‘Star Wars’: Lines blur be­tween dark and light

‘Last Jedi’ trailer ap­pears to draw ri­vals Rey and Kylo Ren to­gether

USA TODAY International Edition - - LIFE - Brian Truitt @bri­antru­itt USA TO­DAY

They’re ri­vals on op­po­site sides of the Force, but the new

Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer nev­er­the­less seems to be draw­ing close par­al­lels be­tween Rey and Kylo Ren.

The lat­est trailer, re­vealed at half­time on Mon­day Night Foot­ball, was a goose­bump-in­duc­ing 21⁄2 min­utes that show­cased more hints at char­ac­ter re­la­tion­ships than we’ve seen so far in the run-up to di­rec­tor Rian John­son’s block­buster-to-be (in the­aters Dec. 15), plus one po­ten­tially im­por­tant temp­ta­tion to the Dark Side.

First, a quick re­cap: The last time we saw The Force Awak­ens hero­ine Rey (Daisy Ri­d­ley) and First Or­der vil­lain Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), they were fac­ing off in a lightsaber bat­tle on Starkiller Base af­ter Kylo mur­dered his fa­ther, Han Solo (Har­ri­son Ford). Suf­fice it to say, they didn’t part as friends. The Last Jedi be­gins as The Force Awak­ens ended, with Rey seek­ing out old Jedi mas­ter Luke Sky­walker (Mark Hamill), now a her­mit on an un­charted is­land years af­ter his ef­forts to teach Kylo ended in disas­ter. And their teacher/stu­dent (or Jedi/Padawan) re­la­tion­ship seems to mir­ror that of Kylo and Supreme Leader Snoke (played via mo­tion cap­ture by Andy Serkis).

“When I found you, I saw raw, un­tamed power. And be­yond that, some­thing truly spe­cial,” Snoke says in the be­gin­ning of the trailer, pre­sum­ably to Kylo.

While Snoke is stoked about his young ap­pren­tice’s po­ten­tial, Luke is vis­i­bly wor­ried about Rey’s: “I’ve seen this raw strength only once be­fore. It didn’t scare me enough then. It does now.” In his post-Kylo years, he’s a lit­tle skit­tish about tak­ing on a new re­cruit. (This also calls back to the most no­table line from the pre­vi­ous trailer: “It’s time for the Jedi to end.”)

Much of the footage fo­cuses on the war be­tween the First Or­der and the Re­sis­tance, in­clud­ing an air bat­tle that sees Kylo straf­ing the good guys in his TIE Fighter, sens­ing his mother, Gen­eral Leia Or­gana (Car­rie Fisher), and hes­i­tat­ing on a kill shot. He has offed one par­ent, but is he ready to take out the other? Leia tells Han in

The Force Awak­ens that “there is still light” in Kylo — could this be a sign he hasn’t gone to­tally dark?

Kick­ing off with Re­sis­tance fly­boy Poe Dameron de­scrib­ing the rebels as “the spark that will light the fire that will burn the First Or­der down,” there’s a mon­tage of big mo­ments like Finn (John Boyega) go­ing un­der­cover and fac­ing off with his old boss Cap­tain Phasma (Gwen­do­line Christie) and Snoke tor­tur­ing Rey as he fin­ishes the sen­tence “Ful­fill your des­tiny.”

The end, though, is the best part, es­pe­cially for Star Wars nerds who love think­ing about this stuff: Rey and Kylo seem as if they’re talk­ing to each other when she says, “I need some­one to show me my place in all this,” and Kylo reaches out his hand — and not in anger, which is pretty dif­fer­ent for the hot­headed bad­die.

Is he try­ing to bring her to the Dark Side? Or could Rey be the key to his re­demp­tion?

Or it could all be a big mis­di­rect. Luke, ever wise, even in­tones at one point: “This is not go­ing to go the way you think.”


Galac­tic ad­ver­saries Rey (Daisy Ri­d­ley) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) were last seen fac­ing off in bit­ter bat­tle.

“This is not go­ing to go the way you think,” Luke Sky­walker (Mark Hamill) says solemnly — leav­ing us to won­der what it all might mean.

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