Monday night, thousands of Star Wars fans suffered through half a football game in hopes of seeing Luke Skywalker again. The trailer for the upcoming installment to the newest trilogy, The Last Jedi, premiered at halftime, and it immediately sparked controversy. Through a series of cleverly edited clips, the trailer seems to suggest that Luke's reluctance to train Rey out of a fear of how similar her power is to Kylo Ren's leads her to seek guidance from the dark side of the force -- and Kylo Ren himself.
Though a part of every Jedi's journey in Star Wars includes being tempted by the dark side, that last moment in the trailer, when Kylo Ren extends a hand toward Rey, was quick to come under scrutiny. What at first glance looked like Rey speaking to Kylo is beginning to look more and more like two separate scene cut together. Kylo stands in a large, outdoor space where fire rains down, his face lit in red and orange. Rey stands in what looks like a room lit in softer, yellow light. She's also wearing her Ahch-To outfit, which, based on the footage, she only wears for the first portion of the film, before she would likely see Kylo again. If anything, she's talking to Luke.
That doesn't rule out the idea that Kylo is extending his hand to Rey in his clip, though. Maybe there's something about Rey's appearance that would be spoiled by showing her in that scene, like a new lightsaber or a missing hand. Maybe Rey isn't as compliant as she appears in the trailer and is gearing up to cut his hand off. If it's not Rey, though, then the real speculation begins. It could be Leia, as Kylo either tries to redeem himself or tries to pull the same trick he did on Han. It could be Finn since he seems to be on an equally destroyed world in what looks like the First Order hanger in his clip fighting Phasma. Either way, the entire final sequence in the trailer is deliberately misleading.
The same can easily be said for the rest of the trailer, though. The opening lines themselves may even be a bait and switch, meant for Rey rather than Kylo as Snoke attempts to bring her to the dark side the way the Emperor did to Luke. A major hint at the fact that this trailer is manipulating the story is in the Luke and Rey plot, though. The same power Luke sees in Rey is exactly what made the Jedi refuse to trust and fully train Anakin, and the idea that Luke would refuse to teach her upon recognizing a power that is rampant in his family's past and present would be backtracking both for the story and the character.
Luke's storyline in the original trilogy was about turning from the old ways of the Jedi and allowing for the strong attachments and emotions they feared the power of. If Luke did go to the Jedi temple and learn more about the Jedi, he knows the Jedi's fear of "raw, untamed power" was his father's undoing. When combined with the fact that we do see Rey training with Luke in what looks like a scene after he tells her he's afraid of her power, it doesn't sound like Luke will turn away from her at all.
Aside from this trailer's paralleling of Rey and Kylo so that we might fear Rey's inevitable run-in with the dark side of the force, the majority shows moments we already knew were coming. Finn goes undercover and fights Phasma. Poe gives inspiring speeches. Snoke is ugly. Finn and Rose's story is apparently still too deep under wraps to be in promotional material like Rey's and Kylo's, unfortunately, but even those that did make the trailer seem heavily skewed. Let the next two months of speculation begin.
Watch the trailer below: