistance on the run and this seems to be the reason why – they suffer a devastating loss.

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Even BB-8 takes his fair share of battle damage in the fight! He's presumably in Poe Dameron's X-Wing here, doing his part to fend off the First Order. It's strange to see so little of this adorable ball droid in the trailer. Has he been usurped by the Porgs?!

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"This is not going to go the way you think." And the award for "Anti-Mentor of the Year" goes to... Luke is definitely talking to Rey (we'll see more of this location in a moment) and his ongoing discouragement about her pursuing her Jedi training remains my absolute favorite element of this trailer.

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Hey, Porgs. You have some competition. These guys are pretty much fuzzy Fennec Foxes and Fennec Foxes are the best. These guys seem to be living on Crait and that giant hangar seems to be the Resistance Base the First Order Walkers are assaulting. They also seem to be fleeing to the Walkers to take shelter with the Resistance, which means that the good guys are either really animal-friendly (hooray!) or they are scouts of some kind, maybe trained to sniff out danger. ]

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Here's the interior of the base, with General Leia Organa standing alone before the big battle. This shot is stunning. There's something on the horizon, but it's not clear if it's First Order or Resistance...

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What does it look like when one of the strongest and most determined characters in pop culture history looks like she's reached the end of the line and realizes that everything she's fought for may be coming to an end? This shot breaks my heart.

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Rey dives into some water...

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...and emerges in a cave, looking like she's seen...something.

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And here's Luke, staring at her before or after the big dive. Earlier in the trailer, we saw him in this same location looking a bit wet. He clearly doesn't approve of her little swim, which suggests that his is no ordinary cave. Remember the cave on Dagobah, where Yoda warned a young Luke that the only thing inside is what you take with you? This looks like it could be a similar situation – a mystical Force cave of some kind that offers some kind of insight (or warning) to Rey. And Luke's not having it.

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Finn: undercover Resistance soldier. He makes those shoulder pads work.

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Here's the First Order at its most terrifying – legions of troops, ships, and walkers in a Star Destroyer, ready to conquer the galaxy. This looks a lot like the area where Finn was battling Phasma, so maybe this is the source of Finn's undercover mission. If so, he does a pretty fine job of reducing it to flames and debris. Good job, Finn.

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Here's another shot of the big battle on Crait, with the red soil kicking up with each step of a Walker and every blast of a weapon. This is going to be a visually stunning sequence.

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We got our first look at these Resistance vehicles in the first trailer and yep, they still look like podracers retrofitted for war. Maybe that's exactly what they are? It would be a fun way to tie the prequels into these later movies.

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"Fulfill...your...destiny!" Who is Snoke talking to here? If it's Kylo Ren, that's pretty standard evil mentor talk. But if it's Rey...well, that's pretty interesting. Especially if the first line of dialogue in the trailer (noted all the way at the top of this post) is from this scene.

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At the very least, we know that Rey and Snoke meet face-to-face in this movie. You can see his golden robe in the background of this shot, where Rey is being tortured by someone with mastery of the Force. And since the previous shot featured Snoke with his hand outstretched, as if he was manipulating someone with his powers, it certainly seems like these two moments are connected. That leaves us with one huge question: what is Rey's destiny and why does Snoke know about it?

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"I need someone to show me my place in all this." Maybe she's talking to Luke. That's exactly the kind of thing she'd say to the guy she wants to train her, right?

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Or maybe it's exactly the kind of thing you say to a powerful enemy after your mentor casts you aside because he has no interest in training you.

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Okay, so this could be some crafty trailer editing, with two completely different scenes spliced together. But the lighting of both shots does line up. If you want to speculate really, maybe she's tricking Ben Solo, offering to join him so she can get close to Snoke. Maybe she's actually giving in to the dark side. Heck, maybe this is super misleading and Ben is actually offering his hand because he wants to join her. Or maybe these two crazy kids have decided that they've had enough of this nonsense and are off to create their own third faction. Whatever the case, this is one hell of a way to the end the trailer.

Star Wars The Last Jedi 60Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens on December 15, 2017.