A TV spot for Star Wars: The Last Jedi offers an extended look at Rey and the Force tree, but is light on any other new footage. There are less than two months to go until the Skywalker saga continues, and Lucasfilm is in the process of ramping up their marketing efforts to send the hype train into overdrive. With die-hard fans already onboard (with tickets in hand), the goal for the next few weeks is to get the attention of casual viewers and make sure they’re aware this Christmas brings another trip to the galaxy far, far away. Apparently, the studio’s strategy involves an increased presence at professional sporting events.
Earlier this month, the full theatrical trailer debuted during halftime of Monday Night Football, and now Star Wars is going after the baseball crowd. Last night saw Game 4 of the 2017 World Series, and there was a new advertisement for The Last Jedi along with it. Essentially, it recycles footage we’ve seen in other materials, but there are some quick new shots to be seen.
Vimeo user Kylo Ren posted the video online (hat tip Star Wars News Net), which you can watch in the space below. It is clearly a shortened version of the earlier MNF trailer, hitting many of the same beats as it sets up the arcs of Rey, Kylo Ren, and Luke Skywalker. The biggest addition in this spot is a new bit is a closeup of Rey as she approaches the Force tree on Ahch-To. She appears to be alone in this scene, though it’s difficult to tell if Luke is with her or if this is a test she has to complete on her own. A parallel can be drawn to Luke venturing into the cave on Dagobah, as the dark, foggy landscape definitely has ominous undertones. Director Rian Johnson has mentioned his film does not copy The Empire Strikes Back, but there will be some similarities. Rey is going to spend part of the movie training with Luke, much like Skywalker did with Yoda years ago.
The Force tree should be one of the more intriguing elements The Last Jedi has to offer. Ahch-To is the site of the first Jedi Temple, which Luke is on a quest to discover. It’s apparent it’s a place of great history, so whatever information rests there could be monumental. An official synopsis has teased fans with “age-old Force mysteries,” and over the summer, Johnson remarked how cave paintings and books on Ahch-To will take Rey (and viewers) back to the beginning of it all and show fans “where this all started.” It sounds risky canonizing the origins of the Jedi Order (and perhaps the Force) in a movie, but Johnson is a talented storyteller whose script has earned the praise of everyone from Daisy Ridley to J.J. Abrams. From day one, he had a strong handle on the material, crafting a new set of rules for the franchise to follow moving forward.
It’s interesting that the two Last Jedi TV spots to be released thus far have more or less been the latest trailer in bite-sized form. There’s a question about how much new footage should be shown prior to the premiere, especially with early box office tracking at more than $200 million for opening weekend. Lucasfilm will have to find the right balance between now and December, as there’s probably a limit on how much they can show without spoiling anything. Some may believe the trailer went a little too far ending on Rey and Kylo Ren teaming up, so it’ll be fascinating to see what gets revealed over the next month and a half.