Breaking Down – Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Hey, Look! It’s a New Trailer Edition)

I had so much fun doing a breakdown of the new Star Wars trailer six months ago, I decided to give it another go with the NEW trailer which was just released on Monday. But do not worry, my pop culture knowledge remains slightly less than the average TV dinner. I have STILL not seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens, so I still have little to no knowledge of who these characters are.

So, without further adieu, the trailer itself.

Again, I will state that anything beyond this point may be considered potential spoilers. Doubtful spoilers, but anything’s possible.

I think they put the wrong trailer on. This appears to be a scene from Tom Hanks’ 2004 movie The Terminal. Here we see Tom Hanks looking pensively out of an airport window where he is forced to live for months because his country doesn’t exist anymore. I didn’t know Tom Hanks lived on Alderaan. *boos and hisses from the peanut gallery* What? Too soon?

Looking a little closer as to this person’s clothing makes me think it isn’t Tom Hanks but actually our old friend Mortimer. (I still don’t know his name, so he will always be Mortimer to me.) Interestingly, Mortimer is framed inside a simple trapezoid… which sucks because I don’t have a joke for that geometric shape. If only it had been a rhombus!

Hey look, AT-ATs! I remember those from the original trilogy. And if the Atari 2600 taught me anything, it is that there is a weak spot on the AT-ATs’ heels you should shoot at to blow it up. Or, if you are part of an Ewok tribe, just smash their heads with giant swinging trees. Simple.

Having borrowed the overhead camera from the NFL, this shot shows a number of Troopers walking. Somewhere. Maybe they are marching into battle. More likely, the local Imperial Stormtrooper Union (ISU #49980787) has successfully negotiated regular break times for meals for their members. This shot would be the Troopers entering the galactic cafeteria preparing to queue up for some marginally-nutritious, mass-prepared meals offered by Marriott Catering Services. Yum.

This shot is a blatant attempt to get the viewer to empathize with the villain. We aren’t fools, Star Wars movie-makers! Just because Mortimer is clumsy and drops his lightsaber doesn’t mean we relate to him in any meaningful way.

As a side note though, Mortimer’s use of a glove makes you wonder just what he is hiding. And maybe he would have a better grip on his weapon of massive destruction if he removed it.

Look, Geraldine doesn’t wear a glove, and she can make the lightsaber erect with a slight touch. (I told you, I haven’t seen the previous movie. She looks like a Geraldine though, doesn’t she?) She really shouldn’t be looking directly at the blade of light though. It’s like an eclipse, it will damage your eyes.

Okay, now we’re getting good. In the first trailer, I speculated that the new movie would have a tie-in with the Transformers franchise and possibly involve King Kong. This shot obviously shows that Geraldine is a time traveling version of Sarah Conner and she is giving the original terminator hand a light saber to keep it from being destroyed. I’m not sure that giving a Terminator a weapon like a lightsaber is a good idea. No matter how sure you are that you can program it with good intentions, it is NEVER smart to arm our future robot overlords. Good Lord, people, do we never learn?!

I would know that scraggly face anywhere. It is obviously Homeless Luke Skywalker begging for scraps to eat. Here he is wearing one of the losing designs from Project Runway (enough with the shapeless draping, people). What did you think they did with all those clothes that do not win? I think the Relocated Jedi Association sponsored one of the seventy-four seasons of that show.

One positive thing from this shot though is that even though Luke may be down on his luck, the strain of surviving the streets hasn’t destroyed all brain function in him. His look of “What the hell is this? I thought you were giving me a burrito. I can’t eat this!” is reason for celebrating.

Not much to say about this shot. The filmmakers just really like Led Zeppelin, so they put in a visual allusion to Misty Mountain Hop. Either that or they were just reusing the set from an old Meatloaf video.

If you remember in the first trailer, there was a very disturbing image of some books in a tree. I speculated that Mortimer hated trees and this was a staged crime scene displaying the torture he wants to cause those majestic plants. After thinking about it for six months, I am not sure I was correct. I think a more likely explanation is that Luke was able to shrink himself in an Innerspace-way, but with less Meg Ryan. Anyway, after he shrunk himself, he was inserted into Groot. The image here really looks like lungs and the books are where the heart could be in a walking tree. So Luke must have sought knowledge from the heart of Groot in order to get off the streets and join in the battle against Thanos and his jeweled glove of doom.

What? You don’t think that is possible? Follow along: Who owns the character of Groot? The Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. Who owns that franchise? Marvel Entertainment. Who owns Marvel Entertainment? Disney. What else does Disney own? Star Wars. See what I’m saying here? It is inevitable. Sooner or later we must all bow before the Mouse named Mickey.

After Luke has reversed the effects of the shrink-ray, he continues to hang out with Geraldine. In the trailer is looks like he is training her in the ways of the Jedi, much like Yoda did for him. But in this stand-alone still, it looks like he is training Geraldine how to ride a jet ski in shark-infested waters. Which is interesting given Luke’s penchant for sandy desert locales. And what exactly is going on with Geraldine’s hair?

A voice over that sounds like Dusty Luke says he has only seen that power once before and it didn’t scare him then. But it does now. This is an important line. Is he talking about Mortimer? Is he talking about Darth Vader? Is he talking about Skip, his burnout roommate from the Jedi Academy of Wizarding Arts? We are left to wonder and make guesses just like this. Don’t fall for their little mind tricks, though! The answer is in the screenshot above. The power that Luke has seen once before belongs to the Terminator! You can see the evil Terminator arm reaching up through the destruction of a SkyNet laboratory. He did say he would be back, you know.

As in the first trailer, we do not get to see a lot of our old friend R2-D2. But, to cater to the old farts in the audience, they throw in a little clip of R2-D2 watching a house burn to the ground. Luke is next to him and he TAKES A KNEE! I didn’t expect this movie to tackle current political events. Maybe the Trump supporters will boycott this movie and then we won’t have to wait in line for tickets! Woohoo!

Don’t forget, this movie takes place in the stars. I am not quite sure why there is a giant toilet flush valve on the right…

The picture above was not in the trailer, but obviously did some modeling for the storyboards.

Also don’t forget, there are some wars going on out there. Get it? Wars. In the stars. Star Wars. If you don’t think these images are a not-so-subtle literal reminder of the movies title then they must be symbolic representations of the hold religion has over us. The space battles represent our internal struggle to discover our true selves. The explosions are indicative of the ulcers we inevitably get when we add the additional weight of familial obligation into the mix. As for the toilet flush valve? I’m not sure… Maybe it means we are all just full of crap?

There is Leia. We see her looking at something, but what? Also, why doesn’t she have powers? She is kickass in all sorts of ways, but she doesn’t seem to have any of the usual Jedi magic. How did Luke wind up getting all the midichlorians in the womb? Anyway, she looks like she just found out her husband died. But, obviously that is not what is going on here. They wouldn’t just kill off Han Solo in a pointless move to try to make some new bad guy look tough. So maybe she is just binge-watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix.

This, right here, is destined to be the meme of 2017. It’s almost a mash-up of the Crying Jordan Face and Smoking Jay Cutler. Poor Mortimer. See kids, this is what happens when you read the comments section of your Fall Out Boy fan page.

If I squint, I think I can see the Millennium Falcon in some sort of blood cave. Yay! We’re saved! Han and Chewie to the rescue! I can’t wait to see Harrison Ford do his thing. Shoot first, Han!

Waaaaaaa… AAAAAAAAAA! What the hell is that thing? Good Lord, why is this horrible mutant thing with giant eyes yelling at me? For goodness sake, I’m going to have a heart attack… Okay, let me breathe for a second here. I see Chewie in the background, so maybe he is trying to exterminate these things after they infested the Millennium Falcon? No… Chewie doesn’t seem to be hunting it, he’s just sitting there, looking at it. Oh! I get it now. This is Chewie’s pet Space Furby! That makes more sense, especially from a toy marketing perspective. But still, why is it yelling at me??!!

This guy. This guy is trying so hard to be Mal Reynolds. Sorry dude, there is only one Mal Reynolds, and he is captain of the Serenity, a Firefly class transport ship. He’s been through enough war. He’s probably off smuggling cows or something. It’s hard to make a living out there in the ‘Verse. Or maybe he decided to start writing some novels and solving some crime while at it. But he definitely isn’t saving the world from Doctor Horrible through song. Regardless, you sir, are not Nathan Fillion.

That looks like a badass stormtrooper right there. You know how I know that? The cape. And the shiny metallic finish on the armor is wicked cool. In fact, I shall call this person Shiny McArmor Trooper. Shiny also has a glow stick of some sort as a weapon. You know who else uses a staff as a weapon? Xena’s galpal Gabrielle. And she is badass. Also, I guess Robin uses a staff too. He is the leader of the Teen Titans, so that’s sorta cool. And the Jaffa warriors on Stargate used a staff weapon that could shoot exploding laser blasts. (If you think that was an obscure sci-fi reference, just be glad I don’t pull out an Andromeda or Farscape comparison.) I wonder if Shiny McArmor Trooper’s staff can do anything like that.

Do I know you, sir? I believe in the first trailer you were in some sort of coma pod. Glad to see you have recovered. Or maybe this battle is what put you in that coma pod. I guess we’ll never know. I mean, as a plot point it has potential. And this character, I will name him Esmeraldo, I remembered from the first trailer, which is good. If only there were some way to discover the full story of Esmeraldo. But, alas, it is hopeless. We are left to wonder what happens to our dear, sweet Esmeraldo. It makes me wish there were a movie coming out that would shed light on the situation. If only… In other news, apparently even curtain rods are electrified in the Star Wars Universe.

There are some more toilet flush valves floating over on the left of the screen while two ships apparently crash at a space intersection. Before they can get out and trade insurance information, we cut to …

Our old soccer ball buddy from the first trailer! Letter-letter-number looks like he is on a ship of some sort here. I’m not quite sure how he stays secure in there though. I used to have a basketball in the trunk of my car and that thing rolled around with every turn and acceleration change. Kids, try this experiment at home – put a soccer ball in one of your parent’s giant stock pots. Then put it in the seat of your Big Wheel. Then roll it down a big hill. Do you think the soccer ball will stay put? Or will it fly out or roll out and wind up no where near the stock pot or the Big Wheel? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Although, I guess he could be sitting on a big magnet. Science!

Here is where Down-on-his-luck Luke is awoken by a gang of teen thugs who are trying to mug him for his scraggly beard. I hear you can get good money for Jedi beard hair through the Trade Federation. Little do these attackers know, but Hobo Luke has a pretty young girl hanging with him tonight. And she will lash out at them with her triple ponytail (seriously, what is up with that?) fury. She may even throw a rock at them with her mind! I know, that is normally Terra’s whole thing, but this isn’t Teen Titans, and Geraldine knows what she’s doing.

At this point, the sad Sarah McLaughlin music starts playing and we hear about the tragic struggle of the Spiky Ice Fox. Shown here sliding across the surface it is named for, the Spiky Ice Fox pauses to look back and ponder evolution and his impending extinction. A sad creature, to be sure. But for only $19.99 a year, you could adopt one of these sharp and dangerous creatures. Your payment will be enough to provide it food (it eats Ewoks) and shelter until the Space Circus comes and captures it for its sideshow exhibits. The $19.99 you spend will help pay for the postage on a letter to the Space Circus detailing its precise location. And there is no need to be concerned with the way the Spiky Ice Fox will be treated by the Space Circus. Your donation will also help us obtain the proper Pokeballs with which Ash can catch them. Their future could be one as a glorious Pokemon champion, but only if you send your money today.

I spy with my little eye bunches of soldiers who have been forced to leave their homeroom class and come to the gym for an assembly. Today, they will be hear a motivational speech by McGruff the Crime Dog and entertainment from Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes, fresh from their residency at the Mos Eisley Cantina! Attendance is mandatory and enjoyment is required. Meanwhile, your Sith teachers will be searching all lockers for illegal contraband.

Who the hell is this guy? He looks like he just got out of a hot tub filled with acid. That he was in for 14 days. Again, I do not know his name, but he looks like a Gary to me. And what is that hand signal Gary is flashing at the camera? It looks a little like a peace sign. Aw, that’s nice. So Gary is obviously a nice guy in this Star Wars Universe, almost hippyish in his message of peace. He probably couldn’t hurt a fly.

Here, Geraldine is trying to get the hang of the hot yoga that Street Urchin Luke told her to try. Don’t mistake Yoga for simple stretching. This position is called the “Torture Young Jedi” bend. The flexibility and extension Geraldine is able to achieve here is quite astounding for a new student of yoga. Geraldine appears to have a raw talent/power to achieve even the most difficult of yoga positions. But can she control herself enough to fully engage her center to achieve peace, like her Yogi, Mr. Gary, above?

Post-yoga workout, Geraldine hits the local tavern. Her eyes lock on someone across the floor. He looks familiar. She wonders, “Can he be the one? Can he be the one to show me to my place?”

Mortimer sets his Zima down at the bar and approaches Geraldine. “Would you like to dance?” he asks and extends his hand. He is still wearing the glove from picking up his lightsaber before. We’ve been through this, Mortimer. People will not trust you if you constantly hide your intentions behind leather gloves. Unless they are studded with the Infinity Stones. Plus, it might help if you used the little peace sign. Mr. Gary will teach you.

And that is how we end this second trailer. A lot of stuff happened in this trailer. We got a little more insight into Geraldine and Mortimer. We met Esmeraldo, Shiny McArmor Trooper, Not-Nathan Fillion, and Mr. Gary. We got to see the disturbing Space Furby which is destined to be the breakout toy of the holiday season. We also got a Crying Mortimer image for our meme-ing pleasure. We solved the mystery of losing Project Runway designs and saw just how life is hard for a Jedi. We are still confused about the giant space toilet parts, but hopefully the film will answer those questions. And maybe, just maybe, I will get around to seeing The Force Awakens at some point to learn these characters’ real names.

The biggest question I’m left with though is the most important of all. Honestly, what the hell is up with Geraldine’s hair?! If they thought this ‘do would become iconic like Leia’s cinnamon buns, I think they’re barking up the wrong Force-Sensitive Tree.

May the the force be with you and may the DEA never discover your illegal Jedi Midichlorian Hormone injections.

 

 

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